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Anyone have and can share or know where I can find a decent plans for a 36X48 benchwork. Including how much lumber and how long to make the cuts for each piece?

Andrew
I'd recommend you get a copy of Basic Model Railroad Benchwork from Kalmbach publishing.

Not only does it have plans, but it explains the process so you modify them as needed for your own use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd recommend you get a copy of Basic Model Railroad Benchwork from Kalmbach publishing.

Not only does it have plans, but it explains the process so you modify them as needed for your own use.
Will have to order that book, Seen so many reviews on books says they where more confusing then helpful
 

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Get some 1x3 lumber.

2 pcs 48" long.
4 pcs 34 1/2" long. These are your "cross-pieces".

One crosspiece on each end.
Two more "in the middle" at 16" intervals.

Use flat head wood screws to assemble them. Buy the right size. Not too big, not too small.
DRILL PILOT HOLES FOR EACH SCREW.
A "screw pilot" or "countersink" tool will work for this.
Measure carefully before you drill each pilot hole.

For a small layout like this, I'd suggest 1/4" BIRCH plywood for the table top.
Birch is a higher grade, better surface finish and less likely to warp out of shape.

For legs, you could take 2 pieces of 1x3 and screw them together to make an "L-shaped" leg for each corner. You'll have to decide on the height that will be best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Get some 1x3 lumber.

2 pcs 48" long.
4 pcs 34 1/2" long. These are your "cross-pieces".

One crosspiece on each end.
Two more "in the middle" at 16" intervals.

Use flat head wood screws to assemble them. Buy the right size. Not too big, not too small.
DRILL PILOT HOLES FOR EACH SCREW.
A "screw pilot" or "countersink" tool will work for this.
Measure carefully before you drill each pilot hole.

For a small layout like this, I'd suggest 1/4" BIRCH plywood for the table top.
Birch is a higher grade, better surface finish and less likely to warp out of shape.

For legs, you could take 2 pieces of 1x3 and screw them together to make an "L-shaped" leg for each corner. You'll have to decide on the height that will be best for you.
Okay for this do you have any idea how many 1x3's I would need to make one?
 

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As per pilot holes, there is a lesser known trick. You need 2, different hole sizes. I’ll explain concisely:
You have two pieces of wood. The screw will go completely through one, & bite into the 2nd piece.
The pilot hole for the first piece should equal the entire thread width. The screw should not “grab” that piece. The 2nd piece pilot hole should be smaller than the thread diameter.
So assembling, the screw slips through the first pilot hole with zero resistance. Align it with the pilot hole on the 2nd piece and screw it down. As it bites, the screw head will snug wood piece one to piece two. No screw jacking (gaps between pieces) will occur using two sizes of pilot holes.
For counter sinking heads, there are special drill bits sold for that. But you can achieve the same with a drill bit that is the same diameter as the screw head. You only need a 1/8th divot at most. They won’t be uniform depth, but you’re not building a china cabinet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As per pilot holes, there is a lesser known trick. You need 2, different hole sizes. I’ll explain concisely:
You have two pieces of wood. The screw will go completely through one, & bite into the 2nd piece.
The pilot hole for the first piece should equal the entire thread width. The screw should not “grab” that piece. The 2nd piece pilot hole should be smaller than the thread diameter.
So assembling, the screw slips through the first pilot hole with zero resistance. Align it with the pilot hole on the 2nd piece and screw it down. As it bites, the screw head will snug wood piece one to piece two. No screw jacking (gaps between pieces) will occur using two sizes of pilot holes.
For counter sinking heads, there are special drill bits sold for that. But you can achieve the same with a drill bit that is the same diameter as the screw head. You only need a 1/8th divot at most. They won’t be uniform depth, but you’re not building a china cabinet.
What does this have to do with how long to make the legs for the benchwork?
 

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My table is desk height, but only because that's what I got for free... 4 desks assembled into a U shape. The desks I got for free don't have any drawers, just a work surface that is solid wood. Not ideal, but they were free, and saved my hundreds of dollars and a lot of time.

If I was building, I would go counter height. That way, you can stand or sit on a stool and have a good perspective onto the layout. With mine being desk height, you really need to be seated for teh best perspective.
 

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What does this have to do with how long to make the legs for the benchwork?
My comment about pilot holes was an addendum to J.Alberts on target info.

As for leg/layout height, nobody can decide that for you. Some factors include common lumber lengths, your height, who will be operating it (kids?), whether you plan to stand or sit, 1 deck, or multi-decks, under layout storage desires, etc.
You’ll find that a lot of decisions come down to your own point of view. This is how we know for a fact Obiwan Kenobi was a model railroader.
 
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