Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Overhead layout-the ups and downs

1765 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Overhead layout-the ups and downs
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 10, 2003 2:38 PM

Want to make my small ( 4x6 ) layout so it can be raised, and lowered from the ceiling. Can I use rope, or whatever? Any ideas at all would be of help.
THANKS in advance.
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: within earshot of CP
  • 64 posts
Posted by scotttmason on Monday, November 10, 2003 2:59 PM
Engineering students at UW-Madison were masters of this type of construction but used for bunk beds rather than layouts. Since the dorms wouldn't allow any permanent construction, they used pulleys from anchor bolts mounted to a free-standing framework. You could drive eyebolts directly into joists and hang pulleys that way. Be sure to design with more than enough load bearing capabilities, locking mechanism for crank, and raise all 4 corners at same rate to avoid tipping.
Got my own basement now; benchwork done but no trains, yet.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 10, 2003 10:54 PM
I know a bit about this since I do some overhead rigging of concert type truss lighting and sound systems. Make sure your framework is quite solid of course and then you could try a chain hoist with aircraft steel coupled with shackles and spansets underneath depending on how large you table is you may need more than on rig point. (this may be over kill but you could look up rigging to see how the methods are done) Another way could be a series of block and fall type rope pullies which would be much less expensive
  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Midtown Sacramento
  • 3,339 posts
Posted by Jetrock on Monday, November 10, 2003 10:59 PM
If you don't mind gluing everything on the layout down, you could always design the layout to fold up into the wall like a Murphy bed--a friend's layout was designed that way. It was the same size, 4x6, in a sturdy wall-mounted dresser. He had to take off all his rolling stock after an operating session but it certainly tucked away nicely. If you have room for a little staging yard off to the side you could park everything on the staging yard and then roll up the rest of the layout to avoid having to handle your rolling stock too much.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:33 AM
I've seen this done with slotcars, but not model trains. The slotcar track was mounted on a board which was suspended from pullys fixed to the ceiling. Make sure you screw into joists rather than plasterboard, otherwise you may be woken by an awful crashing noise as your layout disappears downwards taking part of the ceiling with it!
  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,452 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:30 AM
Back in the fifties or sixties MR had an article about a grage sized layout that was supported on ropes and counterbalanced to raise out of the way when not in use. I would think the key would be a weight system that was adjustable as weight was added to the layout. MR also did a railroad plan based on a bookcase or hutch in the early 70's. I don't think a 4' x6' would be practical to raise by a pulley system since it would require a roughly 4' x 6' area to raise it and it seems impractical. You might be better to make it fill the space available so the pulley system is on or next to the walls since they would have to go that far anyway. A 4' x6' would probably fit under a bed and be easily set up on a couple of sawhorses or other similar leg system. Portable layouts are a pain however as a lot of the time is used in setting up and taking down which gets old. My opinion is that a bookshelf or switching layout that takes less room space by going along a couple of walls 12" wide or around the room is a lot more practical and usable.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!