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Old guy back to trains - Take two

641 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MichaelE
Howdy there, train people. :cool:

Two years ago, I joined this forum after pulling all my train stuff out of the attic.
I began reading this forum, learning the latest stuff like DCC, bought AnyRail, started building kits, and began clearing my right of way.

Everything was good....

But than, one year ago, our daughter and spouse got caught between apartments, so they moved in with us "temporarily."
I lost my right of way when all their boxes of stuff was moved in.
Plus, due to the way our house is laid out, I lost easy access to my workbench, (and pantry, and laundry, and garage).
It kinda sucked. My sanity was saved by building tank and plane models on the dining room table over the winter.

But hoorah, last weekend we helped them move into a decent rental house, not too far away.
And so, it was Happy Dance Time at the homestead!

So the Apple River Canyon Railway has it's right of way again. Clearing has started, and hoping construction begins soon.

I have three walls to work with 6.5 ft on the left, 12 ft along the back, and 10.5 along the right. Still working through all the plans I've made.
Short version: HOn3 from a lead mine to a standard gauge transfer station. From there, standard gauge to a barge transfer, depending on space.



Best Regards...
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Sounds like a plan! Welcome back to the world of modeling. 馃槂
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Good luck. Hurry, get the room filled up with a table. :D
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Know your pain. My son, wife and grandson moved back in with us. Impatiently awaiting August 1st for them to move into their own apartment again. We have finally gotten my mother in law in her own place after having her stay with us for awhile. But that dealt more with health issues. The only hurdle I have left is to convince 鈥淪he Who Must Be Obeyed鈥 to grant me space to build. Currently looking at shelf switching options for now as a separate room for just trains is not feasible for now.
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Howdy there, train people. :cool:

Two years ago, I joined this forum after pulling all my train stuff out of the attic.
I began reading this forum, learning the latest stuff like DCC, bought AnyRail, started building kits, and began clearing my right of way.

Everything was good....

But than, one year ago, our daughter and spouse got caught between apartments, so they moved in with us "temporarily."
I lost my right of way when all their boxes of stuff was moved in.
Plus, due to the way our house is laid out, I lost easy access to my workbench, (and pantry, and laundry, and garage).
It kinda sucked. My sanity was saved by building tank and plane models on the dining room table over the winter.

But hoorah, last weekend we helped them move into a decent rental house, not too far away.
And so, it was Happy Dance Time at the homestead!

So the Apple River Canyon Railway has it's right of way again. Clearing has started, and hoping construction begins soon.

I have three walls to work with 6.5 ft on the left, 12 ft along the back, and 10.5 along the right. Still working through all the plans I've made.
Short version: HOn3 from a lead mine to a standard gauge transfer station. From there, standard gauge to a barge transfer, depending on space.



Best Regards...
Something that will save you some workspace on your bench would be a tool caddy for your most often used small hand tools. They have a rotary type available, but I chose to make my own from a 2x2 and a base of Luan 1/8" plywood. Mine sits on the right side of the bench and holds files, knives, brushes, pickups, forceps, and small screw drivers. Very handy and space saving.

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Thanks everyone. Good to be back working towards a running layout.

This is the space I am working with and what it looks like now. Certainly have a little cleaning up to do.



I believe grey workbench on the left can stay in place.
It is very solid, and with the top removed, will make a good support for that side of the layout. (With storage)
But the rest of it, needs to go.

Once I get a track plan firmed up, I'll start a proper build thread.
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Thar bench tho seems rather high up to have a layout. Not sure how tall you are but best to make sure you can work and reach back that far. If not you could have a incline going up to it.
Thar bench tho seems rather high up to have a layout. Not sure how tall you are but best to make sure you can work and reach back that far. If not you could have a incline going up to it.
Thanks! Bench is only 36" tall. Should work. But it is early yet.;)
Thanks! Bench is only 36" tall. Should work. But it is early yet.;)

Dunno it looked higher for some reason maybe perspective due to it having two rows of drawers then a big cubby hole spot lol.
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36" would be too low for me. I don't like a bird's eye view operating my railroad. If you are sitting though, it should be fine. If I may make a suggestion, if you build it at 48" and use a shorter workbench, it can be placed partially under the layout to save space and still have a work area.

48" is a stretch if you don't have pop-ups that allow you to get to different areas of the layout. 36" is much better for reaching, but doesn't give you the same street level view if standing.

48" also gives more room under the layout for wiring, troubleshooting, and easy access to storage space.



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So here is my thinking, and if I missed something, I'd love to hear it.

That bench is solid and level. Don't know if it is bolted to the wall/floor, or just painted down, but it ain't moving easy.
Here is a photo of the bench with the top removed. (This morning's project).

This an attached garage, and floor slopes down to the overhead door.
The right side of the bench is 36" off the floor and left side is 38" off.
This is just going to be the base of the left wall of the layout.
The other two walls will be more normal construction.

Plan is to put either joists with risers, or foam board, or both on top of the cabinet base.
I haven't finalized the height yet.

As for reach, so far during planning, I've been leaving the depth at 30" or less, although it will be 36-37" in the two corners.

Really appreciate the advice...Thanks!(y)
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Thanks everyone. Good to be back working towards a running layout.

This is the space I am working with and what it looks like now. Certainly have a little cleaning up to do.



I believe grey workbench on the left can stay in place.
It is very solid, and with the top removed, will make a good support for that side of the layout. (With storage)
But the rest of it, needs to go.

Once I get a track plan firmed up, I'll start a proper build thread.
Bob T;

Considering all the "stuff" each of us need someplace to store, you might consider a layout idea that I got from Model Railroader Magazine. Many years back, they ran a two-part article titled "Bookshelf Model Railroad." The innovative part was the top/shelf. Supported by three arches, the shelf is strong enough to hold my train book collection, a TV set, and lots of the other "stuff" that I have. My N-scale layout is made up of four "standard" sections, each 4' long, 16" deep and 16"high. (photo 1) There are larger (4' x 3' ) sections at each end to house the return loops needed for continuous running. (photo 2)
Obviously these dimensions can be changed to suit your layout plan, & scale. Having a long shelf above the railroad is handy, and the arches provide a wide, continuous, view of the railroad, uninterrupted by support posts in front.
My layout is two-level with additional shelves underneath for more storage. (photos 3 &4)

Just a suggestion.
Traction Fan 馃檪

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Put the bench on caster wheels, so you can use the drawers for storage, and still have access to the underside of the layout.
So here is my thinking, and if I missed something, I'd love to hear it.

That bench is solid and level. Don't know if it is bolted to the wall/floor, or just painted down, but it ain't moving easy.
Here is a photo of the bench with the top removed. (This morning's project).

This an attached garage, and floor slopes down to the overhead door.
The right side of the bench is 36" off the floor and left side is 38" off.
This is just going to be the base of the left wall of the layout.
The other two walls will be more normal construction.

Plan is to put either joists with risers, or foam board, or both on top of the cabinet base.
I haven't finalized the height yet.

As for reach, so far during planning, I've been leaving the depth at 30" or less, although it will be 36-37" in the two corners.

Really appreciate the advice...Thanks!(y)
Bob: Looks like they 'really' did some overkill on the bench construction: 4x4's in back, who knows what the front and top surface is made of. Looks to be a 200 pounder! On the back near the top there looks to be 3 holes, one in each of those top 2x4's - those have bolts in them? If it were me, I would get rid of it or move it away from the layout as there is a ton of wasted space. On top of that, you probably will need to get under that portion of the layout sooner or later for wiring/maintenance as something always goes sideways; reaching in between the bench top and layout bottom might be a real PITA.

As to 'reach in' I don't know how tall you are so you might check/verify 30" reach. Just because you can touch something 30" away, does not mean you can do something at that distance. What if you have to reach over a building, scenery or the like that is 25" in? 36-37" in the corners will be a show stopper. Ya, you can build some sort of removable ladder/table to place on the layout just for those areas when there are problems; that is up to you. I would figure a way to make all the reach in 28", if possible. On those corners, you may reduce the isleway bench radii to account for that.

Good luck on the build and have fun!

Later
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You should have seen me soldering catenary wire at over 50" tall and 25 " in. It was very tiring, especially on my back.
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