Shelf layouts

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by billk, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. billk

    billk Active Member

    What's the widest shelf anyone has used in their layout? (i.e. sticking out from the wall, no legs). Would 30in be excessive, if built "ultra-light"? How was it designed?
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Billk, You should be able to build suitably sturdy shelves 30" deep, but access could be a problem. It is better to have all trackwork within easy reach. Typically no more than 24". But of course this is determined by the height of the railroad in relation to your height and reach. The lower the railroad, the further your reach will be. Or, if there is no track in the 6" from the wall you won't have much reason to have to reach it after scenery construction. 30" would require hefty construction, I would think. I have built 24" shelves in the following manner: I screw 2x4's to the wall studs, starting about 6" above the baseboard heating and to within 1 1/2" of the bottom of the subroadbed. I then place a 24" long 2x4 on top of the 2x4 stud on the wall, extending into the room. I cut gussets from 1/2 plywood, a triangle with the sides coming from the right angle 12" long. When screwed in place, these gussets give the bracket the strength it needs to support the loads it will carry during and after construction.

  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    billk, using the method Gary describes, I've buit shelves over 4' deep. A rule of thumb - the angle bracing needs to be as long as the shelf is wide. i.e. - for a 30" shelf, you'll need a 30" bracket. (I ripped 2x4's in half for my brackets)
    Gary also makes a very valid point about access. My new rule is to never build benchwork deeper than you can comfortably reach while standing flat on the floor. About 30" in my case.

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