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lift out desing help.

7515 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  radfan
I've started building my layout, and have come across an idea, but am unsure how to do it. My layout is pretty much horseshoe shaped, with the entry door in the open part of the horseshoe. What i'd really like to do is build a lift out, or fold down acrossed the doorway so my mainline can continue. I thought it'd be neat to build a girder bridge or something. My problem is I'm not sure how to start building a lift out. Do I run seperate power for the lift out section, and does the lift out track actually come in contact with the staionary track? Etc... any help is greatly appreciated. I'll post up some pics soon so you all can have an idea what it is I'm dealing with.

thanks, Mike.



looking into train room, this is the doorway I want to build a lift out across.


Left side, 4x8 sheet 42" off of ground.


Back wall, obviously lol... 2x6 feet meeting up with triangulated 2x4x4 sheet.


Left side, 2x5x3 foot section, will be the "other end" of the lift out.
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You can put one on a hinge. Let it swing down or if you prefer up. (down is better)

You will have to put a couple of bridges together unless you can find one long enough. Mount them to a board. Just make sure you get the track as close as you can to the main line when the bridge comes down.

You will need a separate power line hookup to it.
Underneath on the unhinged side you can use a door lock stop to hold it to the main table when down.

Just one way to do it.
Dozer,
Welcome to the forum! I see three issues, all of them solveable.

1. Power
2. Hinging
3. Securing

1. Power is the easiest. Let's call your layout a circle, just for convenience. Right now, you haven't cut your bridge because you don't know where to cut it. Lay your track and secure it to the table surface. Your lengths of track in the doorway area will determine where you cut to make the lift-out. If the doorway is 3 1/2 sections of track wide, then your bridge or liftout will be 4 lengths of track wide. Mark where to cut the bridge/lift-out.
Now, take out or cut off the pins for the section that goes on the lift-out. From one of the sides, you'll need to either drill beneath the table and run jumper-wires to the rails in the cutout (hinged), or use jumper wires and spade connectors to make your connections (above or below table surface). Personally, I'd go with hinges.

2. Hinging: go to a Home Depot or better, a good woodcrafting store. Tell them what you're doing and that you need hinges that will allow your bridge to move up slightly before it pivots. The idea, here, is to not crush the ends of your track at the pinch point. Your hinges need to allow the whole length of the bridge to lift slightly before it starts to pivot on the hinges. These hinges do exist and are used in cabinet-making and some furniture.
3. Securing: A. Secure it when raised so no one's head gets drilled by it falling. Anything from a small bungee cord to a hook and chain---you call it. B. Securing when down: this is harder, because what you're doing is aligning your rails and keeping the bridge from bouncing as your train hits it. To me, the simplest way would be a short length of 2" x 1" lumber, mounted to the bottom center of the bridge, running the full length and 2" longer than the bridge on the hinged side. The idea is that, as the bridge drops, the extra 2" on the hinged side have to slide between 2 additional lengths attached to the bottom of the fixed table, aligning that end. On the open end, you'll need two stubs protruding from the fixed table (bottom surface) an inch or two to align the free end. Make the fits tight so she stays where she belongs.

I'm sure you'll get better suggestions, but that's my input. Best wishes with it!
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Awesome thanks guys. These were the kind of ideas I was looking for. I knew I wanted to lay a bridge, just didn't know how. I have a few sets of spare cabinet hinges, and you're right, I think they'll work perfectly. Thanks guys!
Go for it! And we want pics of the completed layout!:D
Dozer,
3. Securing:
... this is harder, because what you're doing is aligning your rails and keeping the bridge from bouncing as your train hits it. To me, the simplest way would be a short length of 2" x 1" lumber, mounted to the bottom center of the bridge, running the full length and 2" longer than the bridge on the hinged side. The idea is that, as the bridge drops, the extra 2" on the hinged side have to slide between 2 additional lengths attached to the bottom of the fixed table, aligning that end. On the open end, you'll need two stubs protruding from the fixed table (bottom surface) an inch or two to align the free end. Make the fits tight so she stays where she belongs.
I like the "alignment" idea, above. The only suggestion that I might add it to make the cross-sectional shape of the lumber referenced above wedge-shaped, with mating male/female components. I.e., you'd be dropping a tapered "V" shaped male piece into a "V" shaped female set of pieces.

The "V" helps with fine-control of the track alingment, and yet is essentially frictionless for removal when you swing the bridge up.

TJ
Good suggestion. I'll leave the imagery alone---T-man is easily excited.:laugh:
IMHO the gate needs to be swing down. otherwise when folded there a chance it will slam down.
my 2 cents
I personally used a simple board that spanned the gap and was held in place by slipping track joiners into the track also left the last few inches either side of the gap without fastening down the sleepers/ties so that alignment was not critical, this way you can just duck under the track until such time as it requires removal for something big, I had four tracks spanning my doorway and never had any issues with this simple arrangement, you just need to be fairly precise in the leveling of the board but simple adjustment by having slots where you screw the supporting batons will allow for this.
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