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Best thickness of plywood for a 40 inch x 60 inch layout???

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Best thickness of plywood for a 40 inch x 60 inch layout???
Posted by Safety Valve on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:57 PM

Hello!! its been a while ain't it....? I was wondering what is the best thickness of plywood for a 40" x 60" layout?? I'm hoping to build one at some point that is portable, for home use mostly... thanks for any ideas! It will be Tri-ang and Hornby (Plus a little "Converted" Hornby Dublo) stock that run on it, I'm hoping to use two rail (1st Radius) 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:28 PM

We just beat on that dead horse. 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/277312.aspx

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:38 PM

47/64ths...plus or minus .016". Wink  Then you can decide if you want to add extruded foam insulation over the top of it or not.  If not, it will still make a very sturdy surface for you and your layout.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:06 AM

 For something to be portable and moveable? Skip the 3/4" plywood, even a 40"x60" slab of that is too heavy. 1/4" plywood and soome extruded foam. Light and easily mooved, and the layer of thin plywood will allow for attaching unter table things like switch motors. Or if not using any under table switch motors - just the extruded foam is fine. You do need some cross braces, not just a 40x60 perimeter.

 He said portable, people. Not a step stool or 'permanent' layout.

                                      --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 doctorwayne on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:31 AM

I agree with Randy on this one.  A perimeter frame of 1"x2" lumber, with 3 or 4 crossmembers of the same size will be plenty sturdy enough with a 1/4" plywood top.  I'd skip the foam, though, unless you want to use it to vary the elevation of the terrain.

Wayne

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:31 AM

 Now for the really radical, there's the foam and luan monocoque method used to make modules by the Sippin' & Switchin Society of North Carolina. A regualr module is almost light enough that a strong breeze might blow it away, yet they are strong enough to handle setup, teardown, storage, and hauling around to variosu shows. No reason why their design couldn't be widened out to 40"

Here's a site that shows how to build them:

http://sandsofnc-module-building.blogspot.com/2011/

                                                 --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 SeeYou190 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:15 AM

rrinker
 Now for the really radical, there's the foam and luan monocoque method used to make modules by the Sippin' & Switchin Society of North Carolina. A regualr module is almost light enough that a strong breeze might blow it away,

.

That is a great method for building portable displays. The experiences I have had with this construction technique match yours.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:19 AM

Hi there. The answer to the question would really depend on what you mean by "portable". Does it mean that it needs to be stowed away in an upright position? Would you need to carry it to another location? And what are your expectations with respect to scenery? How often does it need to be moved around? 

Simon

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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 1:55 PM

Hello All,

Again, what is your bench work construction?

One more time...

My 4'x8' pike sits on top of the bed in the spare bed-, computer-, railroad-room. There was no under layout access.

I recently replaced the externally braced 5/8-inch Medium Density Fiber Board (AKA: particle board) base with a 1"x2" framework with cross cross members at 32- and 64-inches respectively.

There is also a center line stringer of 1"x2"s tying the cross members together.

Now the base consists of 1/4-inch plywood under the original 1-inch blue foam.

Or...

rrinker
...foam and luan monocoque method used to make modules...

I screwed the plywood to the frame work and then screwed the foam to the plywood.

If you want to make your pike "portable" you could make the framework, then attach the foam to the plywood.

Then the base of foam/plywood could be attached to the frame with screws or pegs.

The 1-inch blue foam is 2'x8' tongue & groove. The plywood is two half-sheets; 4'x4'.

For more mobility you could make the roadbed two 4'x4' sections or 4-2'x4' sections.

Legs for support can easily be attached to the 1"x2" framework with diagonal bracing. 

For more rigidity the framework could be made of a 1"x4" frame with 1"x2" cross members and stinger. 

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 2:01 PM

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

Inquiring minds want to know what people thought was impossible but you made work.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 2:29 PM

Hello All,

riogrande5761
"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"
Inquiring minds want to know what people thought was impossible but you made work.

  • 3% curved grade on a 4'x8' pike
  • 15-inch radius curves in HO
  • Combining 15-, 18- and 22-inch sectional track for asymmetrical curves
  • Super elevation on a 4'x8' pike
  • A wye on a 4'x8' pike with an auto reverser
  • 15-inch radius spiral trestle (helix)
  • Using 2 CDUs
  • Combining PECO turnouts and Atlas Snap Switches while using one controller
  • Live coal unloading and loading with Tyco 34-foot vintage operating hoppers
  • #2 PECO turnouts
  • Using sectional track over flex
  • Making DIY sections of flex track from sectional track

Hope this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Friday, August 23, 2019 4:18 AM

I would build this as 2 units each 20" x 60".  That way you can carry them through doors without having to turn them vertical.  You can also store them on shelf brackets.

As suggested above, build a framework of 1x2's covered by 1/4" plywood.

Good luck

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by mobilman44 on Friday, August 23, 2019 5:46 AM

One additional point........if this layout is a stand alone and you have no plans to enlarge it down the road, then 1/4 inch ply is fine (with adequate bracing).  But if this is the beginning of a larger layout, then I would go with 1/2 inch.

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 23, 2019 7:11 AM

@jj

Some of the things you listed may sound undesirable but certainly not impossible. 

  • 3% curved grade on a 4'x8' pike

Someone said that was inpossible?  Really?  I'd think you get steeper than that on small over and under layouts.  Scratch it off the list.

  • 15-inch radius curves in HO

Meh, not my cup of tea but sectional track is/was made in 15 sizes so scratch that off the list.

  • Combining 15-, 18- and 22-inch sectional track for asymmetrical curves

Simple way of getting "easements".  Scratch off the list.

  • Super elevation on a 4'x8' pike

The rest are similar to the above, certainly not worth of calling "impossible".  If thats all there is, the siggy is kind of a "straw man".  The examples above aren't anything that anyone should have said was impossible.

So someone said it was impossible and the siggy is still there year after year?  Talk about rubbing it in!  Even if that person is still around, you've made your point eh?

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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