Benchwork Question

I'm going to start building an N scale layout with 2x2's and 2" foam insulation.
1. What's the best meathod to build 'leg-less' benchwork?
2. To use a DCC system, are there any things I should do besides bus wires every 18"s to make things run smoothly?
__________________________________________________________________ This email scanned by Norton AntiVirus Drew Bunn Ainsley Specialized Transport Toronto, Ontario Canada bunn snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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Just my $0.02 worth. Hope it helps
Gordon Reeder
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snipped-for-privacy@all.to.myself.com says...

Wall brackets are available at least up to 16" at HD or Loews. That should support a 24" shelf.

I use lag bolts.
If you have the capability of ripping plywood, a piece of good (not the normal construction stuff) 3/4" plywood 3" wide is a lot stiffer than a 1x4. And you can get a lot of them out of a 4x8 sheet :-).
HD occasionally has something that looks like birch or poplar for a reasonable price. I've seen it called "paint grade", "ready panel" or whatever else the manager feels like :-).
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Drew Bunn wrote:

First off, I'd check my friendly local hobby shop for a "How to do Benchwork" book. That said, was it me, I'd be reluctant to use 2*2 lumber. You get better stiffness for less weight (less wood) from wood beams if they are deep in the direction of load. For instance a 1 * 4 is much stronger than a 2 * 2 for the same amount of wood, in the "deep" direction. We pretty well know the direction of load on benchwork (down due to gravity). The foamboard is reasonably stiff, but it is soft enough that I would want to set it into a wood frame that protects the edges of the material from damage by curious fingers and pressure of operator's belt buckles as they reach in to rerail a car toward the back. I'd think about building such a frame out of 1" (nominal 1 inch 3/4" actual) lumber set on edge. In fact 1*4 would be perfect.
I'd want to debate the legless design. True, legless makes it easier to sweep under the layout and frees up space to put stuff underneath. The down side is it makes the layout un movable, it puts ugly marks in the wall (you may not care), and is difficult to make strong enough to allow you to stand on the layout should you need to repair pipes/wires/heat ducts/etc above the layout.
From the legless design it sounds like you are planning an around the walls layout. Are you thinking about any peninsulas out from the wall to extend the length of your main line? All the John Armstrong layouts use such peninsula's to good effect in getting the most layout out of a given space. Such a peninsula pretty much demands legs since it is too far from the wall to cantilever.
In terms of pre made wall brackets, I have seen 12" angle brackets in hardware stores made to hold up 12" wide bookshelves. Books are MUCH heavier than model railroads, so they ought to be strong enough, especially if you put one on every wall stud (every 16"). But they only get you 12" out from the wall. I'd be hesitant to support a 24" wide layout on 12" brackets. I could see making up my own 24" deep brackets from wood (use three pieces to form a 45 degree equilateral triangle)
David J. Starr
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"Drew Bunn" ...

3/4 inch black pipe and flanges.
Mount the flanges so that two lag bolts go into studs. Install a 3/4 inch pipe about 18 inches long.
Build a box frame out of 1x4 (sides) and 2x2 (top,middle,bottom) so that you have just enough room to let the pipe slide in the top section. You will have to test this part but I think you should be able to go out 24 inches without any problems. Maybe even farther....
Place box on pipe and then drill a hole top to bottom about six inches away from the wall and install a bolt. This will keep the box frame from moving away from the wall.
I have made a pull bar in the bathroom coming out of the wall six inches with a pipe running about four feet and six feet with a flange on the ends and in the middle. I can place my weight (200+) on it without the bar moving.
Donald
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