Collapsible benchwork

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by railfan1982, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. railfan1982

    railfan1982 New Member

    So I've decided to build a layout and even found a track plan to use as a start. My issue is that I have to build a collapsible benchwork but I don't seem to be able to find plans on how to do this. I plan on building an 8' by 9' that will be build in approximately 2' modular sheets. My requirements are that anything built must be light as I am in the army and have a weight limit on my frequent moves. Anybody have any suggestions?
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    keeping it light

    One way to drastically reduce the weight of traditional open frame bench work is to use ripped sections of plywood instead of structural lumber for the pieces, replacing 1 by 4s , for instance with 1/2 inch plywood cut to two or three inches. You could add blocks of wood at the joints , with gorilla glue to take sheet rock crews form both the sides. At the end pieces, that would joint to another section of bench work, you might want to use thicker plywood 3/4 or 1 inch.

    I'm not a fan of putting track directly over foam, as I like to have something to work with, if I have to weak the rail, but If you used cookie cutter roadbed, you could have plywood under the track, and you could cut and fit foam elsewhere to keep things light. I have a experimental portable in the narrow gauge section, that foregoes traditional bench work, with plywood glued directly to foam with gorilla glue

    This technique is a little heavier than I would like, but it also is looking way better than I like so I'm satisfied.. For a layout with multiple sections, You would have to splice in some kind of a frame in order to fasten the sections together. another low weight option for bench work would be some of the steel framing materials that are available now in place of traditional 2x4 framing. it is counter intuitive, but due to their thin profile they weigh considerably less that the wood they are designed to replace. some hybrid mixture of steel and foam might be a good compromise in the strength vs weight .

    Good luck, when you start getting things done please share, so the rest of us can learn from what you do.

    Bill Nelson

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