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Freestanding multi level layout

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Freestanding multi level layout
Posted by ReadingFan on Friday, July 26, 2019 2:48 PM

I'm planning a multi level shelf layout but have a challenge...I can't just attach the shelves to the walls.

 

Looking for inspiration and suggestions for supporting the shelves in a freestanding format that isn't ugly.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 26, 2019 4:14 PM

The MR Canadian Canyons project is exactly that.  Two levels on legs. 

It might be a bit more rugged scenery than you want, but there is a free video here

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by ReadingFan on Friday, July 26, 2019 6:14 PM

It's not a shelf/deck but the concepts probably do transfer.  Thanks for the idea.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 26, 2019 6:58 PM

I didn't quite grasp what you wanted.  From the side imagine a 'h' where the lower layer is on top the horizontal part of the h.  Somewhere higher, put an angle bracket to form the upper level.  Above that you could put fascia at the top of the h to form the backdrop. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by gregc on Friday, July 26, 2019 7:13 PM

BigDaddy
From the side imagine a 'h' where the lower layer is on top the horizontal part of the h.

instead of an "F", what about a back-to-back "F"s with shelves on both sides which minimizes the # of modules.

 

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by EMDSD40 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 8:06 AM

I have a multi level layout built on the second floor of my garage. Top layout is HO and bottom is O-gauge. Original intention was to build shelf layout into walls with walk around peninsula. However the needed space for curvature required for the O-gauge layout would not work. Benchwork is built 16” from the wall and you can walk around the entire edge for access to both layouts. This is also a great incentive to watch my weight. Access to the middle of the layout is done by crawling under the two lift out bridges for the O-gauge. These two bridges where installed upon construction 30 years ago with the thought of mobility  problems as the years go by. Power supplies and control panel are in the middle section under the HO layout. I used 2x4 for the frame work with half inch plywood (23 sheets) as I remember. All framework was belt sanded and stained dark walnut. Just looked better than bare wood. Both layouts are built with an urban/industrial setting in mind. Standard DC and AC block controls power the track. I ran AC power into the electrical locker with a master kill switch and disconnect once benchwork was completed. Turnout control on the O-gauge layout is operated by compressed air with a tank built into the benchwork. When the building was built compressed air was installed on the second floor also. Ample space between levels can be utilized for shelf’s to store locomotive and rolling stock. Underneath the bottom level I have many plastic bins with kits and supplies sorted and clearly marked. The entire concept has resulted in a very neat and clean train room. In retrospect, I am glad that the walls are intact so when my kids have to disassemble this layout the room will not have to be re-drywalled. The track plans are very operationally interesting and boredom has never been an issue. For now pictures don’t appear to be working. Will try using a different approach later so you have some idea of the concept. Good luck on the build.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:20 PM

ReadingFan
.....I can't just attach the shelves to the walls.

Why not?  

Pretty-well any material will accept a screw or bolt, and when the layout is removed, it's not all that difficult to fill the holes, and repaint the walls.

My around-the-room layout is partially double-decked, with both the main and and upper level benchwork screw-attached to the wall studs, while the upper level is supported by welded angle-iron brackets, lag-bolted to the studs.

Once the layout is removed, no one will know that it ever existed in that room.

Wayne

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 29, 2019 3:18 PM

 Hey, I recognize that question Big Smile

For the sake of those followign along here, I will mention what I said elsewhere when I suggested makign the rear uprights L or C sections, for rigidity so that the second and third decks cantilevered out don't cause the whole thing to bow. So long as the seond and/or third decks don't extend out further than the lower deck, and aren't built using cement for scenery material,this should be plenty sturdy even with no wall attachment. 

 Light weight methods, for the upper decks especially, will be a big help. The lower deck can and maybe should be of a heavier style construction for stability.

                                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, July 29, 2019 5:00 PM

Jim Hediger told the story more than once in MR (and I think on a video in MRVP) about being challenged by Linn Westcott and John Armstrong to build a double deck layout, but he was stymied about how to support an upper deck in the middle of a room.  The answer came when he was putting away outdoor furniture one fall and noticed the X braces that made up a simple and basic picnic table (which is in a sense double deck).  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 29, 2019 5:25 PM

 It's somewhat hard to picture, but in at least one of the stories in MT on the Ohio Southern there was a cross sectional diagram of how the X legs worked to support 2 levels. Makes it very clear. Not sure it would work for a third deck, without the legs getting in the way somewhere. On parts of the OS I believe there was a third level along the "picnic table leg" area, but it was hidden staging.

 Just don't do what Jim and his buddy did - build a beautiful helix but forget to put the track in as you go. That part of the story is also related either in an article or in the same MRVP video.

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ReadingFan on Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:28 PM

The walls are 2x3's and the builder (1979) apparently didn't toe them in well to the joists overhead.  Hung a light shelf a couple years ago and pulled 2 studs right out of the wall.

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Posted by mrrdad on Friday, August 09, 2019 2:07 PM

ReadingFan

The walls are 2x3's and the builder (1979) apparently didn't toe them in well to the joists overhead.  Hung a light shelf a couple years ago and pulled 2 studs right out of the wall.

 

 

In that case, I would re-stud the wall.

 

Ed

Modeling the B&O Chicago Terminal Railroad in the 1950's

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 09, 2019 11:12 PM

mrrdad
mrrdad wrote the following post 8 hours ago: ReadingFan The walls are 2x3's and the builder (1979) apparently didn't toe them in well to the joists overhead. Hung a light shelf a couple years ago and pulled 2 studs right out of the wall. In that case, I would re-stud the wall. Ed

I'm with Ed on this one.  A properly finished room for your layout makes it easier to build your layout, and gives you a nicer area in which to work.
Once the trains are running, it's also a lot cleaner than an unfinished or semi-finished room, and this will lessen your track cleaning needs, not to mention that for structures and scenery.
I clean track, at most, once every year, using a shop vac - works for the structures, too, and some of the scenery - not good for trees, though.

While it's more work and an additional expense, finishing the room first is well worth it.

Wayne

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Posted by ReadingFan on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:09 PM

mrrdad

At that point I might as well say that the house isn't worthy and move.

 

There's nothing wrong with a free-standing layout.  There are many quality designs for them and I've built several myself.  There's also nothing wrong with a free-standing multi-deck layout.  I'm requesting recommendations on that, not a home remodel.

 
ReadingFan

The walls are 2x3's and the builder (1979) apparently didn't toe them in well to the joists overhead.  Hung a light shelf a couple years ago and pulled 2 studs right out of the wall.

 

 

 

 

In that case, I would re-stud the wall.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by ReadingFan on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:13 PM

I think you nailed it Randy.  I also picked up Tony Koester's books on the subject and your framing ideas match his suggestions.  Thanks for your input.  I know where to go with this.

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Posted by jim81147 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:23 PM

would it be possible for you to go by each stud and "toenail " them through the sheetrock with 3 or 4 inch long screws? Then you could proceed as normal.

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Posted by ReadingFan on Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:19 PM

jim81147

would it be possible for you to go by each stud and "toenail " them through the sheetrock with 3 or 4 inch long screws? Then you could proceed as normal.

 

 

That's what I'm beginning to think is the way to go.

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