The issue of benchwork (the frame or table the layout sits on) was one I've been trying to put off as long as possible.
I don't have the space, the tools or the skills to make a nice piece of furniture. Since the layout would need to be either
extremely portable and rugged (in order to get it out of the way when we have visitors) or a nice piece of furniture in its
own right (so the visitors might appreciate it), I was a little worried about this step of the project.
Despite having read numerous articles about benchwork and examined photos of other people's handiwork, I was still in
the dark as to what might work best for me, but I knew I couldn't put the decision off much longer. After all, I couldn't
get into the fun stuff without addressing this first. I went through the motions of sketching dozens of different ideas -
some with lids, some with backboards - I was no closer to an answer. I even considered ordering a pre-made layout table from
a company on the internet.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, my wife dragged me along to our local Ikea store. And there I found it - the perfect glass-topped
coffee table for under $100! All I have to do to it is install some acrylic panels along the sides to keep out dust and other
foreign invaders, perhaps add a little bracing on the underside, and a small shelf or drawer for the controls.
If a suitcase or even a cigar case can qualify as Z scale 'benchwork', then I don't see why a coffee table can't also