How to Build a Railroad Model Around a Room Below the Ceiling
First, you need to measure the room’s dimensions. Once you have these measurements, you can plug them into a materials calculator. The calculator will assume that you’re building a rectangle-shaped layout. You’ll need to adjust the numbers accordingly.
Preparing The Room
When preparing the room for your railroad model, it’s vital to understand the limitations of the room. There may be walls that cannot be painted, or metal parts that cannot be moved, but this shouldn’t stop you from building your dream model. It’s also important to determine whether you’ll be displaying your railroad model for personal enjoyment or for a display. The purpose of your railroad model will determine the amount of lighting that you need.
Whether you’re building a small layout or a multi-level layout, make sure that you prepare the room in advance. Start by drawing a mockup of the layout. Make sure to leave some space for future additions. If you’re just getting started, consider starting small and expanding over time. You can also look online for some design ideas and choose a theme.
Cutting The Molding
When building a railroad model around a room below a ceiling, the first step is to measure the room’s dimensions. Plug these measurements into a materials calculator. The calculator will assume a rectangular layout, but you will have to adjust the numbers to suit the specific room.
Once you have determined the size of the space, cut the molding into straight pieces and corner pieces. Make sure to lightly sand the edges to remove splinters. Then, cut the straight pieces at least two inches wider than the train track. For corner pieces, cut them following the radius of the track. You may want to leave an opening between the track work and the corner of the room.
Cutting The Corners
Building a railroad model around a room requires you to cut a few corners, which is an essential part of the construction process. To make your track work fit properly, cut the corner pieces at least two inches wider than the track that you want to build. You can also cut corner pieces to fit up against the walls, but make sure you leave an opening between them and the room corner.
First, you’ll need to locate studs in the wall. These are typically 16 inches on center. When measuring a wall, you can use a tape measure your studs by holding a hammer against the wall. Once you’ve marked where the studs are, attach a piece of corner molding to the studs.
Adding The Control Panel
You can install a control panel in two different ways: horizontally from the edge of the layout and flush against the ceiling, or at an angle of 45 degrees. In either case, you’ll need to build a mounting box, and you should use appropriate materials. For a horizontal panel, a 1×2 inch strip of wood will do, while two triangle-shaped pieces of wood will be sufficient for an angled panel.
Space Between Ceiling and Shelf
When building a railroad model, make sure that there is enough space between the ceiling and shelf. This is the main supporting structure of the model railroad benchwork. This space should be at least eight inches in width. The track should have enough clearance to avoid snagging on anything.
It’s also a good idea to draw a scale drawing of the room where you want to put your shelves. You’ll need this to avoid misaligning your corner boards and shelves. You can use a pencil to mark the edges of each board. Make sure the border is at least one inch beyond the shelf’s edge.
Another thing to consider is the operating height of your model. This is important because if you’re standing on the floor, you’ll have to look through the layout to operate it. You’ll probably need a ladder to reach the top. You should also consider whether the track is too close to the edge or curves in the corner.
Installing The Shelf
When building a railroad model around a room, one of the best ways to save space is to use a shelf layout. This way, you won’t need to move any of your furniture, and you can also add wall decorations to the room. The shelf will be below the ceiling and high enough to accommodate your train and your model.
The first step is to cut the plywood pieces into the right size. You can use a material calculator to get the correct measurements. For example, if your train track is two inches wide, you should cut the corner pieces an inch larger than the straight pieces. You can also cut the straight pieces to fit against the walls and follow the radius of the track. Once you’ve decided the length and shape of the pieces, it’s time to install them.
After cutting the wood, you need to install the shelf. The shelf should be at least 3 feet long. Make sure it fits between the L-brackets. Then, attach the end pieces of the shelf to the L-brackets. Next, attach the adjoining pieces of shelving using 2-inch, two-hole flat brackets. You can install these shelves around the perimeter of a room, or even above the trim of the doors.
Installing the Moulding Brackets
First, make sure to install the moulding brackets. These are usually tapped L-Bars on the ceiling that attach to the ceiling. Screws that connect the molding to the ceiling are then hidden by screw caps. You’ll also want to make sure that the plastic is removable so you can perform maintenance and recover a derailed train.
Installing the brackets requires drilling two holes per molding piece. The spacing between the holes must be consistent. Using a drill bit that has an 8-32 tap will help you get the job done quickly, but be careful: taps break easily. Before installing the brackets, move any furniture or other objects out of the way. You may also want to cover non-movable objects with a dust cloth and wear a dust mask.