Think that all model railroads run thru massive canyons, forests, croplands and require love for a mode of propulsion last seen in commercial use over 50 years ago?
Afraid you don't have the woodworking skills or tools necessary to build model railroad bench work? We will show how your benchwork can be obtained almost completely premade. You don't need something like this fellow advocates. Most model railroad bench work is over built- capable of supporting more weight than the average table.
This instructable is to enable the modern, geographically mobile or apartment living train enthusiast to indulge this unique folk art form, without tying them to a huge house or immobile layout structure.
Run Trains, build modules or dioramas cheaply, it's up to you. Have Fun. The finished product is in N-Scale (1 foot in N scale = 160 feet in real life) but the techniques can be used in any scale.
Step 1: Obtain Materials - Wooden Clementine Crate
Alternatively, freecycle.org and craigslist have crates available- suggested retail price- free for pickup.
Kato Unitrack is available online and from your local hobbyshop. You will need 2 20-000 248mm straight tracks and 2 20-040 62mm tracks. To provide power to the tracks use 2 20-041 feeder tracks.
For the legs on the layout module you will need 4 1/4" 20 T-nuts and 4 1/4" 20x2" carriage bolts and some scrap 1" x 2".
For tacking down the track and legs, you will need white glue or hot glue sticks.
Later in landscaping the module you may need paper mache, foam core board, velcro tape, masking tape, craft paint and cardstock paper as well as a printer.
Step 2: Tools Needed
If you aren't using a hot glue gun- rubber bands to hold the legs in place while gluing. Masking tape, spray or craft paint. Air brush or paint sprayer if desired.
Step 3: Cut Off Crate Post Ends
Yes, I know you can drill a 5/16" hole in the end of the post- but trust me- there are staples/nails that interfere with your drill and make a safe and straight hole impossible for the woodworking challenged.
Which, since you are reading this, you are more likely in the sawdust making rather than cabinet making class. We are aiming for 4" from the tabletop support to the rail surface.
Next Step -we add the legs.
Step 4: Prepare Legs
Step 5: Place Track
Click one of long tracks together with the short tracks.
Place the first track assemblage along that first line. Glue it down-if using hot glue- wait 3-5 minutes. If using other glue wait till cured or stiff.
Use the blue Kato tool to place the second track. Line the notches in the tool up with the first track and then place the second. The track will overhang the module by a bit. Use the blue tool to make sure the roadbeds are square by placing it across the ends.
This is the "Alternate T-Trak" spacing. For Philosphical discussions on this- see below. I use the "Original" spacing on my modules.
T-Trak.org has good standard positioning, you might check with your local T-Trak club to see what they recommend, and another good resource is the 'Un-Official TTrak Guide' by Paul Musselman. BTW this instructable produces a non-standard T-Trak module.
My local club NVNTRAK.org uses the alternate spacing as their standard, but many of my modules are built to the 'original standard'.
Why would you use the alternate spacing? On curves it gives more space for the swing of long locomotives and cars.
Step 6: Glue Legs
Step 7: Paint Module
Step 8: Landscape the Module
But you can have a lighter touch, like Jesso,
Lots of help is available on Google, from Kalmbach Publishers, from Scenic Express, and from Woodland Scenics.
Try the free first.
Step 9: Connect With Others - Set Up Your Own Home Layout.
For unique art, cross cultural melding try Japan Model Railroaders or East Penn Traction Club.