Frost River: The Construction Thread

TwinDad Mar 29, 2015

  1. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    I know they don't have to be very high... the drawing is exaggerated. With Code 55 rail and standard cork, the hinge axis would need to be above 0.225" from the base.

    I'm looking at some interesting Euro-style cabinet hinges I found for inset doors that might do the trick with the hinge completely below the bridge. We'll see how the experiment goes.

    Between lift vs. drop, I'm more in favor of lift, if I can make it work, as I don't want to mess with the more complex support on the far end for the drop. I considered a lift-out, and used one for the closet door where it will be operated less frequently, but I think a hinged design is better for this area.
     
  2. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    I would agree that the lift up seems to fit your room best. Piano hinges seem like they would be a good choice and can be easily cut to fit.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Considering that it is a more heavily used passage, I would go the same route.
     
  4. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Update: More progress on the benchwork. School is rapidly approaching for the kids, so time to work on the benchwork is becoming more sporadic. Tonight, though, I corrected the warp in the South wall section (right, in the picture), bolted the South, East and Southeast sections together, and cut the fascia curve into the Southeast corner. That curve makes a big difference in how much room there is to move in the "pit".

    [​IMG]
    Bench work progress
    by Mark, on Flickr

    Parts for the lift bridge are on their way, so we will be finishing up the lumber work soon!
     
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  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm sure a few folks are interested in watching how this comes together.
     
  6. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Me too :)

    Seriously... I'm very interested to see if my hinge experiment works out. Fingers crossed!
     
  7. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Update...

    The hinges arrived this weekend, so when there is time, I should be able to get the bridge test started. Kids are starting back to school this week, so it may yet be some time before I can assemble things.

    Meanwhile, some other progress... I test fit part of the backdrop and fascia, installed foam on most of the peninsula, and began drawing out the track plan on the peninsula. I plan to sketch the track plan out on the foam, paint it in place (roughly) with a 1" brush to indicate where the roadbed will be, and then use that as a guide to figure out how I want the landscape contours to go. This, then, will help me figure out if and where I need to carve the top of the fascia to match the landscape.

    Pics:

    [​IMG]
    Fascias and tracks
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Fascias and tracks
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Fascias and tracks
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Fascias and tracks
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Fascias and tracks
    by Mark, on Flickr
     
  8. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    OK, I had some time today... it looks like the hinge experiment is a (qualified) success!

    I cut two pieces of 3/4" birch plywood... one to be the vertical base mounted to the peninsula (the "cabinet wall') and the other to be the base end of the bridge (the "cabinet door"). This is a little heavy duty, but I figure the hinge area needs to be sturdy to withstand accidental bumps and such. The bridge part needs to be at least 13mm deep because of the hinge cups. 1/2" ply is too thin, 5/8" wasn't available, but 3/4" was. So...

    Once the hinges were installed and adjusted, I clamped the base piece to the peninsula and measured for the bridge itself. I lowered the bridge with an extra piece of 1/2" ply to give 18 feet of scenic clearance for the (model) bridge that will be modeled on the (layout) bridge.

    It works pretty well. The hinges have a ... cantilever? ... motion that pulls the "door" out and away from the "cabinet" so that the rail clearance is built into the hinge motion. They also open to 110 degrees, which helps hold the bridge in the up position, and they have a "soft close" feature that helps keep the bridge from slamming down. This doesn't work nearly as well in the vertical arrangement as it does in the normal cabinet-door arrangement but it does help a little.

    The hinges are also adjustable in 3 directions, for fine tuning the bridge alignment...

    OK... pictures!

    Bottom view of the hinges in closed position:
    [​IMG]

    The great hinge experiment by Mark, on Flickr

    Top view in the closed position, with only the base portion of the bridge. I have to hold it level because the hinges pull it a little tighter than 90 degrees. Once the full bridge is in place, the far end of the bridge will hold it square.
    [​IMG]

    The great hinge experiment by Mark, on Flickr

    The hinge partially open...
    [​IMG]

    The great hinge experiment by Mark, on Flickr

    ... and fully open
    [​IMG]

    The great hinge experiment by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]

    The great hinge experiment by Mark, on Flickr

    The full bridge... Still need to assemble the far end...
    [​IMG]

    Bridge building by Mark, on Flickr
     
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  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am really liking how this hinge system works (y)(y)(y)(y)(y)
     
  10. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I used to have some wall units with cabinet doors that had those same type of hinges.
    Interesting to find them being used in a model railroad application! (y)
     
  11. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Nice find. It ought to be right helpful for the hinges to pull in tight to less than 90 degrees. Keeping that locked in place better.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    When the bridge is completely finished and in use, I'd really like to see a brief video of it being operated. That should be very interesting!
     
  13. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, I'll be certain to do that :)
     
  14. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    It's nowhere near completely finished, but I did record a brief demo video this evening. If a picture is worth a thousand words...

     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. That is even nicer than I'd imagined. So smooth. And it even reminds of a couple prototype lift bridges I've known. You've really come up with something here!
     
  16. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. I hope the finished product holds up to the promise. One nice thing about these hinges is they have a "soft close" feature built in. It doesn't work nearly as well in the vertical direction as it does in their intended horizontal application, but it does slow the final few degrees of closure a bit and give a softer landing.

    The fine adjustment screws are perhaps the best thing about them. I can really dial in the rail gap and level the hinge point against any small amounts of twist. The far end will be not so easy to control, but at least one end will be good.

    Did I mention the hinges clip in and out, so I can remove the whole bridge quite easily?

    I'm somewhat concerned about thermal expansion on the bridge throughout the year, but with the whole thing built of plywood and the layout room being well climate controlled, I hope that will work out OK.

    I'm taking pictures in anticipation of a possible magazine article when it's closer to finished.
     
  17. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    I will definitely be keeping those type hinges in mind if I run into the need for a lift or swing bridge for sure.

    Sent from the magical mystery box
     
  18. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    UPDATE: BENCHWORK IS (basically) COMPLETE!

    [​IMG]
    Finished cutting foam
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Finished cutting foam
    by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Finished cutting foam
    by Mark, on Flickr

    Clearly, it's time for a bit of housekeeping in the room. But... at lunch today I made the final major cuts to the base foam layer, so the benchwork is in its final shape, barring some minor adjustments and tweaks. My goal was to have this part done by the time summer was over, and I *just* made it!

    As I *think* you can see, I've started sketching the trackwork onto the foam using Sharpies, so I can get an idea where I want contours and where it needs to stay level for the rails. I'll do the basic foreground contours, and then cut and fit the fasica. Also still to do carpentry-wise is to construct and install the valance for the lighting. Also, very important, now that the base foam is down, I can finish cutting and installing the backdrop.

    I'm hoping to finish up the table-saw work in time to get my wife's car back in the garage before winter :)
     
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  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yikes. If that doesn't happen..... :eek::(:cry:
     
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  20. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    I took a little time last night to put together a video update and tour of the layout, now that the benchwork is done. Hope you enjoy!

     
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