Thursday, 28 May 2015

Let's make some legs


Before I get to work sanding and preparing my layout for a coat of varnish, I need to think about getting it off the ground. As the legs will be hidden by a curtain when my finished model railway is on display, there is no need for me to go overboard with making something too elaborate. So I'm going to show you a quick and easy method that will take no more than an hour of your time, and still get the job done. A quick trip back to my local Bunnings store to purchase 8 lengths of pre-cut 1.2 metre 42 x 19 mm pine, and I was soon ready to get to work.

I made the legs of my layout using 2 sections of 1.2 metre long 42 x 19 mm pine.

Turning the layout on its side, you can see the support brace I glued and screwed onto the book-end frames at each end of the layout. Using a set square to position 2 of the pre-cut 1.2 metre lengths into place, you can see how 1 piece of timber is going to take the layout's weight underneath the support brace while the other will rest alongside it and be held in place by a coach bolt inserted through the end section of the layout. The support brace you'll remember was also made with a piece of 42 x 19 mm pine, so to make sure the longer of the pieces was not supporting the layout's weight through the plywood base of my layout, I simply cut 40 mm off one of the lengths of timber. I then set these 2 pieces aside together and repeated this step for the other 3 corners.

I then lined them up in pairs to glue and screw them together.

Lining the legs up in pairs, I then pre-drilled and countersunk 3 holes through each of the longer non-visible sides of the legs. Then using a smaller drill bit, I lined the 2 pieces up and drilled part way into the shorter section of timber to act as a guide for the wood screws. Finally, I applied a liberal dose of Selleys PVA wood glue using a zigzag pattern before screwing them in place tightly with my power drill using 35 mm wood screws.

The end result was a lot quicker and more accurate then if I had cut a wedge out of a solid piece of timber.

Using a wet throw-away Chux wipe or something similar, wipe away any excess glue that oozes out of the joins and line them up to dry for the next 24 hours. For a small model railroad like this, the legs will prove strong enough once the glue has dried and they are secured with a coach bolt to the layout frame. Once I attach height adjustable feet to the bottom of each leg, the layout's rail height will be about 1.2 to 1.25 metres off the ground. All up it took me under an hour to knock these up, including the time it takes to pack away my tools, sweep up my mess and put the car back in the garage. My next project is to give these babies, and the underside of the layout frame, 2 coats of paint. But as usual, that is a story for another day.


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Thanks for taking the time to visit Philden. I hope you'll book a return ticket soon. Cheers, Phil