Building large swinging bridge

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nolatron, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Hi folks,

    This morning I had a brainstorm for how to setup my staging without dealing with curving rack in a tight corner. Here's a pic of the lower level:


    Now here's my thining. I would put a piece of benchwork crossing the door at the bottom, about 6' long, 4-5" wide. Trains would simply enter/exit staging straight off the layout.

    But then I needed a way to move staging out of the way of the door, that's when I thought about making in swing. IT would swing 90 degrees upward in the image and then be over the desk out of the way (with a brace at the other end for support).

    Now I really like this idea, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about implementing it. Mainly, what to use has a heavy duty swivel that. It only really has to support all of the weight during swinging. When in place, I'd have the end resting on a brace for additional support.

    I'm picturing something heavy duty like this:

    but swivels somehow. Or using a large swivel plate like this:

  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Shaun, are you talking about putting something like a gate in front of the door?

  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    No need to get complicated, simply add a brace beneath, from the free end back to the lower doorjamb, then use a pair of door hinges.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I enlarged your picture of the layout, but I don'tunderstand what you are talking about doing. The desk appears to be under the layout on the lfet side well away from any doors. How about doing a sketch and posting where the staging would be in relation to the layout and the door in question? Are you talking about the bridge swinging out of the way, or lifting out of the way like a draw bridge?
  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Wise words. I built a drop down bridge once upon a time. It worked best when new...and the performance decreased as I looked to make unnecessary "improvements". Like a good engineer, if it isn't broken, it doesn't have enough features :mrgreen:

    If anything is complicated...make it the wiring so that the tracks approaching the bridge only have power when the bridge is in helped a few of my engines over the years...but the drop down caused me (yes, it made me do it!) to smash the front of an Athearn 2-8-2 when I failed to notice that it was on the drop down section. Fortunately, I was able to repair everything.
  6. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Whoops. I noticed my pic doesn't have the other desk labeled on the other wall correctly.

    Here's a better image showing the idea and one of the wall corner where the bridge would be connected to the wall and swing from.

    Hopefully this makes more sense now.

    Attached Files:

  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That will work, you just need to remember to cut the benchwork at a slight angle away from the door-ie the benchwork toward the center of the room should be 1 inch or so shorter than the benchwork right at the doorway. The bridge should be cut to the same angle. If the bridge is cut at 90 degrees for the end, when you try to swing it out of the way, the outside corner of the bridge will interfere with the benchwork. You could use a standard door hinge to swing the bridge on and use lumber to make a triangle with the bridge being the top of the triangle, a vertical piece mounting the hinge, and the hypotneuse (spelling?) would run from the bottom of the vertical piece to about the middle of the bridge. Just make it as long as you can to get maximum support, but short enough to clear the desk when it swings out of the way. If you want to make the bridge lighter in weight, get a 3 foot section of aluminum angle stock from Home Depot, Lowes, or your local home center/hardware store, and mount the bridge to the angle. That way you could use 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch plywood without having to worry about sag. The other thing I would do is get a small dead bolt and use it to lock the gate in the closed position so it doesn't swing out of track alignment at the wrong time.
  8. nolatron

    nolatron Member

  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Looks good Shaun, and no more complicated than it actually needed to be. :thumb::thumb: Get a bolt for the door, though. ;)


Share This Page