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Around the wall layout

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  • Member since
    April 2003
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Around the wall layout
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 16, 2001 2:53 PM
Greetings,

My wife has given me the go-ahead to build an around-the-wall layout throughout the entire house! The only condition is that it looks clean and neat (no wires, nice looking benchwork, etc.). I'm contemplating just a single or double line run around each room, nothing too complicated...yet. I'm starting at zero and mostly concerned with the benchwork and wiring at this point.

Any books, URLs, or pictures which show how others have done this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
-Toby
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 16, 2001 3:48 PM
Toby - How wide will the layout be (at least most of it)? If it will work for you, rather than benchwork per se, how about using a off-the- shelf shelving system? Build your layout on 1" foam, put 1" spacers under the foam, make the exposed edge pretty, and just set it on the shelf.

A good book it Iain Rice's "Small, Smart & Practical Track Plans" (or something like that). Lots of good ideas that you might be able to use.
Bill K
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 16, 2001 4:25 PM
Hi Toby,
Bill has a good idea with the Iain Rice book. Mr Rice is an advocate of building nice, appealing looking layouts in the "public" areas of the house.
Another suggestion I would make is to get a book on how to build benchwork.
Also, don't bite off more than you can chew with this. Before you start filling your entire house with benchwork, why not go at it one section at a time? Maybe start with one corner of one room, or a single stretch along one wall. Try to get this section to some stage of completion before expanding to the next one. You might be surprised how much time, & creativity can be devoted to even a very small RR!
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 19, 2001 9:33 PM
Thanks Bill and Drew,

I will seek out the Iain Rice book for sure.

Bill, I'm so beginner that your suggestion about the foam and spacers lost me. Could you give me more specifics? Thanks.

Drew, your suggestion about pacing is well taken. I plan to do just one room first with hopefully enough planning ahead to easily spread to future rooms.

Thanks for the help,
Toby
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 19, 2001 10:52 PM
Toby, I am in the process of building my benchwork too. My "Bible" is Linn Westcott's book titled "How to build Model Railroad Benchwork". I have it opened all the time and refer to it constantly. It has a whole section on building "around the wall" layouts with step by step instructions and photos of the do's and don'ts. You can pick up the revised edition at any hobby or train store. Benchwork can be alot of fun and satisfying. Good luck.

John
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 8:00 AM
Toby -
What I was suggesting would only cover you for the part of the layout that is going around the walls, i.e. up to 12in deep or so. To elaborate on my suggestion:
A. Put up an attractive shelf from your local Menards, Home Depot, or wherever. Make sure it is at least as wide as you want your layout to be.
B. While getting the shelf, pick up a piece of the pink or blue foam used in home construction. It comes in 4x8ft sheets, and of various thicknesses - get a thickness of 1 or 2in.
C. Cut the foam so it will fit on the shelf.
D. Cut spacer pieces of foam or wood to put under the foam to raise it 1in. or so off the shelf, and just set the foam on the shelf.
E. Build the layout on top of the foam. The reason for having the spacer pieces is to allow room under the foam for wiring, etc. You don't have do your empire building while the foam is on the shelf, remove it to your workbench or wherever, then just set it back in place. As your layout grows and you have multiple pieces of foam, you'll have to work out a way of getting your track to cross the joints between the two pieces reliably and yet be removable.

Hope this clarifies things, if not let us know. To emphasize what the rest of the guys said - START SMALL. (But plan for the future, that's part of the challenge.) If you try to build the whole grand plan all at once, you can very easily get overwhelmed and just give up.

Good luck and have fun - that's what it's all about!
Bill K
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 42 posts
Posted by DocDan on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 11:13 AM
Toby

Ditto on the Wescott book. I had it open the entire time I build my benchwork. I want to add that Model Railroader's Working on the Railroad column by Lionel Strang focused on benchwork attached to the wall in the November (I believe) issue. It was very straight forward, well explained, and illustrated.

Good luck with your project. By the way, I'm passing your original posting on to my wife. Hope it gives her some ideas.

Dan
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 7:14 AM
I built the same thing at my large tropical house in Panama years ago. I too used a comercial bookshelf system. It was literally the talk of the town for guests. I like the foam idea. You can glue wood looking formica to the side of the foam for a nice matching look.

I always thought that if I was going to do a shelf RR in my home again in the US that I would use the LBG large scale and the hanging/shelf track made of oak sold in segments. It is expensive, but very pretty.

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