need some help on my shelf layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    removable staging is a possibility, but i dont want to have to store all this stuff and move it when i need it, i just want the train to be able to run into the yard either to park or to drop off train cars and pick up train cars to be switched. I guess i need to do some thinking lol
  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    thanks Russ, now i know what a switchback is lol. However i dont think that i want to do switchbacks now lol

    do you think my idea work that i talked about in post #16?

    haveing the train run down and make a loop in the lower left corner back down the wall to the right wall where it had originally started the decent? The yard would be a stub ended yard
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    thanks for the pics Harold :thumb: :mrgreen:
  4. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    I think I agree with GEC with his point about not creating a staging area underside. I believe you said you were going to have an 18" wide shelf all the way around. Why not take one area of the layout, and make it wider (say 30" wide by 3' - 4' long) to create a yard on the same level as your shelf. That way you can store your trains on the layout, and have them staged as you need, without having to worry about grade issues and getting trains down to a lower level.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Josh, I just got back to this thread and noticed this question. If I did the math correctly (multiplied 36 x 12 to get inches of run and divide into 10 inches to get grade in percent) your grade works out to 2.3%. In fact I just did the same calculation using 12 inches instead of 10 inches and if you did it as you suggested and made your staging yard 12 inches below the main layout, you would still only have a 2.7% grade. Remember with the staging yard to allow extra clearance between tracks to facilitate getting your hands in to do any 0-5-0 switching that is needed.
  6. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    As to your original question: Easier to have a duck under section than a lift out for a perimeter set up like yours. It works for my layout. bob
  7. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Russ,

    a 2.7% grade is not bad at all for going down 12". I like that. Which brings me to my next question, How do you make the grade? How do i know that I will have a 2.7% grade all the way down to the staging?
  8. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Mike, i would like to do that believe me but i just dont have a place to store it. Im likeing the 2.7% grade and the 12" below layout will give plenty of clearance between levels to move trains around. It will look a little more "messy" with the track running down to staging but im okay with that. :mrgreen:
  9. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Bob,

    Duck under is out of the question for me even tho i wish i could, i cant lol. This is my room, i live in it hehehehehe so a duck under wouldnt go over so well as i walk in and out MANY times a day lol
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Okay I have anther question. How far apart should she shelf brackets be spaced apart along the wall? Is every 2.5' okay? Can i get away with every 3 feet? Im going to be using 15" heavy duty shelf brackets with 1/4" plywood for the base
  11. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    You probably have wall studs every 16 inches, so may just want to stick that to be safe.

    That's what my shelf brackets are attached to for maximum support strength.

  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Shaun, Im sure my studs are 16" apart

    My brackets are the HEAVY DUTY brackets, there steel triangles and very sturdy. I think if i go every other stud it would be strong enough? These brackets are $5.97 each so there not cheap. thats why I dont want over kill on them lol cuz its going to cost a lot of money to do build this lol.

    my walls are actually 12x10 with a window on the 1st 12' wall being 71" long. The other 12' wall has the walk-in hallway into my room which is 47" long (where the lift-out will be. so these 2 spots wont need brackets. That leaves roughly 34' that will need shelf brackets. if I put one every 16" (every stud) that would be 25 brackets which actually is about what I had planned for. If i go every 32" (every other stud) thats 13 brackets.

    I might as well put on every stud lol, i just ansered me own question :p

    I will also need an additional 7 brackets for the under layout staging yard bringing the total to 32 brackets for a total of $191 :eek: :rolleyes:
  13. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Bracket streength is seldom the problem. You need to consider some issues though. It might pay off to tests your methods before commiting. Brackets tend to allow some side to side movement. This can be a problem that will eventually weaken the connection. Also, consider the bulk and strength of your framing on the brackets. Like a bridge, you may find closer brackets and lighter benchwork might be both cheaper and more reliable.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Josh, there are a couple of ways to set your grade for the under layout staging yard access. The easiest, but somewhat expensive is with a gadget sold at Home Depot. At our railroad club meeting a couple of months ago, one of the members showed us a tool he bought at Home Depot. It is a digital grade indicator. It sells for @ $40.00, but you lay it on a board and it tells you the grade. I think it is made for contractors who desire to put a little slope into a patio for drainage, check roof pitch, or any other job where they need to have something pitched and want to build it to a specific grade.

    The Feb. 2008 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman has an article on how to make a "grade setting gadget" by David Wiggs. He uses an 18 inch carpenter's level, and two pieces of lexan 4 inches long. He includes a chart that calculates grades based on the size of a standard fractional drill bit used at one end. It is a little more complicated to use than the digital system, but the materials to make this gadget is a lot less expensive than the digital grade setting tool.

    The third method requires a measuring tape or ruler and doing a little math. You find the percent of a grade by dividing the drop by the distance. First everything has to be converted into thew same measurement. As an example, lets presume you are going to make a drop of 3 inches along a 10 foot wall. First convert 10 feet into inches-10 feet x 12=120 inches. Now, if we divide 3 inches by 120 inches, we get an answer of .025 which is a 2.5% grade. You can go around your room and starting at your mainline grade level, measure down the distance you estimate you will need to get to your staging yard level, and make a small pencil mark. Then measure the distance along the wall from where you started. Divide the distance in inches into the drop in inches. If the grade is not steep enough, increase it, if it is too steep, decrease it. If you get 4 cheap wooden yard sticks, cut one into 1 foot lengths. Now carefully lay out the three full length yard sticks, and splice them together with the 1 foot sections of the yard stick you cut up. If done carefully, you now have a 9 foot long straight edge. If you plot 2 points on your grade that are less than 9 feet apart, you can use the straight edge to draw a line on the wall through the two points to get a 9 foot long grade. Use the line to plot where to install the brackets to support your grade down to staging. You do not need to use the high dollar brackets that you are using for your main layout or for the staging yard. Presuming a double track going up and down to staging, your sub road bed should be about 4 inches wide or so. At Home Depot or Lowes, you can go to the lumber department and find a shelf full of various steel brackets designed for construction by Simpson Strong Tie. I have found some small 90 degree brackets that could be screwed into the wall and under the sub road bed that would be adequate to support a 4 inch shelf. When you get to a corner, lay out your curve on a piece of plywood, and cut it out. Now when you lay that curve into the corner, you know where the straight sections on each wall need to end to fit the corner section in. Cut 2 straight sections of plywood long enough to overlap both the end of the straight and into the curve and screw and glue it to the bottom of the end of each straight and the ends of the curve to support the ends of the curve. You may not be able to support the center of the curve from the wall, because it will be too far out from the wall; but you can put in your supports as far into the curve as they will reach. I picked up a couple of 90 degree brackets that were @ 1.5 inches on one leg and @6 inches on the other leg to use for reinforcement for a redwood swing set I built for my grandsons.

    By the way, flooring companies often have "give away" wooden yardsticks with the company logo that they use for promotional purposes. Another long straight edge would be a framing level. I bought a 6 foot long aluminum framing level from Harbor Freight for @ $20.00.
  15. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    After some thought and advise from my grandfather, ive decided to instead of using screws to hold the brackets mounted on the wall i will be using lag bolts. This will give it more bight in the studs and proove to be alot more rigid and sturdy framework and base. For the base of the layout i will be using very light plywood (1/4").

    Brings me to my next question about the benchwork. I know how im going to attach the brackets to the wall but how am i going to attach the plywood to the brackets?
  16. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Russ.

    Im going to ask a really dumb question right now so please forgive me lol. But what if I just went with a 3% grade and used the Woodland Scenics Foam Inclines going down to staging?

    I know its a really dumb question lol but it would eliminate alot of work that I would have to do lol and im really not all that good at math either lol
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    How far will the Woodland Scenics foam spacer allow the track to drop? If your staging is 12 inches below the mainline, you will need a 12 inch or a little shorter spacer, or you will need to build in level sub road bed at a point about the maximum height of the spacers, then when the track dropped to the bottom, put in another sub road bed a like amount below the previous one until you get to the correct level.
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    The 3% grade raises/drops 4 1/2" in 12'. Im not sure how i would do it. I was thinking of buiding platforms for each section of 12 inclines. One platform would be 4" below the layout, the next 8" below the layout, and the third 12" below the layout as the staging level. The WS 3% Incline sets run 12' long so at the end of each one it would be going to the next level down/up
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That would work.
  20. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    A couple of concerns come to mind: 1) How vertical and straight are your walls? I've been in houses where shelf brackets needed shimming to make the shelf level. 2) 1/4" plywood laid flat needs to be supported about every 12" or less to prevent sagging, or bending when leaned on. 1/2" plywood is good for about 16" to 18" between supports, and 3/4" plywood can go 24" or more. The other option with 1/4" plywood is to glue 2" thick foam to it to allow the 18"-24" separation between supports.

    Based on the above, I would recommend an L-girder running bridging the tips of the shelf brackets. This will provide mounting and support for the 1/4" plywood. Similarly, run at least a 1x3 vertically along the back edge of the shelf bracket to support the back edge of the plywood.

    hope this helps

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