Back Index Next

Fabricating the Legs for your Module
If you've managed to stay with us so far, you've got a nicely fabricated module frame.  The only problem is that it isn't off the ground - because we've still got to make some legs.  There are two leg styles that you can use - the ABS rigid plastic pipe legs with cross and sway bracing (click on the above hot spot) that I've detailed elsewhere on my website, or wooden legs made from 2"x 2" lumber. 

If you belong to a module railroad club, the specs state something like "module height will be 45" (or whatever your club standard is) measured from the floor to the top of the rail with an allowance of ±½" for a leg leveller".  So how long should I cut the wood for the legs?  How do I connect the legs to the module?  What's a leg leveller? 
In the next few pages, we'll answer all of these questions, step-by-step.  We're going to:
  • Determine the length to cut our lumber
  • Paint the lumber
  • Locate and drill holes for the leg levellers and "threaded" bolts
  • Install the leg levellers
  • Install the "threaded" bolts
  • Make a carry-strap to carry the legs.

Cutting the Lumber
The length of the wooden part of the leg will be determined by the:
  • Thickness of the cross members on the module frame (typically ¾") 
  • Thickness of the styrofoam (in our example 1½") 
  • Thickness of the roadbed (about 1/8") 
  • Thickness of the track (about 1/8") 
  • The adjustment required in the leg leveller (in our case ±½") 
  • The thickness of the leg leveller when screwed completely into the wood.
Add up all of these thicknesses/adjustments, subtract it from the module height and, voila, you have the length of the wooden part of the leg. 
 If you're still having difficulty, here's a little table I use to help me out. 

 
Thickness of Components Mine  Decimal Yours Decimal
Track 1/8" 0.125" . .
Roadbed 1/8" 0.125" . .
Styrofoam 1½" 1.50" . .
Cross Member ¾" 0.75" . .
Leg Leveller When Screwed Into Leg ½" 0.50" . .
Leg Leveller Adjustment ½" 0.50" . .
                Sub-Total 3½" 3.50"  . .
Less Height From Rail to Floor 45" 45.00" . .
Equals Length of Wood for Legs 41½" 41.50"  . .

Once upon a time, 2"x 2" dimensional lumber was actually 1¾"x 1¾".  With the scarcity of good trees, it's now down to 1½"x 1½" or less in 8' lengths.  Make sure the lumber you select is straight, dry, and free of major splits. 
As before, use the saw service of your local building supply store.  Get them to square one end and cut four pieces 41½" long .  The objective here is to have the top surface of the leg square with the length of the leg.  If you're going to go to the trouble of making 4 legs, you might as well make 8 or 12 legs for all the extra trouble involved. 

When you get your material home, lightly sand off the crumbs from all edges. 
Back Index Next