Frequently Asked Questions from Our Clients

Module FAQ

What tools do I need?


A power drill is highly recommended but not required. All you will need is a #2 robertson “square head” screwdriver or bit and a 7/16 inch wrench. Please note the bit/screwdriver you need is included in modelrailroadbenchwork.com starter kits.




How should I attach my table surface to my modules?


I highly recommend Pre-drilling and using coarse thread drywall screws to secure your benchwork surfaces




How do I assemble a module?


To assemble a module first find the 2 boards without pocket screw holes. These boards will be marked with lines with an “x” next to it approximately every 12-16 inches. Align the boards next to each other so that the x’s are on the same side of each line. Next take a board with pocket screw holes in it and place it vertically on top of an x aligning the side edge of the board to the line next to the x. Next place screws in the 2 outer holes leaving the 2 center holes empty. WARNING: You CAN strip the screw holes out please take care to not over drive the screws. Practice blocks are available in both starter kits. The two center holes are extras meant to be used if you happen to strip out a screw or assemble the module in a non traditional manner to accommodate a river or turntable for example. Once you have secured every board to one side flip the assembly over being cautious not to change the orientation and place the assembly atop of the other board with the x’s on it and secure each board in the same way. Congratulations you have finished your first module. Visual instructions are included with every Starter kit.




How long does it take to assemble a module layout?


Once you have gotten the hang of module assembly you can assemble a standard 24×48 inch module in less than 5 minutes. A 10 module layout fully assembled with legs and leveled can be completed in about two hours.




How do I attach modules together and add legs?


Attaching modules together is easy. Simply slip bolts through the pre-drilled holes and tighten. Alternatively, you can screw the modules together with your preferred fastener. Legs come with one inch screws for installation.




Will modelrailroadbenchwork.com benchwork support my sub roadbed method?


Attaching modules together is easy. Simply slip bolts through the pre-drilled holes and tighten. Alternatively, you can screw the modules together with your preferred fastener. Legs come with one inch screws for installation.




What are your packing and shipping rates?


Unless you are picking up your order, all products will be shipped in sturdy cardboard boxes. Each box can hold approximately 50 LBS and will be shipped via FedEx unless you request another service. To keep your cost to a minimum I do not charge packing or handling fees. Shipping is typically 15-18% of your order total. In the rare event a box is damaged in the mail, I will replace the missing items once I receive a photo of the damaged box for insurance purposes.




Do you price match?


I have done everything I can to keep my prices as low as possible but in the rare event my prices are higher I will match or beat competitor pricing.





Custom Benchwork FAQ

Other Benchwork FAQ

I live far from Lakeland Florida, can you still help me?


Absolutely, I am happy to discuss your benchwork needs over the phone or via email and ship orders. Orders such as a complete layout can be Shipped or hand delivered with applicable transportation costs added.




Why should I let you build my benchwork?


Modelrailroadbenchwork.com provides high quality benchwork that saves you time and money. Having your benchwork built by modelrailroadbenchwork.com ensures your layout will provide years of trouble free operation at much less than you might think. Instead of spending hours upon hours cutting and assembling wood, you can use that time to plan your track work and build the trains and structures for your future layout. In short, by using modelrailroadbenchwork.com you can skip the messy hard part of building benchwork and get to the fun of owning your own railroad empire.




How do I assemble a module?


To assemble a module first find the 2 boards without pocket screw holes. These boards will be marked with lines with an “x” next to it approximately every 12-16 inches. Align the boards next to each other so that the x’s are on the same side of each line. Next take a board with pocket screw holes in it and place it vertically on top of an x aligning the side edge of the board to the line next to the x. Next place screws in the 2 outer holes leaving the 2 center holes empty. WARNING: You CAN strip the screw holes out please take care to not over drive the screws. Practice blocks are available in both starter kits. The two center holes are extras meant to be used if you happen to strip out a screw or assemble the module in a non traditional manner to accommodate a river or turntable for example. Once you have secured every board to one side flip the assembly over being cautious not to change the orientation and place the assembly atop of the other board with the x’s on it and secure each board in the same way. Congratulations you have finished your first module. Visual instructions are included with every Starter kit.




Can you build my benchwork in stages?


Absolutely! If I know ahead of time that you are planning to expand your layout in the future I can make sure your benchwork is designed and built with this in mind.




How do I attach modules together and add legs?


Attaching modules together is easy. Simply slip bolts through the pre-drilled holes and tighten. Alternatively, you can screw the modules together with your preferred fastener. Legs come with one inch screws for installation.




Why build in modules?


Building a custom layout in one piece seems like a great idea until you have to move the layout. Modelrailroadbenchwork.com’s layouts are built with this in mind ensuring that every section will be easily removable from your home or business without damage to your layout or property.




Are all of your layouts modular?


Yes. All of the layouts I build are built in reasonably sized modular components so in the event of a move you can relocate your layout without having to destroy it.




How long will construction take?


Construction time for any given layout can vary widely depending on the complexity, size and location of the proposed layout. For your convenience a construction time estimate is included with all quotes and upon request.




Will you ship to me?


Yes!




I’m local, do you deliver or can I pick-up?


Your benchwork can be delivered to your location or picked up. Please email or call for details.




I want to use your services, what happens now?


After initial contact I will work with you to develop a benchwork plan that best suits your needs and send you a quote. Once an initial deposit is received, construction will begin. At the same time an approximate completion date will be given and you will be kept up to date as to the progress of construction. Once the project is ready for delivery you will be contacted to arrange for payment and a delivery time/date. After delivery, final installation will begin.




Do you require a deposit?


All custom benchwork projects will require a deposit. Projects under $1,000 require full payment before construction starts. Projects between $1000 and $3000 require $1000 deposit. For larger projects please contact me for a payment schedule.




How do large project payment schedules work?


Once the initial deposit has been received, additional payments will be split into milestones, by the week, or a combination of both depending on the size and complexity of the layout.




Payment schedule example


The following is an example of a $10,000 project – Deposit – $3,500 – Benchwork Completed (prior to delivery) – 3,500 – Installation – $25/hour – Final Payment after Your Approval – $3,000




How much do benchwork design drawings cost?


If you are just looking for benchwork drawings you will find that my pricing is quite reasonable. Please contact me for details.




What is the average cost of a custom layout?


Custom benchwork construction cost varies widely but generally from start to finish a custom layout can cost as little as $20 – $35 per square foot. An average single level layout with no curved benchwork averages around $20 a square foot with legs and a table surface. More complex layouts will vary. Please contact me for a quote or to schedule a consultation.




What is your hourly rate for installation and other hourly projects?


My hourly rate is $25 per hour.




Do you offer on site planning assistance or in home consultation?


Yes, As with any project large or small, sometimes you need some fresh perspective, which is why I offer in-home design review and planning assistance. For a small fee I will come to your Ceneral Florida area home or space and go over your layout plans and help you in planning the best benchwork design to fit your available space. If you later decide to use my custom benchwork services I will remove the cost of your consultation from your bill. Please contact me for additional information and pricing.




Commercial layout bids?


If you require a commercial bid please call or email and I’ll happily make that available.




What type of finishes do you offer?


Your benchwork can be finished in many ways to suit your needs. – No finish – Painted – Stained – Cabinet Doors and Drawers – Stained or Painted Facia – Any Combiniation of the Above




What is the minimum and maximum size layout you will work on?


I will work on layouts of any size including just a single section or an entire multi deck empire!




Do you make Ntrak modules?


Yes, but due to the complexity and the processes which require me to reset my entire wood shop and bring in special materials, I do have a minimum order of 10 modules. Cost per module is $165 (24" or 30" deep your choice mix & match) and includes removable legs set to 40". Skyboards are an additional $5 per module. With shipping the total would be $1995 for the bundle of 10 modules.





Where are you located?


Lakeland, FL approximately 30 minutes South West on I-4 from Walt Disney World and 40 Minutes North East from Tampa.




Is email the best way to contact you?


Email is my preferred contact method, but if you need to contact me quickly telephone is best. (224) 201-9868




Do you make house calls?


Yes, I offer In home consultation services as well as performing service calls. Please call or email for details




What scales do you work with?


All scales are welcome and your benchwork will be designed to support your scale. I have worked with everything from Z to LGB including LEGO “L” gauge.




Can my train club get a discount?


Train clubs making bulk purchases for club or personal use may be entitled to a discount on non-customized products. A minimum combined order of more than $2,000 is required. Please contact me for details.




How is modelrailroadbenchwork.com different from other benchwork / layout builders?


The main difference between modelrailroadbenchwork.com and other layout builders is I concentrate on benchwork, not complete layouts. This ensures you get the highest quality benchwork possible built your way at a price that’s hard to beat.




Why is your track planning pricing different for different scales?


Pricing varies by scale simply because more track can fit in each square foot of space with the smaller scales. Example: O scale would only fit 2 feet of track on a 1foot x 1foot square whereas N scale would fit 9 to 12 feet of track in the same space.