Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 178

Thread: Coffee Table Layout

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Coffee Table Layout

    I am a college student living in an apartment. With that said, I purchased some track from my local hobby shop from the bargain bin and have been wanting to make a small layout just big enough for a couple of sidings and a continuous loop . Something that I could roll under my bed or up on a shelf.

    I came across this picture of a layout inside of a coffee table and thought this would be perfect because it would serve 2 purposes in my small apartment. There is a Good Will Restore down the road that I could maybe pick up a coffee table for relatively cheap.

    I have access to wood shops and other labs through the university so I have the tools to repurpose the table. I was wondering if anyone on here has already accomplished this feat? If so, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. If not, any words of wisdom?

    Thanks,

    RailKing50

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NJ, near old Lehigh Valley RR
    Posts
    1,248
    Blog Entries
    6
    Thanks
    2,556
    Thanked 1,107 Times in 514 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I have been dreaming of a coffee table layout for years. I can't seem to ever get all my druthers into one plan small enough. My last version was about 40 X 60 inches and included steep grades, hard to reach hidden track and 3 levels, removable top and side glass panels..... yeah, a bit unrealistic.... but like I said, a dream... and can't seem to settle for less. There are lots of coffee table ideas out there. A websearch will show quite a few ideas and plans. There have been a few layouts showcased in the MRR mags over the years. Good Luck.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=n+scale+coffee+table+layout&tbm=isch&tbo= u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CtYbUsTnENj-4APAuYFQ&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1600&bih=799
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    Two inebriated tourists were walking upgrade along the tracks. One of them said, "This is is longest stairway I have ever been on." To this, the other replied, "It's not the stairs that bother me, it's the low banister."


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    887
    Thanks
    939
    Thanked 979 Times in 444 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Folks have done it before, for example:

    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...e+table+layout

    type coffee table layout into the search bar at the top right of the page and you'll get several threads on this site. There's even a guy on this site who is building a layout in a fish tank.

    And welcome!

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to OTFan For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Vista Ca
    Posts
    459
    Blog Entries
    6
    Thanks
    47
    Thanked 419 Times in 139 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Have fun with it ..... great opportunity to detail - super detail small scenes..... ( used furniture store would be great place for table..... )

    we have one any my boy likes to run his thomas and unitram in it....

    one pic and link



    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...ofee-table-%29

    built it using Styrofoam and at the time was making it kato did not have the small radii curves out yet ....
    but its good ... trolley and 0-6-0 or small diesel will work great

    have fun building it

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mariuszjj For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Ohh I plan on having fun with it, that's for sure! I was trying to see if the girl friend was interested in the idea as well. She seemed interested, but not overly enthused. But boy did she surprise me when she gave me my Birthday gifts. She bough Woodland Scenic's Realistic Tree Kit and also their Fine Turf! But the biggest surprise of all was the second half of my gift. She surprised me with 2 tickets to the Hawking Valley Scenic Railway in Nelsonville, Ohio. I knew that she was aboard for the idea for sure now! haha

    So now the search for a suitable coffee table/ base to begin.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,546
    Thanks
    1,868
    Thanked 3,933 Times in 1,459 Posts
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Depending on your space you could even do a nice shelf layout with a dogbone shape to allow looping. Or do something that rolls under the bed on little wheels or casters. Don't forget that a layout can be assembled from 2 or more pieces, or have sections that fold up and out of the way like a Murphy bed or old ironing board.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zombienati, Ohio
    Posts
    4,513
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    4,286
    Thanked 4,373 Times in 2,163 Posts
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Nelsonville... hmm, have I been there?

    I was mildly perplexed, but then I think I realized that you mean the "Hocking" not "Hawking" Valley Scenic RR. You won't learn any fundamental truths about the nature of the universe when you ride their line! They have nothing to say about how black holes violate laws of entropy, or how many dimensions the strings vibrate in.

    So... two tickets. That means you're looking for a buddy in Ohio to go with you, right?

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to WP&P For This Useful Post:


  11. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NJ, near old Lehigh Valley RR
    Posts
    1,248
    Blog Entries
    6
    Thanks
    2,556
    Thanked 1,107 Times in 514 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    So... two tickets. That means you're looking for a buddy in Ohio to go with you, right?
    (Pssst!... Take the girlfriend... just my 2 cents, sorry Michael)
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    Two inebriated tourists were walking upgrade along the tracks. One of them said, "This is is longest stairway I have ever been on." To this, the other replied, "It's not the stairs that bother me, it's the low banister."


  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jugtown Modeler For This Useful Post:


  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    You are correct "Hocking", I don't know how I messed that up. Haha I was looking for a buddy, but naturally I had to take her!

    I thought of something with wheels to go under the bed. The Good will store "Restore" has a lot of old windows that they are discounting heavily. We noticed that there were some older ones that were rather deep. If I cannot find anything soon, I mite have to resort to manipulating something like that.

    Basically I want a loop with somewhat of a yard to do some shunting and moving of freight cars. Aiming for more of a B&O Steam era small freight line.

  14. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    UPDATE

    After weeks of visiting the local used furniture stores and yard sales, I am beginning to think that I will build a platform from scratch. This mean that it will no longer be a coffee table layout but instead a small portable one (unless one turn up soon). I am wanting to start from scratch by purchasing turn pieces with a smaller radius. The pieces that I have now make a great sweeping arch turn which would be good for a layout with room to spare, however I am going to be trying to squeeze in as much as I can in a small space.

    Like I mentioned before I am aiming for an end of steam era small branch line for local freight. This being said I will be running a 2-6-2 and a 2-8-0 steam engine as of right now. So this is where I turn to nscale.net and all of its members to pick their brains and ask for their advice! HELP!

  15. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    6,002
    Thanks
    674
    Thanked 3,405 Times in 2,112 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    You might want to consider under bed storage containers. Not only do the fit under other furniture but they come with their own dust protection system. Depending on the size you can plan the layout from there. If everything is glued down a handsle can be added, the layout can then be carried like a suitcase. You could link multiple units together with bridges making a much larger layout. Kato Unitrack would be great for the connections.

    Consider a much simpler track plan. Not only is is easier on the budget, it will be more likely to be completed. Scenery can make a big difference on giving you sense of distance on a smaller layout.

    For some great ideas on what can be done in a smaller space, check out…
    http://www.carendt.com/
    Carl was a great proponent of the little railroad that could. Lots of great ideas. Combine several for a larger space.

    For what I did in a underbed container check out…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7sTIRe6sOo
    It's small, urban and a streetcar layout, but it shows how much can be done in a smaller space.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ChicagoNW For This Useful Post:


  17. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks ChicagoNW!

    I remember watching your video a while back on YouTube and being impressed about the amount of detail. I have noticed that people are using flex track to get the desired curvature for their layouts. I am going to do this for my layout as well now. However, midterms are next week so any progress what so ever will be put on a stand still until my tests are over.

  18. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    6,002
    Thanks
    674
    Thanked 3,405 Times in 2,112 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Good Luck!

    I was only suggesting the Unitrack bridges for connections between modules. The Unitracks have a positive locking mechanism that connects the different units together. they wouldn't disconnect when accidentally bumped. You would use any other kind of track within the module.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



  19. The Following User Says Thank You to ChicagoNW For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    UPDATE!

    I have given up on finding a table to use, so I had to come up with a new plan.

    After a trip to the local hobby shop, I purchased some flex track, cork road bed, plastic rail joiners, and the Plasticville "Farm House".
    The new plan is to do a simple loop with a siding on the inside.
    Also on the inside will be the Farm House, a pond with a creek leading into the wooded area. A majority of the inside will be made up of a forest.

    But before I get to ahead of myself, I need to get the foundation set up. From what I understand I need to use extruded foam insulation board?
    I will make the frame out of lumber.

    Like I mentioned before, the layout will be covered with the Fine Turf. I do not have a lot of it so I was planning on painting the extruded foam green just in case I have to skimp on some areas and using the paint to hold the turf down. Any thoughts or recommendations about using paint as an adhesive for the fine turf?

    Also, what program is used to design layouts in? Currently all of my designs are on paper, but I'd like to be able to put them on here to share with everyone.

  21. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City, KS
    Posts
    774
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    1,849
    Thanked 771 Times in 368 Posts
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I looked for a few months on Craigslist for a coffee table, bought one. Then shelved everything for two years. One afternoon, I decided to "CLEAN OUT" the garage. My $20.00 coffee went, along with several other space hogging items. When I got back into this hobby a year ago, I wanted to make a coffee table layout, but settled for 42"X72" layout instead. Right now, I just don't have a place for a coffee table unless it's downstairs in the finished basement? I have my stepson's room, a laundry room, A/C & heating, a small sitting area with TV & game console, and a music room down there now. Not much room left over?

    But once the stepson heads off to college, in a couple of years, I may take over his room. Of course, my wife & I may head to Florida by then? In which case I would have to make other plans. LOL Stay flexible, flexible...
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
    Kansas City, KS
    (Sent using @ 1000Mbps)
    "No matter where you go, there you are!"

  22. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 61 Times in 35 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I think my layout would be a good candidate for what you are doing. You could make it more complicated or put elevation changes but it is very simple and compact. It is 30x48 but the track is only 24 inches wide. I actually was thinking about adapting this to a coffee table. It was designed to go under a bed originally. Though it's far from my idea layout and unfortunately, I am married and cannot keep it under a bed so it doesn't make a lot of sense, it is a fun design for how small it is. I would add one or two more lines for the freight area if I did it over, something I didn't think about when I was redoing some of the track. It's fun because you can have one train that run continuously around the outside loop but still have some switching ability in the inside loop.

    Sorry if you already have a plan but if I was doing what you were doing, I think a double loop with a freight yard is perfect. You could add more than I have by adding a switch on either side. Obviously you could go a whole lot further than I am at scenery wise, I really don't know what I am doing there, haha. Check my sig out, I normally would not give advice as a newbie but it sounds like it could be exactly what you are looking for and as said, could easily have a larger freight yard if you wanted.

  23. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    At one time I was going to build a small layout on the top bunk of my son's bed but the bed is gone....I wonder If I could talk my wife into the idea of a bunk bed. A very small helix on one end a staging area on a bottom layer would be nice. This is a much better idea than the Coffin Table I had a few years back...you know when you kick the can they just roll you over in it and then out the door to the pasture!

  24. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Tred -
    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    I may take over his room.
    Speaking from the college kid's point of view, I'm sure that he would very much appreciate not taking his room. We do come home for breaks and what not! I wouldn't mind if my room was made into a train room, (as long as I had a place to sleep though!)

    You may need to do some stretching before you start to plan your next couple years in order to be that flexible, I know I would!

    talontsiawd - That layout is a great starting point! As of right now I do not have a plan. This will be more of a trial layout (for maybe bigger things to come in the future?)
    A basic loop is the foundation, at first I was OK with just one siding, but now you have me thinking that I want more! A siding for passing?!?!, maybe a yard to do some shunting?!?!.

    Here is what are for certain: 1 main line, inside the loop will be a house & barn, a pond with the creek leading into a heavily wooded area.

    I would like to incorporate: siding big enough for a train to be parked (engine and 4-5 cars), small freight yard (2-4 sidings?)


    kyyada- That would be truly something unique! Sounds like you will be needing to check some of the "honey-to-do-list" projects off of it!
    HA! Now the Coffin Table idea would be convenient buuuuut, I would agree that the bunk bed is a much better idea!!

  25. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    East Bay, CA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 61 Times in 35 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RailKing50 View Post

    talontsiawd - That layout is a great starting point! As of right now I do not have a plan. This will be more of a trial layout (for maybe bigger things to come in the future?)
    A basic loop is the foundation, at first I was OK with just one siding, but now you have me thinking that I want more! A siding for passing?!?!, maybe a yard to do some shunting?!?!.

    Here is what are for certain: 1 main line, inside the loop will be a house & barn, a pond with the creek leading into a heavily wooded area.

    I would like to incorporate: siding big enough for a train to be parked (engine and 4-5 cars), small freight yard (2-4 sidings?)
    There are a few ways to take what I did and make it more interesting. As said, if you put another turnout in front of where the "yard" starts, you could easily put in one or two more tracks. If you went of mine, you would need a curved turnout, or you could put the first back further and use a straight one.

    The second thing you could do is put a 3rd line below the two loops on the far side. That would keep the track at 24 inches. Again, you would need to used curved turnouts. I believe they make these in the radius I am using but not quite sure.

    If you did that, you could keep the track width to 24 inch but it would be tight. If you wanted to go 30 inch, you could add a track above the loop which may look better.

    These are just some changes I thought about when I was young, and some new ones I considered when I started back up. So, if you did all of this, you would have 4 lines in the yard, and a parked track (sorry, don't know the terminology). Why I think that would be a really cool idea for what you are trying to accomplish is that on a day you just want it running, you can have two trains just running around in loops. But, when you want to do more, you would have up to 10 turn outs on a 24x48in layout. Obviously, you can extend the length with a bigger coffee table which would make things easier. If you had a 5-6 foot table, even if 2 feet wide, you could do this with more available switches.

    Not at all trying to convince you to model your layout off mine but I do think it's an easy way to have a layout that can be run very simply but also more complexly when you want. Again, it just seems possible to do what you want in a 2ftx 4ft layout. Any added space if you get a bigger one is bonus.

    I don't know if I said it in my thread but foam wasn't something people where using at all (to my knowledge) when mine was built. I think if you used 2 or 4 inches of it, you could make a flat track look really dynamic with the right idea. That may be at the sacrifice of a bigger yard if you are sticking to a 2ftx4ft or similar size but my layout does not do justice to what I have a vision of in my head. Again, not trying to push you on using my father's plan, I just think it's a great small layout, just need a few tweaks. I am keeping it as is to honor my father's vision and my 10-12 year old vision of what we wanted back then.

  26. The Following User Says Thank You to talontsiawd For This Useful Post:


  27. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    160
    Thanks
    146
    Thanked 164 Times in 69 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks for all of the input Talontsiawd! You have given me a lot to think about!
    Now that I am back at school, I took a trip to the ReStore and found this gem! Looking to do this as cost effective as possible, I picked this drawer up for $3.00. It is 21"x 29" and is plenty deep enough. I liked this because this will limit me to this confined space and make me get creative with it!

    DrawerFront.jpgDrawerSide.jpgDrawerInside.jpg

    Ok, here is the idea for this drawer, the aesthetics will be fixed after I get the plan for it figured out. Please tell me your input is you have any!

    -Create a space from the bottom of the drawer to the surface of the layout (this space will be to lift the layout from the bottom and allow room for wires)
    -As of right now, I am still looking for solutions for a surface of the layout, if nothing turns up shortly at the ReStore (like extruded foam insulation board), how about some cork board glued to a firm piece of wood?
    -As for a place to mount the controller and a switch for a siding, I was thinking on the side but lower with holes drilled through the side for wires to run under the layout.

    Please give all input, good or bad! Tell me that I am crazy, tell me I'm doing it all wrong! Or just say hello!

Similar Threads

  1. Coffee Table Layout
    By wcdsid in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 29th Apr 2014, 04:07 PM
  2. New Layout for Coffee Table
    By JanesOosthuizen in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 17th Oct 2013, 05:03 AM
  3. N Scale Coffee Table Layout
    By kobyra in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 21st Dec 2012, 02:12 PM
  4. Coffee table layout
    By TrainNut K36 in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 2nd Aug 2010, 06:46 PM
  5. Coffee Table Layout
    By Kozmo in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 23rd Dec 2005, 12:55 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •