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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I bet this is asked here and there, and I dont see a sticky on this...

but people will say they are starting their layout and using X sized wood and X sized plywood, etc...

so my questions...

I have searched and read other places where people say
2x4's are total overkill (HO - for O as well?)
2x4's are more $$$$$$

BUT..
what if you have them so they are free?
is 2x4 still overkill?

my brother works for a company where they get items shipped in crates. I told him I needed 2x4s or 1x3 or 1x2 and plywood..

whelp he dropped of a ton of 2x4s and full sheets of plywood!!! I think 3/4" !!!!!! it was dark...


so other than them being deemed overkill due to cost and weight... if you have it use it?
 

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The legs on my layout are 2”x4”s. Unless you are attaching the layout to the walls the legs need to be braced. A quick way to do that is to pre cut some triangular pieces from plywood. Here is a picture of them installed with the legs.
My layout is 39” to the top of elevation 0”, so the legs are 38” long. This put the +12” track at 51”, I am happy with the outcome.


BE975633-A36A-4C3F-9EC7-5A95AD4E022D.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The legs on my layout are 2”x4”s. Unless you are attaching the layout to the walls the legs need to be braced. A quick way to do that is to pre cut some triangular pieces from plywood. Here is a picture of them installed with the legs.
My layout is 39” to the top of elevation 0”, so the legs are 38” long. This put the +12” track at 51”, I am happy with the outcome.


View attachment 528836
thx... ok guess i thought it should be shorter... hah...
i know it is up to the person running it...
a google provided people running anywhere from 38 to 48" !!!!!

im at 41.. so will venture on. since this is free wood and im going to move hopefully within a year... nothing perfect and nothing solid. just something to get motivated to run some trains and plan for my next house. then i will slow down, do things perfect...

my plywood wasnt square, legs are off kilter a bit...
just like everything i do..
half-azzed :cheeky4:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
2 sets of 5x4 done.. next is 2 sets of 5x2...

there will be a 2nd level so the legs will get braced then... gotta plan 2nd level..

20200305_120641_1583428135809.jpg
 

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Free is the controlling principle here. Unless you are striving for portability. both 2x4's and 3/4" ply are over kill, but free rules. You could rip the 2x4's, but again why bother if you have plenty! And as AmFlyer shows, the Plywood triangles on the legs make a day and night difference!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Free is the controlling principle here. Unless you are striving for portability. both 2x4's and 3/4" ply are over kill, but free rules. You could rip the 2x4's, but again why bother if you have plenty! And as AmFlyer shows, the Plywood triangles on the legs make a day and night difference!
sounds good.. on permanent, next house layout.. ill look back at those triangles...

i cant rip 2x4s down as i have no table saw. im not a wood guy. im a metal guy.. i can weld, cut, etc.. hah...
:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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As others have said, this is something you'll have to give some thought to and settle for yourself, and.....KEEP NOTES...to self. Your next layout, when you finally build one (and you'll almost certainly do that), will be vastly improved, more enjoyable, and will last you that much longer because you kept records of things you must change next time. This applies to track geometry and utility, to wiring, to 'industries' and how to service them with rails, and so on.

I prefer higher layouts, especially the yard, because it is easier to reach and to appreciate as if standing in place...right on the surface. That comes at a cost of needing a stool to reach further back into a scene or module, but otherwise you can set yourself partly on a bar stool with a cuppa and enjoy your trains as if you were right there on the ground.

One other advantage of a higher frame and surface is ease of access under it to wire it, but if you skirt the fascia you can hide the wife's twenty-six 30 gallon Rubbermaid totes with all that infernal Christmas crap...or whatever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hah gotchs....

i cheated and just needed to get the top done. got few 2x4s to line outside with but ...wow.. its huge but i know when i lay the track.. it isnt.

going to goto home depot to get green outdoor carpet to cover this... or just paint it. this isnt my final. just a fun till wife says master bathroom is done... everything else is too. pack it all up and cleanup...so 6 months ish...

20200305_151911_1583439786279.jpg
 

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Ohhhh, no, no, no. You should just use thin wall paneling and a few 1x2s for legs. A friend of mine told me he did his like that and you should do yours like he did his. The thin paneling makes it easier to put nails through it for track and turnouts and the 1x2 legs will be easier to kick out of the way when the kiddies are crawling around underneath the layout so they don't get hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ohhhh, no, no, no. You should just use thin wall paneling and a few 1x2s for legs. A friend of mine told me he did his like that and you should do yours like he did his. The thin paneling makes it easier to put nails through it for track and turnouts and the 1x2 legs will be easier to kick out of the way when the kiddies are crawling around underneath the layout so they don't get hurt.
🤣 🍺
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Better hustle over to the store and get that carpet so track laying can begin!
lol guess what. its EST here...

tomorrow 4pm..

when the free is free keeps coming.

guess im doin a winter theme. neighbor is gettin rid of white carpet...
 

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You're already moving ahead, and that's a good thing.

I wanted to clarify the "overkill" issue (because I'm often the guy who brings it up). The point isn't that you shouldn't use 2x4's and 3/4" ply. It's that there is no need to. Too many people start thinking like they're building furniture and have to make something that can support the beer guzzling neighbor wo weighs 300 pounds. It doesn't have to bear that much weight, our layouts only weigh a couple of pounds per square foot.

Was the OSB free too? Even at free, it might be a source of trouble later, because even the tiny unevennessinherent in OSB, exposed to moisture, can cause some big bumps that can wreak havoc on your trains and track work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You're already moving ahead, and that's a good thing.

I wanted to clarify the "overkill" issue (because I'm often the guy who brings it up). The point isn't that you shouldn't use 2x4's and 3/4" ply. It's that there is no need to. Too many people start thinking like they're building furniture and have to make something that can support the beer guzzling neighbor wo weighs 300 pounds. It doesn't have to bear that much weight, our layouts only weigh a couple of pounds per square foot.

Was the OSB free too? Even at free, it might be a source of trouble later, because even the tiny unevennessinherent in OSB, exposed to moisture, can cause some big bumps that can wreak havoc on your trains and track work.
all free.. obs too..
this is in my basement BUT...
dehumidifier running.. 35% so no moisture.

and 10x6 means my 200lb azz with a beer in hand will be ontop of the table. lol
 

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Just a thought... would it be possible to have some type of hinges on the legs so that you could fold them under the table when you move. You could use the cross braces that will run between the legs to keep the legs from folding while you are building and running trains. I am thinking that it will be pretty heavy and you could damage track or anything else on the layout trying to turn the layout sideways and maneuver it through doorways with the legs still screwed on the table.
 
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