2014-09.4: TMTV September 2014 Edition - Act IVa

30 Sep 2014

Average: 3.8 (34 votes)
10:25 - September 2014 Act IVa - Back to the Basement: Benchwork (2014)

In part 3 of Back to the Basement, Miles Hale reviews some of the advantages of three different types of model railroad benchwork.

In Act IV-b - Barry's Backyard, episode 4 ...

Go to Act IV-b


This is a really GREAT series!  Mr. Hale obviously knows what he's talking about, and does so in a very likeable and easy-listening style.  He imparts knowledge that is useful to anyone, regardless of wether or not one has started or worked on a layout or is just contemplating picking up a pencil & ruler (or a hammer and saw) to take that first enjoyable step towards creating a layout that will be fun to build and operate.  Really looking forward to more of the same.


                                                                                 Fred B.

                                                                   Cumberland Transfer Railroad

Great overview of benchwork basics.

I have to disagree. If this is meant to help the beginner where is the rest of the information? How do I fasten the Bracket to the wall etc. lets see him build the bench work. To go from showing the bench work to laying sub road bed, there is alot missing. I like the way this gentlemen presents but the content needs to be stronger.

"lets see him build the bench work"

Seems we can't please everyone. On other videos we show the process real time and we've gotten complaints that "I don't need to see the process in excrutiating detail. I know how to ..." [drive screws, cut boards, ...] or whatever.


Miles obviously knows how do get what he wants, but his explanation of the choices isn't well thought out and the methods he doesn't use aren't well researched. For one thing, the most popular method by far is open grid, which he doesn't mentïon. Open grid versus L-girder is the basic choice.

Stud wall and brackets are an alternative to LEGS, not to L-girder, and either can be used with L-girders. (Or with open grid, which I suspect is what he's actually doing.)

That table he calls L-girder certainly uses a couple of L-girders but the construction isn't Lynn Wescott L-girder method at all.  There's a very good reason why Wescott did NOT normally reverse the L-girders as Miles says "you want to do", and even more importantly the L-girders would never go on the outside like that. (You also would generally put that splice on the other side.)

One the big reasons Wescott came up with this method back in the day was that most people didn't have power tools, and he wanted something foolproof for modellers with very limited carpentry skills. To suggest that it takes more skills and tools is silly: seriously Miles... you need a table saw to make L-girders? Just BUY the 1x2s you need, just as you buy the 2x3s or 2x4s for stud wall. (I assume you didn't rip them from 2x12s?) Speaking of buying lumber, comparing pine select with spruce prices is a bit disingenuous. 

Miles doesn't mention the basic principles of L-girder construction and I suspect he has forgotten them. So why bring it up at all? Show us what you're doing and don't mention other methods you can't be bothered to treat accurately. 

(and yes, please show us what your doing, not just a still of what's been done.  It's not a magazine, it's video.)

"lets see him build the bench work"


I believe the "beginner" they are trying to help is the model railroad beginner (me, actually) and not a basic carpentry beginner.  I do not believe this service was intended to be a supplement to DIY TV or HGTV, at least I certainly hope not.  IF anyone watching this presentation is confused by basic carpentry methods, they have only to go to dozens of websites areound the internet to gain that information.

I for one, did not pay for a subscription to watch someone teach us how measure and cut lumber, then screw or nail it together.  There are hundreds of places you can find out how do that for free. (Jr. High Shop Class, your Dad or Grandpa's garage, televison, web sites, home improvement stores have classes, your neighbor etc etc)

The level of information presented here was fine.  They are presenting choices for benchwork to use as the next step in building our first MRR the right way the first time (or for the last time).  If your needs are more fundamental, then visit the miriad of sources available to gain that requisite level of knowledge and come back to apply them to the choices presented here that best match what you have decided are best for you.

This is a great series and has already changed how I am approaching my first serious MRR project, which, is exactly what it was intended to do.  A+

This is one of my favorite TrainmasterTV series. My main complaint is that it always seems to be over just after its started! But one of the things that I would like to see more of is how to do track-planning. Yes I have all the books, but I really enjoy listening to people compare and contrast various locales and ways that it could be set up and switched. I like hearing about prototype solutions and methodologies, and the various reasonings for doing things one way versus another. Stuff that the books sort of touch on a little but rarely go into great depth on. I really wish TMTV would do some more episodes of people analyzing prototype scenarios and talking about how to model them. Considerations, what to include, what to leave out, selective compression, etc.