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Vertical fiddleyard reconstruction

Fen End Pit


The re-construction of the fiddleyard started in earnest with a couple of days off. The original Mk-1 version was based on a lump of MDF as a back with some shelves of 6mm MDF fastened on the front. The unit had been built up one at shelf at a time at it had proved difficult to make each shelf align properly with the exit roads, basically as layers were added the previously alignment would get pushed out with the extra weight. I also had the problem that in retrospect I had mounted the rack-mount server tracks used as runners the wrong way up. This meant that as the unit was lifted up it tended to bow slightly away from the wall. The problem wasn't too bad but it meant that the front of the fiddleyard needed to be lifted slightly to allow you to push the connect bolts in and four bolts were needed two at the rear of the shelf and two at the front to keep the alignment in place.




I was also limited to 1m long which was just a bit too short for the trains I want to run round Empire Basin.


I purchased a load of aluminium L section and some 25mm box section Easi-Rec tube and joints from 'Aluminium Warehouse'. The delivery of 2.5metre lengths of metal certainly left my reception in no doubt that I was building something BIG! I also purchased a hacksaw blade for the mitre saw which made cutting the stuff up pretty easy. The intention is that if I measure and drill everything in one go I have a chance (hopefully) of getting it all square and staying square more than I did with the MDF. The overall length has been increased to 1.1m to allow for a Claud and 3 Mk-1 coaches. I different pair of runners were obtained and mounted so that they are 'extended' when the yard is in the lower position. This means that when lifted the yard won't bow away from the wall.




This photo shows the moving bit of the yard supported in position on the original wooden supports for the bridge pieces over the door and spare bed. The shelves will be filled with MDF supported for the whole length on the aluminium angle. Since this picture I've added a couple of diagonal braces to hold the whole thing square and got it mounted on the runners. Tomorrow with luck I'll get the support structure for the counter-balance and bridge boards built.



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Like the look of this quite a bit. It sort of mirrors thoughts I've been having for one of the layout ideas I've got/am working on.


Except I had the thought of it being a 'lift' rather than a fiddle yard, with the fiddle yard under the layout. I did have crazy ideas of it being multi track and able to move side-to-side, but think that might be pushing my luck somewhat!!

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What a great idea! I'm really surprised that this isn't a more popular fiddle yard solution for all of us space starved modellers.

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