Martin Johnson Mfg. Domino Style Bench Work

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by riverotter, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Has anyone had any experience with Martin Johnson Mfg.?

    Model Railroad Accessories | Model Railroad Tables | Model Railroad Portable Tables | Model Railroad Hobbyists | Railroads

    Their website advertises Modular Model Train Tables - 2' x 4' domino style bench work that can be set up, locked together in just minutes and without tools. The top is ½" fiber board supported by a custom extruded aluminum frame. The adjustable legs are made from welded 1-1/8" steel tubing. The legs are adjustable from 20" to 42". The 2 ft x 4 ft dominoes modules fold to a 2" thickness for storage. Domino Benchwork with standard ½" fiberboard top is $74.50

    Sievers pre-fab benchwork is close to $100 for a 2' x 4' with fixed-length legs, and Mianne is over $120.

    I have an 8' x 10' corner space where I could put a switching layout that might eventually be expanded in another location, so four portable 2'x4' modules would work well. If you've had any experience with this manufacturer's products, or even any anecdotal information, or even thoughts and impressions, I'd really appreciate your sharing.

  2. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Is there a reason you dont want to build your own?​
  3. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    I am a Certified Handydork. I also carry the NATOPT* self-endangerment designation, which I earned with the assistance of a lawn mower several years ago.

    * Not Allowed To Own Power Tools
  4. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Ohhhhhh...........I see:mrgreen: :p

    I plan on attending carpentry school in a few years and already know most of the trade, I could not get by without my workshop. So to me the benchwork was my favorite part.

    Have you looked at woodland scenics modular layout parts? they look pretty easy to use. Heres a link.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    The link you gave is not functional right now, but your description sounds good. The price is high compared with materials (pine + 2" pink styrofoam) to do it yourself, but all the work is done, so there's the value of your time to consider.

    With your "special" certification ;) :D :p, it sounds like this is the way for you to go.

  6. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Thanks for alerting me to the broken link. It seemed to be working for me this morning, but here's the raw link you can copy and paste directly into your browser:
  7. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

  8. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Thanks for this information. I had previously purchased a couple of modules of both Sievers and Mianne pre-fab benchwork, and I found both of them to be flimsy and very expensive on a per-foot basis. Also, Mianne's benchwork is not truly modular, as adjoining sections share a leg assembly rather than each having its own, as Sievers' benchwork does.

    I'm also exploring hollow-core doors as another alternative construct for layout modules.
  9. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Sorry about that post then, just see it all the time in MR mag and thought it looked ok. The nice thing about this site is you can hear these things and learn from other peoples misfortunes ( sorry it was you this time).​
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The hollow-core door idea is good, although they will require some sort of modification. Probably the simplest is the addition of a layer of foam to create landforms on the surface (are you allowed to use glue? ;)).

    Other modifications can include cutting holes to run wiring and allow clamping end-to-end (or end-to-edge), addition of re-enforcements at leg attachment points.

    Do you have a club nearby? You may be able to find someone to help you, or even to construct something for you, in return for payment or some sort of trade of skills or modelling "stuff".

  11. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    wayyyy late to the party...

    I'm way late to the party, but I'll put in my two cents for anybody else who may come along and wonder about this benchwork.

    I had the opportunity to get a good look at it at the Anaheim 2009 NMRA National. I was impressed. It's stoutly built, and the interlocking mechanism is elegant, easy to use, and should give very very good alignment. The only real shortcomings concern elevation changes. IIRC, there's not a good way of protecting the edges of any "above grade" elevation that runs to the edge, nor is there a really good way of going below grade. But as a platform for urban/flatland, I think this would be great.
  12. bnsf_mp_30

    bnsf_mp_30 New Member

    Another latecomer here..

    I laminate a couple layers (or more) of extruded foam onto doors ("doorminoes"). The top surface of the hollow core door then becomes the lowest possible elevation.

    I looked at the various pre-made benchwork and it was just too costly for my budget. But it's your $$$, so...

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