Getting started N scale

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So! Me and my dad are planing on using my old room to build an n scale layout. We have a friend in the local club that we we probably be going to frequently for questions and what not. The space we plan to use is up against the wall of the room in a big L shape the dimensions of what we have to work with is roughly 13' by 9' and we where looking to go 3 feet out from the wall. I used to have a small 3 by 4 table top layout in my room that my cat carefully destroyed and do to the limited space is why i chose N scale and i just had some foam bored on there and started to plan the lay out when the cat decided to play. Any who this was a few years ago and now we are starting over and hope to improve on what we had. ive seen alot of pictures of bench work on the internet and have a fairly good idea of what i want to build now my questions are what boards do we use we where using 2x4s but from what ive seen on the internet it is much thinner then that what do we use starting from the ground up as many tips as we can get is appreshated


Master Mechanic
Since this is N-scale, I would use a basic grid framework, built out of 1"x3" boards for the frame and cross pieces, and to ensure that the support is adequate, put your cross pieces on a minimum of 12-14". I would use braced 2"x2" for the legs. If you're topping this with foam, a layer of 1/4" thick luan plywood, under the foam to prevent sagging of the foam.

Keep either looking on the web for ideas, or get a copy of Model Railroader's "Building Basic Benchwork". I think that's the name, if not its something very close. It covers several types of BW, and is an excellent reference.
Welcome to the forum :)

Most people will tell you that 3ft from a wall is too deep and will make access an issue, which I'd agree with to an extent. If it's going to be permanently against the wall then you might want to slim it down a bit, but if you can build and then move it into place later you might be ok.

13x9' is an excellent area for N and will make for a very nice layout with some good runs. I would strongly suggest DCC as you'll easily get quite a lot of track into that area. Any ideas on a setting? Era? Railroad to model?
I'll also add here some nice N scale (and general MRR) resources that you may not be aware of-

-SCARM, an excellent layout planning program that's very simple to use, can create a simple 3D render of your plan, and is completely free.

-A bunch of helpful conversion charts (for calculating things like the scale speed of a train)

-"Spookshow", quite possibly the greatest N resource on the web. If someone has produced a locomotive in N, chances are Mark has written a review on it. Absolutely invaluable when buying used locos to make sure you're buying the right version.
ok thanks guys once i start the benchwork ill post photos if i figure out how, also to answer your question TrinityJayOne im hoping on running early diesels and some steam and i want to run CN because im Canadain lol and im thinking for half the layout to go from industrial to woodland a cuple big factorys and also 3 feet may be fairly deep but i do plan on it being lower so my sisters kids can enjoy it to and to the dcc i wasn't aware they made dcc for n scale but that shows you what i know lol is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.