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Your layout, table or floor?


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#1 Brickviller

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 09:16 AM

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Hi other Eurobrickers,

Since half a year my new layout is made on two big tables. Before that it was always on the ground, but since I made the new layout I encountered several problems with it. So here my pro's and cons

Good things about your layout on a table

-You don't need to be on your knees everytime you want to add or change something
-You can store other things underneath it (like Lego boxes)
-The table can be over other things like a small closet or something ( a bit the same as the previous one)
-You can see your City from all kinds of directions while you're sitting in a chair (on the ground you need to be on your knees so that you don't have the bird eye perspective)



Now the cons

-Even if the table bends a little the trains will encounter some difficulties
-A train on a table makes much more noise than one on the floor
-If the table is big it's harder to reach the end of it
-Trains seem to go slower on a table (with the same speed) while it looks like they go faster on the ground
-very limited space (the size of the table is the limit)

If you know more pro's or cons I would be happy to add them to the list

So the big question is:

Is yout layout on a table or on the floor? And why?

#2 hoeij

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:24 AM

View PostBrickviller, on 09 September 2010 - 09:16 AM, said:


Now the cons

-A train on a table makes much more noise than one on the floor
....


That's a pro, not a con.

#3 Brickviller

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:58 AM

View Posthoeij, on 09 September 2010 - 11:24 AM, said:

That's a pro, not a con.

That depends on how you look at it, I like the sound of a small Lego motor on the ground and not the thunder the train makes on a table :grin:  :wink:

#4 Goldenmasamune

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:37 PM

i lke using tables so nobody steps on stuff. I currently have 3 big folding tables I use, so I can set up anywhere. The way I see it, is if the train can't handle that little extra bit of incline/decline, then you probably shouldn't have that load on it.

#5 BillytheKid

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:35 PM

I use the ground, because it gives you the cild idea and my roof. The lego is at my attic.

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Here you can see the space, without the lego :P :

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Edited by AFOL12v, 11 December 2010 - 06:17 PM.


#6 fred67

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:51 PM

Yeah... so... I neither have room for a table nor a setup on the floor (if I had room on the floor, there'd be room for a table, after all).  Maybe I can talk my wife out of having a guest bedroom.

BUT, when I do set up my trains, I prefer a table:

  • Less dust and dirt.
  • Animals don't mess it up (two dogs).
  • More easily movable.
  • Bad back.  Well... not that bad, but I don't want to make it worse.
  • A "real" train or city layout will have lighting in buildings and remotely controlled switches, which are easier to wire on a table.
Yes, you get the very important drawback of not having nearly as much space as AFOL12v's attic... but I don't have that much space anyway, and if I did I would combine several tables, which might even make it possible to get to the far side (by going underneath) to work on stuff... IOW, keeping the tables away from the walls and more towards the middle, and you can reach every side - that's what I would do given that much space.

Now, if I had that attic, I might take the floor approach because the higher you go, the less room there is... doesn't look like much room for a table.  But if we're talking preferences as opposed to pragmatism, I definitely prefer a table.

As for problems with warped/misaligned train tables... I would expect to make them myself.  I made a workbench for my workshop, and it's thick, heavy, and very solid, and after years the surface is still completely flat.  There are designs for train tables (LEGO and otherwise) to make them so they are easy to align and be leveled with each other, and I expect that, instead of buying a couple of those tables with the folding legs that I'll take the approach of making them myself.

#7 Sir E Fullner

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:49 PM

I work on a table, for two reasons:

1. Already there from m old HO trains
2. My mom vacuums the floor frequently.

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#8 peterab

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:53 AM

I use a couple of custom built tables for my layout. They are each sized to hold 6x3 32x32 stud base plates.

Some of the advantages for me are;

They can be used as modules for my clubs layout.
I have cut a hole to sink my turntable into the table.
I will be able to build more tables as I expand the layout.
Modular tables will enable me to customize my layout to fit different rooms.

#9 TaltosVT

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:11 PM

I had my layout on the floor of my basement for about a year.  I didn't enjoy it at all.  It was hard on my knees while I was trying to build, and I was constantly tripping over parts that I had already built.

I finally broke down, purchased some plywood and lumber, and built a series of tables.  Given the choice between the two, I'll hopefully never go back to having my layout on the floor.

Some of the advantages have been mentioned already:

- Space under tables can be used for storage.  In my case, I keep not only my LEGO parts, but also my railroading magazines and books that I use for reference.

- No more bending over or kneeling to build.  I actually built my tables up higher (about 42" if I recall correctly), so that I can comfortably build and operate while standing up.  The down-side to this is that it's difficult for my youngest daughter to see the layout.  However, it's also more difficult for her to snatch pieces off the layout and pop them in her mouth.

- Modular.  My tables are 3x3 baseplates, built specifically so that I could rearrange them as needed.  I can also adjust the height by adding different length legs, so building features such as rivers or sunken turntables is a lot easier.

- Wiring is hidden.  I can run all of my wiring beneath the tables.  As someone else mentioned, you can also add cutouts and hide any motors that you are using for remote switches.  In my case, my layout is still a pure LEGO solution, but I don't always need to see the motors.

- Noise reduction.  I actually found that raising my layout cut down on the noise as opposed to adding to it.  There's probably a difference in how our tables are built.  Mine don't seem to echo at all, especially after bookcases and parts drawers have been placed under them.

- Better lighting. Since my layout is now closer to the ceiling, and therefore the lights, it's a lot easier on my eyes when I'm trying to build.

The main con to the solution that I've used is that when I need to expand, I need to build new tables.  Plywood is relatively inexpensive though, and it saves the pain in my back and knees.

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#10 TheBrickster

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:05 PM

Interesting topic.  I prefer table top layouts.  While space is a limiting factor, I'd much rather have my town at eye level and be able to sit on a chair while fiddling with the train cars and minifigs.

#11 Ashi Valkoinen

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:46 PM

View PostBrickviller, on 09 September 2010 - 09:16 AM, said:


-Trains seem to go slower on a table (with the same speed) while it looks like they go faster on the ground

Train running on a table induce mechanical waves in the table. This energy disappears as the noise you mentioned above.

I prefer ground, because it's bigger and I'm not afraid from train falls, but if I buy some large tables, I move my layout to tables. A layout on a table won't be so dusty after one week.
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#12 Pet-Lego

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

I prefer on a table or at least raised platform.
That way I can have a more relaxed time setting up and running trains around,
while also have my layout out longer without getting to dusty or trampled on.

I'm using wooden boards to increase a tables size or use struts to raise the boards.
(boards are also very use full for big tabletop games. They can be cut to various
sizes for easy storage and held together with hinges or slide locks.
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#13 bullet8542

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:59 PM

I could never find the right answer so I built custom tables to corporate bridges and a harbor and the best thing it is modular so I can add extra sections if I need them I am toying with an airport but the length for runways may be an issue.

So I say table.
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#14 Goldenmasamune

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 07:01 PM

so, do the people who use tables do anything to guard against things falling off? i got some tables set up, and had all 5 santa fe cars and a santa fe super cheif fall off the side and shatter. took me hours to find all the parts and put them back together.

#15 hoeij

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:49 AM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 27 September 2010 - 07:01 PM, said:

so, do the people who use tables do anything to guard against things falling off? i got some tables set up, and had all 5 santa fe cars and a santa fe super cheif fall off the side and shatter. took me hours to find all the parts and put them back together.
Yes, I don't run them at top speed!  The track has to go in the garage, there's no room for it in the house.  Not a great thing if a train falls on the garage floor.

Edited by hoeij, 28 September 2010 - 02:50 AM.


#16 fred67

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:13 AM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 27 September 2010 - 07:01 PM, said:

so, do the people who use tables do anything to guard against things falling off? i got some tables set up, and had all 5 santa fe cars and a santa fe super cheif fall off the side and shatter. took me hours to find all the parts and put them back together.

I've only done temporary setups on low tables (and around the Christmas tree once on a wood floor).

I need to get tough with my kids to keep them from running them at full speed.  They're still at the age where the fun part about running trains is seeing them go flying off the tracks.  Of course, they don't really consider what happens next.

I've also had them running alongside my desk - not really a layout, but display, I have a large desk with a return that faces into the room on one side that I had tracks and trains on.  I had enough falls to figure out that wasn't a good idea.

Not sure what I'll do with a permanent layout, but I'm not too worried - my desk is in an awkward position that I need to walk around to sit down, otherwise it wouldn't have been so bad.

#17 peterab

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 12:10 PM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 27 September 2010 - 07:01 PM, said:

so, do the people who use tables do anything to guard against things falling off? i got some tables set up, and had all 5 santa fe cars and a santa fe super cheif fall off the side and shatter. took me hours to find all the parts and put them back together.

Well, since I use my tables at shows, looking large, hairy and grumpy and warning kids who get too close not to touch helps a bit. Trying to control my fellow exhibitors from running the RC cargo train at top speed wasn't very successful; I had to rebuild it and its crane about six times.

More seriously running longer trains helps a bit since they're slower, working out a track design to avoid collisions helps a lot, and some clubs keep their track 16 studs from the edges. I find I rarely have stuff fall off the side of tables at home, and am thankful Lego is rebuild-able at shows.

#18 Jargo

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:42 PM

Table. Definitely table. If I put anything on the floor I tend to step on it.

Although right now I've only got a desk in the attic I hope to move house soon and have a proper room I can set up a proper layout. Home-made tables with lips round the edges and storage below. :shark:

#19 jamzee

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:47 PM

Somewhat frustratingly my Emerald Night is running on track on the floor - I've tried setting it up on a spare bed matress with coversheet to be a bit higher but sadly the train doesn't seem to cope unless the surface is perfectly flat almost to the tiniest degree!!

Edited by jamzee, 28 September 2010 - 09:48 PM.

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#20 MetroiD

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:26 PM

I don't really have a layout at present, but when I finally get around to building an actual tabletown, I'll make sure it's on a proper table with sufficient space on and around it. Judging by my personal experience, the floor is definitely not the best place for LEGO, regardless whether that be loose parts, sets, MOCs or entire layouts.
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#21 bricked one

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:34 PM

i m going to use a table, i think its just better that way
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#22 BoobyToy

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:55 AM

Table.....It's the best way to go.



I'm new at this, so hopefully this link will show up....




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Edited by BoobyToy, 30 September 2010 - 02:46 AM.


#23 Brickviller

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:54 AM

View PostBoobyToy, on 30 September 2010 - 01:55 AM, said:

Table.....It's the best way to go.



I'm new at this, so hopefully this link will show up....




My Flickr Account

Well it works and I believe I've seen and commented on your youtube video. The one with the new red passenger train. Is that your layout?

#24 fred67

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

View PostBoobyToy, on 30 September 2010 - 01:55 AM, said:


Wow.  Well... how big are the tables you are using?  Looks like you're joining 4x8 plywood... how do you reach the stuff in the back?

#25 BoobyToy

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:50 PM

View PostBrickviller, on 30 September 2010 - 07:54 AM, said:

Well it works and I believe I've seen and commented on your youtube video. The one with the new red passenger train. Is that your layout?




Yes it is and thanks for your comment.

View Postfred67, on 30 September 2010 - 02:16 PM, said:

Wow.  Well... how big are the tables you are using?  Looks like you're joining 4x8 plywood... how do you reach the stuff in the back?



I think its 12 x 16

There's about a 4 feet of walk way all around the table...




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