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the dreaded 4x8 (but will expand eventually)

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the dreaded 4x8 (but will expand eventually)
Posted by Wdodge0912 on Friday, March 27, 2020 6:53 AM

So if anyone has been following my model railroading, I'm eventually goingto be building a layout around the outside of my 12x10 shed. eventually. The shed needs some work, and I'll need to run some power out to it. 

 

In the mean time though, I want to get something set up to run some trains. I have a 4x8 table that has 2 ovals already tacked down on it, with a little cleaning and some extra nails here and there, I can get it going quite easily.

 

I'm posting because I want to get something going soon in my garage until I get the shed fixed up and electricity out there. 

 

I was thinking with that in mind, would something like a 5x8 work for in the shed? Just something I can build in the garage using the 4x8 i already have, while I wait for funding from the wife to fix up the shed. And once the shed is fixed, just move it on out there?

 

Garage layout can't be permenent sadly, but while the garage is a mess until the shed is fixed, I can set up something. It's also my workshop right now as well, so I have some cleaning to do anyways

 

opinions on what would fit in that shed? I figured maybe a 5x8 or 4x10 would work in the shed? i think either would let me work around in there i think, more so the 4x10.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, March 27, 2020 8:42 AM

You started this discussion on your earlier thread.  I think it was agreed that an "island" or "table top" layout would be fine, with one short side against a wall, with access to the other 3 sides.

It would be easier to move this from the garage to the remodeled shed, than an "around the wall" type.

Mike.

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Posted by Wdodge0912 on Friday, March 27, 2020 11:35 AM

mbinsewi

You started this discussion on your earlier thread.  I think it was agreed that an "island" or "table top" layout would be fine, with one short side against a wall, with access to the other 3 sides.

It would be easier to move this from the garage to the remodeled shed, than an "around the wall" type.

Mike.

 

I have a 4x8 I can use, ready to go. I was just wondering how much bigger should I make it, if at all? Or cut it down to give more room inside. The shed it a little short on the edges, so in there an around the room would be best, but having it in the garage first before the shed is fixed won't really work.

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, March 27, 2020 11:46 AM

Hi there. Given that this is a temporary layout, I would go with the 4X8 and have fun with that. Why cut up good lumber if it's temporary? And there are a guzzilion 4X8 plans out there that are fine. I say go for it, keep it simple, have fun, and plan for the real empire to come...

Simon

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Friday, March 27, 2020 11:47 AM

You can build a ''around the room, shelf'' in sections. Say 4 to 6 ft long,as wide as you want/need. Build as a free standing unit.  To fit the shed.

When the shed is ready, just move the sections into it

 Just because you have the 4X8, don't mean you have to use it. Ripped in half would give you 16ft of 24in shelf.

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Posted by xdford on Friday, March 27, 2020 11:02 PM

If you are looking for operation, you could check out my layout here  which has provided me with many years of enjoyment and relaxation.

If I had the option I would go either 5x8 or 4x10 (more likely the latter and slew my front tracks slightly outwards so that it did not seem quite as geometric from the front and give more appearance of length.

I use a lot of imagination to run it and as a result I have 7 imaginary stopping points with 5 on my "mainline" doing a lot of duplicate, triplicate and "five-plicate" with the trackage but I am heavily into duplicating prototype operations rather than operating to a card system. 

There is a PDF of the original article I built my layout from if you care to send a PM, I am quite happy to share!

Cheers from Australia

Trevor 

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Posted by John Busby on Saturday, March 28, 2020 7:18 AM

Hi Wdodge0912

Nothing wrong with 8x4 tons of plans out there to choose from. But is it a temporary layout, or do you want it to be part of the later shed layout? That is the killer question and will have a big impact on design and construction.

regards John

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Posted by Wdodge0912 on Saturday, March 28, 2020 9:39 AM

John Busby

Hi Wdodge0912

Nothing wrong with 8x4 tons of plans out there to choose from. But is it a temporary layout, or do you want it to be part of the later shed layout? That is the killer question and will have a big impact on design and construction.

regards John

 

 

I guess that's the question I have, and am seeking advice on

Should I just run it as a temp layout, pretty much just the double ovals as it is now, or should I build it for the shed? If I build it for the shed, should I make it free standing as I would have it, or change the "around the wall" layout to an island style that I can move to the shed when it's fixed up. 

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Posted by John Busby on Saturday, March 28, 2020 9:44 PM

Wdodge0912

John Busby

Hi Wdodge0912

Nothing wrong with 8x4 tons of plans out there to choose from. But is it a temporary layout, or do you want it to be part of the later shed layout? That is the killer question and will have a big impact on design and construction.

regards John

 

 

 

 

I guess that's the question I have, and am seeking advice on

Should I just run it as a temp layout, pretty much just the double ovals as it is now, or should I build it for the shed? If I build it for the shed, should I make it free standing as I would have it, or change the "around the wall" layout to an island style that I can move to the shed when it's fixed up. 

 

 Your shed seems small as far as sheds go. I would mark out the shed size in chalk or with string lines on the ground and see if the 8x4 can be a peninsula with a layout running round the walls and still leave adiquate aisle space.

In a shed the size you quote the last thing you want is an island layout it needs too much floor space and would be difficult to reach across.

However a round the walls with a peninsula could work well maximising the avalable space for a model railroad and still leaving enough room to move around it and work on it or play trains.

If a back scene  or high enough mountain range runs down the center of the peninsula you can have a station each side maximizing operational and scenic potential as you see fit.

You don't realy want to be trying to reach more than three feet across a layout to do anything.

If it can work as a peninsula I would build it as a layout making sure the "wall" end will conect into the final plan, but you can still run it as an 8 X 4 for now trying not to get carried away to much with scenery

Make sure it will fit through the shed door when its time to move it and start in the shed.

IMHO its not worth doing the temp thing given the standard of bench work would have to be the same as a perminent layout and you would go back to a zero operations state not fun.

Try and choose a theme that allows for short trains of just a few cars but can maximise the operational and visual interest of the layout.

What ever you end up doing have fun.

Thats my 60c worth (inflation Big Smile )

regards John

 

 
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Posted by Wdodge0912 on Saturday, March 28, 2020 11:54 PM

John Busby

 

 
Wdodge0912

John Busby

Hi Wdodge0912

Nothing wrong with 8x4 tons of plans out there to choose from. But is it a temporary layout, or do you want it to be part of the later shed layout? That is the killer question and will have a big impact on design and construction.

regards John

 

 

 

 

I guess that's the question I have, and am seeking advice on

Should I just run it as a temp layout, pretty much just the double ovals as it is now, or should I build it for the shed? If I build it for the shed, should I make it free standing as I would have it, or change the "around the wall" layout to an island style that I can move to the shed when it's fixed up. 

 

 

 

 Your shed seems small as far as sheds go. I would mark out the shed size in chalk or with string lines on the ground and see if the 8x4 can be a peninsula with a layout running round the walls and still leave adiquate aisle space.

In a shed the size you quote the last thing you want is an island layout it needs too much floor space and would be difficult to reach across.

However a round the walls with a peninsula could work well maximising the avalable space for a model railroad and still leaving enough room to move around it and work on it or play trains.

If a back scene  or high enough mountain range runs down the center of the peninsula you can have a station each side maximizing operational and scenic potential as you see fit.

You don't realy want to be trying to reach more than three feet across a layout to do anything.

If it can work as a peninsula I would build it as a layout making sure the "wall" end will conect into the final plan, but you can still run it as an 8 X 4 for now trying not to get carried away to much with scenery

Make sure it will fit through the shed door when its time to move it and start in the shed.

IMHO its not worth doing the temp thing given the standard of bench work would have to be the same as a perminent layout and you would go back to a zero operations state not fun.

Try and choose a theme that allows for short trains of just a few cars but can maximise the operational and visual interest of the layout.

What ever you end up doing have fun.

Thats my 60c worth (inflation Big Smile )

regards John

 

 
 

 

Inwas think g more about it, and with an inside of 12x10, a 4x8 is most if the room. That give 3 foot on each side of the 4ft width, and 4ft with the table backed into the wall. But with the roof being short, I'd be bent over the while time operating it.

 

I may just forgo having a garage to park my car for a train layout. But I definitely am still considering the shed because parking my car inside would be quite nice, especially with having a small driveway like I have.

 

I did find a 5x9 U shape point to point layout I like. I figured I could expand that to 5x10, and add on a removable section to make it a full loop, and to get inside to operate it.  I think what I'll do is build it in the garage and once the shed is ready I'll move it out there. Since I'm widening it, if I had to adjust it, I can do that for the shed. It bbn also uses a 24" radius curve on the U part, so if I brought that down to the 22" I have, I cod squeezed in some extra room there. It also uses no6 turnouts and I have no4. And I really only plan to run my RS3 or SW1500 on it, so I can get away with the 4s and save room there too.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Sunday, March 29, 2020 7:20 AM

Nothing wrong with starting off using a 4x8' layout.  PLENTY here have and then "upgraded" to a basement empire. They apply valuable lessons learned from the experience.  I did that on my 2nd layout.  The confidence and happiness levels were so much higher.

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Posted by Wdodge0912 on Sunday, March 29, 2020 7:44 AM

Here's an idea I came up with talking with my Grandpa about a layout.

 

The idea is 2 shelf layouts. 18" by 8ft. What I would do is have it so I can take them off the wall, and set them on an end/support section to make them into a loop. I'd also have legs unfold or a saw horse set up to support it in the middle of the long 8ft sections.

I've attached a picture of the idea I had for the layout sections. I am going to keep playing with it to maybe have them further break down into more managable 4 foot sections. If i do that I could go with 2ft wide for some extra width for buildings.

 

Or if I felt.like doing the engineering work, have the yard section mounted on the wall. Have the curve sections fold up, and have the center on the opposite side fold up, but stay upright as well. Not sure how Inl would do that, but that way building height wouldnt matter on the center sections, and I could leave trains on that lower section, and operate that as a regular shelf style layout I if didn't want to set the whole thing up

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, March 29, 2020 11:23 AM

 

the dreaded 4x8

And why is the 4x8 dreaded for HO?  Tight curves.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by John Busby on Monday, March 30, 2020 9:30 PM

riogrande5761

 

the dreaded 4x8

And why is the 4x8 dreaded for HO?  Tight curves.

 

My guess would be what I choose to call trainset track. 

More particularly I believe in the USA R1 is 15" fifteen inches or UK 14.5/8" fourteen and five eighth's of an inch which would be very restrictive on what could be run.

I would also think short trains and other restrictions plays it's part as well.

Not to mention most people including me want trains that are longer than train set trains.

I can't say I have seen many short line model railroads whitch with a bit of malice of forethought could idealy be built on an 8 x 4 and be a proper model railroad.

I have to say I have seen an 8 X 4 plan that I nearly built as a "large" HOn2.1/2 layout following same size and track formation but using narrow gauge tracks, but lots of aligators did not seem like funBig Smile nor did making lots of the kind of trees that grow in a swamp which I am totally unfamilier with.

The scale can play a part as well in the 8 X 4 question as well.

regards John

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:55 PM

John Busby
 
 
riogrande5761

 

the dreaded 4x8

And why is the 4x8 dreaded for HO?  Tight curves. 

 

My guess would be what I choose to call trainset track.

That's kind of a chicken and the egg question.  Which  came first, set track to fit a sheet of 4x8 plywood or visa versa.

I would also think short trains and other restrictions plays it's part as well.

Not to mention most people including me want trains that are longer than train set trains.

 

Aye.  As is always the case.  To me the main use of a 4x8 layout is lack of space and a way to learn some basic layout skills before moving on to something bigger if space allows.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:54 PM

riogrande5761
Which  came first, set track to fit a sheet of 4x8 plywood or visa versa.

The O-36 three-rail O-Gauge trainset came first, and fit nicely on a 4X8. IMHO, the 18” HO trainset radius was a response to this. But the more-to-scale HO equipment didn't work as well as the toy trains.

riogrande5761
To me the main use of a 4x8 layout is lack of space and a way to learn some basic layout skills before moving on to something bigger if space allows.

Maybe. An HO "4X8" requires an 8'X10' space at the very least. I think it's mostly about being unwilling to cut wood – just my opinion.

Tags: HO 4X8 , 4X8
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Posted by John Busby on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 8:23 PM

Hi cuyama

Yes to some degree convienience of construction comes in to it being a standard size.

But back in the day when the 8 X 4 scale starter  or toy railway concept came about.

People worked longer hours as standard and had less relaxation time, what constituted a model railway then we would call a train set today.

There was a genuine need for a propper suport system that was a quick and easy way of getting a proper suport system under the railway thus the 8 X 4 was born.

What we recognise as a model railway today did not get into full fruition untill world war two or there abouts and war time shortages helped push that along.

There have been a lot of inovations since then that allow us to build more complex layouts, than they could dream of and they would call it science fiction or just a case of that will never happen no one will ever have the time to do it except maybe big name millionare

The 8 X 4 train table goes back to before all of us and I do mean all of us where born

regards John

jjo
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Posted by jjo on Sunday, April 5, 2020 10:28 PM
I also would stick with the basic 4X8 sheet and expand later..There are thousands of plans out there for 4 X 8..

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