Doorway liftout.... HELP !!!!

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Iron Goat, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I am tearing out my benchwork after finally admitting to myself that the center pop-up's are not, and will never be.... workable for me. I have a back injury where surgery is not an option, and I can no longer kid myself into thinking the present benchwork will work!!!

    I am now planning on building an "around the room" HO scale layout, with a 34" liftout section across the doorway to the train room... I have been checking the SEARCH feature on the Gauge and a couple of other forums, but haven't found an answer yet.

    Has anyone on the Gauge built one of these (a Liftout, or a Swing-up type section) that bridges a doorway ? I am also wondering about the DCC electrical connection to the track
    on that section.

    I would really appreciate your assist on this one, as the Liftout has me stumped at present.
    Thanks... Bob
  2. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Just be sure you consider all options. A lift out could itself be a problem if you have back issues - they can get surprisingly heavy real quick. Maybe consider some sort of hinged section - preferably one that swings down or sideways so you don't have to lift the weight of the thing.

    I know there have been several variations shown as a 'how to' in MR Mag over the years.
  3. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

  5. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Thanks guys, that is all good information. Once I start, I'll post some progress photos...

    Thanks again, Bob
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I just thought of a possible solution for you to think about. How about a "dutch door" to the layout room where the top section swings out, and can be latched in the open position, so that someone wanting to enter the railroad room while you were operating could see what is going on and not open the door while trains are in the door way? The lower section would be built at rail height with a shelf attached at the top where the tracks would run. The layout would then have a "swing bridge" to allow entrance into the room and give your maximum layout space. The track and shelf would have to be cut on a diagonal to clear everything when the door is opened, but it would probably narrow the door openning by less the 3 inches if done right.

    GNRYFAN New Member

    We use a dutch door for swing-outs at the entry to an O&W operating layout....and it's triple-decked....DDC connection are jumpered wires at the hinge side. We also use a full height door, double-decked, at the rear exntrance to a utility room. Been running ops monthly for over a year. some adjustment needed, usually not a lot. Wokrs well during sessions.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I have a lift-out section at the doorway into my layout room. Sorry I don't have any pictures, but it's simple as can be. Because the track across the doorway is on a curve, I used a piece of 3/4" plywood, about 12" wide and 36" long. On the layout facia on each side of the doorway, I fastened a 3/4" piece of plywood, about 15" long, and as deep as the facia (about 4"). Before installing these pieces, I made a cut-out in the top edge, 3/4" deep and wide enough to accomodate the width of the "bridge". These two pieces were attached to the facia, with screws, so that their top edges were flush with the top of the roadbed on either side of the doorway. The plywood "bridge" was then placed into the cut-outs, with its top surface flush with the top of the roadbed. With the "bridge" in place, track was laid around the curve on the layout on one side, across the bridge, and around the curve on the opposite side of the layout. This was done as one continuous piece, with the flex track soldered together to get the required length. After everything was spiked down, I added some individual spikes, of the type used to handlay track, on each rail and on both sides of where I intended to cut the rails. Because my track is curved, several ties needed to be cut through on an angle, so these were also spiked down individually. When everything was secure, I used a cut-off disc in my Dremel tool to sever the rails. Before removing the bridge, I dropped a couple of feeder wires through the plywood from the rails, then soldered them to a small, multi-pronged plug (it only plugs in one way, so the polarity will always be correct on the bridge), then dropped feed wires from the layout track at one side of the doorway and routed them to the female counterpart of the plug, mounted on the layout facia. I don't normally operate with the liftout in place, as it's only used when somebody just wants to "see the trains run". Normal operation is point-to-point. If you need the bridge in place for the regular operation of the layout, you could install a similar plug-in connection to the layout on the opposite side of the doorway. What I did, to ensure that the layout on the opposite side of the door had a reliable source of power, was route a power-supply cable up behind the backdrop, across the ceiling above the door (hidden above the suspended ceiling panels), then back down behind the backdrop on the opposite side. By the way, when you cut the rails, leave the ends on the lift-out section extending past the end of the plywood: mine extend about 1/4" on each end. That way, there are no rail ends protruding into the walkway when the bridge is not in place, waiting to snag on loose clothing. Mine has been in service for at least 10 or 12 years, with no repairs or adjustments required. Just remember to use care when putting in in place or removing it: it must be dropped into place, not slid, or you'll bend the rails.
    I just recalled that I do have a picture, at least of the bridge support at one side of the bridge. It's not the subject of the photo, and just barely made it into the frame at the extreme right edge.


  9. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    Oh, you're going to have to post pictures of that. My mind is going wild with images.
  10. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Thanks one and all for all the good suggestions.

    Russ and GNRTFAN: Your replies got me to searching for old articles, and I found one titled "Build A Swinging Gate For Easy Access" (An Alternative to the DuckUnder)... in the March 1998 issue of Model Railroader. * If anyone wants the info, I can PM it to them.

    Wayne... Your suggestion sounded interesting also, so I have some studying to do. Of those of you that have such a critter as part of their layout, is there any problem with seasonal expansion/contraction ??? My train room is on the bottom level of our split-level home. We have a humidifier for winter, but have not had a humidity problem in the summer months as of yet. Comments?

    Thanks again, Bob
  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    There was an article in Model Railroader on the very subject a few months ago.

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