• Benchwork question: cantilevered shelf on wall?

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by brucejob
 
Hi, all...

Can anyone provide tips or provide a reference to info on building a shelf layout attached to a wall...that is, attached only to the wall with no supporting legs? I'd like to build a U-shaped shelf layout around three walls of my hobby room. Is this practical? How deep can the shelf be? What materials and methods should be used?

Thanks in advance for any and all replies!

Bruce J.

  by hoharold
 
Bruce, here is my "Cantilever Tale". You can make darn good benchwork off any kind of wall using bracing angled underneath. My rail height is 49" from the floor and the cantilever section is 24" deep. The width to the wall follows the old rule of "whatever you can reach and still do useful work".

As far as construction goes if you are mounting to a stud wall you'll need to find the studs accurately as you need to hit the center every time with your screws as there is lots of tension on this kind of construction. I got a stud finder as a gift and it works every time. It finds the edge not the center of the stud so you have to check both ways. Knockin' the wall ain't close enough!

My cantilevered section is mounted on a concrete block wall. I first attached a 2X2's to the wall with Tapcon screws. I made them high enough above track level to attach backdrop in future. The deck is L girder and foam but any deck material will work. I used two 1X4's to make the angle brace forming about a 45 degree angle from just inside the edge of the benchwork. The brace is attached to the 1X3's that support the girders and foam. I think you can pre-fab the triangles ahead of time as many as you need and then mount them.

I like the idea of not having the legs in the way but I can only do part of my layout this way...

Hope this helps........

  by Throttle_JCKY
 
Bruce,
I faced a similar question as you. This is what I decided on.
Image

I have 2 foot wide shelf, and it holds well. It might cost a little more, but it is reusable and movable! Well worth it too.
  by gwensdad
 
Model Railroader ran a multi-part series on how to do this, in about 1977 or so. Complete with track plans. Go to the magazine index at http://index.mrmag.com/ (you have to register and sign in, but it's free) and do a title search for "bookshelf." There were several more articles in the following years adapting things like staging, drop-leaves, etc.

A word of caution: Before you get too enthusiastic, try to mount a corner module the way they describe. You may need to modify the plans somewhat. (Is there anyone out there who actually built this thing?) Good luck.