benchwork what NOT to do

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by belg, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. belg

    belg Member

    For anyone starting to build their benchwork I thought it would be a good thing to put a shelf under the table to store all the extra stuff.

    BIG :curse: MISTAKE !!!!!

    My bench work is about 30 " deep and trying to get wiring done under the table is enough to rip your hair out. :mad: I am now in the process of trying to remove the shelf, with all the cross braces and end panels for scenery in place there have been heard several explitives from the basement.

    I know this is allsupposed to be fun but this wasn't. I hope it helps someone else.
  2. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr Member

    You raised a good point! Accessibility is easy to compromise when designing a layout. The best designed and built layouts will still need maintenance both above and below.

    The shelf layout I'm about to start is being planned as a series of removable sections 6-7' long. Some of the layout will not be accessible from below, so I can take those sections to the workbench for maintenance and even the initial wiring. I have developed an aversion to catching dripping solder with my hair. :rolleyes:

    Your experience will hopefully hep both new and experienced model railroaders. Thanks!

  3. rguyett

    rguyett Member

    I find that a lot of people don't put enough thought into the bottom of the framing as far as access goes. Shelves underneath
    is a good idea for storage but it has to be planned for easy access and removel. I find this is one step people skip over whether they are in a hurry to get the framing done or they just don't think about it. I think it is a very important step that should be given a lot of thought to avoid headaches for sure as you found out.
    Sorry you have to tear it all out.
    I have tons of storage under mine and i would sure miss it if i did not have it.
    best of luck to you.
  4. fifer

    fifer Active Member

    I am using rolling plastic bins with various size drawers lined with felt, and this works great.
    Just an idea!:thumb:
    Mike Fifer , New Mexico
  5. belg

    belg Member

    Three hours later and some sweat and twisting into positions humans aren't supposed to bend into I've got the shelf out.

    Mike the bins on rollers is what I was planning to replace the shelves with (great minds think alike).

    I have to say with all the research I did the shelf issue was Never discussed.

    Eric my friend is a plumber and one day we were installing a boiler and he managed to get a drop down the crack of my A**. Look at me being politically correct.
  6. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    I know it's a little late for this now, but rather than put back the shelves when you're done (or have to do without them) why not the best of both worlds?

    Rubbermaid Storage drawers!!! The one's with little wheels on them so you can move them out of the way without making a mess of your neatly stored stuff! You could always run a curtain down your fascia to hide them. :)

    EDIT: Ooops, looks like someone already suggested this. Well, it is a great idea. :)
  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    on old layout i had a old bookcase cut down and put on rollers one old bookcase made two sets if shelves used cheep k mart rollers;)
  8. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Belg, I had the same problem with a dual level layout which I scrapped because of the difficulty doing the under track work. Now the one and only shelf under my layout is a test track for analog locos and a programming track for DCC. I only installed it after wiring was complete. No incumberances anywhere else on my layout and I like it that way
  9. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    under layout

    Garage layout. 48" high, perfect for storing lawnmower, bicycle, and outdoor toys, also 2 rubbermaid bins.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Since I built my layout on the bookshelves, I have a similar situation
    I used modular shelving and all the shelves are removable ...
    after I take the books out.
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    25 years in the trades and never got soldered there...:eek: I use those old surplus miltary footlockers. I add a couple of 2x4s and casters to make them easy on the arthritus. They take all kinds of pounding, sawing, dremeling and---soldering---things Rubbermaid just don't care for. Crispy Crinkles, I'm sounding like an old poot :rolleyes:
  12. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr Member

    Belg, I read that solder is not a good "crack" or gap filler. I guess your friend didn't know this...;) :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

  13. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Now while that is useful safety advise, it is also waaaaay too much information... :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  14. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ..belg. I did just resurrect part of the MCL benchwork. It was in temporary storage (used as a computer table while I was laid off).

    I have a pice of ply 18" X 96" and was thinkg, "Gee, that would make a good shelf under the layout". NOT! You're right! I remember laying on my back running wires here and there and everywhere. Even just a box I could push away was maddening enough as I dropped a screw or the end of the wire I held precariously in my fingers. I can see what I'd do if my elbow got smashed by a sharp ply edge or I had my neck pressed against it or...

    I'm going with "the plan". Boxes and storage bins that travel well. Once the wiring and anything else that's part of a railroad is done- that's when any junk boxes (what else is in those treasure chests?) can find a home under the RR- behind a curtain (with the Great Oz).

    Timely post. Thanks again.

  15. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    It seems one can never have enough storage for all of our treasures.I have a small bedroom which has been canabalized on 2 fronts to make more room for a master bedroom closet on one end and a linen closet in the bathroom on another end.Above my benchwork i built framed shelves which will hold a valance and lighting beneath to light the layout.One day it may even hold another track arrangement ,but for now it holds everything i need to work on the layout along one wall,and buil structures to be placed along another wall and some misc items on the other.I built these shelves sturdy enough to actually hold an entire library of books should i so desire.eventually it will have a valance to give a finished look above the layout itself.
    Beneath the layout i had some book shelves but have removed them for now and have plans of putting casters on these for under layout access.(my list gets longer everyday.complete 2-3 items,add 4-6 items LOL)
    Speaking of Rubbermaid,just a small plug for a company that did well by me.I purchased a set of storage was short several pieces.i contacted them online and they were very helpful and sent out replacements without so much as a whimper.Great people great products.In this day and age a company with a good customer service dept deserves a little recognition :)
  16. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    A many years old (and still not completed!) 3'x5' N scale of mine has a big lower shelf to hold all the scenicing materials and tools etc. Real handy. But thinking back, I did all the tracklaying and wiring before placing the platform on the legs and shelf, 3x5 is small enough to work on at a workbench (retired pingpong table) and tilt it upright to get at both sides easily.

    But you are so right - wiring would have been an even worse pain than usual had the shelf been in there from the first. My next railroads were made as flip-up 2x4 modules to allow for both storage and wiring access without crouching down and killing the back, shown in the avatar.

    For the best of both worlds make the shelf(s) removable, fit them in only when the trackwork and wiring is complete. A place to store scenic materials and all the other cr#p that collects around a work in progress is indispensible.

Share This Page