Best solution for folding legs?

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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Best solution for folding legs?

Postby EddScott » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:31 pm

I've built two small ish tables 1500mm by 600mm using 9mm Ply and 34x34mm PSE softwood.

There isn't that much flex and I'll be putting in braces once I know where the points are going to be placed.

The tables, at the moment bolt together with 3x 10mm bolts.

Although the current track design incorporates a fiddle yard, there aren't really many shows near where I live (West Wales) so I may not ever take it on the road - assuming I ever thought it would be worthy of showing.

However, I have made the tables in two in order to allow them to be taken apart when not in use. It would be useful to be able to fold the legs away and maybe stack them on top of each other to help storage.

The stacking I should be OK with and I'm considering making the layout furniture plant-able where possible.

What I'm not sure about is how to make the folding legs. Simple brackets with straight pieces of wood doesn't sound very strong.

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Re: Best solution for folding legs?

Postby Mountain » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:13 pm

I can only show what I have done on my layout so far. I have built it with portability in mind. I was actually working on it this evening.
Before I add a few photos I should explain two things. One is that I use the old "Split hinge" method to join the boards together (Take a hinge and drive out the hingepin, replacing with a nail or something suitable. When the nail is removed the hinge comes apart making a cheap and convenient way to join boards together).
I did (And at the moment it is still like this) bring the track to the edge of the boards on home made sleepers cut from a PCB board. However, during this heatwave the rail height of one track has altered slightly. I'm glad its happened now before I add the scenic touch. I plan to use the other method of cutting short the track and with rail joiners, making little bridge pieces of track to span the gap. These will be removed each time the layout is taken down. This will stop any issues of height of the rails being a problem.
Everything works well for the first 6 to 12 months until the boards and the track start to settle down and one has to have a new idea like I have had!
Now here are some photos of the legs and board design.

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Re: Best solution for folding legs?

Postby Mountain » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:22 pm

I too am in West Wales though closer to Carmarthen then most of West Wales. There is a nice model railway club in Swansea and another group of modellers in the Aberaeron area. See Lysanda if you are interested in the Swansea group.
(Another photo of the general idea of the layout. The layout is 7ft x2ft for running 7mm narrow gauge locos on it. (0-16.5). I'm no longer using the Gaugemaster controller as I'm in the process of making my own instead which will be more suitable to my needs). The photo shows the legs of the main board in use.
The basic idea for the legs is one set of hinges opens up the legs and a second set opens up to support the legs. There are other ways to make legs. Some make seperate trestles and just join or balance the layout onto the trestles. This method is very successful.

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Re: Best solution for folding legs?

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:07 pm

There are effectively 3 methods.
1. Sockets that individual legs or braced pairs go into - probably not the best as it puts huge strain on the socket and you have to support the layout while you insert them
2. Hinged - either use metal hinges or a large bolt through the side of the layout frame, as demo'ed above
3. Trestle - easy to make lightweight and portable, probably the best for a quick tare down, but needs notches so layout does not slip off!

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