Saturday, October 17, 2015

Extending the Air Line to New Haven - Hinged Drop Down

Now that the subroadbed is to the wall & doorway, things get a bit more complicated. I'd already cut through the wall, so I routed the subroadbed through there, supporting it on a riser & 1x3 attached across 2 studs:

My preferred method of subroadbed support: 1x3 with riser attached allows for easy height and tilt adjustment.
But there was a slight problem with where I'd cut the hole...

Apparently, I'd cut it about a 1/2" too low. But that's easily remedied with another pass of the drywall saw.
Now through the wall, progress slowed to a crawl as I figured out how to engineer a hinged drop-down across the doorway. Looking at the doorway, I spied the first part of the solution - a hinge! I'm not going to use the door there anymore, so I could just use one of the hinges that was there.

Standard door hinge mounted on a 6" length of 1x4 for solid backing and rigidity.

I screwed a short section of scrap L-girder directly into the stud/doorpost. The flange is up against the wall and the web sticks out to support the subroadbed. A shelf bracket could work also, but I think this set up is much more stable and rigid - which is the key. This area has to be bullet proof and rock solid - and it is. The 1x4 & hinge are placed on top of the L-girder and the subroadbed screwed through the 1x4 in four places - twice directly into the L-girder. Again, for rigidity.  

Close-up of the assembly
Once I attached the span to the hinge, I discovered that the span was slightly "off" - it went off at an angle when I wanted it to be straight. Unfortunately, I'd already screwed in the hinge and would have to turn is ever so slightly - but how?! How could I keep the screws from just going into the old holes and pulling everything out of alignment again??

Well, here's a PRO TIP I got from my carpenter father-in-law which he showed me when we were working on a doorway last summer...

Just fill in the hole with a dowel or something similar - here I'm using a bamboo skewer - and snip it off. You can then drill a new hole and screw in at a different place without having the screw "travel" into the old hole!
Once that was done, the span spanned the doorway just how I wanted...

And here it is in it's lowered state:

Detail of the "other" end:

I constructed the "other"/receiving end much the same way as the hinged end. I again used a scrap of L-girder screwed into the doorpost stud. But this time I added 1x1s on either side of where the span would come up - these act as a track to guide the span into place. I also customized the 1x4 "cap" (the piece on top of the L-girder) to fit around the door moulding and cut a slot to accept the end of the span.

I then attached subroadbed on top of all that. Note that the subroadbed goes over top of the slot to meet the end of the span. Also note the use of business cards to shim in a few places to get things perfectly level and tight. For now, I just place a piece of 1x3 in the slot, cut to the correct length, to support the span when it's in place.

Once the cork is dry, I'll lay track directly across the span and use my Dremel cut-off wheel to cut the rails where the need to be. I'm considering laying Atlas rerailers across the joints and cutting the rerailers, but I haven't decided on that yet. I'll let you know!

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