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Author Topic: Building a coffee table for a layout  (Read 520 times)

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Offline gavin_t

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Building a coffee table for a layout
« on: August 14, 2019, 08:53:36 PM »
Hi all

Apologies if this is not the right section but I wasn't 100% sure where to post this.
Looking a building a coffee table to house a 2 x 4 base board. Was origionally planning a frame with a glass top to allow the layout to be on show. However the women that I share a house with has decided this is not appropriate  ;D
New plan is to have the baseboard sunk into the frame with a solid wooden  table top that can be removed when using the layout working on it.

Has anyone built something simular?

How much clearance should I leave between the baseboard and the lid to allow some scenery? Quite like the idea of one of the curves been in a tunnel/hillside.

Best wood to use? Needs to look nice....

Was going to try and find a ready made one to modify/ butcher but haven't really found anything suitable so far. 

Was thinking something along the lines of this with the top removable and the baseboard sunk below it.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 09:10:10 PM by gavin_t »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 09:23:35 PM »
Not really my area of expertise but some issues discussed here............

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=24568.msg261399#msg261399

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 10:18:06 PM »
@gavin_t  Hi Gavin, my first layout was a coffee table. I made it all from softwood and the sides are 4" high x 1" thick.*  The legs are 2" x 2".* I used Peco track before I became a Kato convert  ;). The top of mine, will be when I get round to it, safety glass, at the moment it is a sheet of Perspex. The tunnel on the left lifts out if required. The points are all wire in tube operated, the wire fastened to the switches that can just be seen at the bottom of the first picture - there is now a wooden 'flap thingy' over the switches. The pictures were taken before the installation of the level crossing and one or two other finishing touches.




*(or whatever the new fangled measurements are!).





David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline gavin_t

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 10:25:51 PM »
@gavin_t  Hi Gavin, my first layout was a coffee table. I made it all from softwood and the sides are 4" high x 1" thick.*  The legs are 2" x 2".* I used Peco track before I became a Kato convert  ;). The top of mine, will be when I get round to it, safety glass, at the moment it is a sheet of Perspex. The tunnel on the left lifts out if required. The points are all wire in tube operated, the wire fastened to the switches that can just be seen at the bottom of the first picture - there is now a wooden 'flap thingy' over the switches. The pictures were taken before the installation of the level crossing and one or two other finishing touches.




*(or whatever the new fangled measurements are!).

That's great as that is very simular to what I had planned. But with a wooden lift off top and not perspex/glass to keep the peace haha.
Have you got any more pictures or details?

Thanks for the info!

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 10:27:57 PM »
@gavin_t I will post some more details and pictures either shortly or tomorrow morning.

Addit: I am presuming that you are okay with carpentry skills?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 10:29:11 PM by dannyboy, Reason: added a bit »
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline gavin_t

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 10:34:02 PM »
@gavin_t I will post some more details and pictures either shortly or tomorrow morning.

Addit: I am presuming that you are okay with carpentry skills?

That would be great thank you.  Didn't know if you had a "project" topic on here showing your layout/progress. 

I can get by with my carpentry knowledge. But my dad is a semi retired carpenter so have a good backup if I come up short on skills or tools  :D

Also just to check what size baseboard is your one pictured?

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 10:45:50 PM »
@gavin_t  Here are some more pictures.






The last picture, shows one of the WIT routes before the 'scenickery' was finished.

I will have to go through the gallery to see if there are any pictures of the actual construction. The baseboard is 4' x 2' and the 4" x 1" is added to the top of that, so the actual layout inside the sides is 3' 10" x 1' 10", (allowing for the thickness of the timber).  I have a 'skirt' underneath the edge of the table which cunningly disguises a pull out shelf on which the controller sits when it is in use.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline AlexanderJesse

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 11:38:42 PM »
There are coffee tables with drawers like the big yellow-blue one's (https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/liatorp-coffee-table-white-glass-50087072/ )... Ok is square... Inside the drawer some 34"x34"  and maybe less high... But adapting the layout to the available space can be fun too

Just as an alternative to diy
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Offline gavin_t

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 10:39:44 PM »
@gavin_t  Here are some more pictures.






The last picture, shows one of the WIT routes before the 'scenickery' was finished.

I will have to go through the gallery to see if there are any pictures of the actual construction. The baseboard is 4' x 2' and the 4" x 1" is added to the top of that, so the actual layout inside the sides is 3' 10" x 1' 10", (allowing for the thickness of the timber).  I have a 'skirt' underneath the edge of the table which cunningly disguises a pull out shelf on which the controller sits when it is in use.

Thanks for your input, massive help   :)

What radius curves are used in the layout above? Or is it flexi track?
As I am starting from scratch I was going to purchase a train set. So will have an oval of 1st radius and was going to add a second loop around that with a few sidings etc.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 10:54:36 PM »
@gavin_t  From memory Gavin, it is 1st and 2nd radius track, with a bit of flexi-track thrown in for good measure.  :)

Addit: I would start off with a set, that way you get all you need to get started. I started with the GF 'Country Coal' set - and that was the beginning of my downfall!  ;D
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 10:57:08 PM by dannyboy, Reason: added a bit »
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline gavin_t

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 01:40:43 PM »
@gavin_t  From memory Gavin, it is 1st and 2nd radius track, with a bit of flexi-track thrown in for good measure.  :)

Addit: I would start off with a set, that way you get all you need to get started. I started with the GF 'Country Coal' set - and that was the beginning of my downfall!  ;D

Nice. I did wondered if 1st radius would look too tight but it looks spot on in yours  assume the flexi is for the loop that separates away at one side?
Was thinking a set would be best as it gets me a controller and everything I need to get up and running. 
The highlander one looks ideal as it's dcc ready and by adding some more set track I can easily get the double loop etc I am after.

Thanks again for the input  :thankyousign:

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 02:41:05 PM »
@gavin_t
The 'Highlander' looks to be a nice set, but it is DCC fitted, not DCC Ready. The controller that comes with the set does the job, but if you are going down the DCC route, you will probably want to upgrade the controller in the future. And yes, the flexi-track was used in part on the big loop, but I can not remember exactly how and where.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline gavin_t

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 08:33:41 PM »
@gavin_t
The 'Highlander' looks to be a nice set, but it is DCC fitted, not DCC Ready. The controller that comes with the set does the job, but if you are going down the DCC route, you will probably want to upgrade the controller in the future. And yes, the flexi-track was used in part on the big loop, but I can not remember exactly how and where.

Should get me up and running though. Plus I am planning to not run before i can walk haha.
What is the difference between fitted and ready?
I was under the impression I would just need to by a chip/decoder to put in the locomotive and I was good to go.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 08:39:35 PM »
The Highlander has a chip fitted. DCC Ready means the loco' has a socket and is able to accept a chip. (If I have got that wrong, someone will be quick to tell me I'm wrong  ;)).
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline Vigo

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Re: Building a coffee table for a layout
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2019, 02:34:58 AM »
Here's a real blast from the past. I built this in ermm... 1978/79 I think. Given my tender years at the time, I thought it was the dog's proverbials and with it being designed as a coffee table with trains on it, mum & dad would love it but I was wrong. Dad loved it but mum didn't. As a potential piece of furniture with a bulky 1970's mains lead draped across the carpet, obviously mum won the argument (as mums tend to do) and it was consigned to Grandad's shed for many years.

After a few years grandad passed away and the table went to live in dad's garage in Spain, where I was reunited with it after dad's passing 18 months ago, in exactly the same condition as it was when it was sent to Lincolnshire all those years ago give or take the odd Spanish interloper.


It was very (and I mean very) basic. Simple rotary analog control, a single loop with one working point (manual), one loco and two 4 wheel coaches (since lost to the mists of time) but as I said above, given my tender age at the time upon revisiting I was more than impressed with the attention to detail.
Obviously this was built before I discovered things with wheels and/or t*ts :drool: (both of which proved very expensive in later life - exactly as my dad had predicted)





This was my first real venture into N gauge and I was bitten. I'm sad to say that the table/layout has been dismantled and disposed of now and all I have left is a not very useful sheet of laminated glass (which I will find a use for one day... Magpie), currently in the garage in Spain, two non descript white metal Land Rovers, a Morris van (that can just be seen if you study the pictures very closely) and the two white buildings in the bottom half of the last picture.

Not wanting to waste things, being a Scot brought up in Yorkshire, recycle and re-use. The buildings are now serving as the farm house and the Pheasant Inn on my Inverduff layout and the antique white metal blobs are pottering about NE Scotland somewhere too. and if anyone follows the Inverduff thread, the broken swing from the bottom left of the last picture has just recently been retired from Inverduff seafront in favour of a derelict fishing boat (also a relic from a previous layout).

40 years on and still going strong... ish.


Contd. on next page...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 02:55:49 AM by Vigo »
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