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HO Track plan for shelf above workbench

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  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • 184 posts
HO Track plan for shelf above workbench
Posted by Reformed Grownup on Thursday, January 06, 2011 12:33 PM

I recently secured rights to the airspace near my workbench in our finished basement. I currently don't have a layout, and I'm fine with that. I run trains on my dad's track whenever time allows. With this newly acquired space I would like to set up a small yard or switching puzzle type layout, with the possibility of someday adding loops at either end to permit continuous running.

The space I secured will be an "L" shape, made up of 1"x10" and 1"x8" boards.The short side of the L will be a 3' section of 1x10on the wall to the right of my work bench. The 1x10 will then run across the from of my work bench another 5', where it will slim down to a 1"x8" for another 8' of run.  Once the powers tha be (the Missus) have numbed to the new shelf I may be able to secure additional space at the ends for a drop leaf type arrangement that would allow loops for continuous running too much to ask for right now. Stick out tongue I've tried to paste a benchwork plan from RTS in this message, but it doesn't appear to be working...

I plan to use the "layout" as a test track/program track for my DCC installs, so I'd prefer a long uncluttered straight stretch on the edge closest to me as I sit at my work bench. Scenicking is not important at this point, I'd just like to have a little track to play with. I run mainly 4 axle diesels and maximum 50' cars. I have a stash of Atlas #4 and snap switch turnouts, so I's prefer to use those instead of purchasing new.

 

I've looked around the net for small shelf ideas, but can't come up with anything as shallow as i'm looking for, so I'd appreciate any and all input. Thanks

Richard
  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: huizen, 15 miles from Amsterdam
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Posted by Paulus Jas on Thursday, January 06, 2011 1:39 PM

hi Richard,

you can't add files directly into this posting.

You have to become a member of www.photobucket.com.  You can download your drawings in Photobucket.

Once you have done, copy the image number and paste it on here. The moment you "post"  your posting your drawing will become visible.

I do not understand the description of the footprint of your layout.

Paul

 

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Colorado
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Posted by fwright on Thursday, January 06, 2011 1:42 PM

A few thoughts based on my experiences with a layout in a multiple use room:

- for small shelf layout inspiration and ideas, Carl Arendt's site is hard to beat.  (see http://www.carendt.com/).

- 1x8 and 1x10 boards very seldom stay perfectly flat over the long term.  My recommendation would be to buy a nice sheet of 3/4" plywood (A-B or better quality like cabinet grade), and either cut it yourself or have it cut to size.

- from my measurements (based on me at 69" tall), the bottom of anything over my workbench or my computer desk needs to be at least 55" high.  Anything lower is a head knocker sooner or later, and I would really prefer 56" clearance from the floor.  Again, based on actual layout experiments, rail height needs to be no higher than 61" - a 64" rail height was too high.  It's a pretty small vertical window to get benchwork and track into.

- a shelf over a working space is going to cause a need for lighting rigged to the underside of the shelf to avoid working in the shadows under the shelf.  At least for my tired eyes, it's a need, not a want.

- more depth would very nice, especially in HO.  An 8" board (7.5 actual inches) only has room for 2 parallel tracks with a 2" space to either edge (my minimum).  For an Inglenook puzzle, minimum width would be 8" and 10"-12" would be a lot better to allow room for hands to reach in.  My shelves are 12" or better.  The only place narrower is a removable section crossing a window - this is 4" wide for single track.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Sorumsand, Norway
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Posted by steinjr on Thursday, January 06, 2011 2:45 PM

 

Paulus Jas

I do not understand the description of the footprint of your layout.

 Most often, people describing L shaped shelves are not very good at being clear about whether the length of both shelves are measured from the walls, or whether the length of one of the shelves is measured from the outer edge of the other shelf.

 This may be what he is trying to describe:

 Or it could be that one of the shelves is 10" shorter than indicated here. Hard to tell - the OP will hopefully be able to tell us what is wrong in the sketch above.

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

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    June, 2007
  • 184 posts
Posted by Reformed Grownup on Thursday, January 06, 2011 2:47 PM
Richard
  • Member since
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  • 184 posts
Posted by Reformed Grownup on Thursday, January 06, 2011 2:49 PM

This is the mirror image of what I was attempting to describe. thanks

Richard
  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • 184 posts
Posted by Reformed Grownup on Thursday, January 06, 2011 3:00 PM

fwright

A few thoughts based on my experiences with a layout in a multiple use room:

- for small shelf layout inspiration and ideas, Carl Arendt's site is hard to beat.  (see http://www.carendt.com/).

I looked through that site, and he does have a lot of great ideas, but most are 2 ft at min.

- 1x8 and 1x10 boards very seldom stay perfectly flat over the long term.  My recommendation would be to buy a nice sheet of 3/4" plywood (A-B or better quality like cabinet grade), and either cut it yourself or have it cut to size.

- from my measurements (based on me at 69" tall), the bottom of anything over my workbench or my computer desk needs to be at least 55" high.  Anything lower is a head knocker sooner or later, and I would really prefer 56" clearance from the floor.  Again, based on actual layout experiments, rail height needs to be no higher than 61" - a 64" rail height was too high.  It's a pretty small vertical window to get benchwork and track into.

I have it mocked up right now, and it is at a comfortable level from a seated position, and not so deep/high that the rear is unreachable. there are existing shelves above where the tracks would be, and about 1' of vertical clearance.

- a shelf over a working space is going to cause a need for lighting rigged to the underside of the shelf to avoid working in the shadows under the shelf.  At least for my tired eyes, it's a need, not a want.

I am still pondering this one. I had thought of using some under cabinent lights - the kind you might use in a kitchen - small round disk type. I do have a swing arm lamp that is attached to the uppermost shelf. This is my go-to light right now.

- more depth would very nice, especially in HO.  An 8" board (7.5 actual inches) only has room for 2 parallel tracks with a 2" space to either edge (my minimum).  For an Inglenook puzzle, minimum width would be 8" and 10"-12" would be a lot better to allow room for hands to reach in.  My shelves are 12" or better.  The only place narrower is a removable section crossing a window - this is 4" wide for single track.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

deeper would be nice I admit, but I need to live with what I have. the boards are what i have on hand - no budget for much in the way of materials...

I was thinking of 2-4 tracks on the 1x10 and 2 tracks on the 1x8 - a simple run around or something. My troble is that I have no idea what will work for a small yard, as far as switching potential - maybe my space is too limited, but I figured there are a whole lot of people here that are a whole lot smarter about this than I am :)

thanks for the input

Richard
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Thursday, January 06, 2011 7:36 PM

Couple of ideas.

If you think you may have a problem with your boards bowing, you could get some 1"x3" and screw it to the bottom (think T or L)   Depends a little on how long your unsupported sections are, but a good idea anyhow.

Since you are in somewhat unchartered territory with your space and already have your switches (the expensive part), get some track and try some different possibilities. 

I have an 8" (7 1/2" finished) board with test tracks on it.  You can get three tracks with 2" centers on it, with some space both sides.  On your 10" you should be able to get 4 tracks.

You could have your main, a passing siding and two yard tracks on your 10".  If you have enough switches, you could have double ended yard tracks.  Again, if you  have enough switches, you could run a double track on all of it with a crossover near each end, runaround and crossover to reverse your train.  You could have a short siding serving an industry on your backdrop.   To start with your backdrop might be just some cardboard.  Paint a sky, a hill or distant mountains, a few trees and some basic buildings to give you a place to spot cars.  Even if they don't look too great at first, it's pratice.  Get a little better and replace the earlier pieces of backdrop.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: huizen, 15 miles from Amsterdam
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Posted by Paulus Jas on Saturday, January 08, 2011 5:18 AM

hi

i wonder, if you are so tight with money, should you start building a layout at all? Just a few inches extra would make the difference. Trying to change this into a design with a run-around seems pretty hard to do. You must add a row of high tables blocking the use of your room or you end up with a table top 4 feet wide above your workbench. Both alternatives seem to be unrealistic. 

The word yard has a lot of meanings; i am not sure what  you really meant.

The idea came from this design, I forgot the author's name:

Reworked into your space:

Paul

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Sorumsand, Norway
  • 3,417 posts
Posted by steinjr on Saturday, January 08, 2011 10:25 AM

Paulus Jas

The idea came from this design, I forgot the author's name:

http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af19/Paulus_Jas/m_trackplan3-1.jpg

 German modeler Kurt (alias cnw1961), from over at the-gauge.net - inspired by a well known L shaped design called "East Rail" by Lance Mindheim (http://www.lancemindheim.com/east_rail.htm).

 Kurt is currently building another urban shelf switching layout called "New York and Atlantic" - he has just started, and IMO looks darned good already: http://www.the-gauge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=3895

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

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