With the layout drawn and the space available it was finally time to start building. A large layout requires a strong base.
I designed a 2×4 base and attached it directly to the stud wall, with 1×4 runners across the base. The bench work is strong, solid and level.
The area of the downstairs was cleared to make room for the layout. The design for the bench work has to be somewhat decorative, when finished, as this room is used as a family room.
The shelving and pictures had to come down and the single light was replaced with track lighting.
With any building project the first step is the most important. A 2×4 support was placed the full length of the back wall and firmly attached to the studs on the wall, ensuring that the 2×4 was absolutely level.
A second 2×4 support was then added spaced 2 feet from the back wall, supported with a centre leg and leveled against the rear support.
The 2×4 frame was then constructed for the entire “U” shape of the layout.
Then 1×4 runners were placed 18 inches apart over the entire base structure.
With the base complete a 3/8 mahogany plywood was secured over the runners, tying the entire structure together.
All materials are secured with screws and no glue, to allow for dis-assembly at a later date. All screws have been placed from the bottom of the bench work. This way the screws remain accessible even after the scenery has been added.
1 inch foam board was then laid over the entire bench work and secured to the plywood with glue. The elevated area of the layout was cut from the foam/plywood and raised to the height of the elevated area.