New HO layout needs legs...Help please

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by wsor4050, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. wsor4050

    wsor4050 New Member

    Hello All
    I'm new here and I hope I've posted this in the right place
    I'm looking for some ideas on what type of stand or legs for to use with my new HO portable exhibition layout. The layout is 9' by 1' and the set I've built allow too much vibration.

    Photos of the layout can be seen a

    When points are changed the trees shake and the rolling stock rocks......!!!!!!!! It needs to be a portable design, it can be transported in the by of my car to and from exhibitions...Does anyone have any suggestions.

    Many thanks
    Chris G
    Switch man at Old Goldern Black
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi Chris,

    I just wanted to say welcome and compliment you on a very nice looking switching layout. Your building flats look terrific and your pictures really convey a sense of a railroad at work! As for the shaky leg problem...I see a little bit of them in a couple of your pics but can't get a good idea of their construction. What I can see of the vertical legs looks nicely crafted. I'm assuming you have some sort of cross bracing but it doesn't show in the pics. Would more of a saw horse arrangement provide better stability?

    Best wishes with the legs. Keep us up to date and tell us more about this great looking layout too!
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You need better bracing on the corners where the legs attach to the layout. Bracing should be in both directions - parallel and perpendicular to the length of the layout. The braces need be nothing more than small triangles of masonite or thin wood, about 8 inchhes on each side. You could also construct trangular braces out of 1x2s that span a bit further.

  4. wsor4050

    wsor4050 New Member

    Ralph, Kevin
    Thanks for the welcome and the nice comments. This is the first model railroad I've built to this stage. The others all seemed to stop at plywood central..
    It took a week from a piece of plywood to the state shown in the photos.
    The idea of the layout is that it normally sits on a shelf in the garage out of the way. When I have a free day I can set it up, place the rolling stock on it and get it running relatively quickly.

    The viewing section is six feet long by a foot wide. (The width seems to be the cause of the wobble problem). There is a two track 2'9" fiddle yard, just long enough to hold two 60" boxcars and one SD45, not that, that happens very often.
    The track, which was glued straight to the plywood, is peco code 100 and all the points/switches are Insulfrog with push rods operating them. Electrics is very simple, as only one locomotive is used at anyone time, all tracks are wired to a Gaugemaster handheld controller and a MRC diesel sound unit.
    The buildings are a mixture of Walthers background kits and Pikestuff with plenty of details added on. Then weathered with a black/grey wash to blend them together.

    Operation is simply too. There are five normally five spots of rolling stock on the layout
    Two covered hoppers spots, one boxcar spot and two RBL of reefers spots

    All I do is pull on to the layout two freight cars, say two loaded hoppers (one grain, one wheat starch) and swapped them for two loaded RBL boxcars sitting at the distribution warehouse , then the train returns back up the branch (to the fiddle yard)
    In the fiddle yard the two loaded RBL cars are replaced with two different numbered RBLs
    In The next days train, these empty RBLs brought back to the plant for loading.
    The return train is made up with an empty grain hopper (which arrived the day before) and an empty boxcar from the goods in loading bay.
    Again in the fiddle yard the empty cars are replaced with different numbered loaded cars.
    These new cars are, again, brought back for unloading and this time the empty starch hopper and one loaded RBL are pulled back to the fiddle yard.
    To operate it like this two different numbered cars are allotted to each spot on the layout.

    If you add in a single car train once in a while, there are 30 different combinations of cars before the same move is made with the same cars.

    It is simple honest.

    The legs seen in the photo were from an old layout and were the cause of the wobble, so at the moment it is sitting on a folding table in the garage.
    The layout has been invited to its first show next Feb so I’ve plenty of time to find a solution to the problem,

  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Something else you may consider - build a lower shelf attatched to the legs, and put weight on it (a bucket of sand or some freeweights may do). This should stabilize it some by lowering the center of gravity. being only a foot wide, it may be easy to tip over as it is.

  6. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    i would build a stronger leg support, saw horses would work, you seem to have some talent with wood so I am sure you could build some better legs. the ones you have look good, just build them out of heavier material
    nice work
  7. stagingyards

    stagingyards Member


    your asking about legs might I suggest plastic pvc plumbing pipe not to expencive and you would be able to take it apart vary simply cant construct the whole table out of it gl
  8. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    2X2s and wing nutted stove bolts. Cheap fast and easy.

    You can paint or stain them or leave as is. The look "right" unlike saw horses or sewer pipe or fwence posts.
  9. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Many congratulations to Chris G (WSOR4050)for being picked as the NMRA Webmasters choice for his "Old Goldern Black" layout.
    Go to and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
    Well done mate!
    Shortliner(Jack) away up here in the Highlands
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You need to run a diagonal brace from the side of the layout to the bottom of one leg on each end to triangulate the legs for end to end bracing. Then run a second brace from the layout frame accross to the bottom of the opposite leg at each end to brace it from side to side. I am presuming that the existing legs are fastened solidly to the frame work already, either by hinges or bolts.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Some good advice here. I'll add my 2cents worth...! ;)

    Check 's DCC/modular section for two different ideas on legs - one wood, one pvc plumbing.

    Two other options I might consider are 1) no legs - just set it on a table. At 6 feet long, it should fit most available tables at the shows/exhibits you take it to. And 2) get some commercially available banquet table legs. They only require a narrow space to attach, but generally give a wide, stable base. Two drawbacks are weight and height, but height can be fixed by extending the legs with tubing or square stock.

    Welcome to The Gauge!

  12. abutt

    abutt Member

    You've gotten enough good ideas about support, so I won't add any more.Just want to compliment you on a nice looking switching layout. Looks like a lot of fun.

    Nice work, Allan
  13. wsor4050

    wsor4050 New Member

    Thanks for all the ideas and comments.
    I've some thinking to do now..
    As some as I'm sorted I'll let you all know.

    Many thanks again..
    Chris G
  14. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Many congratulations to Chris G (WSOR4050)for being picked as the NMRA Webmasters choice for his "Old Goldern Black" layout.
    Go to and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
    Well done mate!

    Let get this strait, he wins awards for his layout but needs advice on something as basic as table legs?

    We should be asking him for advice.
  15. stagingyards

    stagingyards Member


    looking at your pics that you have posted I would use 2.4 plastic pvc pipping and elbows and T connections good luck. Full steam ahead

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