Modular Train Tables

Being a big fan of 9V trains, I never had enough room to build upon. Except when I took over the living room for weeks on end. With some good input from Dan Parker and Steve Barile, I've developed plans for a modular table. Here is a picture of four modular tables put together. 


 Summary: It was my goal to design a platform for building, playing and displaying Lego on. This design meets the following design objectives:

It is difficult to see, but this table is about 5' x 7.5' and is made up of four separate modules. Two 2.5' x 5' modules and two 2.5' x 2.5' modules. Each module bolts to each adjacent one and can be formed into many patterns. Each leg is modular and can be placed as required to support various configurations.

Design Notes:
The modules are sized to work with Lego. A small module is 48 times the size of a 2x2 Lego brick, will hold 9 32x32 stud baseplates. or six lengths of 9V train track in either direction. Also, it allows for a full circle of track to be made within one module. The modules are sized to be light and easy to transport. One person can easily carry a module and the legs are detachable. Holes in the side of the modules are oversized and allow for error in production process or possible misalignments between modules.

Assembly Information:
Numerous configurations are possible, limited only by the number of modules you build. Assembly is completed by simply bolting modules and legs together with 1/4" bolts. I prefer wingnuts and washers for quick assembly. Legs can be placed as required to support the modules. If X equals the number of modules you have, you will generally need 2X+2 legs. 

2006 Update:
I've been using these tables for nearly ten years, and I still don't have enough room to build on - even when I do take over the living room (and dining room).  The tables have held up welll, but I have a couple of suggestions for people to consider.  If low cost is what you are after, I still recommend the tables as shown in the drawings.  If you want to invest a little bit more money I have the following suggestions:

1) Invest in metal folding legs - several varieties are available starting at about $25/table. The wooden legs are nice and solid, but bulky to transport.

2) Use 1/2" premium birch plywood.  (~$40/sheet).  In this case, subsitute strips of 1/2" plywood for the 1x2 runners underneath the table top.  You may also need to make adjustments for the hole pattern on the side.  1/2" plywood will result in a much stronger and heavier table.  

3) Paint them.  Invest the time and money to put a really good sealer/primer and a good color top coat on. Most of my tables are painted either LEGO green or LEGO gray (old light gray that is).

4) Think about what height you want the tables to be at.  We've done many shows with 36" high tables and other shows with 30" tables or some combination.  With the metal legs I currently use, I have a set of PVC pipe that fit over the legs to raise the table from 30" to 36", but it's a bit of  a headache.  Some metal legs are adjustable for height, but you may have trouble finding legs that go all the way to 36" tall.  

Drawings are available by downloading the following pdf file:

Modular Tables

(22 kb pdf file)