text, photo and drawing by Larry Sayre
While working around your train layout, it becomes a problem of where to lay tools and materials being used on the layout. I have found a simple and inexpensive way of solving this problem.
I have used part of a standard set of steel storage shelves to make these “roll-arounds.” Be sure to purchase a set of shelves that is assembled with bolts and nuts.
Most steel shelves come with corner posts about thirty-two inches long. These are normally assembled overlapping to achieve a five-foot tall corner post. For our purposes, we simply assemble the upper half of the stand in accordance with the instructions furnished with the shelves.
Instead of putting the bottom shelf in normally, we turn the shelf upside down. With everything bolted up tight, install a set of one or one-and-a-half-inch casters to what used to be the top side of the bottom shelf. Be sure not to use larger casters on a set of twelve-inch shelves or the roll-around will become unstable. With a set of eighteen-inch shelves, you can use a set of one-and-a-half or two-inch casters without a problem.
Install braces on the twelve-inch sides only to allow easy access to anything stored on the shelves.
You now have a great roll-around. With one set of steel shelves and an extra shelf, you can make two roll-arounds. The bottom shelf has an added advantage in that it is now a tray, and small objects will stay in the tray.
You can enhance the roll-around by installing some small drawers. I have used some three-by-five card file drawers and they work great on a set of eighteen-inch steel storage shelves.
There are other configurations that can be made. For example, by assembling all of the shelves upside down, all shelves become trays. So, you now can come up with your own configuration. Good luck.
For his clinic, Larry used Knape & Vogt Mfg. Co. Model TLD 50S. This model is rated for 50 pounds per shelf. It is unlikely that you would have bigger loads on a roll-around. He added one set of four 1-1/2 inch wheel swivel casters.