Materials needed ?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Tim K, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    I plan on starting to build the base for my layout this weekend and was wondering what materials are needed.

    I plan on building a simple 5X12 size layout.
    I am going to use half inch ply on top and was wondering if 2X4 's would
    be over kill for the frame?

    Tim K
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    with todays crapy lumber probley not would cover the ply wood with pink/blue extruded foam for noise abment.
  3. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I hope you will have access all the way around the layout as 5 feet is a hard reach. I agree with jim on the foam but will go one further. If you use 1 0r 2 inch foam you can cut away the foam around the track to make some parts of scenery lower than the track. The foam you cut out can be put on top of foam not cut out to make hills. Use your imagination.
  4. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    I had actually planned to glue the foam to the ply .
    So I can leave the ply out all together and just glue the foam to the frame?

    I have plenty of space all the way around the layout so that is not a problem.

    Tim K
  5. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    I had also planned on contouring the foam after I came

    up with a suitable layout to give the surface a more natural look.

    That is the great thing about close cell foam you can sand it and shape it into anything.

    Tim K
  6. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Now I will trow you a curve. Just something to think about. I started out with a plan on paper then I built the frame for my layout, no top. Used cardboard from appliance boxes to cover it. Drew the track on the cardboard useing chalk box for straight, string and nail for curves. Took my time got the track where I wanted it. I also put a slight curve in all of my straight track because straight is very hard to do. drew the roads and where to put buildings. Then I cut out the track plan from the cardboard. Used that for a template to cut out plywood. I then used 1X4 wood to make risers which I srewed to frame work where the cardboard was cut out, raiseing it 4 inches. Placed the cut out plywood onto the risers and srewed it in place . This gave me the option of haveing scenery below track level or above it. It takes a little time & planning but I like the results. If intrestd and need more info let me know.
  7. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Hi Tim. Build your frame out of 1"x3" or 1"X4" pine would be fine. Pre-drill all holes with 1/8" holes so it don't split, and screw it together with 2" drywall screws, with 2 screws at each joint. This way if you decide to dismantle your bench down the road all you have to do is remove the screws and apart it will come, and you can re-use the lumber for your next project. Glue the foam board directly to the tops of the frame with liquid nails or the cheapest adhesive you can find. I buy it for $3 a tube for the caulking gun. Don't go to the expense of plywood as it only makes it more expensive and more difficult to run wires etc. A good 2" piece of foam board will do the trick, but you wont be able to sit or stand on it. If you have a long reach, you can always cut in a hatch to access the out of the way track.

    I hope this helps.

    TrainClown ;)
  8. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi Tim,
    My benchwork is made of 1X4 boards and supported by 2X2 legs...plenty sturdy!
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Just remember that if you don't have the ply under the foam, your supporting frame should be built as a grid with no more than 24" between supports - 16" is probably better...

  10. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    Thanks everyone for your help.Lesters idea sounds very interesting but I think I will keep it fairly simple for the first layout , I have a lot to learn.

    I think I may still go with a plywood base under the foam for the simple reason I have two young children who will be helping with construction and operations and the extra strength may be needed to avoid desaster if one of them decides to fall on the layout ( which is inevitable).

    Sound level is not really an issue ,I can remember spending hours in my Grandfathers basement as a child playing with his layout and I loved te sound.:cool:

    Tim K
  11. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    One more question;) ?

    I might drop it down to four feet deep instead of five , will leave more room for
    expansion later.

    Is four feet deep enough to have two main lines ( two kids) that run around the outside diameter or will the inside radius be to tight ?

    Thanks again

    Tim K
  12. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Back to original question. 1/2 plywood on 2X4 frame. Yes it is a little more than needed. You could walk on it. But that will not hurt anything . Do it. Put down 2 simple loops and have some fun with your kids. You next question will be about DCC. Nice but not neccesary. People have enjoyed the hobby for decades with out it. Sometimes we get caught up in what we are doing and tend to get new people in over their heads. Keep it simple at first.

  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Four feet (by 12) is enough to have two loops, one inside the other. If you were to use sectional track, get 18" and 22" radius curves to create parallel loops.

  14. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

  15. FiveFlat

    FiveFlat Member

    Going to 4' will also save the added expense of a 3rd sheet of plywood!

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