So I’ve finally told myself it was time to start my indoor layout in the newer section of the basement of our 109 year old remodeled farm house. The newer section has a ceiling height of just a bit over 6 ft 2 inches which is just enough for my 6 ft 2 inch frame. I decided on module type bench work of 3 ft x 8 ft sections, made to be taken down easily because the wife is looking at houses AGAIN. When the home was renovated back in 2010 there was no consideration for using the basement for much other than storage, (isn’t it just the way the model RR guy get the less than ideal basement). There are several obstacles in the way, I have to move the water heater including the water and gas lines and make some minor modifications and exceptions for the large HVAC ducting but it looks like it will work. I collected a bunch of 2 x 4s off projects which made the wall supports, front legs and ripped down pieces for the inner frame stringers. I used surplus 3 1/2" butt hinges to secure the legs to the front of the modules and the rear of the modules just slide into wooden brackets so to remove the modules just pull the hinge pins and lift up. there are no screws or nails holding the back supports to the masonry walls as I did not want to drill holes below grade, those supports are held in place by 2 screws into the floor joists at top and the bottoms held in place by 2 x 4 stringers which will also provide storage under the layout. The modules will not be screwed together rather held in place by notches in the rear supports and the butt hinges. The module outside frames are 2 x 3 with ripped 2 x 4 inner stringers, the sub roadbed will be 3/4" plywood with homosoate as roadbed for the ballast. The roadbed will only be under where the track will be, the scenery and buildings will be constructed on 2" thick foam insulation board on lift out sub assemblies, I used this method on my Christmas layout and it works great. Track will be code 250 Sunset Valley rail with Accucraft NG tie strips, I wanted to hand lay the track with wood ties and hand spiked rail but I’m 68 now and time is ticking, I’m estimating it should be about 250 ft of track. The section of basement I’m using is 11 ft 8 inches x 32 ft 7 inches. I haven’t finalized the track plan as yet but it will be using a minimum of 10 dia. curves and #6 Accucraft turnouts. I have to accommodate a large HVAC duct running almost the entire length of the left side of the 32 ft wall so the benchwork on that side will be place to the right of the duct with a backdrop extending down to hide the duct but there will be a hidden run of track on a 12" wide shelf running on the other side of the duct against the outside of the 32 ft wall. Basically a single track main line design with passings sidings and switching where ever possible. As of today I’ve finished an “L” section of bench work and installed ceiling lighting.
This is going to be quite a project. I like the look of the benchwork.