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QUOTE (vintagemodeller @ 5 May 2005, 15:04)I have noted that Argos are currently doing a sizable 4m x 3m (13ft x 10ft in English) galvanized steel shed for what seems a very reasonable £400. Now I could do an awful lot within a shed of this size. Has anybody any experience of railway modelling within a garden shed and has anybody any thoughts on the use of a steel shed rather than one of timber?

When I was but a little tyke, my family's house had a garden shed that was about 5m x 5m (roughly 16ft x 16ft), walls and roof of corrugated-iron sheets with a rough brick floor. Then, about thirty years later, I built a carport which incorporated a small shed (about 4ft x 8ft) at one end; the shed had metal walls and roof, and stood on a concrete slab. Both of these sheds were extremely damp inside; condensation formed on the inside of the roof and walls and dripped on everything in there, and anything metallic stored in these sheds rusted immediately. I remember being persuaded to lay my Hornby gauge 0 tinplate track in the first shed, only to find a thick coating of rust on the bottoms of all the sleepers the next day. I think the situation might have been a bit better if there had been an air space below the sheds' floors, but even so, as soon as warm air hit cold metal, a LOT of condensation would form.

I now have had a timber shed (10ft x 12ft) for about six months, and have not seen any condensation or moisture problems (yet, anyway!). Based on these experiences, I would be very hesitant about using a steel shed to house a model railway, even in Britain's mild (but damp) climate. Sorry to put a damper (!!) on your project, but that's my experience. Another alternative might be heavy-duty plastic (PVC, I think), but I don't have any experience with sheds built of this material.

Roger Lewis
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