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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I've looking to put my one of my LGB layouts suspended from the ceiling I've seen load's of personal build's and a few commercial offering and nothing really stuck me as just right.

Then I came upon this radom photo on Google pictures. It's clean, polished, modern, and very stylish.

Unfortunately it's from a restaurant some where that I can't track down, nor can I get a hold of the person who took the photo. I've tried finding something elsewhere but this must be a custom build for the restaurant. The problem is further compounded by the photo being blurry so I can quite figure out how it's put together especially how it might be attached to the ceiling. The cable bridge look is awesome too and hard equally hard to figure out construction.

Any help locating a maker for this ceiling mount or figuring out how it's put together would be great.

 

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Nice idea. Not knowing how it was done, but I would approach it this way....

Those U shaped hangers would need to be fixed to the ceiling joists, or if the joists run the wrong direction then another say 4x2 piece of wood on top of the joists. The U shaped hangers pierce through the ceiling plaster and would need some collars to hide the hole required. The hangers would need to be able to be slide up and down a little and then fixed to get the track perfectly level (no ceiling is ever dead flat).

Going around corners would require those extra 4x2 pieces to be suitably spaced to sit firmly and safely on top of the ceiling joists and may need some imagination in carpentry.

At the very least easy access to the ceiling space is a must.

Another approach would be a steel frame the same shape as the track layout fixed to the top of the ceiling joists all the way around the room (if that is what it does), and those hangers screwed to the frame with again some up/down adjust available. The above ceiling frame of course could be many sections joined, to make it easier to get in the space and assembled.

The hard work would be to get all the hangers perfectly aligned and levelled. Nothing would look worse than the hangers being not perfectly vertical and aligned.

To me it looks like way too much hard work. I suspect brackets off the wall would be 1,000% easier to do for a ceiling railway.

Regards......... Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick and detailed response Guy. It does seem to be too much work, and probabally still quick a bit of figuring out to get it too work.

Just got sure what I'm going to do. I really want something but just about everything I've seen just look's too "hobbyist" to me. I want it to look commercial quality and be a compliment too the room. I've spent about 100 hours now trying to track something down that's pre-built or figure out something I can do myself.

Nothing I've seen thus far does much for me. The "Interail Modular System" look's decent from pictures but it's make of plastic so I don't know what it's like in person. Some people say it's not good for heavy trains though I don't know if I would run anything else. And I can only find two companies that sell it (Jules or Wholesale) and neither one are returning my messages. Worse still I can't track down the manufacturer which seems really weird in the internet age.

Not sure what I can do here.
 

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For support I would go into a stud with a lag screw that has a threaded backside. With a coupler I would attach a threaded rod to the base of the track support. Covering the rod is the art. For a simple solution use PVCpipe. Wood would give you more decor. Going with the studs you will need to block between the two for support
Hows that? We do have a few threads on ceiling trains if you search for them.

The turns will need planning though.
FOr rods you may go every 4 to 6 feet. The rest being for show. If the fake ones are larger they will press against the ceiling when the rods are tightened. If you have an exposed basement try it out first.There has been a lot of discussion abou suspended track I may try it one day. The cost of the hardware to. Let me ask how far is the track from the ceiling?


 

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whats with the "where do i buy" thing? from where is the notion that everything absolutely needs to be bought, coming from?. i see nothing to elaborate here and i would think person that knows from which end to hold a hammer shouldn't either.

i like the idea of threaded rod. however i would have made it a wooden structure since it can be polished and finished really nice. either U shape just like in picture or supported to the wall with angles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Building it from scratch out of wood (or my preference) is really outside of my skill set. Especially all the curved cuts and fit finish. I don't want to look like I did it. I want it too look like a professional did it. Ie NOT something that was thrown together over a weekend just get the think up in the air. It's a bit more complicated to cut all the wood (correctly), fit it all together, and hang it straight.
 

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Building it from scratch out of wood (or my preference) is really outside of my skill set. Especially all the curved cuts and fit finish. I don't want to look like I did it. I want it too look like a professional did it. Ie NOT something that was thrown together over a weekend just get the think up in the air. It's a bit more complicated to cut all the wood (correctly), fit it all together, and hang it straight.
how much are you looking to pay for the pre-made "U" hangers? if you interested i could build those for you. i have access to somewhat equipped wood working shop in my fathers garage and wide variety of leftover stains from both my and my fathers hardwood flooring projects. i just love working with wood. i am not a carpenter by trade (yet another software developer here :) ) but so far my projects hold together and some say even look very nice.

but really, that U is only 3 peices of wood joined together with screws or dowelrod /glue per preference and finished to ones liking. wood is readily available from home improvement places (they can even cut it for you), puting stain and varnish on it is as easy as it gets. and then so many nice materials are being given away for free on craig list and just simply thrown away :D i spent 0 dollars on my Benchwork . well apart from that pink foam sheet that is.

and then even if you purchase the hangers hanging them straight will still be up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
how much are you looking to pay for the pre-made "U" hangers? if you interested i could build those for you. i have access to somewhat equipped wood working shop in my fathers garage and wide variety of leftover stains from both my and my fathers hardwood flooring projects. i just love working with wood. i am not a carpenter by trade (yet another software developer here :) ) but so far my projects hold together and some say even look very nice.

but really, that U is only 3 peices of wood joined together with screws or dowelrod /glue per preference and finished to ones liking. wood is readily available from home improvement places (they can even cut it for you), puting stain and varnish on it is as easy as it gets. and then so many nice materials are being given away for free on craig list and just simply thrown away :D i spent 0 dollars on my Benchwork . well apart from that pink foam sheet that is.

and then even if you purchase the hangers hanging them straight will still be up to you.
Thanks for the offer. That's quite nice of you. I might take you up on that. I think the biggest problem for me would be cutting all the road bed, especially the curve. Getting those cut, fine finished, and looking right is going to be the hard part I think.

There are so people out there that will do the hangers and all the road bed for around $400+ which really isn't bad at all. Compared to some others who charge $1000+ for their overhead systems. The problem is that the $400+ is more of the antique / rough look. Great if I talk myself into a mine train or old school freight train but I really want to go with a modern diesel train and something modern looking for an overhead roadbed. The picture in my initial post is what I'd love to do but no one I can find makes anything close. Getting a metal or wood worker to copy it would likely cost a fortune.

Thank again for the offer.
 

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just in case - don't get me wrong. i wasn't looking to make money of you. i don't make kits it just i find it a bit strange that immediate reaction of people - "where do you buy this". i don't see why everything has to be bought. i have a sticker i printed on thermal label printer transparency taped to my car, and i had some teenagers approach me with "where did you buy it?". bit thinking outside the cash register will not hurt anybody IMO.

depending on budget i see several ways of building these things, simplest using 1x1.5 wood planks or as mentioned above threaded rod and pvc pipe (altough the cost for the rod will add up quick) or even bent and welded square metal pipe. to make moder look one can paint wood in any solid color of choice instead of old mahogany stained look.
let me know, if you ok with covering shipping i could send you sample of what i can build. but at the least i will need dimensions. and even better the scope
 

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Discussion Starter #10
just in case - don't get me wrong. i wasn't looking to make money of you. i don't make kits it just i find it a bit strange that immediate reaction of people - "where do you buy this". i don't see why everything has to be bought. i have a sticker i printed on thermal label printer transparency taped to my car, and i had some teenagers approach me with "where did you buy it?". bit thinking outside the cash register will not hurt anybody IMO.

depending on budget i see several ways of building these things, simplest using 1x1.5 wood planks or as mentioned above threaded rod and pvc pipe (altough the cost for the rod will add up quick) or even bent and welded square metal pipe. to make moder look one can paint wood in any solid color of choice instead of old mahogany stained look.
let me know, if you ok with covering shipping i could send you sample of what i can build. but at the least i will need dimensions. and even better the scope
No worries Anton. I took it as a genuine offer and not a money maker. We're all good.

Question still remains how to handle the track bed and especially the curved track bed. The hangers are great and all but there needs to be something between the hangers and the track. What are your thoughts there and do you think that's something you could handle?

What I'm looking to do is only about 10 x 12 feet. I'd prefer to run two trains but understand it might be hard to see the back one on a set-up that small in a room only a bit bigger. Thoughts?

Here's a more rustic look from www.ceilingtrainkit.com with hangers and trackbed. See the quality trackbed. It's nice as I've said. QUALITY work to be sure, but ideally I'd more modern bridge look ala Golden Gate'ish in my 1st post.

 

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Run one under the other? For two trains.

Your first example was nice and open. I am not sure about your second choice.
LOoks too complicated.
Could you just go with a shelf support. It would be easier than a ceiling suspension.
 

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Question still remains how to handle the track bed and especially the curved track bed. The hangers are great and all but there needs to be something between the hangers and the track. What are your thoughts there and do you think that's something you could handle?
i see roadbed made from 3/4 plywood strip cut (band saw would be good, jig saws will work ok but harder to control IMO) to follow desired path of track. it is rigid enough to hold the weight of the train with supports every 4ft or perhaps even more. thinner plywood can be easily used if one reinforces it with another plank underneath to form a "T" profile or to strips on side to form an "n".


the stuff on the picture is a nice kit. it is modular so one can build it into any shape of layout, or at least it seems that those roadbed pieces replicate track sections. that also means support at the end of every section and cowded .
the wood finish and the diagonal brackets give the kit that "rustic trestle bridge" look. if those diagonal support pieces removed (of course the bracket needs to be built rigid without them) and entire thing painted into semigloss grey i think it will look more modern.

however just as Tman says i'd pref fer wall mounted system over ceiling. much easier build, somewhat less materials and significantly more rigid. unless you use stud finder and screw right into studs i don't know how i feel about putting weight on cieling drywall


EDIT:
just occurred to me, plywood roadbed will be obscuring the train somewhat. i guess i missed the fact it is looked at from below. so the way roadbed accomplished on your first pic will work best - 2 long beams between supports, smaller beams laying across (needed solely for looks really) with track laying on top. bending the beam to follow curve is quite possible with right wood material but is quite an undertaking under house shop conditions. so plywood for curves for simplicity.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Run one under the other? For two trains.

Your first example was nice and open. I am not sure about your second choice.
LOoks too complicated.
Could you just go with a shelf support. It would be easier than a ceiling suspension.
I've thought about it. Seems like it might look "weird". Both trains would have viability. Just wouldn't be as "realistic" I thought.

Agreed I do prefer the first example better. It's just more complicated to reproduce. Especially with all the metal work, and the bridge look with faux cables and all.

The second example is already pre-made and easy to put up. The price is right. Just more rustic then I want in the planned room.
 

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i see roadbed made from 3/4 plywood strip cut (band saw would be good, jig saws will work ok but harder to control IMO) to follow desired path of track. it is rigid enough to hold the weight of the train with supports every 4ft or perhaps even more. thinner plywood can be easily used if one reinforces it with another plank underneath to form a "T" profile or to strips on side to form an "n".


the stuff on the picture is a nice kit. it is modular so one can build it into any shape of layout, or at least it seems that those roadbed pieces replicate track sections. that also means support at the end of every section and cowded .
the wood finish and the diagonal brackets give the kit that "rustic trestle bridge" look. if those diagonal support pieces removed (of course the bracket needs to be built rigid without them) and entire thing painted into semigloss grey i think it will look more modern.

however just as Tman says i'd pref fer wall mounted system over ceiling. much easier build, somewhat less materials and significantly more rigid. unless you use stud finder and screw right into studs i don't know how i feel about putting weight on cieling drywall


EDIT:
just occurred to me, plywood roadbed will be obscuring the train somewhat. i guess i missed the fact it is looked at from below. so the way roadbed accomplished on your first pic will work best - 2 long beams between supports, smaller beams laying across (needed solely for looks really) with track laying on top. bending the beam to follow curve is quite possible with right wood material but is quite an undertaking under house shop conditions. so plywood for curves for simplicity.
I'm not apposed to a wall kit over ceiling. It might be a more "open feel". If I did wall though I want it to look free floating. IE I'm not crazy about having to do visible brackets along all the walls. Something where just the shelf is visible is the best look for me. The problem though is that it's REALLY hard to work out the logistics, especially with any weight on it. The hidden brackets have to be bolted into the studs for sure and the shelf needs to be pinched. I'd also want the corners to come out. IE I only want the shelf where there's track so there would be an open triangle of space in corners.

This is a complex system. MUCH more complicated to figure out, build, and hang. There is a company that makes such a system and it's very high quality. They seem to get quite a fair amount of customers. It's a bit more expensive for me. The system would be about $1000 for my room and that's just too much (even with the quality). I'd rather put that towards the trains. The company is FreedomTrainShelving.Com and here's a picture.



As for ceiling versus wall the other reason I preferred (but not 100% sold) on ceiling was that it looked more realistic. IE scale bridge instead of some shelf on a wall.

A ceiling system with open concept roadbed also allows the train to be seen from below as well as sides. Additionally more of the sound comes through. Not something you get with wall / shelf system.

HERE'S a thought though. WHAT ABOUT a wall / shelf system that has more of spanning trestle or beam look. It would be a LOAD of small cuts. Something I certainly don't think I have the patience to cut and assemble. But it would give that bridge style look and the hangers could be hidden or integrated into the design. I could REALLY enjoy that option but no one sells it, porbally would be too expensive, and I just wouldn't make it myself. Back to square one? Here's some same ideas anyway.


 

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if ceiling is what you want its fine. but as i said mounting should be done really carefully so not to bring the drywall down :)

a quick sketch,


instead of one beam two support columns attached to the ceiling. beams attached horizontally to the bottom of the columns to form a line, second beam is ~2" higher and bunch of non load bearing square dowels cut at 45degree glued between the two to simulate that truss/girder bridge look.
if planned well this structure can be made to be very rigid and require very few vertical supports from ceiling, some can be replaced by cables (see attached) the fewer anchor points can be planned to be located on the ceiling joists instead of drywall.
turns will require little bit more attention
 

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if this to be made into kit it will probably will come as pre-made "truss" frame sections sized for most economical shipping, vertical columns with flanges to screw into cieling joist and holes for the frames bolt on to. bunch of small "crossbeam" pieses to carry the trackwork and hold the 2 sides even from eachother. assembly should only be not more difficult then assembly of ikea furniture
 

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if ceiling is what you want its fine. but as i said mounting should be done really carefully so not to bring the drywall down :)

instead of one beam two support columns attached to the ceiling. beams attached horizontally to the bottom of the columns to form a line, second beam is ~2" higher and bunch of non load bearing square dowels cut at 45degree glued between the two to simulate that truss/girder bridge look.
if planned well this structure can be made to be very rigid and require very few vertical supports from ceiling, some can be replaced by cables (see attached) the fewer anchor points can be planned to be located on the ceiling joists instead of drywall.
turns will require little bit more attention
I'm loving the concept. Really getting to where I'd love to be. Design is flexible enough you could attach to the wall or use hangers and attach to the ceiling. Very "bridge" like look too.

But it's also hundreds of cuts and tedious dozens of hours to put it all together. I don't think I trust myself that much.

=)
 

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if this to be made into kit it will probably will come as pre-made "truss" frame sections sized for most economical shipping, vertical columns with flanges to screw into cieling joist and holes for the frames bolt on to. bunch of small "crossbeam" pieses to carry the trackwork and hold the 2 sides even from eachother. assembly should only be not more difficult then assembly of ikea furniture
Agreed. If this was knocked down into a flat-pack "kit" then any monkey should be able to put it together. THAT I could handle no problem. Now if I could only find an actual kit ! ! !

;-)
 

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I'm loving the concept. Really getting to where I'd love to be. Design is flexible enough you could attach to the wall or use hangers and attach to the ceiling. Very "bridge" like look too.

But it's also hundreds of cuts and tedious dozens of hours to put it all together. I don't think I trust myself that much.

=)
it might look this way but IMO its one of those things that look complicated only until you start working on it. the as far as precise cuts that's what miter saw is for :)

Agreed. If this was knocked down into a flat-pack "kit" then any monkey should be able to put it together. THAT I could handle no problem. Now if I could only find an actual kit ! ! !

;-)

i was planning to work on my video editing project tonight as it that is quite overdue now (as most of my attention is on trains now :) ) but i might throw together a quick mock up made of square dowel rods to demonstrate what i mean about modularity and such (i think i have bunch of those laying somewhere). if you happen to like how it looks we will go from there.

again, i do not insist that you use my services. its all up to you. but i guess i really could use some funds on a side to spend on more trains (here i was one month ago thinking that 11 engines +30 cars will be everything i'll ever need)
 

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Seen in shop

Saw this suspended setup in a shop in Sydney Australia. In this case held by pylons from the table or floor. Trick is to get someone to bend and weld the basic frame up and the strength would be such that few ceiling drop supports would be needed. 'Tis a general shop shot but the blue frame in the top left is what to look at. Can go get more photos of it if interested in this approach.


For modern profile trains the modern steel look would be suitable, and maybe easier to move or remove when a house change happens.

Regards........ Guy
 
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