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Benchwork

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  • Member since
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Benchwork
Posted by TrainMan462 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 10:40 PM

Because many engines and cars require 22" radius I want to expand my Woodland Scenic Grand Valley R.R. (still in the box) from 4x8 to 5x9. Since I'm using Woodland Scenic matrials for elevation etc. I dont see any reason to do "girder" bench work and believe a 5x9 "flat board" will be sufficient.

What I cant figure out is, what is the best way to cut up 4x8 plywood sheets to make a balanced solid 5x9 "board"?

I've looked all over the net, YouTube, etc. and can't find ANYTHING related to 5x9. 4x8 boards are EVERYWHERE. 5X9 not so much...

Any and all help will be GREATLY appreciated!

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Posted by cuyama on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:11 AM

I’m glad that you are looking outside of the HO 4X8 “Sacred Sheet” tradition. There might be track plans that fit in a 5X9 (or 5X10) that would hold more long-term interest than the Grand Valley plan.

You'll still need some sort of framework to hold the cut pieces of plywood together to avoid misalignment at the seams and a way to attach legs, so I think you’ll still need a grid or some other supporting structure. You’ll probably also want room below the plywood for wiring, and maybe switch machines/motors/servos, so that’s another good reason for something below the plywood.

It is sometimes possible to special-order oversize sheets of plywood 5X9 (or 4½’ X 5’ -- two of them make a table tennis table), but it’s usually much more expensive than two 4X8 sheets.

I think keeping the sections larger where there are a lot of curves (like the ends) to avoid seams is a good approach. So I would probably start by cutting a 4X5 piece from each sheet to use as the two end sections, then 1-foot-wide sections from the remaining pieces to fill in. I think I have a cutting diagram on my computer somewhere; I will try to find it and post later. It doesn’t require any rip (long ways) cuts.

As I recall, it’s the same amount of plywood cutting to make a 5X10 from two sheets.

Others may have different ideas.

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

Tags: HO 5X9
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Posted by dknelson on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:42 AM

Back when ping pong seemed to be more popular than it is now, lumber yards often did stock 5x9 ping pong table tops, and it was not uncommon to use them for layouts.  Perhaps they still do but you have to know what to ask for.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by davidmurray on Monday, October 01, 2018 11:41 AM

My first layout was 5 ft by 12 ft.  The top came from two sheets of plywood, and a  grid of 1x4 lumber.  About the only thing that I got right on that layout.

 

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 01, 2018 1:22 PM

Since I am not aware of any 5x9 sheets of plywood, I would think you would need some sort of basic 1x4 or 1x3 framing to mount 1/2 inch plywood too, or even foam which lighter and very popular these days.

I would build a 5x9 frame and cut 1/2 plywood to mount onto it.  Or foam.

You would need to build a pesky open grid framework.  Example below on the foor in the photo (outside frame use 1x4 lumber and crossmembers 1x3 lumber:

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, October 01, 2018 7:54 PM

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking.

It seems to me you need 2 4x8s and cut each into 4x5s with a makeshift 1x5 piece in the middle, or end.  I don't see the problem, as long as the pieces are well supported.  You can make one 1x5 from smaller pieces by gluing and screwing pieces to the underside of the composite 1x5.  It will be very stout, and any imperfections on the top side can be sanded smooth, as well as the seams between the big pieces.

I'm not familiar with the plan, but you could also simply leave the middle of the 2 4x5s open, as long as the two pieces were well secured by the grid benchwork.  The openness would give an opportunity for some under grade scenery, like a river, valley, and bridges; something that layouts built with WS risers don't often provide.

- Douglas

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Posted by cuyama on Monday, October 01, 2018 9:28 PM

Your first few posts as moderated, so it can take a while for them to show up.

Here are the cutting diagrams I was thinking of – I can’t remember why I drew them up in the first place, as I usually recommend cookie-cutter style plywood. Pieces from some of the off-cuts here would be useful as splice plates between sections. There are probably other good ways to lay this out, but I like having fewer seams around the end curves and making as many cuts as possible from the square factory edges.

Again, you’ll want a grid or some other structure beneath the plywood for all the reasons noted above, as well as to prevent sagging.

Good luck with your layout.

5X9

 

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, October 01, 2018 10:26 PM

dknelson
Back when ping pong seemed to be more popular than it is now, lumber yards often did stock 5x9 ping pong table tops, and it was not uncommon to use them for layouts.  Perhaps they still do but you have to know what to ask for.

My first permanent layout was built on one of these (in 1968 or so).  It was as described a 5x9 ping pong table made from a single sheet of plywood.  When we moved my dad disassembled it with an electric chainsaw.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 5:47 AM

As indicated earlier, bite the bullet and put together a 1x4 frame (with interior supports) for the desired final layout size.  Cut the second sheet of ply to fit with the existing 4x8, and using coarse deck screws, attach it to the frame.

There are several ways of dealing with the ply joints, with my favorite being covering the layout surface with sheet cork.   BUT, other ways work quite well - like duck tape, painters caulk, and even plaster.  

Either way, when done, paint the surface to seal it and give it a more uniform look.  I've found brown or grey works pretty well, and two coats of latex does the trick.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 02, 2018 6:22 AM

Here is a suggestion to the original poster.  With a 5x9, if you don't have access on all sides, or it is against a wall, you could build in a hatch in the middle so you could remove it and have enough room to pop-up and stand in the middle to work on parts of the layout you can't reach while the layout is against a wall..

 

There are several ways of dealing with the ply joints

I wouldn't worry about the joints.  Scenery will eventually hide them if they are offensive.  In otherwords, the joints will take care of themselves.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by TrainMan462 on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:59 PM
Thank you to all who replied I really do appreciate it! My bad! I guess I should have clarified that I certainly intend on doing framing with either 1x3s or 1x4s. I've just been really struggling with how to cut 4 by 8 sheets of plywood to make a solid stable 5 by 9 top. Again thanks to all who replied and I am still open to any and all suggestions

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