Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Layout Supports

Finally I got around to making the layout support trestles. This is something I have given a lot of thought to, as I wanted a support system that could be used for future layouts as well as this one. It has to be stable, easy to transport and errect, and capable of being built by me, as my carpentry skills are no more than average at best!

So I came up with a plan for two trestles, with two "beams" between them to support the layout. Made from approx 2"x1" (44x21mm) planed timber, with some 3"x1" and MDF, the legs pivot into each other using a bolt, and are held apart by a hinged beam hooked onto a screw. Simple, but it seems effective. Hopefully the photo's make clear how they work and how I made them.

I borrowed a power mitre-saw from a friend at work, which was fantastic as I had to cut some of the wood at an angle of 14 degrees. Yes, I had resorted to trigonometry! So that's why high-school maths is useful ...

Assembling the legs. I always use posidrive screws, drill a pilot hole and countersink. Powertools rule! The MDF was glued with no-more-nails too. MDF was cut outside with a power jigsaw.

As well as the layout supports, I made a bolt-on shelf for the back of the fiddle yard.

The design of the trestles is quite simple, seems pretty stable though. They are about 2' (60cm) wide, open to about 20" (50cm), and are about 43" (110cm) tall. This gives a reasonable viewing height for the track.

The legs assempled with the support beams, and the layout on top, note the shelf on the right-hand trestle. The beams are 4'4" (13ocm) long, so with some overhang they could support a layout up to 6' or 7' (about 2m) long. The layout just sits on the beams, with the fiddle-yard overhanging to the right.
The top of the trestle, with the rear beam (MDF strengthener upward) and front beam (MDF downward) bolted in place. Obviously they can be bolted anywhere to the trestle to suit different widths of layout, here the layout is only half the depth of the trestle. The MDF rib stops the layout sliding off. In theory the layout could be levelled by adding washers or packing between the beams and the top of the trestle.
The shelf is simply a piece of MDF with wooden blocks underneath it, which fit between the bracing on the legs. Useful for tools, spare locos, coffee cups ...
Click on the pictures for larger images. Don't ask me why the formatting has gone a bit wierd on this one, with lots of blank space ... anyway, on with the scenics ...
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