Piedmont Division Blog

Dream big, start small and plan for the future




Phase I - Lower Deck

  Construction and Building Progress The primary benchwork construction style I selected was the result of two articles published in Model Railroader Magazine. The first article that I encountered and which influenced my decision was Support your benchwork on brackets by Lionel Strang published in his monthly "Working on the Railroad" column, October 2001. This idea really took hold with me especially since I had began a layout project back in the early 1990's and ended up having to take it down before much track was laid due to a move. The layout benchwork at the time was L-girder 1X3 with a 1X2 flange and supported on 2X2 legs. With so many legs and cross members it did not lend to easy access under the benchwork deck level. And I also wanted a design that would allow for storage under the layout. The original article by Lionel Strang can still be viewed on the Model Railroader web site: Support your benchwork on brackets.   Then I read the article that was a part of the "Great Layout Project" series in the August 2003 issue of Model Railroader entitled Build a layout WITHOUT LEGS by Roger Kujawa. His web site can still be found at AGW Railway. He uses heavy-duty shelf brackets that provide strength and flexibility. BINGO! This was it, a light bulb went off in my head and the wheels began rolling. The short article on pages 80 to 81 in the August 2003 issue of Model Railroader got the ball rolling, I finally pinned down my benchwork building scheme.   So there it is! Shelf bracket benchworksupports for an around the wall system with only a few legs for areas away from the wall and one section passing under a window. See the photos on the Gallery Intro page to see the progress.   Other reference material on benchworkthat I have found invaluable is: How to build Model Railroad Benchwork by Linn H. Westcott, published by Kalmbach Books. I have both the first edition published in 1979, and the second edition published in 1996.   To view the work log click the link below. How many hours do you think I have spent on the layout so far? Work Log


It starts....

  Purchasing   Lowe's trip obtained the following items:    1X3X8, risers and L-grider material - 1X3X6, risers and L-grider material - 1X2X8, flange for L-girder material - 2X2X8, legs - 2X4X8, additional support for 2nd level - 1 5/8 Exterior dry wall screws - 40" Stanchions for wall mounting - 20" Brackets for wall mounting - Need (obtained) the following items: (6 sheets) 4X8 3/4 Plywood (4 rolls) Cork sheets, 1/8" (200 pieces) Atlas code 83 flex track ordered and picked up (58 various turnouts) ordered Atlas and Walthers ordered and picked up 6 sheets of 4X8 1/8" hardboard for backdrop (3 picked up) 1/2" wire nails for attaching cork roadbed to sub-roadbed (2 boxes picked up) Plaster of Paris, Portland Cement, Patching Plaster, masking tape, spray bottles Dry tempra powder paint, isopropyl alcohol, India ink  

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