Building my shelf layout

kfglover's picture
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I am starting construction on my 8'x2' shelf Kansas Pacific layout. No, sorry, it is not set in the 1860's to 1880's. My time frame is kind of broad - 1965 to 1980.

During that time when I went to college, lived and worked in Kansas.  I rode the train to and from school my freshman and sophomore years, Lived in KC, Kan. and worked in a corn mill in North KC, MO. Went back to grad school and eventually worked in McPherson, KS for 4 years. McPherson was served by 4 (count 'em, 4!) Class 1 railroads. The Rock Island main line, and branches of the ATSF, UP, and MoPac. Was crazy. I wish I had more pictures and notes from my time there.

My current project is a small town on the plains.  I took a section of a plan from Ian Rice's "Shelf Layouts" book and made a few changes. Mostly, I needed to create a runaround and I have added some interchange/staging tracks to give me a little more reason to exist.

I have been out of model railroading for a few years and decided this would be a good way to get back into it. I am also short of space at the moment. I hope this project could be incorporated into a larger layout in the future.

I would also like some (maybe a lot ;) advice on the cutting of hardboard (Masonite (sp?)) for a backdrop and fascia.  What tool should I use? I have a saber saw, a table saw, a circular saw, hand saws... A 4x8 sheet of hard board is kind of awkward. I'll accept any and all suggestions.

I have some pictures of my shelf construction I'll post as soon as I get them off the camera, sized to post and figure out how to post them here...

Ken Glover

Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)




Comments

Cutting Masonite

Ken:

Sounds like a fun project!  I also model the era during and immediately after my college years.  I have had pretty good luck cutting Masonite with a circular saw for long straight cuts (like you might use for sections of backdrop).  A table saw would do this well also, if you have someone to give you a hand (moving 4 x 8 sheets by yourself can be a bit of a handful; using the circular saw, you can clamp the Masonite down and just move the saw, which is easier for me!)  For cutting fascia, I would consider the saber saw, since you might want to make contour cuts to match the elevation of your scenery.  For Masonite I have pretty good luck using a fine-tooth blade and a high saw speed to get a clean edge.  Just my suggestions; however you decide to do it, good luck, and show us pictures when you can!

Roger

 

Rog.38

 
kfglover's picture

Shelf / Benchwork Pictures ... I hope ;)

Here are the brackets from below. This is a modification to the wood brackets described by Ian Rice in the "Shelf Layouts book.

 

A view of the L-girders on top.

 

The completed basic shelf.

 

Roger,

Thanks for the tips. I am leaning toward the circular saw for the reasons you noted.  I has been fun so far! I hope others will give me some feedback on my "shelf". I am hoping the Foam board will hold up for construction. I wanted the shelf to be light and as thin as I thought I could manage.

Ken Glover, Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)

Ken Glover, CEO (Chief Everything Officer), Kansas Pacific Railway

HO 2x8' shelf, Digitrax Chief II, Soundtraxx PTB-100, JMRI (LocoBuffer-USB)

arthurhouston's picture

Masonite for Back Drops

Attached Picture is Masonite cut and painted for backdrop exactly as you will need for you application.  This is the RIP tracks and Program tracks on the Grande Pacific Model RR.  Tracks run through wall behind monitor and connect with main line this become the ATSF interchange during op secessions. www.grandepacificmodelrr.org

kfglover's picture

Thanks Art!

I think that looks good and makes me feel better about my choices.  I am impressed you did a painted backdrop for your maintenance tracks. I like it. It keeps even these tracks a part of the model world.

Ken Glover 

Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)

Ken Glover, CEO (Chief Everything Officer), Kansas Pacific Railway

HO 2x8' shelf, Digitrax Chief II, Soundtraxx PTB-100, JMRI (LocoBuffer-USB)

Keep the photos coming.

Please keep the photos coming.  I'm going to try a shelf layout using foam and your work looks thorough and good.

Sam Urrate

kfglover's picture

Thanks Sam!

For the complement and the encouragement.  I would be working on the back drop right now but it rained and I have no place indoors to cut the 4 x 8 sheet of hardboard.  Probably tomorrow.  I have hardboard enough for my backdrop and the fascia.  There will be a cutout in the bottom of the fascia so I can sit at my desk and not hit my head on it.

Ken Glover

Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)

Ken Glover, CEO (Chief Everything Officer), Kansas Pacific Railway

HO 2x8' shelf, Digitrax Chief II, Soundtraxx PTB-100, JMRI (LocoBuffer-USB)

HI Ken Thank you for the

HI Ken

Thank you for the pictures.  When I get to build my shelf layout, I will need to do things very similar to what you are doing.  I will be taking over out son's bedroom, but I will need to leave the furniture in place for when he comes home to visit.  So I will also be building over and around (and maybe through existing furniture). 

Last weekend, I was at our local Lowes and I was appalled at the condition of the lumber.  Everything I looked at was warped and crooked - even the 3/4" plywood.  So I walked over to the shelving section and saw the same uprights and brackets that you are using.  I think they will work just fine.  But, since my layout will have to be over the chest of drawers (48" high),  to save vertical space, I think I will try using the wire rack shelving that goes with the brackets instead of the L-girders.  I think (hope) it and 2" of foam will provide enough support as I intend to keep everything simple and lightweight.  It will be my first layout so is supposed to be a learning experience - right???

I found some 2x8 track plans at: home.online.no/~steinjr/trains/modelling that I am thinking I might adapt.

I'm looking forward to following your progress.  Hopefully I won't be too far behind you.

PS - Also a Dilbert fan.  My kids gave me the same little statue.

 

Jim Dixon

kfglover's picture

Glad you found the pics useful

Jim,

Glad it was helpful. I did get my shelf rails and brackets at Lowes... I didn't really consider using the wire rack shelves. I will be interested in how that works for you. I guess we will have a direct comparison of the two for others to learn from. My desk is 45 inches tall and the top of the foam is at 53 7/8 inches. Would not want it any higher. I think it will be good for operating but construction would be easier if it were a little lower.

I do know what you mean about the condition of the lumber at Lowes. I had to pick through it to find something acceptable. I had to find one good 1x3x8', 4 decent 1x2x8's, and one OK 1x2x8'. I used the construction of the L-girders correct some minor warping by trying to match pieces that would compensate for the warping. They were screwed and glued. It seemed to work out well.

As for Dilbert, I look like him... I used to have curly blond hair (now white/grey), wear glasses and have worked in IT. I have been known to put on a white shirt, find a pocket protector, use pipe cleaners to curl up a red and black stripped tie, and not comb my hair as a costume. 

Thanks again for the comments!

Ken

Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)

Ken Glover, CEO (Chief Everything Officer), Kansas Pacific Railway

HO 2x8' shelf, Digitrax Chief II, Soundtraxx PTB-100, JMRI (LocoBuffer-USB)

Matt Forcum's picture

So am I!

Sounds great! I am working on an 8x2 (with a three foot extension on one side) switching layout myself.  I love the small railroads. They are reasonable considering space/money/time investment.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing more.

kfglover's picture

Hummmm....

Mark,

You sound like someone I can ask for advice as I go along... wink  I hope I can make a cassette type extension on one end or the other to act as staging.  I don't have the ROW for that currently.

Ken Glover

Chief Engineer, Kansas Pacific Railway (once know as the Eastern Division of the UP)

Ken Glover, CEO (Chief Everything Officer), Kansas Pacific Railway

HO 2x8' shelf, Digitrax Chief II, Soundtraxx PTB-100, JMRI (LocoBuffer-USB)


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