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Benchwork Kit

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Benchwork Kit
Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 8:46 PM

Hi, 

I'm looking at different suppliers for packaged benchwork. Ideally, 10 modules 24"x48" 

Any recommendations? 

thanks! 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 10:54 PM

While you haven't mentioned the dimensions (width and thickness) of the material that you plan to use, you'd likely save some dough by simply buying fifteen 8'-ers, rather than trying to find packaged benchwork.

Ten of the 8'-ers could be cut into 4'-ers if you wish, and the other five cut-up into 2'-ers, but if left as 8'-ers, would then require only three 2'-ers for each segment.  That would decrease the total number of 8'-ers needed down to only twelve, which would likely be a lot more affordable pre-packaged lumber.

When I built the house that we now live in, I managed to salvage enough good quality (left-over) lumber to create a very sturdy benchwork, using mostly 2"x4" and 2"x6" material for the supports, and clear pine 1"x4" for the grid layout-surface, and clear 1"x2" pine for supporting raised structures and roadbed.
The partial upper level was all done using clear pine (1"x2" and 1"x4"), covered by 5/8" t&g plywood, and supported by welded-together angle iron, lag-bolted into the 2"x6" wall studs.

Most of the under-layout area is used for storage...tools, household goods, saved (and seasonal) items, and, of course, train stuff too...I'd offer some photos, but photobucket seems to be unco-operative tonight.

Wayne

 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 11:13 PM

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by JimL on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 11:29 PM

Mianne Benchwork | The Fast Track to Layout Construction

Model Railroad Benchwork | Sievers Benchwork

I used Sievers for something about 34 years ago. Really nice stuff, and it's still like new.

Mianne is a newer company ... I've never seen/used their product ... but I know of many people that have for their O scale layouts, and they're very pleased both with the owners and their product.

Good luck

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 9:54 AM

Either Mianne or Sievers woulf be a good choice. Both are expencive and expencive to ship. Mianne  is cheaper to ship and has more fancy options but all in all they would proubly cost about the same all said, which is very expencive. Mianne is harder to customize if that is needed but they may make what you need. My advice would to talk to both of them as you know your space.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 10:08 AM

doctorwayne

While you haven't mentioned the dimensions (width and thickness) of the material that you plan to use, you'd likely save some dough by simply buying fifteen 8'-ers, rather than trying to find packaged benchwork.

Ten of the 8'-ers could be cut into 4'-ers if you wish, and the other five cut-up into 2'-ers, but if left as 8'-ers, would then require only three 2'-ers for each segment.  That would decrease the total number of 8'-ers needed down to only twelve, which would likely be a lot more affordable pre-packaged lumber.

Wayne 

What Wayne says is true, you can make your own modular or segmental benchwork, but I'd just point out that back when I lived on the 21st floor of a high rise condo building, and had no workshop, had I wanted a layout I almost certainly would have had to use one of the packaged layout outfits such as Sievers.  My neighbors would let me know about it if they even heard the sound of a power drill while installing some light fixtures!   And it was even more restrictive when I lived in small apartments before then.  So for those not lucky enough to have a workshop these outfits perform a real service by providing good quality easy to assemble modules

The funny thing about Sievers is that they are located on an island in Lake Michigan that is part of Wisconsin's Door County peninsula, and every Sievers product starts its journey on a small ferry boat that has to come to the mainland.  And the reason Door County has that name is that the passage between the mainland and that island is known as "Death's Door" due to the treacherous currents and choppy waves and unexpected storms, plus hidden rocks just below the surface.  And if you say "so what it's just a lake," well there are 240 kniown shipwrecks off of Door County, many of them in less than 60 feet of water.  It was the Native Americans who gave it the name Door of Death by the way and in a famous incident involving warring tribes, 100s were said to perish.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, May 5, 2023 3:10 PM

Why spend the money?  I'm prob one of the most non-technical, non-enigineering people here and built two stable layouts with HD lumber.  The benchwork is very stable.  The only power tool I used (and still do) is a power drill.  While more time-consuming w/o a power saw, I still have all ten fingers!  Bottom line: if I can construct such a layout, anyone can.

 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, May 5, 2023 5:30 PM
A Rambling Rant!
kasskaboose
Why spend the money?  I'm prob one of the most non-technical, non-enigineering people here and built two stable layouts with HD lumber.  The benchwork is very stable.  The only power tool I used (and still do) is a power drill.  While more time-consuming w/o a power saw, I still have all ten fingers!  Bottom line: if I can construct such a layout, anyone can.
Dear Mr. kassboose, that you have successfully built “two stable layouts with HD lumber,” suggests to me that:

1)   You undersell your abilities, or

2)   Because you have a fine understanding of your perceived lack of engineering ability, you may compensate by carefully considering your chosen method of construction, and then taking your time to achieve your goal, with success.  You may even over engineer your benchwork.

The above comes from my observations having had, so far, a 36-year career as an engineer.
 
Without specifying why, the OP has asked for modules. I would suggest that accuracy when constructing modules must be far more precise for when it comes to mating the various modules. When the local Club decided that the future was to built a modular layout, much discussion was about how this was to be carried out, as the modules could also be the Club members personal property. As a result, I built several jigs, one of which, the actual benchwork frame was to be built.  If any thing I over engineered it, but basically all one had to do was cut the timber to size, clamp it in the jig, and drill and screw, et voila, square benchwork. There were also end jigs made from 3/16” aluminium sheet which laid out the track position and the position for the joining bolt holes.
 
In all honesty I thought I had made the jigs, “Idiot Proof,” but, and I still can’t understand how and why, one Club member made a complete pig’s ear of his module.
 
Now I’m not suggesting that the OP is of that particular Club members ilk, and while I’m a firm believer in keeping cost down and more importantly, that we should be encouraging our fellow Forum members in their endeavours, we have to acknowledge that there can be a very fine line between encouragement and disparagement, not that I’m suggesting that any of the replies to this thread are doing that!
 
The Forum is full of examples of modelers whose work I’m in awe of, and while I do find inspiration from some of their efforts to try harder, there are some whose work I do not only lack the ability to try and emulate, but also occasionally ask myself why do they bother? (Because they enjoy what they do and, or enjoy the challenge).Smile, Wink & Grin
 
¼ My 2 CentsCheers, the Bear.Smile

 

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, May 5, 2023 6:15 PM

Personally, I would never pay the price for prepackaged benchwork. I build it myself; it isn't particularly difficult.

But I have a place to cut the lumber, the tools to work with it, and have over my lifetime acquired the skills to go from blank plywood sheet (in my case) to finished benchwork framing. 

If you can find the place and afford the most basic tools (or borrow them), and have any desire at all to learn the skills necessary, you might try to build your own. If not, prepackaged may be the best way to go.

Try Googling "Model Railroad Benchwork Manufacturers." You'll get a list of companies that make what you're looking for.

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Posted by NVSRR on Friday, May 5, 2023 6:52 PM

There is two or three that dvertise in model railroader

 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by chatanuga on Saturday, May 6, 2023 12:40 AM

Went with Sievers Benchwork for my layout.  They've got had great customer service 20 years ago when I ordered the parts for the first corner section of my layout.  They noticed that I'd ordered only one pair of legs for it and e-mailed me.  When I explained that it was going to be a corner section that was going to attach to other modules on two sides, they understood and quickly shipped my order.

Their benchwork goes together very easily, and they include all of the needed bolts, nuts, washers, etc. as well as some extras.  Living in a townhouse, their benchwork has worked great for making my layout sectional.  Twice I've had to take some sections apart.  Once for my new washer and dryer to be delivered and another time a couple years ago when my water meter needed replaced.  Also, the legs make it easy to add a shelf under the layout to keep stuff off the floor as well as to store stuff under the shelves on the floor.

Going with pre-made benchwork has advantages:

1. No guesswork, mistakes, etc. which could happen if I were to just get the raw lumber from Lowes or Home Depot.

2. No spending money on the extra power tools other than the ones I have.

3. No loud saws, drills, etc. that could disturb the neighbors on both sides of my townhouse.

Kevin

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 8, 2023 12:22 PM

There is a guy here in Florida that does nothing but build benchwork for model railroads.

With condo dwellers, HOA rules, homeowners with no woodworking ability, etc... he is jammed full of business. It seems that there are a lot of people that don't want to "learn the hard way" with benchwork and are ready to hire a pro for that part.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 10:10 AM

I've been watching the Hornby Great Central Railway build, that is a 16x8 portable layout. They built it in England with 24"x48" modules and I thought it was neat. 

While I have the garage to build the layout, I'm one of those "why don't you see middle aged model railroaders" as I have a young family that would wake up during hobby time. Using a benchwork kit would allow me to work without power tools. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 11:06 AM

Outsailing86
I have a young family that would wake up during hobby time. Using a benchwork kit would allow me to work without power tools. 

Right, and if you don't have the power tools or experience, it is a better option to get professionally built modules.

I learned all my woodworking skills years ago, and I always had my own tools. Knowing how much work it is, I can sure see why so many people buy benchwork.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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