One of the many questions Ken McCorry gets about plywood benchwork on his Conrail railroad is how he maintains the strength in the four-foot cantilevers he has on the second deck. He uses three-quarter plywood, cut three inches wide out of four-by-eight-foot sheets, four-foot on each leg. An eighteen-inch radius curve is used for more strength with the plate tied directly into the two-by-six studs that support the outer wall of the building. This plate extends four feet down from the top level of the benchwork into the studs.
Allen Keller goes on to ask Ken what technique he uses for his structures. He has kitbuilt, kitbashed, and scratchbuilt structure varieties on the layout. Ken enjoys kitbashing more than any other technique for building structures on his layout. Walther’s has been a great resource for him to find American industrial structures. Before they came out with their structures, every railroad had a brewery of some sort as that was the only American industrial structure. The material he likes to use is gator foam and large pieces of styrene, which he gets at sign suppliers. For more on building multi-level model train benchwork and how to build sturdy benchwork, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.