Steel stud benchwork

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by papa smurf37, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. papa smurf37

    papa smurf37 New Member

    Has anyone had experience using steel studs for framing their benchwork? We [small HO sectional group: New England Northern] are about to experiment with this in building hexagonal free-standing unit, approx. 26" on each face, for our layout. It will be used as a direction reverser for single track main at 0" elev. and as part of one terminal area for end of main at 3" elev. using the whole upper area, as most of the lower track loop will be hidden. All cross-bracing will be made from the metal studs with plywood top covered with extruded foam and the leg assemblies will be cross-braced 2x3s. Our nominal height-to-rail top will be approx. 52". Just wanted some feedback.......Tom:)
  2. papa smurf37

    papa smurf37 New Member

    Post correction

    Unit will be OCTOGONAL [8-sided] in shape, NOT 6-sided as originally stated. Otherwise we would not have enough surface area for our terminal and reverse loop radius would be too small. Sorry for error...Tom:)
  3. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    One thing to keep in mind... Steel studs are rigid only in certain circumstances. They can twist and bend. I have to deal with these a lot as I install quite a bit of data wiring in "under construction" commercial buildings. I assume you chose these so that you can easily notch the studs and bend them into the proper shape. I see this done a lot in restaraunts and bars where decortative surfaces are not angular. The plywood will give you more lateral strength than the studs but the studs will be rigid if well attached to the plywood.
    One more thing to watch out for is the edges on the metal studs. These can be very sharp. I see people cut themselves on these constantly (myself included...). If you reach under the structure to move it and slide your fingers across the "stamped" (cut) edge of a stud, it is like running your fingers across a kitchen knife. I would suggest using heavy sandpaper on all edges after you put the thing together to reduce the danger of getting cut. Steel studs where never intended to be exposed (and can't be in most zoning requirements) for this reason. I would even consider going so far as to attach masonite or something similar to the "open" side of the stud to keep fingers away from the sharp edges...
    Other than that, your idea of using these as indicated is a good one. It will reduce the weight considerably.

    Tom F
  4. Ravensfan

    Ravensfan Member

    I agree with tf. Metal studs are nice for building walls but are questionable for other uses where they will be exposed. Nothing like good old wood - cheap, sturdy, easy to manipulate and not a good conductor of electricity.

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