Suspended benchwork q's

As I start to build my layout in earnest this time, I've been looking through many of my old _model railroader_ magazines and on
the net, and found many different ways to build benchwork.
My layout will be in a basement, the space I have available is 14" x 32", but I have to share it with other uses. I am planning a simple U, following two short walls and one long wall, so there's no duckunders. The walls are poured concrete, so regular shelf construction from the walls would be difficult.
I was thinking about using some 1/4 or 3/8 threaded rod to suspend the benchwork (I'm working in N, likely using ladder construction and mostly foam panels for scenery) from the ceiling instead of putting legs under the layout. Anyone have any experience with this type of construction, tips, etc?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Coyt Watters wrote:

I would be concerned about horizontal motion. You might need some ceiling to layout sky boards or something to keep the layout from swinging on those rods.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are some screws specifically made for poured concrete. I think the name is "Tap-Con", and they're available from Lowe's, amoung others. They would work well for attaching stringers to the walls for lateral bracing of the suspended benchwork. Best of luck.. -roger-

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roger King wrote:

RK:
Tapcons hold very well, but I don't like them, simply because they are hard to remove once the inevitable rusting has occured -- and being screws, once you mung up the head you are stuck a. using pliers'n'cussing to wrangle it out or b. grinding off the head. I prefer lead or plastic anchors, or lag shields.
The OP could quite easily use Tapcons or anchors or the very amusing and loud Remington explosive nailer my brother favors to support the bench at the wall, giving lateral rigidity, then support the farther ends with his threaded rods. With benchwork as rigid as it needs to be, this will be quite solid. I have used this method to support basement storage shelves.
Cordially yours: Gerard P
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are utility shelf uprights that hook over the top of the walls, assuming the walls are bare and not finished. They allow standard shelf construction with the hook in system, instead of screwing into the walls,but are very heavy duty that will withstand hundreds of pounds of weight. You can space them any distance apart because you do not have to find 16" OC studs or worry about drilling into the concrete walls.A backboard of 1/4 inch masonite can be screwed into the slots in the uprights and will give good lateral stability. Got mine at Menard's, but this is a standard item at Lowes, Home Depot etc.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
     snipped-for-privacy@spamnot.osu.edu (Coyt Watters) writes:

Have you considered free standing modules?
Paul
--
Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania
and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why not just frame the wall with 2x4s? It's dead easy to do.
Craig

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[[ This message was both posted and mailed: see the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]
Hello Coyt,
This is exactly how I have built my S gauge layout inside of my garage, though it is configured to require duck-under because it is a closed loop. I used six, 1/2"dia. all threaded rods 3' long to suspend a storage loft area over the layout. I chose to laminate the two main support joists out of three pieces if 1x6 glued & screwed together with 3/4" gaps in the center core for the rods to go thru, which I felt was easier than trying to accurately bore holes for the rods in a solid 2x6, and stronger, since the span is about 25 feet. This gave me dimensions of 2-1/4"x5-1/2" for these beams, which is a little thicker than a standard 2x6, but the same depth. The underneath side of the loft (the rest of which is framed with 2x6 "whitewood" joist's and spreaders decked with 3/4" plywood) also serves as the lightbox for the overhead flourescent lights, and the layout is suspended from the loft via vertical 2x4 studs on 16" centers that come down from the 2x6's and support the backdrop with coved corners, terminating about 48" above the floor. This way there is easy access under the layout for cleaning, or to clear the hood of a car should the usual junk in the garage ever get that organized. The layout is anchored along two adjacent walls and is extremely solid, even with all the extra weight of the many boxes of stuff being stored on the loft. The whole thing is assembled with a combination of drywall & deck screws, plus some of the formed sheet metal joist hangers sold by Home Depot & Lowes. The only things I would do differently if I were to do it over again would be to use yellow pine for the joists instead of the cheaper whitewood, and thinner plywood (I used 3/4" only because I had several pieces on hand which saved me from having to by about 1/2 of what would have otherwise been required). I also used a 30" piece of metal conduit tubing over each of the all threaded rods, just to keep the exposed threads from scratching the finish of anything that may get stored in the loft. I don't think I'd trust 1/4" threaded rods, since once the threads are cut, the remaining solid part of the rod is considerably smaller in diameter and weaker. I don't think 3/4" rods were necessary for my application, since the rods are only carrying part of the overall load, the rest of which is bourne by the walls and the laminated joists.
Regards,
Bill Nielsen Oakland Park, FL
snipped-for-privacy@spamnot.osu.edu (Coyt Watters) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Flexgauger wrote:

F:
A 1/4" rod is stronger than you might think. A typical grade 2 1/4-20 bolt (whose thread area is the same as a threaded rod) has a proof load of 1750 lb and a breaking strength of 2350. The consequences of breaking one model railroad support aren't terribly dire, but let's be conservative and use 60% of the proof load (60-90% is the recommended maximum load range). We can still support 1000 pounds with one 1/4" threaded rod. Pulling the nut through the wooden supports is probably more a concern than breaking the rod. (use some washers to spread the load).
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, a box of track and some plans.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I use .060 music wire to hold my upper level about every ten or twelve feet. Hay guys, it's just little Choo-Choo trains.
-- Phil Anderson Up hill slow, down hill fast, tonnage first, safety last.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The problem isn't the 1:87 scale (adjust to fit yours) train, it's the 1:1 scale humans. The benchwork is done to prevent humans from doing much damage when they encounter it.
Some of the humans even have pets, and they're not easy to keep off the layout. (It takes much time and energy to teach them they're not allowed up there.)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Coyt,
I would suggest to you that you frame and finish that section of the basement. Finish the ceiling too to cut down on dust and provide adequate lighting of your road. You can then use the framing to support your road without legs or suspension rods getting in the way.
Tim.
Coyt Watters wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unfortunately, I live in one of those enlightened areas where doing that requires a 10% tax (ie building permit) on the "improvement" before I start the project, so if I do that I might as well finish the whole basement. The ceiling isn't a problem, thankfully.
I've been looking at the shelving system which just hangs from the sill boards, and that looks exactly usable for my needs - after all I'm doing N scale, and the supported shelf brackets are rated 300 pounds. I had bascially started with N-Trak type construction, but with the recent addition of a small railroader, I need to remove legs and likely move the layout up higher in the room anyhow - mainly for room for a tricycle.
Thanks for all the tips though!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good choice. I believe this idea was suggested about a 100 messages ago.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.