Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Hunkiedoo, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Hunkiedoo

    Hunkiedoo Member

    Have just spent the day under my layout (which I started building about 1978), cleaning up wiring, checking circuits, adding feeders, etc.

    Here is a helpful hint for new modelers: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, ......N E V E R design a layout with a @##$!?*&!# duckunder!!!

    Where's the liniment?
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'll bet that duckunder wasn't a problem.....Twenty Years Ago!!

    If you can't find the linament, There"s a tankcar full of "Graham County's finest" being routed your way. :D :D
  3. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hmm.... I keep seeing the warnings about duckunders. And the little voice in my head is saying, " t., you'll be sorry". But this other guy with a louder voice says I'll be even more sorry if I use reverse loops.

    Actually what I want most of all is continuos running, with a layout depth of no more than two ft. around the wall. But... I ain't getting any younger myself.:D

  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    One of the modular groups in the area, has a 4' section that has a "drop" bridge, so you can just walk through. They call it a "Geezer Gate":D :D
  5. clumber

    clumber New Member

    Twenty years!!
    Mine did not last the year out. Had a back problem and even though the layout was 48" high it still gave me too many problems.
    Having said that I have seen some with a lift out section but they still required getting underneath to connect the electrical supply.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Avoid the duckunder!!!!!! I had one and constantly scraped my back on it. My revised layout is dog bone shaped so a good part of it is only two feet wide along the wall. The new design leaves a nice open space in the middle of the room too.
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Try as I did I just couldn't eliminate one duck under so that why my layout base height is 42 inches off the floor....I'm kinda short anyway:D :D

    My DUCK died, so I buried him UNDER the layout!!!
  8. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

    I try to avoid duckunders myself. In the last club I was with there was a drop leaf that latched with a dead bolt and used a microswitch to route power to the section and also to the approach tracks. When the drop leaf was down (open to people traffic) the approach tracks were electrically dead. Worked great!

  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I built a "swinging bridge" It was in MRR about 3 yrs ago
  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    For basement layouts here's an idea - a circular staircase that comes down in the middle of the layout.

    :D Val
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Yeah!!! and Lop the Top off those annoying other obsticals...
    House heaters & Water heaters , washing machines & dryers - so they will "fit" under the main lines LOL

    Look at us - starting our 2003 X-mas list already :D :D :D
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Quack! Quack! I agree avoid duck unders if all possible..
  13. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Vals Spiral staircase sounds very nice. Course with my budget I'd have to settle with a pole, wait...Just looked in my wallet, how about a nice rope.:D

  14. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    There are duckunders, and there are duckunders. I'm a geezer, but my next layout will have a duckunder. The center isle will have the floor raised 14 inches, and the nominal track height will be 52 inches above that. That makes for a duckunder that is 62 to 63 inches high. More a tilt-your-head-under.

    My ceiling height is 8'2", so even on the raised floor, there is still 7 feet of head room.

    Besides the duckunder improvement, there is more room under the layout for storage, workbench, etc. And under-layout work will be a snap rolling around sitting on a drafting stool.

    I cannot figure why almost no one does this.

  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    My Wednesday night layout has a swinging gate that can also be ducked under. The gate expands in summer and shrinks in winter. Noticed last week that it's now warping across the way.
  16. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    As someone pointed out...

    As someone pointed out to me in another thread. Break it down- Duckunder. Duck, a water fowl. Under, beneath, lower. It's beneath a duck to stoop that low or only a duck would be under there? i quack me uP!:p

    I've considered it too. I'm in the pre-benchwork phase. Second build since I thought I was moving a few months ago. No duckunders, no way, no how (oh my aching back). It'll be bad enough pulling wire and laying on my back dropping a screwdriver every 30 seconds or so. I don't wanna hafta crawl on my hands and knees everytime to play trains.

  17. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Forget "Duck-Under" go for a "Roll-Under"....

    Hi Bill,

    I agree 100%! Forget "Duck-Under" and have a "Roll-Under."

    Just situate a drafting stool or other small office chair with casters at the entrance.

    Have a seat and roll under the track and stand up on the other side.

    It's much easier on the ol' spinal column. And the seat can also be used for workin' under the layout.

    Keep the layout at around 50" high for better viewing and more room underneath for storage, work benches and undertrack access....

  18. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Library "Kick Stools" are great too....

    If you can get your hands on a "Kick Stool" do it.

    They are built with little spring loaded casters so that they roll across the floor when you kick them. But they stay firmly in place when you stand on them.

    Kick Stool


    They are great for kids and short folks to view tall layouts and are also great for when you need to reach the backside of tall layouts....
  19. Rusted

    Rusted Member

    The greed for as much mainline and spurs as possible in my space blinded me to their inconvenience. I have three duck unders now - one is a crawl under - nice heigth for the kids but I'm in my 30s and kick myself in the butt every time I have to crawl under, literally and figuratively.

    The railroad has been open for only a year now, and plans have been drawn to tear down(again) and rebuild with no duck unders (I may never have to buy scenery materials at this rate).
  20. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Well guys, I have a duckunder, and I am nearly 66 years young. The height to get under is 3'-6" and touch wood (Not mine) I haven't hit my head once. Now that I have said that (Ooch)



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