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My mother in law has Cancer. So we are moving her in with us. The best room for is my train room. So I'm moved to the unfinished basement with my train. For room but it going to cost more on putting lights. The extra room means I can do a circle layout. My wife said I can whatever I want. Great space but needs lot of work to get it ready.


Well-Known Member
Hi Married shades,
Is it correct of me to assume the unfinished basement has a cement floor? How about the walls, are cinder block up to the ceiling or partially studded? Also is it water tight/free of any possible flooding?

There are some fairly inexpensive ways to finish the basement off for yourself.

What may seem like a disaster could actually work out to your benefit in the long run. What is the size of the area you have to work with?

I just noticed your location and when I saw Pea bo dy I immediately thought of Pea bo dy, Mass and Finescale Minatures. I see your in Kansas though. I hope not in the Tornado Ally part of the state?

Have fun planning
Renting so can't do much with the concrete wall. Going to build a module ovil don't know what size yet. Need to put up more light. Don't want to put it around the wall some water leaks in the foundation. Landlord planed to fix them but needed to replace the roof after a small tornado damaged it. So he needs to build his funds up again. And as for tornado ally is Kansas Oklahoma. So back to planning phase. The layout will be DCC atlas track. I'm thinking two towns one on each end of the ovil and a mountain on one side. A field and farm and a elevator on the last side.


Whiskey Merchant
For lighting, try using some four foot florescent shop lights. Get the soft white bulbs for them. I put a drop ceiling up throughout my basement which worked out well for access to plumbing and in case of an accident of some kind, sheetrock wouldn't have to be ripped out. I put a number of shop lights above clear panels in the drop ceiling. They're usually pretty cheap. I think I paid about $15 a piece.

If the leaks aren't too bad, there is a concrete sealant that can be rolled onto the interior walls.

Sorry about the eviction, but at least you do have a space to put up some kind of layout. Good luck and keep us posted.

..................................................... Chet


Well-Known Member
A couple of other thoughts. 1st. As far as a layout base why not try and do something in an 'L' shape with narrower tables but have a return loop on either end. So basically two or three 4x8 sheets of 1/2" plywood actually 7/16" thick I believe. Anyway one sheet would be cut in half to give you two 4'x4' pieces and the other sheet could be cut into two lengths 2'x 8' or use the third sheet to make the long lengths 2' 6" wide x 8' long which would be connected to from the 'L'. A triangular piece would be needed where the the longer pieces are butted together to give you an easier radius at that point.

This type of folded dog bone type layout gives you a lot more possibilities for sidings and operation both on the inside and out of the main line as long as you don't run you track along the edges which is not a good idea anyway. even your sidings should be in a bit to give a better scenic appearance. If you get cramped for space and tracks are going to come too close to the edge as on my own layout just add a three or four section of what ever length along the edge to give yourself the extra needed width. If you use the LGirder type of table frame work you would simply cut tie plates to go under the existing plywood for about 3" to 4" as well as leaving a shelf beyond the main board about the same width. Than screw it to the main board from the top using short dry wall screws in counter sunk screw holes on both sides of the joint and try and keep the screw heads from being under the track or tiesif at all possible. That way you can extend out beyond the main board for up to 6" without any problem. Just remember that the more you extend outward the farther your going to have to reach over for doing scenery work. I'm no-one to talk about making things to wide that way as I've already done it in a couple of spots. Oh well, Achinback is a good name for an area or town and I'm going to have enough of that.

The 2nd. You can buy clamp lights that you can attach to the floor joist above and position them as you want them if you didn't want to hang two tube florcent ceiling fictures but they a good choice too.

Talk with you later
Can't win now my daughter don't want to move so that I'm in limbo on the space. Ran into another problem I packed up my turnouts and someone threw them out as in the trash. So know I figure I will Make a ovil when I get som me space and plan for the turnouts as I get them replaced.


Whiskey Merchant
Sounds like if you didn't have bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all. Sure hope things settle down for you.

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