I wrote a post the other day about some pieces of model railway benchwork that I had put together as an effort to explore a concept I’d read about. I did that mostly to satisfy a curiousity about the technique and use up some scrap from the workshop. I enjoyed every minute of it and sharing that experience here on Prince Street. That post attracted a couple of comments and a few emails from friends about the subject. I wanted to thank everyone who chimed in on the subject. It’s so terrific to be a part of these social circles and I appreciate every word you’ve shared with me on the subject and those suggestions you’ve made.
As I draw one baby step closer to actually building my own layout (finally, we all collectively sigh!) I’m starting to enjoy researching the subject and methods used to construct model railroad benchwork. I’m quite suprised by the lack of online resources sharing what people have tried on their own layouts or what they’re suggesting the rest of us try. I was sort of hoping to discover a stack of websites or blog post akin to the terrific selection of resources for weathering, making trees or handlaying track written by people passionate about the fine woodworking end of our hobby but haven’t found them yet.
What do you think?
What have I missed?
Have the methods we use to support our model empires become so germaine to the hobby that we don’t feel that there is much need to expend the effort to share them? I’ve had the good fortune to try many different methods using some common and some not so common methods and should probably hear my own question and post about those here online too. My particular interest, right now, are those methods that I’d use for the long thin frame that will support the new layout. For the most part the layout will not exceed a depth of 18″ at any one point and I’d actually like it to be narrower. It will be long compared to the micro layouts I’ve been building (five, maybe six feet in length). I’ve been sharing images of some very curvilinear spaces and will need to share how I approach framing these. The one detail that will be different in my case compared to similar shelf layouts is that mine must remain free-standing as anchoring to our living room options simply isn’t an option even worth considering. Given it’s shallow depth, I’ll need to brace the legs or design them in a way that makes the layout more stable. Traditional layout legs that project straight down from the layout will be too close together and it will be too easy to topple the layout.
I will post some notes on what I’ve been working on so far for my own project.
Reaching further back though and thinking of the broader question of model railway benchwork design and construction: what did you use and what did you think about it? Materials, methods, satisfactions and regrets.