Plywood for L-girders?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Myowngod, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Myowngod

    Myowngod Member

    I've use the traditional pine 1x2's and 1x4's for past L-girder benchwork, but my Dad brought up the suggestion of using ripped down plywood to make the girders. We would glue and screw all joints. Almost like making our own engineered beams, like in houses. Has anyone ever tried this or heard of this used in the past? Any good or bad point anyone can think of? I know it would be alot cheaper to do it this way, but would it be stong enough?

  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I would guess that if you make it to similar dimensions as the 1"x2" or 1"x4", it should have similar strength. Unless you're planning on parking your car on the layout, most of us over-build our benchwork anyways. Mine uses 3/4" and 5/8" plywood for roadbed, 1"x4" pine box grid, with the crossmembers 16" o/c, and layout support of 2"x4", 2"x6", and even 2"x8", with 3/8" plywood shelving installed on the bottom cross bracing. The whole shebang is also fastened to the walls. In truth, though, except for the 1"x4", all of the other material was conveniently "left-over":D from the material I used to build my house. A little judicious "over-ordering" of materials ensured that there was plenty of layout-building material.
    When I get around to installing my second level, it'll be 1"x2" open grid, with a 3/8" plywood top, supported on steel brackets, bolted to the walls. The only reason for the brackets is to support a number of 4' double fluorescent fixtures, slung underneath to illuminate the part of the layout already in place.
    By the way, Ron, welcome to the Gauge.:wave:

  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I've tried it on modules with great success. It'll cost about half the price too:thumb: Use 3/4" ply and it'll practically meld seamlessly into your standard 1x4.
  4. Myowngod

    Myowngod Member

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would glue and clamp it if you are using 2 pieces of plywood for "L" girders. Plywood does not take screws into the edges well at all. The screws just tend to delaminate the plywood.

Share This Page