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Discussion Starter #1
Comments and advise very welcome and needed LOL.

I started my benchwork today (finally) by taking my old 4x8 table and ripping it into 2 tables.

I know it's not much, but between reading and learning and figuring out track problems this is quite an accomplishment for me.

My goal is to build a O layout as the main line and an HO layout above it in the back on a mountain top. Thoughts?

I may have messed up the width measurements to achieve this and if so, perhaps I can use the right or left sides for the HO mountain top?

Both are 32" high and believe it or not they are level. This alone was quite a feat for me :laugh:

The thin table against the wall is 30" x 92" and the wide table is 42" x 64"

I still have at least one more table to build (on the left side to make a full horseshoe) but I ran out of wood. Maybe tomorrow or next weekend. I may add a little more to the wide table (about 42" x 36") since i have the room.

I put some very thin wall coating on them but I haven't taken pictures of it yet. I'll post that later.

I still need to add the supports and under table for stock, parts and tools which I hope I will finish tomorrow.

For now this is what I have.



Thoughts?
 

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Thanks Tankist - adding that tomorrow when I get more wood along with a lower shelf for stuff.

GG1.jpg


I would like to try the same thing as you.
Maybe N would work better in the small space you are dealing with.
But I imagine you already have the HO?:confused:

Check out this site...they did it. Put S in it too.
But look at the dimensions of their layout.:D


http://www.dunhamstudios.com/cititour.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Big Ed - a bit larger than my area LOL - but I certainly get some ideas from that.

I think I'm gonna need some help from the experts here in laying out track :(

I'm finishing up the tables this afternoon and will post more pictures.

Don't worry tankist, they are going to be stable - I swear :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Latest Update

Worked on the last table today and sturdied up the under tables.

Left side - 30" wide


Center - 42" deep


Right side - 37" wide


I still have a few cross braces to add but I'm going to wait until I decide on the table top material.

Thoughts?

I think I'm gonna need some help laying out my track. I think I've taken on more than I am capable :(
 

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Lookin good! Maybe some 45 degree gussets on those legs here and there will make it solid. I see you are using the flat table building method. I did the same. Think ahead now for lakes or streams you might want. Much easier to jig saw holes now. Also any rises in elevation would be easy now. I added both after laying track and wish I had thought ahead.

What is the top deck material?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the heads up CP (concretpumper)

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the top yet.

My issues are that I'm not very good with a jig saw so I don't think I want to do wood cut outs.

Also, I want to try to make the top be able to be broken down, boxed and stored if need be.

I have some foam insulation I was considering, and also not sure what it's called but very thin veneer like wall cover (like you put in a bathroom) which is currently on top of the 2 tables.

I'm kinda going back and forth at the moment.

Also, I still need to bolt the table together - I'm going to put the whole thing on wheels so I can pull it away from the back wall and work on the scenery in back since the middle and corner sections are bit out of my reach.

I have a layout in my mind, but I think it might be to advanced for me; Here's a quasi picture of what's in my mind: (the roads would be the tracks, the top/mtn is my HO and the lower level is the O. I have buildings and stuff for O but only track and trains for the HO as of yet)



Really stuck on the table top part. :(
 

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Hey Novice,

Looking good so far. I like your concept on using two different scales. I have some HO scale engines and cars left and often thought about combining the HO scale stuff with my O gauge trains so I'm looking forward to seeing how your layout progresses.

Just one thing to consider when building and upper level on a solid flat top layout is the weight factor. If you decide not to use the cookie cutter option and use a jigsaw then foam is a good option. I addition to the foam supports there are people who make foam board in sizes from 8"X12" to 40"x60". It's kinda pricey for the larger sheets but come in thicknesses up to 1/2". This might work for the flat suface for the upper level and cut down on weight. The stuff will hold HO sectional track and track nails very nicely.

Here is just one online option just for and example only.
http://www.foamboardsource.com/foam-board--foam-board-with-memory--1-2--foam-board-with-memory.html

Happy building on your layout :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tips O-boy.

I haven't settled on how to build the mtns yet. I really like the tutorials NIMT did in the forums, but I am concerned with the weight as I only have the foam insulation as a sub-board.

I can add some cross beams to the table itself to strenghten the sub-board if needed and go with NIMTs tutorials - darn they look real good and CP is doing them justice.

I also have a lot of foam I can use to sculpt the mtns out, but I think NIMTs way is best.

Right now, I'm putting wheels on all 3 tables. Just finished with one tonight, and it is perhaps the best thing I've done so far - makes it very easy to get to the hard to reach places by pulling out the table and crawling through the undertable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Captain - there be TRAINS here :D

Thanks to everyone for all their help, my O trains have begun their route around the track!

The J & J Line is pulling 7 cars - go Conrail LOL.
I've got the first leg of O trains up and running - a bit slow at the curves, but I think that is the quality of the track - I'll work on that over the next few days.

I'm going to let this run for a day or two while start working in the 4 switches.

Heck I can't believe these are actually working...

Oh, notice the wheels at the bottom of the tables - best thing I've done so far so I can get to the back of the layout by sliding the whole thing forward. Ingenious LOL

Here are some pics for those interested:




 

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Looking good......May I suggest you add a thin strip of lexan or plexiglass along the edges where the trains get close so they don't end up on the floor? I had a couple "sorry daddy" moments when I was starting and had to watch a 1 day old engine crash to the cement from 4 feet. (348 scale foot crash haha) You only need something sticking a couple inches above the top surface to serve as a deflector.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some updated pics with the risers almost all in place for the O layout:

I made my own risers from foam sheets using a hot wire cutter. Works great for the bends.

Still have a few pieces to cut.


I put tape on the cut sides to minimize foam dirt


Still need to add the edging trim for protection - maybe this weekend
 

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Nice job on the risers ... the top looks smooth!!!

Are those all individual pieces, or are many of them cut "half notch" style from one piece of foam so that you can bend one long/floppy zig-zag foam piece? Pretty clever, if you did that ... that's what one gets when they buy the precut Woodland Scenics risers.

Just out of curiosity, why are you using the foil-faced insulation foam for some of your layout surface? Do be mindful that it'll be likely harder to glue things down to that foil surface.

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Why did you put all of the track on risers all the way around?:confused:
Instead of a gradual grade?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys...

TJ - they are not individual pieces but several strips cut up. Here's what I did...

I have a woodland scenics kit I was going to use for a practice scenery setup and inside were 3 risers. The light bulb went off and...

I bought an 8x4' x 2" thick sheet of foam, cut it in half (4x4) used my large level which happens to be about 2" wide and cut strips 2" x 4' which I cut half of them in half to make the curves. This part was very messy - afterwards I put painters tape on the cut sides to keep the little foam balls from going all over the house - worked like a charm :D

If my hand was steadier, I would have used the hot wire cutter to cut the strips but alas, I tremble when I try to do detail work.

I left a few of them as you can see 2" x 4' for the long straight runs.

These are currently held in place with pins.

I use my hot wire to cut out short strips in the foam on both sides and voila! It bends and shapes and saved myself a ton of money. Those WS risers are about $5 each for 2" x 3' - The sheet I bought cost $10.00 and I get 24 2" x 4' risers out of half a sheet and still have a sheet for spares or other things - $0.21 each LOL.

The foil faced was all they had when I went to the store. When I went back they had the pink. Before I start applying the scenery (using NIMT's method for the outside rail) I'll rip up the covering in sheets.

Big Ed - I did what was easiest for me - I couldn't get the incline correct for a slow incline (been having track and train problems and the incline was complicating it for me), but since I have so much foam I can still do that before I begin the scenery. I really want to create an incline along the right side (see window) of the layout going towards the wall - that's where the mountain will be that the HO will run around. I may not however get there.

Also having the risers will allow me to create the valleys, streams etc without having to cut wood etc. I'm not very good with a saw or free hand drawing so I decided to go with my instinct.

More pics to come now that the switches are working. I'll be adding some buildings for placement in the layout as well as building the HO level next so I can see how high I have to make the mountain and my trestle bridge which I'm hoping to make myself out of dowling and balsa strips.

It's in large part to all of you that I've even gotten this far - many thanks to everyone for their guidance and replies as well the pics of everyones layouts for giving me ideas.

This is a fabulous community.
 
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