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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I am new to the forum, and model trains as well. I recently signed up so that I could learn all the basics on a model train setup. I used to work at HobbyTownUSA so I think that's where I started getting into them. I used to be really into scale model auto's so I enjoyed all the detail on trains we sold in our store. I never got into them though, probably due to the cost an the space required. Now that I am older, have more space and $$, not to mention a 5 year old who LOVES trains I think its time to finally build something.

Sorry if you are expecting a already built layout, I have not even started. This thread will truly be the entire process of building a layout with absolutely zero experience. The only thing I bring to the table (pun intended) is I am a hobbyist woodworker so I can at least build the table haha! Anyways, on to the layout..

The plan so far: (Subject to change)

The wife has nixed the plan to build a large table in our guest room, and at 5 years old my boy can not yet be trusted to have it in his playroom. So, the only space left is of course my personal space. The garage.

Problem #1
Im currently restoring a 1997 Nissan Hardbody on one half of the garage.
Problem #2
The other half of the garage is my woodworking/repair/work space

So here is what I think are my only two options. Well one option really.. with 2 spaces to put said option.

My first choice is right above my outfeed/assembly table. Ignore the mess. I have not been doing any woodworking the last few weeks while I put this old sohc KA back together. There are old car parts and crap everywhere. The issues I see here are not huge, but could make a big impact. Technically, I could fit a 4x8 table up there. The original plan was for an N scale setup that would lower right down onto my assembly table. I could work on it in the evening after the kid is asleep, and raise it up when I was away. However, as you can see by the measuring tape on the bench if the work area is clean a 4x8 space is possible so that had me thinking about HO. I can easily move the lights, they were put up without any real thought as I jut needed more light right away and are not in any kind of permanent position. Same with the air filter. So here I could have a really spacious N scale setup. Or the minimum required space (from what I have read on here so far) for a HO setup. One issue is that I would need to install self leveling feet on my outfeed/assembly table. I have it designed so that it is slightly lower than my table saw, for breaking down larger pieces of plywood and stuff. This way I can lower the train table on to a level workspace and disconnect it from rope.



The other option is above the truck. The issue here is really only that I would have to finish the truck first. Well the engine work really. Which is almost done. And also, when I want to work on the table, the truck would have to be moved out of the garage.



So option 1 is more convenient, but a tighter fit and possibly annoying to go HO. Option 2 has all the space but is really inconvenient due to having to move the truck. Oh and I would also have to install some kind of folding legs on the table or leave it attached to the hoist while working which seems like it would be a issue. The foldable legs would not be an issue, just another step when lowering it down.

I plan on using a pulley and mechanical winch to raise and lower the table for either option. I already started purchasing those parts since no matter what side we go, the build will be the same.



So there we are. I have not even built anything yet, and Im already at a dilemma haha. I like the space advantage of N scale. so would be happy with it. However, my son is the train lover, I am in this more for the building aspect. I want to build buildings, the terrain, roads and all that. I think HO would be more enjoyable, maybe easier since its a bit larger.
Would love everyone's opinion, advise etc. In the meantime, ill be acquiring the remaining pieces of this lift, and getting this truck driving again so I can start building a table.
 

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Just a few thoughts:

N might be a bit small for a 5 year old. I would go with HO.

If the platform is to be raised and lowered, I would (to quote Colin Chapman) add lightness. Consider using L girder construction for the frame and rigid foam for the platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just a few thoughts:

N might be a bit small for a 5 year old. I would go with HO.

If the platform is to be raised and lowered, I would (to quote Colin Chapman) add lightness. Consider using L girder construction for the frame and rigid foam for the platform.
I agree, N scale would be small. If we do go N scale the plan for now would be to only allow him to operate it. Probably have a plexiglass box made to cover the track so he would just look. Hes well behaved enough that with the controller in hand he would still love it.

I have been doing research on build plans on Youtube and here as well. Will definitely be using the rigid foam. Also, everything I have ordered is designed to have a working load of over 400 lbs, except for the above pictured screw eyes. Those are being returned today for a stronger option! Thanks for the input Bob!
 

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Go with N. It's small, but kids will surprise you. And with only a 4x8 space HO will leave you disappointed. You will have a lot more options for a layout in N scale. My son is just a little older, he's 8 now. Started playing with N scale not to long ago and he loves it. N or HO he is a bit young to be handling them much anyway, why not go with the one that gives more options?

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
 

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Hello everyone! I am new to the forum, and model trains as well. I recently signed up so that I could learn all the basics on a model train setup. I used to work at HobbyTownUSA so I think that's where I started getting into them. I used to be really into scale model auto's so I enjoyed all the detail on trains we sold in our store. I never got into them though, probably due to the cost an the space required. Now that I am older, have more space and $$, not to mention a 5 year old who LOVES trains I think its time to finally build something.

Sorry if you are expecting a already built layout, I have not even started. This thread will truly be the entire process of building a layout with absolutely zero experience. The only thing I bring to the table (pun intended) is I am a hobbyist woodworker so I can at least build the table haha! Anyways, on to the layout..

The plan so far: (Subject to change)

The wife has nixed the plan to build a large table in our guest room, and at 5 years old my boy can not yet be trusted to have it in his playroom. So, the only space left is of course my personal space. The garage.

Problem #1
Im currently restoring a 1997 Nissan Hardbody on one half of the garage.
Problem #2
The other half of the garage is my woodworking/repair/work space

So here is what I think are my only two options. Well one option really.. with 2 spaces to put said option.

My first choice is right above my outfeed/assembly table. Ignore the mess. I have not been doing any woodworking the last few weeks while I put this old sohc KA back together. There are old car parts and crap everywhere. The issues I see here are not huge, but could make a big impact. Technically, I could fit a 4x8 table up there. The original plan was for an N scale setup that would lower right down onto my assembly table. I could work on it in the evening after the kid is asleep, and raise it up when I was away. However, as you can see by the measuring tape on the bench if the work area is clean a 4x8 space is possible so that had me thinking about HO. I can easily move the lights, they were put up without any real thought as I jut needed more light right away and are not in any kind of permanent position. Same with the air filter. So here I could have a really spacious N scale setup. Or the minimum required space (from what I have read on here so far) for a HO setup. One issue is that I would need to install self leveling feet on my outfeed/assembly table. I have it designed so that it is slightly lower than my table saw, for breaking down larger pieces of plywood and stuff. This way I can lower the train table on to a level workspace and disconnect it from rope.



The other option is above the truck. The issue here is really only that I would have to finish the truck first. Well the engine work really. Which is almost done. And also, when I want to work on the table, the truck would have to be moved out of the garage.



So option 1 is more convenient, but a tighter fit and possibly annoying to go HO. Option 2 has all the space but is really inconvenient due to having to move the truck. Oh and I would also have to install some kind of folding legs on the table or leave it attached to the hoist while working which seems like it would be a issue. The foldable legs would not be an issue, just another step when lowering it down.

I plan on using a pulley and mechanical winch to raise and lower the table for either option. I already started purchasing those parts since no matter what side we go, the build will be the same.



So there we are. I have not even built anything yet, and Im already at a dilemma haha. I like the space advantage of N scale. so would be happy with it. However, my son is the train lover, I am in this more for the building aspect. I want to build buildings, the terrain, roads and all that. I think HO would be more enjoyable, maybe easier since its a bit larger.
Would love everyone's opinion, advise etc. In the meantime, ill be acquiring the remaining pieces of this lift, and getting this truck driving again so I can start building a table.
Project 510;

Welcome to the forum!

I have a (recently) six-year-old grandson with his own N-scale layout that he started using when he was five. He handles the N-scale cars and locomotives just fine, including putting them on the track by himself. There is a ramp that makes that task easier, (see photo) but he can do it by eyeball and fingers only too. Don't sell young kids short. Their eyesight & manual dexterity are phenomenal ! Usually far better than their elders. My point is that you don't have to avoid N-scale because of notions that "its too small to handle." That may well be slightly closer to the truth for you than for your grandson, but its actually not true for either of you, unless you have serious disabilities. I'm 73, and partially disabled I've been working with N-scale for over 45 years, without problems.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with HO-scale either, or any scale for that matter. The one limiting factor in scale choice is space. Specifically the amount of space needed for the various scales to make a 180 degree turn with their track. HO-scale can make it, using pretty tight 18" radius curves, and restricted choices of equipment, in four feet. It can also, just barely and crowding the table edges, fit a slightly larger 22" radius curve into four feet of table width. Using this slightly larger curve, most HO-scale equipment can make it around without problems.

N-scale can turn around in half the space (2' ) by using equally tight (for that scale) curves. However, in 3 x 8 feet N-scale can turn around using more generous curves that can handle even some larger locomotives, and longer cars. If you use four feet of width, N-scale can have truly broad curves that look more like the curves on real railroads, and will handle anything made in N-scale.

I suggest framing your "hoist-up" layout with aluminum angle, instead of wood, and using 1-1/2" - 2" thick extruded foam insulation board, instead of a sheet of plywood, for the "main slab."
None of us get younger and stronger as we age. The lighter and easier you can make the lift, the better. Aluminum angle could also be used for the legs, or you can buy pre-made tubular-steel foldable table legs. That's what I used on my grandson's layout. I also used wood L-girders, and 1/4" Luan plywood. That works, but made the layout just heavy enough that I find it a little difficult to handle. If I were doing it over, I would make it lighter, using foam, and possibly the Luan, but only if it was needed to anchor the folding legs, which I screwed to 1 x 3 planks that I attached to the Luan with glue and hollow wall anchors, through the thin Luan and into the foam.

Using hardware that can handle 400 Lbs. is fine, but anything made by man can fail, and and a 400 Lb. object falling could wipe out your car, tools, or worse, people! Even 100, or even 50 Lbs. is potentially dangerous. I would use counter weights or counter springs to keep the layout up, rather than depending on only the ropes, however strong, to hold it, and they will make lifting it easier too.

The 4 x 8 foot shape is limiting in some other ways too, but it looks like you don't have a lot of choices. You could go smaller, with an N-scale layout on a 3' x 7' hollow-core door, for example, but 4 x 8 will work fine too.
The files below are some I wrote for new model railroaders, look them over if you wish.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Go with N. It's small, but kids will surprise you. And with only a 4x8 space HO will leave you disappointed. You will have a lot more options for a layout in N scale. My son is just a little older, he's 8 now. Started playing with N scale not to long ago and he loves it. N or HO he is a bit young to be handling them much anyway, why not go with the one that gives more options?

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
Great points, more space for more buildings and scenery and besides trains, I think he likes bridges even more so we will be adding 1 or two of those. I do think N scale is a good choice.

Project 510;

Welcome to the forum!

I have a (recently) six-year-old grandson with his own N-scale layout that he started using when he was five. He handles the N-scale cars and locomotives just fine, including putting them on the track by himself. There is a ramp that makes that task easier, (see photo) but he can do it by eyeball and fingers only too. Don't sell young kids short. Their eyesight & manual dexterity are phenomenal ! Usually far better than their elders. My point is that you don't have to avoid N-scale because of notions that "its too small to handle." That may well be slightly closer to the truth for you than for your grandson, but its actually not true for either of you, unless you have serious disabilities. I'm 73, and partially disabled I've been working with N-scale for over 45 years, without problems.

Using hardware that can handle 400 Lbs. is fine, but anything made by man can fail, and and a 400 Lb. object falling could wipe out your car, tools, or worse, people! Even 100, or even 50 Lbs. is potentially dangerous. I would use counter weights or counter springs to keep the layout up, rather than depending on only the ropes, however strong, to hold it, and they will make lifting it easier too.

The 4 x 8 foot shape is limiting in some other ways too, but it looks like you don't have a lot of choices. You could go smaller, with an N-scale layout on a 3' x 7' hollow-core door, for example, but 4 x 8 will work fine too.
The files below are some I wrote for new model railroaders, look them over if you wish.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
Several great points, thank you. I totally agree, kids are more adaptable then we think sometimes. I only mention keeping it covered because he is currently in his smash any thing that roles phase. He loves crashing his Lego cars, and his wooden toy truck get "rolled" across the kitchen and smash into cabinets and walls haha. Once grasps the idea of a bit of softer play, he will absolutely be given the opportunity to pick them up. Also, that ramp loader is slick!

The material is rated for 400 lbs, but the load should be less than 100 when complete. Ill also be adding a safety feature in the event the hoist were to break, but you are right. Murphy's law right? I will definitely look at the aluminum options. Maybe because of the current lumber prices, it may save a few dollars as well!

Also, thank you for including the pdf's I probably should have mentioned in my original post I have seen them posted in several different threads and have already printed A LOT of them out for future reading! I'm not a huge fan of reading on the computer or tablet and I print them out at work (ssshhh) anyways. Thanks in advance for all the help those will provide! I actually started a word file to make my own table of contents because you have so much. It'll be easier to reference later lol.

- James
 

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Great points, more space for more buildings and scenery and besides trains, I think he likes bridges even more so we will be adding 1 or two of those. I do think N scale is a good choice.



Several great points, thank you. I totally agree, kids are more adaptable then we think sometimes. I only mention keeping it covered because he is currently in his smash any thing that roles phase. He loves crashing his Lego cars, and his wooden toy truck get "rolled" across the kitchen and smash into cabinets and walls haha. Once grasps the idea of a bit of softer play, he will absolutely be given the opportunity to pick them up. Also, that ramp loader is slick!

The material is rated for 400 lbs, but the load should be less than 100 when complete. Ill also be adding a safety feature in the event the hoist were to break, but you are right. Murphy's law right? I will definitely look at the aluminum options. Maybe because of the current lumber prices, it may save a few dollars as well!

Also, thank you for including the pdf's I probably should have mentioned in my original post I have seen them posted in several different threads and have already printed A LOT of them out for future reading! I'm not a huge fan of reading on the computer or tablet and I print them out at work (ssshhh) anyways. Thanks in advance for all the help those will provide! I actually started a word file to make my own table of contents because you have so much. It'll be easier to reference later lol.

- James
James;

You can buy aluminum angle at Home Depot or Lowes in various sizes. I've used the 3/4" angle for some bracing on my layout, and its very strong.
If its basically only supporting a piece of foam, and maybe a sheet of 1/4" Luan, that probably won't even come close to 100 lbs. Another (free) source for aluminum channels is trashed shower door frames. I've picked up several of those just riding my geezer tricycle around my neighborhood on trash day.

N-scale really looks best when It can expand out into a space that could hold an HO-scale layout. If you resist the tendency to fill that 4 x 8 up with track, you will be able to fit plenty of scenery, buildings, and those bridges your grandson likes. You will find that there is a good variety of products available in N-scale. However, since HO-scale is more popular, there is even more available in that size. Regardless of scale, you will also soon find that model railroading is an expensive hobby. Not more expensive than a lot of others, and a good deal cheaper than some, but still, there is certainly cost involved. Scratchbuilding structures, rather than using all commercial kits, will save a lot of money, and also take care of the "What's available in my chosen scale" issue altogether. You can scratchbuild anything your heart, or your grandson's imagination, desires. As an example, my own layout is based loosely on the Milwaukee Road's passenger operations near Seattle, in the 1920s. Well, I'm here to tell you there ain't a whole lot of commercial models of Seattle's two large railroad stations, or other major structures, available. In fact, there are precisely none, in any scale. So I had to scratchbuild most of my 3' x 4' representation of "downtown Seattle." The photos show some of the structures I scratchbuilt, and some commercial kits too.

Major scenic features, like hills, tunnels, rivers, etc. can be made of extruded foam. That makes them very lightweight, but strong enough to take an occasional bump. Its also an easy way to make scenery. Below track features like rivers and road underpasses, can simply be carved out of the foam sheet. Above track features, like hills, can be formed with foam glued in layers, like a cake, and then cut , rasped, and sanded to shape, The surefoam rasps in the first photo are good for this job. Foam does produce clouds of dust, so have your trusty shop vac handy. I tape the hose to the bottom of the handle on the yellow rasp. This catches most of the dust.

I think you will find some useful info in the files you have copied. A lot may not apply directly to what you're doing now, as the files are intended as general info to help many "newbies", each of whom may have different ideas & needs. Things will come up as you get into model railroading. Feel free to ask questions here on the forum. You might also check our "Beginner's Q&A" section. There is lots of good info there.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan. 🙂
 

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My two cents worth.

I'd go with N scale for the all the reasons mentioned above. I'll also add, your son is not going to stay 5 forever. As he grows both physically and mentally he's going to want more, more train, more scenery, more action, more involvement in building, so on and so forth.

I'd go with over the pickup. You are going to get real tired of completely clearing your work table every time you wanted to work on the train, unless of course you currently completely clear your table every time you get done anyway. You'll find most days it'll be way easier to move the truck out and pull it back in. You said you have to have it running anyway before you can even build the benchwork. Or maybe even use your other car to pull it out and push it back in, depending on how your garage and driveway is set up.

If you do decide to go over your work table you can always attached little blocks to the bottom of the layout instead of raising and lowering the work table.

As for the construction of the benchwork, I believe others have already given you great advice.

Chaos
 
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Good for you...children should always have a place at the layout, with no bitter memories associated with it. N scale is no exception, there are plenty of close enough items to play with. Keep the delicate stuff out of reach, my daughter never bought into my cheap toy substitutes for a second, she wanted to play with real trains.🤓🤬
565324
565325
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
James;

You can buy aluminum angle at Home Depot or Lowes in various sizes. I've used the 3/4" angle for some bracing on my layout, and its very strong.
If its basically only supporting a piece of foam, and maybe a sheet of 1/4" Luan, that probably won't even come close to 100 lbs. Another (free) source for aluminum channels is trashed shower door frames. I've picked up several of those just riding my geezer tricycle around my neighborhood on trash day.

N-scale really looks best when It can expand out into a space that could hold an HO-scale layout. If you resist the tendency to fill that 4 x 8 up with track, you will be able to fit plenty of scenery, buildings, and those bridges your grandson likes. You will find that there is a good variety of products available in N-scale. However, since HO-scale is more popular, there is even more available in that size. Regardless of scale, you will also soon find that model railroading is an expensive hobby. Not more expensive than a lot of others, and a good deal cheaper than some, but still, there is certainly cost involved. Scratchbuilding structures, rather than using all commercial kits, will save a lot of money, and also take care of the "What's available in my chosen scale" issue altogether. You can scratchbuild anything your heart, or your grandson's imagination, desires. As an example, my own layout is based loosely on the Milwaukee Road's passenger operations near Seattle, in the 1920s. Well, I'm here to tell you there ain't a whole lot of commercial models of Seattle's two large railroad stations, or other major structures, available. In fact, there are precisely none, in any scale. So I had to scratchbuild most of my 3' x 4' representation of "downtown Seattle." The photos show some of the structures I scratchbuilt, and some commercial kits too.

Major scenic features, like hills, tunnels, rivers, etc. can be made of extruded foam. That makes them very lightweight, but strong enough to take an occasional bump. Its also an easy way to make scenery. Below track features like rivers and road underpasses, can simply be carved out of the foam sheet. Above track features, like hills, can be formed with foam glued in layers, like a cake, and then cut , rasped, and sanded to shape, The surefoam rasps in the first photo are good for this job. Foam does produce clouds of dust, so have your trusty shop vac handy. I tape the hose to the bottom of the handle on the yellow rasp. This catches most of the dust.

I think you will find some useful info in the files you have copied. A lot may not apply directly to what you're doing now, as the files are intended as general info to help many "newbies", each of whom may have different ideas & needs. Things will come up as you get into model railroading. Feel free to ask questions here on the forum. You might also check our "Beginner's Q&A" section. There is lots of good info there.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan. 🙂
All great info thank you!

My two cents worth.

I'd go with N scale for the all the reasons mentioned above. I'll also add, your son is not going to stay 5 forever. As he grows both physically and mentally he's going to want more, more train, more scenery, more action, more involvement in building, so on and so forth.

I'd go with over the pickup. You are going to get real tired of completely clearing your work table every time you wanted to work on the train, unless of course you currently completely clear your table every time you get done anyway. You'll find most days it'll be way easier to move the truck out and pull it back in. You said you have to have it running anyway before you can even build the benchwork. Or maybe even use your other car to pull it out and push it back in, depending on how your garage and driveway is set up.

If you do decide to go over your work table you can always attached little blocks to the bottom of the layout instead of raising and lowering the work table.

As for the construction of the benchwork, I believe others have already given you great advice.

Chaos
Im warming up to the idea of over the truck also, since its more open. I also think the 2 way winch will be an easier install here as well because the spot for it with the over the workbench idea means I need to remove a lumber rack (or at least shorten the material stored on it) and move my security cameras video monitor.

But you are correct in assuming I keep the table clear. The photos I posted don't depict the typical daily situation there. While fixing the truck, my portable fridge/freezer broke, our garbage disposal died, a friend asked for a cutting board to be repaired, and as if I didn't already have enough going on, had to replace th shocks and springs on our family car.. So, its usually empty when not in use. Also, lowering it on the work table means all my most common used tools are right behind me. Well, part of the fun is the planning stage so well see how it goes!

Good for you...children should always have a place at the layout, with no bitter memories associated with it. N scale is no exception, there are plenty of close enough items to play with. Keep the delicate stuff out of reach, my daughter never bought into my cheap toy substitutes for a second, she wanted to play with real trains.🤓🤬
View attachment 565325
One thing I learned from my dad, was we always did what he wanted. His hobbies were ours until we were old enough to choose otherwise. I want to expose the boy to as much as possible and hell choose his own passions and we can go from there. If that is an N scale lightning Mcqueen and Mator, Im gonna have to find a set of those. My son will loose his mind. Great photos!

Really, thank you everyone. Im super excited about this build. It may be a slow process, with work, and the regular family day to day stuff my free time in the garage ends up being about 45 minutes a night, maybe 2-3 nights a week. So once the build begins, it will be slow. Regardless, I cant wait!
 

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If that is an N scale lightning Mcqueen and Mator, Im gonna have to find a set of those. My son will loose his mind. Great photos!
They were pen toppers Walmart sold back when the movie came out. While not N Scale (more like 1:144 scale) they were close enough to thrill my kids and many others over the years. Since my kids are grown, and you're not likely to find any yourself, I'm willing to pass them on to you. Just pm me an address and I'll send them off to you.
565361
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They were pen toppers Walmart sold back when the movie came out. While not N Scale (more like 1:144 scale) they were close enough to thrill my kids and many others over the years. Since my kids are grown, and you're not likely to find any yourself, I'm willing to pass them on to you. Just pm me an address and I'll send them off to you. View attachment 565361
Wow that is incredibly nice of you to do that! I send you a PM shortly. If I weren't new to the hobby I would offer up something to trade. Hopefully in the future I can repay the favor!
 

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I hate to be the wet noodle, but...

Being a woodworker you know that, no matter what you do for dust abatement, it gets everywhere anyway. If your layout is nothing more than track on baseboard I guess you could hose it off with compressed air, but with structures, trees, ground cover, etc. that's not really an option. And all of your locos and rolling stock will need to be removed from the dust zone when you are making dust.
 

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I hate to be the wet noodle, but...

Being a woodworker you know that, no matter what you do for dust abatement, it gets everywhere anyway. If your layout is nothing more than track on baseboard I guess you could hose it off with compressed air, but with structures, trees, ground cover, etc. that's not really an option. And all of your locos and rolling stock will need to be removed from the dust zone when you are making dust.
Pretty much this...I still am absolutely amazed at how much dust a couple of simple cuts can make, and where it gets....

I would strongly advise against it myself. Simple household dust drove me to building a cabinet for my N scale, my HO track is a simple design and easy to clean.
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Welcome P510.
Some like the dust on their stuff. :)
We have at least one old thread on what someone did to hoist his layout in the garage, I will see if I can find it.
I think his was a 4x8, not sure. He made a nice hoist setup then stopped posting here, it was years ago, maybe 10 or more.
In our old forum platform I might be able to find it easily, with the new site format not so easy.
When you raise it up just make some kind of cover for it, a sheet with a few custom made hold up brackets to keep it off of things might work.
 

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I lucked it out found it fairly quick.
His was 12x5, maybe it will give you some ideals on hanging it.

 

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Another, some of the posts in this one has links to click to view what some others did.
Read thru if you want.

 

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One more for you,
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hate to be the wet noodle, but...

Being a woodworker you know that, no matter what you do for dust abatement, it gets everywhere anyway. If your layout is nothing more than track on baseboard I guess you could hose it off with compressed air, but with structures, trees, ground cover, etc. that's not really an option. And all of your locos and rolling stock will need to be removed from the dust zone when you are making dust.
Yes, you both are correct. The dust is a huge problem. Initially I was just going to cover the table somehow, but when I was in there today moving the lights around I saw just how quickly the dust piles up. Its definitely going to require a solution. I cant quit the woodworking, its my favorite hobby. Im thinking I will have to convince the wife to let me store it in the guest room, under the queen bed maybe? But getting it up stairs would be tricky.

Pretty much this...I still am absolutely amazed at how much dust a couple of simple cuts can make, and where it gets....

I would strongly advise against it myself. Simple household dust drove me to building a cabinet for my N scale, my HO track is a simple design and easy to clean.
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Welcome P510.
Some like the dust on their stuff. :)
We have at least one old thread on what someone did to hoist his layout in the garage, I will see if I can find it.
I think his was a 4x8, not sure. He made a nice hoist setup then stopped posting here, it was years ago, maybe 10 or more.
In our old forum platform I might be able to find it easily, with the new site format not so easy.
When you raise it up just make some kind of cover for it, a sheet with a few custom made hold up brackets to keep it off of things might work.
I really dont want the dust everywhere haha. It will have to be worked out somehow. This is exactly why I posted here. So much expertise and advice. Thank you for the links! I will check them out!
 
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