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 Drop-down, lift-out, or...?
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Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/29/2014 :  08:47:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice, suggestions, thoughts, etc.

I'm at the point of building one of the removable sections of track/roadbed for the main entrance to the layout. This is the best shot I have of the section to be converted to be removable (at the far end):


I'm going to cut the underlying benchwork away to clear the 36" door, and screw the moveable section of roadbed to an oak plank for rigidity.

I'm considering two options:
  • some sort of drop down, or
  • a lift-out
My opening section will be 36" long, and is double track HO. There will be other removable sections at about 5" and 12"+ above it, both single track.

In the past I've always used duck-unders, but I'm too "experienced" to even consider that, especially as this will be the only entrance into the layout.

I know both approaches have been successfully implemented by others, but before I decide which way to go I'd like to collect some of your thoughts and experiences with removable sections. And if anyone has other alternatives, I'd like to hear those, too.

So...

Country: USA | Posts: 489

desertdrover
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/29/2014 :  10:11:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mark, here is some of many topics on this matter. Hope one of these helps with ideas, there are pictures and other links to follow; http://www.railroad-line.com/discussion/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=41147

Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

Edited by - desertdrover on 07/29/2014 10:12:34 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 17353 Go to Top of Page

railmus
Fireman



Posted - 07/29/2014 :  10:31:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A hinged, swinging gate with wheels could also be an option.


Country: Canada | Posts: 1931 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/29/2014 :  12:08:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Mark! Too bad you moved away because locally here, we have SteamNut who could have engineered and built the solution for you!

I would avoid a lift out if at all possible. I'm not sure how you plan to use that area, but if it will be opened and closed during operating sessions, you want something strong, easy to handle with hopefully one hand, yet self aligns and is reliable. A swing type of arrangement I think would be best, as is shown in the one article in the link that Louis attached.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13364 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 07/29/2014 :  10:23:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well lets see here, Three levels, Bottom is a gate, middle drops down and the top lifts up. No problem. oh I guess you want that powered too !

Now lets get to it, A gate with all three levels on it.



Country: USA | Posts: 1754 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/31/2014 :  06:14:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
All right! Not so sure about it being powered, but... I'll post more details of the track plan and such in the next few days and we'll see where the creative juices take us!

Thanks everyone!!



Country: USA | Posts: 489 Go to Top of Page

Neil M
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 07/31/2014 :  06:44:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think a hinged gate with all three levels of track on it would be the way to go. Having three separate items sounds like a pain when you could just have one.


Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia

Country: Australia | Posts: 2448 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/31/2014 :  08:40:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, perhaps a picture closeup of the area where you want this access point would help generate specific suggestions.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13364 Go to Top of Page

mabloodhound
Fireman



Posted - 07/31/2014 :  09:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, despite what Mark says, I would follow the KISS principle and use a lift out.
It would only be 3' long and easy enough to handle by one person. No hinges to bind or mis-align. No fancy engineering needed and little maintenance.
As much as I admire those intricate swinging bridges, at my age I go for the Keep It Simple method.


Dave Mason
D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”~Benjamin Franklin
The 2nd Amendment, America’s 1st Homeland Security

Country: USA | Posts: 6558 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 07/31/2014 :  4:52:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have seen gates, lift outs, swing downs, and swing ups. All have worked.

One key consideration is anchoring the benchwork on either end of the moveable section. There has to be something keeping it in alignment and a constant distance apart. In most of the instalations I have been aware of the benchwork is attached to the wall on either side of the doorway so that keeps the opeing from getting wider or narrower and keeps the two ends in line with each other. Another way is to add a floor plate, a sheet of 1/2-3/4 plywood on the floor with the edges beveled so its not a tripping hazard. Uprights from the plywood attach to benchwork to keep it in line and reduce moving.


Dave H.

Iron men and wooden cars

Country: USA | Posts: 1097 Go to Top of Page

steve turner
Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/06/2014 :  10:26:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lift out!!!!!! Out of way when you are constructing,Nothing in the way as you come and go. Yes the whatever is only as good as supporting benchwork either side of opening.From what I can see from that picture the supporting benchwork is questionable. I spend weeks constructing with out running trains and I come and go from within layout so I would rather not have the hinderance of anything in my way. Kepp whatever to minimal width...............you do not really need 3 feet unless of course you are bridging a doorway. I have a two track lift out...........simgle track in front and a bridge track behind it. Put alote of thought into it and its made of I believe 11/4 thick plywood, so it does not warp. Lift out slides in on rail and is secured with a spot on stop and 4 cabinette magnets, A micro switch tobe installed to kill track 3 feet either side of lift out if lift out not in place . Phono jack panel next to liftout and cables power lift out.Once alignment perfect ends of rails glued and nailed in place. End of rails that meet each other filed at slight angle. Steve


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Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/06/2014 :  5:45:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the feedback, folks!

At this point I'm leaning towards the lift out. Benchwork on the right side of the photo would be anchored to the wall, and to the left the section of benchwork to be cut will be more securely anchored to the benchwork on the left - much more securely.

The liftout itself will be anchored to an oak plank for rigidity (actually, that part's already been done).

Prior to cutting the track at each end of the liftout, that track will be soldered to PC boards to lock the rail ends in place, then both the PC boards and the rail will be cut at the same time (after the alignment system, described next, is in place).

The lift out will be aligned by installing piano hinges on each end, then removing the hinge pins. The hinge "teeth" will maintain the alignment, and slop between the teeth will be dealt with by using spring tabs attached to the non-removable parts of the benchwork, which will apply a constant force against one of the long sides of the liftout when it's in place.

Electrical will probably be handled by some sort of plug arrangement. Power will be fed to the liftout, and it will provide power to the approach sections on either end.

That's the current concept I'm favoring. Detail design to follow. Anyone see any flaws? Am I missing anything? Does this sound like it will work?

This lacks the elegance of a powered lift gate or even a manual swing gate, but it seems simple and uncomplicated to me. if anyone thinks the see some fatal flaw , please speak up!!



Edited by - Brunton on 08/06/2014 5:46:02 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 489 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/08/2014 :  8:42:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, I could be wrong on this, but I've never seen a 'piano hinge' with removable pins. Unless we are thinking of two different things, but my understanding of a piano hinge is a long (2' or longer) solid hinge. Is that what you are talking about? Have you seen one with a removable pin?

If the lift out will only be used occasionally, in theory, what you describe sounds like it should work. However, if this bridge section is something that would be opened and closed several times during an op session, this may prove to be cumbersome.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13364 Go to Top of Page

mabloodhound
Fireman



Posted - 08/09/2014 :  08:24:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark,
The hinge idea is good, but I'd just use a regular hinge(s) instead of the piano hinge. As mentioned, not sure if you can get a removable pin (have to make your own) but you also don't need that many knuckles on the hinge as they become very difficult to align when putting together.


Dave Mason
D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”~Benjamin Franklin
The 2nd Amendment, America’s 1st Homeland Security

Country: USA | Posts: 6558 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/09/2014 :  3:46:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mark,
We use hinges with removable pins all the time on airplanes. When the installation is complete, we stake the pin ends or something similar to prevent the pins from falling out.
Not that I'm going to use an aircraft hinge - those things are pretty pricy. I picked up a hinge from Lowes from which I'll be able to remove the pin. You're not supposed to be able to, but it's typical cheesy construction (it doesn't have a lot of longitudinal slop between the teeth, however.) On one side of the hinge, the teeth are dimpled with the pin in place to hold it. I've already been able to pull the pin out about 3/16 of an inch. Once the hinge is installed, I think it'll be not too difficult to grab the pin with vice-grips and pull it right out. Uh-huh.

Dave,
Having all those knuckles is the whole idea - they should provide a pretty decent, repeatable alignment between the bridge and the approaches. But just in case not, can somebody tell me which icon I should use for "eat crow"?

I'm going to try to get started on this this evening and tomorrow . We'll see how it goes!



Country: USA | Posts: 489 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/09/2014 :  10:20:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It sounds like you have it all figured out. I stand corrected on the piano/airplane hinges. Keep us updated on how this project goes.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13364 Go to Top of Page
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