Open Framework 3 Legged Variation

by Roger McCarty of So Cal T-TRAK

I've come up with a variation of Jim Murray's popular Open Framework construction method which uses less material and requires almost no woodworking skill.


Having only 3 legs makes the height adjustment very quick & easy to perform. The module will never wobble and the tipping danger is very low unless you have significant weight in either rear corner.

Pieces needed

For a single size (308 x 355mm) module you will need:

(1) 1x3" x 308mm (track surface)

(1) 1x2" x 320mm (long piece for center leg)

(2) 1x2" x 120mm (short pieces for left & right leg)

(3) Hurricane nuts or T-nuts.

(3) 1/4-20 x 1.5" hex bolts - longer length needed in order to accommodate full 4" height.

Construction considerations

It's very important that the 1x3 track base be cut reasonably close to but no longer than 308mm. A few mm shorter would not cause any issues. The pieces of 1x2 don't need to be cut precisely at all. When attaching the 1x2s to the 1x3 track base there is no need to fuss with centered placement, right angles or flush sides. Just don't allow anything to extend beyond the side to side dimension of 308mm and all will be well. The only other important dimension to fuss with is the 35mm reveal of the right & left pieces. You won't want your module to extend in front of its neighbors.


Pieces and dimensions

Finished Module


View of top


View of bottom


Building scenery on removable diorama panels allows me to practice improving skills without dedicating a module for each scene. The scenery panel simply rests on the top surface of the module base. I do not attach my scenery to the base in any way. If someone tampers with the module there is no false sense that things are attached.

A simple scenery panel starts with 1" of XPS foam attached to a 308x230mm piece of 3/16" Masonite. A small strip of scenery also covers the portion between the RED line and the front face of the module.


Basic diorama panel.


Module with diorama panels in place.

On some of my modules I have included an oak front to achieve a more furniture-like appearance.

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