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Discussion Starter #1
I'm really debating this one

Right now it's 5' plus foam thickness.

Some forum members on another forum suggest this because of the realistic perspective it gives.

The down side is getting to the center without using a step ladder. and the grand kids have to use the ladder to watch.

Others have 4 feet

I'm thinking of cutting 6 inches off the legs.

Access is no problem as i have it on bed casters and can roll out from the wall when needed.
 

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I've been trying to decide the same thing. I'm probably going to keep mine lower than normal. That way I can sit down at it and play/build. My legs have had a hard life and my daughter is short too.
 

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Personally, I think the "eyeball level" thing is highly over-rated.

It's based on the assumption that model trains should be viewed from the same perspective as real trains, and I find fault with that assumption. Mine is under construction at 30" off the floor and that works just fine. I'd also consider going a little lower if kids are involved. Think about it: if it were a slot-racing set, would you put it at eye-level to give yourself the worst possible perspective of the race? If it were a parade, would you prefer an elevated bleacher seat or to stand on the sidewalk? The only real rule for layouts in model railroading is rule #1: "It's my layout. Whatever I say is right is the correct way to do it on this layout." Best wishes on it!
 

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OK...it is only my opinion here.I just tore down a benchwork to redo it all over for more than one reason,height being one of them though.First,you decide what the purpose of the layout will be.If you are building it for your grand kids to watch and even operate,then build it for them may be with a provision of adding lifters (wood boxes or else)to the legs as they grow up or lose interest(that happens).These mods are easy to do when thought of from the begining.
Then,if you are building it for you,your grand kids will need risers of some sort but this is manageable.Then other considerations come into play here like your height,access around the layout's middle to work on it and fix derailments.The shape of your layout accounts much too,if you don't have any deep areas,you can build higher.Now,are you going to operate standing up?I doubt so.Then you'll need access under the layout for wiring and other chores.Is under the layout clear of obstacles so that you could have a low roll seat (like mechanics use) to service it.Are you capable of bending easy?I understand you are a granpa and the years have probably taken some of your agility,they did with me.

Not all these criterias apply to you but some surely do.It's up to you to decide what is going to please you.My former benchwork was built at 50 in. high and after a while running a test track on it,I found out it was too high for long term comfort.The one I have now places track height at 41 in.,a little over my belt when standing up wich means I'll still need a small riser to reach the middle wich is a 36 in. reach,pretty deep but in my case I have no choice.This will give me a decent perspective as the lower level tracks will be about half chest when sitting on my favorite stool.In short,a good compromise in all regards.I'm a small build (5'6") by the way,so if you are taller,you will like a little higher but in my opinion,5' is way too high for anybody and 4' is pretty much a limit...but it's only my opinion.
 

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Nicely stated, Brakeman Jake. I'd like to add that my layout is 12' x 5' and that, at 30" height, every part of the table is within reach. At 5' high, it would be a struggle and I'd be unable to see what was going on. Whoever came up with that 'rule' was demented. Put it where you can see it, are comfortable operating it, forget all other opinions. By the way....have you ever been to a train show where the layouts were 5' high?
 

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Good comments there, Jake ... clear thought process.

That said, my little HO layout is at 30", which works nicely for my two young boys. We've been to a few train shows, and always try to remember to bring some stepstools with us ... several of the nicer layouts at the shows are at 48" ... comfortable for me, but a real chore for my boys, even on the stools.

Reck's earlier point is a good one: personal preference rules, and whatever works best for the individual is the key right answer.

Cheers!

TJ
 

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N scalers run along a wall at different levels 2 or three. Closer to eye is preferred if you are modeling.
A table you have to reach across, the higher you go , the less you can stretch. So 30 inch height minimum. You have to crawl under it too.
These are general thoughts.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I got mine at 36" and it works out fine for me.
But I got long arms to reach the middle.

How about making each corner with crank up legs?
Add something like a boat trailer crank with the wheels on each corner.
When you get the kids over just crank it down a bit.
You could wheel it around like that too.:D
 

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For those who want a taller table height, but are concerned about access / reach, MicroMark makes this gizmo:



It's way too gimmicky in my opinion, but others may find it offers a good solution to access concerns discussed above.
 

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Derfberger, it's a tradeoff, either way: I'd think you'd only wire the table once, though.

Your choice of gauge also has a part in the plan: a lower table height lends itself to mountains and taller buildings. If children are involved, I'd think low is the way to go. IMHO, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Derfberger, it's a tradeoff, either way: I'd think you'd only wire the table once, though.

Don't i wish. I've relaid the track numerous times as i can't get exactly what i want let alone the wiring. Doing it on paper just won't give me the visual

Your choice of gauge also has a part in the plan: a lower table height lends itself to mountains and taller buildings. If children are involved, I'd think low is the way to go. IMHO, of course.
good point on mountains.

i'll cut off 6 inches and see what happens.

Can always get a car crawler to get under the table. Reaching over is not a problem as i have the entire L shape on bed casters and it rolls away from the wall surprisingly easily
 

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Car creepers are pretty common for wiring low tables, but let's talk the bigger issue: getting the design right. I strongly recommend software for designing your layout. My preference is Anyrail---you can get a free demo that will handle 50 pieces of track. I tried it, loved it and bought the software. You can find the demo here:

http://www.anyrail.com/download_en.html

It's very easy to work with and seems to be available for every scale. Aside from that, I'm intelligence-challenged and can still use it so it's very easy.

Best of luck on it!
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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For those who want a taller table height, but are concerned about access / reach, MicroMark makes this gizmo:



It's way too gimmicky in my opinion, but others may find it offers a good solution to access concerns discussed above.
They got a nice price tag too.
How much do they go for TJ?
 

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ur gonna laugh - my base is 20" in a very small room. headlamp and laying on the back for wiring - pretty easy. removable top and i can stand on the foam to get in the corner. i guess it really depends on your layout
What ever works best for you should be the right height.
I built mine with storage in mine too.
As I have all my totes of my HO stuff under it.
 

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A workable height for me

I have found that a good workable height for me is 36 inches. I have a 4 x 8 that I can easily access from all sides. It's height used to be 30 inches. This would at times really work on my back. I mean, my layout's height was just low enough that my back would really get a severe workout everytime I spent any extensive time working on my layout. Since I've adjusted it's height to 36 inches, I don't have this problem anymore, and Im glad because these old bones aren't quite what they used to be. Anyway,I was really amazed in the difference that just six inches has made.
 

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I totally agree with jzrouterman...mine is 30" now, or 34 with styrofoam...If I could go back I would deff make it 36"
 
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