Bob’s been in touch. He shares how he makes sure his model train bench is level.
I think Bob got in touch after yesterday’s post.
It seems Rick’s “belt and braces” approach to his bench work struck a chord with a few of you.
And it’s not just Rick going to great lengths – Bob’s also doing a thorough job on his layout table.
“In my last post I said I was going to do things right this time around.
So I got out my Bosch Pro Laser Level and identified that my new L-girder framework to take into account the slope in the floor.
The room originally was going to be a screened in patio thus the slope. I tended up full-blown 16’ x 28’ addition to the house. There is a difference of ¾-in in 8’.
I started with building an 8’ section and a 6’ section of framework. The two sections highlighted in this picture:
The red line represents where I used the laser. I built four sets of legs, two sets for each section, and setup the laser at the high point.
I made the first set of legs so the top of the L-girder at 42” and lined up the lase with the top of that set of legs and then swung it to make that height on the 2x2s for the other legs of that framework and built that set of legs.
In the videos I watched about L-girder framework they recommend adjustable feet for the legs so you can avoid the use of shims as much as possible.
I looked up leveling feet and they are expensive to my way of thinking. One of the videos suggested tee nuts and hex bolts. I bought two 25 packs of tee nuts at $6.98 each and a box of 50 hex bolts for about $14.00. I put them on the legs:
This will allow about 1-in of adjustment once the framework is put together which should be adequate since the initial height of the leg sets has been set with the laser.
After patting myself for saving by using hex bolts and tree nuts, I looked at the legs and thought: All the weight of the frame is going to be resting on four ½-in wide hex bolts. I studied the situation and decided I need to create wider feet for the legs.
My solution was to take a piece of 1×2-in left from the cross bracing and mark off squares and then use a ½-in forstner bit to drill holes in the center of the squares. The holes were the depth of the hex nut head.
I drove the bolts into the holes with a hammer. The dark strip on the bottom is a strip of whiteboard that I glued with contact cement with the smooth side down to allow the feet to turn easy on the carpet. Next I cut each block to make individual feet.
The finished product adds about 1and 1/2-in to the height of the legs.
As I go along I will submit updates and discoveries.
A huge thanks to Bob for sharing his model train bench tips.
Some of you may think this is a lot of effort to go to – but as Bob found out, getting your bench / table level is critical.
A table that is not level, uneven or wobbly table will slowly drive you insane and sap all of the enjoyment from you.
I’m with Bob: tables that aren’t level are the work of the devil.
Please leave a comment below and share your own thoughts – I’d love to hear them on this.
Now on to Wayne – I missed these last few pics from him before he disappeared on his bike trip.
I thought I’d post them because there are some layouts where raw enthusiasm just shines through, and Wayne certainly is in this camp.
If you want to get up to speed on his HO scale, his last post is here.
“The power & water shed has a very large vert. tank, to run the the diesel engines for power & water.
Across the road is the equiptment maint. shead.
I have work bench’s, a10 ton chain hoist,outside work benchs, & a vert.gas tank, one gas pump, & one diesel pump.
Stoped at a small train store in lompoc Calif.today. I went crazy. They had all kinds of HO rolling stock from a estate sale.
Wayne, The old biker”
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming. To say it’s thin on the ground this end would be a big understatement.
And lastly, don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you wan to get going on your layout.