I have spent alot of time thinking about how I can construct a sturdy two level layout in a modular form that wont have to be destroyed if I have to move in the future. I have come up with a domino type of construction with independant supports from the floor and not the walls. The top level will have a maximum width of 17 inches which is more than ample for N scale and the bottom deck will be about 28 inches in width. This will allow me to easily reach the back of the top level without my body touching the bottom deck. I did most of the measurements today with a mock up of the layout deck supports. The photo below shows how the top module will be attached to the support brace which is two 40x20's glued and screwed into a L dirder shape to make a straight and strong support. The deck supports are 12 mm ply cut 80 mm high with 20x40 mm stringers on the bottom. The stringers are screwed to the supports and limit the movement of the deck supports as well.
This photo shows the top deck supports which are 17 inches apart, being a test rig there was a little movement due to the clamps but with my weight tugging on it it was very stable. I think with more supports and vertical braces the movement will disappear on the modules and the addition of 12mm ply for the top deck will eliminate the horizontal flexing.
This photo shows how I worked out the deck heights from the floor and the height of the backdrop on the top level, Iused a variety of buildings and rolling stock to get it right. The top deck will be 148 cm from the floor and the bottom will be 98 cm.
The project named Alisha was finally delivered about a week and a half past the estimated completion date by my construction partner on the 30/06/09. Having been an enthusiastic participant in the project in its initial stages once firmly established my partner lost enthusiasm for my continued effort to get the project underway when it was well and truly obvious construction was near completion. Even though project delivery was smooth my partner has chosen at this stage to cancel the second and third option at this stage.
The photos show the garage as it is today as you can see I have painted the walls and started to clean the floor for painting. The above photo was taken from the door to the yard at the back of the house. As you can see there is a bit of work to do to put in the ceiling and close in the space. The photo below was take near the garage door you can see the temporary shelf brackets I installed to work out the height the decks are going to be. It is my intention to have the room finished in a few months to provide a comfortable space to build and operate the layout.