I had a little free time on new years eve so I decided to build my grandson a Table Top Layout Box for (his First) Z scale train set that he's getting for his Christmas/Birthday Present next week. Yes his christmas presents are a bit Late, He went to Visit his other Grandparents for the Holidays this year.
Anyway Using some scrapes of wood i had on hand. I started with routing a 1/4" grove 1/4" deep in some 1"x2"x1/2" boards, cut them to length and 1/2 lapped the ends on the long sides. Only having some 5 mm underlayment plywood on hand i decided to add 4 1"x2"x 1/4 reinforcing strips on the bottom so i rabited a grove for them, and cut the plywood to fit in the groves After Test fitting everything I glued it all together Clamped it and set it aside
While that was drying i cut some 1" X 3" X 1/2" boards and a 2nd piece of 5mm plywood to match I routed a grove on the top of the boards and again 1/2 lapped the ends of the longer sides. Once again after testfitting i dug out some more clamps and glued it all together. The end result is a nice sturdy 24" X 34" X 4" box (outer dimensions) The Bottom is 23" x 33" x 1" deep inside and the lid is 2-1/4" deep inside. When closed it gives about 3-1/4" clearance.
Last Edit: Jan 1, 2018 18:31:40 GMT -5 by tjdreams
I've ordered some butterfly latches to keep it secured when closed and some 2 piece detachable hinges so the lid can swing open then be detached and set aside to allow access from all sides.
Now i have to decide on Paint or Stain and the color. any advice? Then comes the fun part the track plan. anyone got any suggestions? has to be quick and simple as i only have a few more days to complete this.
I have 2R & 2L manual Marklin turnouts & 4 460* radius sections and enough Marklin 145mm,195mm (x2),& 220mm radius track to make 1-1/4 circle each and a some marklin straight & Flex track. I want a track plan for one train with 2 passing sidings as he will be getting the marklin 81846 xmas starter set and maybe a 2nd loco w/ a couple cars + a Rokuhan RC02 to power it all (Battery operated).
He's also getting a bunch of the card stock bldgs kits to build himself to make a small town
Post by jhrailroading on Jan 2, 2018 1:21:12 GMT -5
That's a nice Christmas present! It's really hard to think up a specific track plan without having the track pieces in hand. As far as the finish of the box though, I would probably paint it plain white. It's bright, enthusiastic, will show off the colors of the layout, and will work with the (I assume) silver hardware that you are putting on it. Just my thoughts.
What a great gift! On box color, you could consider stone paint. I use this on the bottoms of portable projects, gives a nice looking and durable finish plus it hides nicks and scratches really well. A cheap can of gray primer, then the gray stone paint on top works nicely.
For the track plan I've decided to just take all i have with me and let my grandson decide on it himself.
The butterfly clamps and 2 piece hinges were delivered today in "Black". I thought i ordered Silver but I guess i didn't read the add for them close enough. I had a choice of Silver, Black, or Brass and i clearly checked the box next to Black. Oh well its my mistake and i don't have time to order another set so Black they are going to be.
Stone Paint That sounds like a good idea. I'm going to go get a can or 2 and give it a try on some scrap to see how it looks. Thinking light blue paint for inside the lid
I still need to figure out some kind of handles for it so he can pick it up and move it around. I also need some kind of feet for the bottom that are soft enough that they won't scratch up my Daughter's coffee table, yet hard enough that it will slide under his bed on the carpet when not in use.
Update i painted a couple test pieces today, one with the Gray Stone Paint i picked up, And the other with some Red Mahogany Stain that i had on hand. I'm kind of liking the stain better but i'm going to wait to see how the colors look tomorrow after they both dry before making a final decision.
Then today when I started to dust/clean it off the lid and get it ready to paint / or stain I noticed their was a couple spots where the joints were not aligned just right. Apparently i didn't use enough clamps or i took them off too soon. Anyway the glue is set good and solid now so I'll sand the joint down a little so everything is nice and smooth. I also decided to add some brads every couple inches all the way around each joint to insure it all stays together. Being so close to the edge and driving them into the edge of plywood that's just 5mm wide i went ahead and drilled pilot/starter holes so i don't split the wood.
I'm also concerned that the 1/2" thick Pine boards are not going to be thick/strong enough to keep the 3/8"wood screws holding the hinges and clamps from pulling free. So I'm going to have to reinforce the area or maybe drill clean through and use a Bolt with a nut and washer on the inside. I know having the nut and washer on the inside may take away from the appearance but i think holes from the hinges and or clamps ripping out would look even worse. In hindsight i should have used 3/4" lumber from the start but 1/2" was all i had on hand when i decided to build this.
The brads are just setting in the holes in the pic's i'll sand the joint smoth and using a micro applicator put a couple drops of glue in each pilot hole before driving the brads home.
I really love to see the thought and care going in to this project... I'm a big fan of these portable and unique pieces. Nice idea too on the scrap pieces / testing different finishes. Really looking forward to seeing more photos.
Well after checking out the paint samples i like them both But i think the Black Hardware is going to look better with the Stain. Had i checked the right box and gotten the Nickle/silver hardware i would have chosen the Gray stone paint. I still might. Anyway I went ahead and staind the box this morning figuring that if i don't like it i can always paint over the Stain but i can't stain over the paint.
Anyway here are a couple pic's. What do you think?