Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Layout Progress as of 1/14/2009

This week I started construction of the dropdown gate that crosses the doorway on the lower level of the N-scale CSX Dixie Line layout. I decided to go with a dropdown style gate rather than a swing in/out or lift-out style because I felt it could be easily built with minimal addition to the existing benchwork. So far, I have only managed to assemble the actual bridge. This is just a temporary assembly, since it will need to be disassembled for cutting and adding the hinge and bolts that will make the entire assembly work. By doing this temporary assembly, I was able to test fit the bridge on the actual layout and determine the best position.

The bridge is constructed out of three 46.5" long 1x3" boards ripped from plywood assembled in a "U" shape. The horizontal board serves as the bridge deck that the roadbed and track will be mounted on, while the vertical boards prevent sagging and warping of the assembly:

A closer look at the basic "U" construction of the bridge assembly. The vertical members also serve as guard rails that will prevent a derailed train from "taking the plunge":

The bridge has been set in place to test the fit onto the layout:

The next steps will be to cutout the movable portion of the bridge, attach the hinge to allow this portion to swing up and down, and attach the door bolts that lock the bridge into the closed position.