We've got legs...

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by interurban, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    When we built the Traction Model we had to decide on legs.
    Most L/O`s are high and parents have to lift the kids up.
    So we attached the folding legs and made the model table hight.
    Much the the appreciation of many tired family who can let the kids roam around the model.
    We also put perplex screen allaround for safty.

    The legs fold neatly within a 30" +4' table, but may protrude with only 24".
    Just a thought Andrew. ;)
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    In order to match with the other modules at the club, I will need legs that get the railhead to about 48" off the floor. They will be detachable, rather than fold-up to keep the weight of each module down, and to allow for flexibility of set-up.

    At home, I am debating the height required, but in either case, I will probably put 18-24" wide brackets on the wall, rather than using legs. I think this will make for a neater appearance, without all the legs getting in the way of cleaning, storage, or whatever.

  3. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    That`s the way I just built my new home bench work But I measures 46" off the floor and used a level to get it staight , and screwed 1 by 4 pine to the studs behind the gyprock.
    Then the ply had a sound support all the way round.
    I used the same wood for leg supports and anchored them into the floor with simple L brackets.
    As you saw in the Thread track planning. :thumb:
  4. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    If you are interested in making legs for your modules, here's some pages on how I make my legs.

    These legs are compatible with the way we do them at Ottawa Valley HOTRAK. The height from the floor is 45" which includes ±½" or more to allow for floors that are uneven (tell us about that one!). About 3 years ago, HOTRAK decided to raise the height of the modules from 37½" to some higher height. We were looking at 40", 45" and 48". At one of our meets, we set up 3 sets of modules at each of the 3 heights. Each one of us did a bit of running on each module to see which height we liked the best - the existing 37½", the 40", the 45" and the 45".

    We then voted on which height we liked the best. It was much like the porridge with Goldilocks and the 3 bears. The 48" was too high, the 40" was too low, but the 45" was just right - by quite a wide margin. Over the summer, we each added extensions to the existing legs, or built new ones. A couple of our members offered to do the work for those members who didn't have the equipment or who were too busy for any other reason. For our first meet of the season in September, all of the legs had been modified to the new height.

    For transporting our modules, we use a concept called a "carry-plate" or an "end-plate".
    These are simply two pieces of plywood about 18" x 24" (or whatever dimensions are required) which allow us to bolt two modules together so that they are a "boxed set". The modules are placed together with the scenery facing inwards. In building the modules, we installed T-nuts in the ends of the modules to accept bolts that we use to bolt the carry-plate to each module.

    For details on the location of the T-nuts, check out this link to my website.
    The location will vary depending on your circumstances but this will give you an idea of the relationship between the T-nuts in the module ends and the location of the holes for the bolts in the carry-plate.

    Bob M.
  5. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Andrew, one of the clubs at the last train show uses those metal folding legs found on banquet tables, They put two legs on one module, then one on all the rest. They have a small lip on the end of the module with the legs, so the next module (the end with no laegs can rest on the lip),

    They mount large hinges on the side and when the two modules are put together, they slip the hinge bolt into place and it holds the two modules together.
  6. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well, after all that, geeeez my head hurts. We make our own legs. We have one guy in the club who welds a nut to a piece of steel channel with hole's drilled in it to mount to the modules. From there we use steel pipe leg's with threading on one end and a rubber foot on the other. The threaded end is screwed in from the bottom of the module until the pipe end is flush with the top of the nut welded to the piece of channel. From there a special cut piece of broom stick was cut to make sure the fist module is at the right floor height and a level is used on the track to make sure there are NO grades what so ever then all kinks in the joint tracks are worked out. It's hard to explain I know. Here is a link to our club site. Contact one of these guy's and they can tell you more information about it. http://www.bayou.com/~mcook/ The picture on the front page is one of our corner modules. Get detail but massively heavy.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Interesting approach. I am not sure what made your head hurt... but we all arrive at our club standards by different methods. Your groups looks well outfitted with a big trailer and permanent clubhouse (in a dining car no less... ;) :D ).

    Legs at HOTrak are pretty much the same idea, but we use T-nuts and wooden legs with leveler feet.

    I have added your link to the Modular Railroading Resources thread in this forum.

  8. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    There seems to be a difference in philosophy about what to make the legs out of and how to mount them to the module.

    The philosophy at Ottawa Valley HOTRAk http://www.hotrak.ca is that light is good and heavy is bad, especially when you have to truck your modules, your legs, and all of your equipment up and down the stairs. Another part of the philosophy is that the modules, the legs, the wiring, and the track have to be designed for quick set-up and take-down. And, of course we want a high degree of standardization so that when the modules are being assembled, we are all using the same methods.

    The height from the floor to the top of the rail is 45". The width at the interface between module sets is 24". The legs are made of 2"x 2" with a 5/8" threaded rod (I cut off a length of a carriage bolt) securely inserted into the top of the leg. The threaded rod screws into a T-nut which is fastened to gussets in each corner of the module.

    With the help of another person, it takes less than 10 minutes to bring a module setup into the hall, unbolt the carryplates, screw in the legs, set each module up on its legs, ready to be incorporated into the layout. If you have several modules which form a set, the 10 minutes includes butting the modules in the set together and fastening them together, perfectly aligned and ready to be incorporated into the layout.

    For incorporating the modules into the layout, we usually have two "track gangs" working both ends from a central point. A couple of guys lift the module into place, the "straw boss" gives instructions as to which way it goes - left, right, up down - and another guy is underneath on the ground ready to clamp the modules together with some C-clamps. The trailer plugs for the track power and the LocoNet cables are connected together.

    Another crew comes behind (although not usually at the same time) and inserts the 6" joiner tracks.

    It all goes very smoothly and quickly because everything is standardized, but the work also has to be organized.

    Bob M.
  9. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Give it a few years and I would bet that there will be an organization similiar to the NMRA that dictates standards for design of module legs.

    After reading this thread I am amazed at the variety of techniques and styles there are. They all obviously work for the user and I guess that is the best part.

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I think that the NMRA already has standards for modules. Clubs/individuals can of course choose to ignore them, or come up with their own. As long as all the modules are at the same height, things should be fine :D

  11. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Good point. I know my clubs specs work for our own operating sessions, but I also know that our modules would not combine with any other local clubs that I am familiar with because the standards are different than ours.


  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Two things to do there, if you want to "play together"...

    1) Make sure that the rails are at the same height.

    2) Build a transistion module, with your interface specs at one end, and theirs at the other.

    This of course will not allow you to intermix the modules, but you could then set up some of yours + interface + some of theirs.

    Could be fun! We (www.hotrak.ca) have a modular "rally" every January when we try to get as many modules out as we can from our club. This often includes retired or semi-retired modules, plus loaners from other clubs, past members etc. Anyway, we fudge it all together, and end up with about 14 scale miles of mainline, plus more in the branches.

    Some pics: http://www.ovar.ca/Articles/2005 rally/modular_rally.htm
    Some more pics (in pdf format): http://www.ovar.ca/Interchange/feb2005.pdf

  13. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    I think the key point here is to use what works for your club. I've seen the Lionel modellers use the folded steel legs and it works for them. I've seen the G-scalers use a modified 2"x 2" wooden leg with triangular gussets on two sides with a steel bolt to bolt the leg to the side of the module frame and it works for them. All of them seem to be having fun getting together and doing their thing.

    Which is what it's all about.

    Have fun. (I am!)
  14. JonfromElmCity

    JonfromElmCity New Member

    Module Legs

    Great thread guys!!! I have been pondering how I am going to build the legs for my module. I had a few ideas I was sorting out, but wasn't sure what would and would not work. Now I will use your experience to refine my ideas and hopefully come up with something strong, light and inexpensive. Thanks for all the ideas.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Welcome to The Gauge!

    Glad you are finding useful information here. Looking forward to hearing more about your project(s) :)


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