Suspending Disbelief

Andrew and I met in the garage again last night. The garage has been pretty full of layout for the past week, and soon the layout is going to be the sort of thing that I don’t want to find bikes leaning against. Time to get it out of the way! So, up it went, next to the ceiling.

Ceiling layout

Actually, only the twelve foot section went up, the six-footer can lean against the wall for now. We were concerned about suspending the layout from too few points, and causing it to bow over time, and so, we built a cradle for it out of two L-girders and some 1×4’s on the flat. The layout sits between the two L girders so that it presents a low profile and fits between the garage door and the ceiling.

To raise and lower it, I devised a pulley system where a single rope pulls up the whole layout. To be honest, it doesn’t work as well as I’d envisioned yet. You definitely need to push or pull on one end occasionally to keep the whole thing level, but worse, the pulleys tend to bind. They cost me $2.40 apiece, and were worth every penny. Or perhaps it was the rope. In any case, it’s not the trouble-free one-person operation I’d like it to be.

I’m going to investigate some nicer pulleys and rope at a boating store down the street from my office as soon as I get a chance. I may even pay as much as $5 per pulley if they look like they’ll work better!

With the north section out of the way, we put the more manageable south section up on the saw horses to apply the cork to the roadbed. Next up, we’ll be laying out the precise center-lines and laying ties. Let the modelling begin!


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