October 20, 2012

The Show Begins....

After one day's work - twenty feet of ACWRRRS benchwork with folding legs.
Morning run to Lowes and Home Depot
B-Day has arrived!   Brian Brendel and Gerry Fitzgerald showed up with bags of power tools while I brought home a truck load of lumber and hardware to begin building the ACWRR Road Show (ACWRRRS). In about 8 hours we had completed the benchwork and legs for the first 5 sections.

We referred to the scale model mock-up several times and actually modified the design by examining and discussing the model mock-up. It proved very useful.

We used 1x4 clear pine frame members with 1x2 stiffeners and 2x2 legs with gate hinges.  The top surface of each section is a flat surface made with 1/4 inch plywood (actually premium underlay panels ). All the legs fold into the 4-foot sections. Each section weighs about 5 pounds and are quite sturdy. We used Kreg Pocket Jigs to attach the butt joined pieces creating a neat finished  appearance. The legs will get leveling Tee Nuts on their bottoms.

We are still testing  the sky board and valance geometry.  We had 12 inch sky board sections ready to go, but now we think we need a taller sky board. Fortunately, all the sky board sections were cut from a single piece of 1/8th inch tempered hardboard and cost only $8.50, so that won't hurt too much if we can't use them.  In fact,  the whole project has cost about $230 US so far.

A few more hours of finishing details and the benchwork will be done. The best part is that since we are using battery power, there is practically no wiring necessary. The power supply for the LED lights will also supply power to the trickle charge on the rails. Given that we hate wiring, that is great news.

Brian and Bernie work on the first section deciding the final construction details

Finishing up the first set of folding legs.

The first two sections set up to test height and stabilty. Most sections only have one set of legs, except the
big end section, which has two.

Gerry attaching the second set of legs to the biggest (widest) section

Bernie and Gerry posing by four of the 5 sections.  It is too long to set up all 5 sections in the garage.


  1. Looks nice! i hope your choice of pine doesn't give you problems with swelling and warping. (I think I'd have looked at cabinet plywood for that reason, but that would have driven the price up.)

  2. Really nice Bernie. Since the Benchwork is the hardest part then the scenery and track laying should be a piece of cake. HAHAHAHA.
    I see that your garage is like all of mine have been. Storage and workshop, NO room for the car.


  3. Dave - I have used this construction technique for N scale modules . The short lengths of the modules tend to make swelling/shrinking not a big problem. The frame lumber is premium clear pine that was kiln dried. It is good stuff. It was on sale too.

    Scooter- The Porsche usually resides in the garage along with some of my tools. So I need to get the bench work done and moved to the basement ASAP so the car can reclaim its rightful space. The Road Show will reside on a shelf above the car when it is not in service.