Train Table Construction – Part 1: Design (Drop Frame)

While working through material costs and considerations, two points kept crossing my mind. One was the point that Earl Hamil raised to me about the height of the tables the other day. I realized that he was right: a 4 foot height actually made the most sense. So I adjusted all of the table legs to be 47.5 inches long. This allows for the leg levelers to fit in and adjust to get the tables level, yet avoid needing to have anything more than, approximately 1/2 inch of each leveler extending from the foot.

The reason for this was really driving by the second thought: I have originally planned for my track to be 4 inches off of the table top. This would allow for the desired river / waterfall area I plan to incorporate at the edge of the layout. The problem is, that’s a lot of foam to have to cut and stack… and realistically, I’d rather have to only use 1 inch or (maybe) 2 inch risers for the majority of my track work. The solution? I modified the connection between the two sides of the layout to incorporate what I am calling the drop frame: a 1 foot by 1 foot area that will allow me to only need to do extensive foam work in a small area, as opposed to large chunks of foam just to get the base of the layout set up. So I still get the height I desired, but don’t have to muck around with making excessively tall foam risers for most of my track work.

Here is the drop frame table.

And here is the entire table set with the drop frame piece in place.

It means a bit more work on the table setup, and a bit more material, but ultimately it gives me a better way to work on this. I will probably take some cut-off material to seal the spaces, but that’s something I can worry about later on, and I don’t need to go overboard with drawing those out in SketchUp.