I started this thread because of the "hijacking" of a thread in the HO section on locomotive lighting by Farnham and myself. I don't see a better category to put this under. Farnham was interested in my experiences with shelf layouts as he some BIG plans for one. I have built 3 table or on-the-floor island-style layout frames in the past. Each has had at least 2 different layouts mounted on it. Details of my saga are explained in more detail on the Yahoo Layout Construction forum. I am planning my next layout rather than building because I anticipate moving this summer. Here is a copy of the pertinent parts of the post from Layout Construction Group I mentioned: "Layout #4: In planning - 2 18" deep shelf layout sections in HO and HOn3 joined together in an L. Want to use integrated book shelf style where baseboard, backdrop, and overhead bookshelf with lighting underneath are one integral unit. Capability to add storage shelves underneath. Must have cover for dust control and preventing eye-sore during construction phase. Must look good enough to install in living spaces or bedroom. Foreseeable problems not yet resolved: - Walls are seldom true enough for 8 ft long section of metal track and bracket system. Need system to adjust shelf brackets in y and z dimensions, and hold brackets rigid in x dimension. Adjustment system must be independent of layout frame for easy moving. - In some houses (like present one), wall mounting is impractical. Need to design attractive leg support system that minimizes intrusion into layout, provides adequate support for books on bookshelf on top of layout, and will be stable with less than an 18" width. - Steep grades mean good vertical transitions are essential. I have read many reports of difficulty carving these into foam and achieving desired results. Am considering cookie cutter 1/4" plywood for subroadbed to get good grade transistions without much effort. 1/4" plywood needs more support than 16" centers. Will 1/2" ply bend sufficiently? What about 1/4" ply reinforced with 1/2" or 1" foam? Or just figure out a way to properly carve the foam into a good subroadbed? - Will shelf bracket mounting be strong nad stable enough to support downward pressure of hand spiking rail into Homasote on top of subroadbed without movement? - How to arrange easy access to wiring, turnout throws (manual or electric), and uncoupling magnet mechanisms, yet keep underside of layout looking reasonable? - Only practical way is for cover to hinge up against items on upper bookshelf. Need stops and retaining mechanism to hold cover in place while cover is up. Inside of cover must be attractively finished/decorated for when cover is up and using layout. - How to arrange controls so they are flush or recessed into fascia?" Thoughts since posting the above a week ago: I bought the 2006 Model Railroad Planning issue yesterday. Iain Rice's article on expandable model railroads hit home with me. It reinforced my plan to separate the wall or leg supporting framework from the layout frame for mobility (I have never lived in one house more than 7 years, and the second longest was 5 years. 1-4 years has been common.) Also, realized I may want to have the shelves 24" wide to fit my plans for a turntable. If I use solid foam, I will have to place foam on top of a 4" minimum height frame to give room for under the foam stuff such as turnout throw mechanisms and wiring. This height will also give room for a waffle-style fascia to keep controls and electrical jacks from protruding into the aisle space. If I use riser construction, I still probably should allow a 4" minimum height of the riser above bottom of the layout frame. I welcome any thoughts and suggestions.