4 Ft X 8 Ft too big for modular layout?

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by planeshavings42, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. :rolleyes:Howdy, has anyone ever built a Modular Layout 4ft wide, the reason I ask, as I know that within the next two years or so, We will be moving out of Michigan, and all of my 4 bench's are 4ft X 8ft, and 1 4Ft X 4Ft, they were not exactly designed to be modular, but they do unbolt, and I have put track connectors where the tables meet, and have put 12 pin molar plugs where they can be unplugged underneath separating each table. As far as scenery, buildings, etc. I recently had to move my setup from my 12ft X 16 ft small storage barn to my basement in order to be able to expand it, and knowing that within the next 1 to 2 years I would be tearing it all down for the big move, so I decided not to put all the accessories back on the tables, thus making a little easier to move when the time comes. I think I may have been a little premature in doing so, because I really miss all of the buildings, diaramas etc, just working on the track has been enjoyable, but it's just not quite the same.

    Oh Well a small price to get it where we will be going without wrecking it completely I guess.

    Anyway if anyone has any suggestions as to how to make it more portable or easier to move your comments would be appreciated, I have received soooo much help from the gauge members over the last few years, I wish I had found the Gauge when I first started my layout.

    I also wish I was healthy enough to be able to spend more of my time working on it, now that I am disabled, and not working 10 to 12 hours a day at my old job, it seams you either have the money, and not the time or the time and not the money but that's life right. :curse:
  2. jesso

    jesso Member

    We have been moving a guy's layout in that he had moved here from Reno, most of the pieces have been around 3x8 although the corners and the river scene we just moved in were bigger than 4x8. The main thing I have noticed that have helped on the move; He has kept everything fairly light (lots of styrofoam use).

    Also you could add in folding legs that bolt in in both the folded and standing positions (that is what we did on our modular layout and it makes setup a breeze) Plus the metal bracing that we used between the legs makes for good handles. A couple of wheels in the right place underneath would also make for easy moves having to only pickup one side of the module.

    Lastly, take this one for what it's worth, make your layout as good looking as you can and share it with people. There has never been an issue with getting enough people to come over and help move the guy's layout. Everyone wants to see it, so when he calls for help to put a new section in, 7-10 people show up everytime.
  3. Thanks For The Encouragement

    Hello Scott

    And Thank You again for the encourageing news, and I'm with you on sharing my hobby with others, just can't seem to get people in the area interested in my hobby, only their children, and they all seem to want to see the trains crash.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Since the tables are built (I think...?) I would be looking at what you can do to lighten them as much as possible. 4x8 will always require two people to handle them due to the size, but you can avoid requiring four people by keeping the weight down.

    Some ideas -

    - Removable buildings (done)

    - Removable scenery (if possible - we have one modular set at the club where the entire mountain comes off and is stored in a separate box)

    - Contrary to the suggestion above (sorry Scott), I would recommend that the legs come completely off the module. This is due to the fact that even if the legs fold, they still add to the overall weight that has to be moved in one piece. We use 5/16-18 hanger bolts and t-nuts to intall the legs on the modules.

    - One other possibility is to cut the current tables to some smaller size. But this will depend greatly on how you feel about it, how much time would be required to retrofit/rebuild the "new" ends, and if your track plan lends itself to being chopped up more.

    Hope that helps.

  5. jesso

    jesso Member

    Yea, MasonJar,
    I agree, I was thinking more along the lines of something that gets taken down and put back up a lot and wanting to keep everything together, which looks like it is not necessary here.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Weight as a consideration has been discussed already.

    4x8 sections MAY be difficult to move because of their size. If getting to/from either end point involves narrow hallways, going around corners, and/or up and down non-straight stair cases, the 4x8 just might not fit. Don't ask me how I know this.

    OTOH, 4x6 sections (or smaller) are usually easily handled by two people. If the handling space gets tight, a 4x6 will pass through a standard doorway stood on end. Also, 4x6 sections will fit into 2 standard twin bed mattress boxes taped together unless its unusually thick.

    Last point - thickness of benchwork and scenery counts. Although L-girder benchwork allows much more flexibility in layout design and construction, it adds 4" or more to the thickness of the layout - thickness being the measurement from top to bottom - compared to butted grid benchwork.

    None of this may be of much help to you if your sections are already built.

    just my experiences
  7. Many Thank's For Your Ideas

    Everyone has good ideas, about size, weight etc. but unfortunatly the tables are already built, I think if I had it to do over, I would have built them in 2ft X 6ft , or 2 X 8 Ft tables that bolt together, I now have nearly all of the track work completed, and really don't want to cut it up unless worse comes to worse. Where I am now living I have a Walk Out Basement actually it is a Bilco Stairway and Door, that is a straight shot up and out, and when I started building, I never planned to have to move, but health and finance issues have since dictated otherwise. I understand that weight is the main issue with me, and it will take 2 to manage moving them out and then replacing them once the move is complete. I did build L-Girder tables with 1/2" plywood tops, and adjustable, removable legs. Again hind sight being 20-20, I would have used the L-girder frames and 2" foam sheets only under the track.wall1

    I don't know what I had expected, I was just hoping someone had a miracle idea I guess. I know should have joined a model railroad club, or forum, before I got started building my own, "but back then I didn't even have a computer, and windows was unheard of." I could have learned by the others experience also at that time I was working 10 to 14 hours a day, and now that time is no longer a problem, money is, we only have one Model Railroad club here in the Kalamazoo, Mi. area, and their monthly dues are $55.00, and being on dissability, that is way over what I can afford any longer, and I can always find something else I can use the money for. I guess most of you can see where I'm coming from there. wall1

    Anyway Thank You all again for your input, the Gauge has The Greatest Membership anyone could ever hope to find.

    "KEEP ON TOOTIN":wave:
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Good luck with your move...! I am sure that you will work something out to get the railroad out in a form that can be reassembled.

    Sorry to hear about the limitations of the local club (i.e. dues). We have a club here that is a "dinner club". There is a $25 annual fee, plus $20 for dinner when you attend (not obligated to go every month). Many of the other clubs use this meeting as their own monthly meeting.

    THe point I am trying to make is that there is a lot of informal stuff going on. I am a "member" of two round-robin operating groups that rotate through one another's layouts over the course of the year. I would estimate about 1/3 of us do not even have a layout in operational form yet. But it is all good fun. Perhaps you can set up such a group based around your layout? Maybe a note in the local club's newsletter or at the LHS would get you the "right" membership.

  9. I Like It

    HMMMMM a round robin operating group, I LIKE IT!! guess maby I'll be starting something new in South West Michigan, Thank You for the great idea Andrew, and always, "KEEP ON TOOTIN":wave:
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Here's what one of the groups has been up to:

    Friday Night Group

    Posts go back about a year or so.

  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Have you considered one of those inexpensive "piano dollys" from Home Depot, Lowes, or Harbor Freight? If the stairs out of the basement are a straight shot, get some of the cheapest plywood or chip board or even mdf. If you need more than one sheet to span the stairs from bottom to top, tie them together with 1x2 lumber and drywall screws to make a ramp to go over the stairs. Lay the tables on the dolley side ways with the 4 foot vertical and the 8 foot part length wise on the dolly and just roll them up out of the basement into your truck, trailer or whatever you are using to move.
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Murphy sez that if build the layout sectional you'll never move; if you build it big and solid you'll get shifted as soon as the ballast dries.

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