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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I've been trawling the internet to figure how to make a reasonably good hinge that doesn't look like a hinge plonked into the middle of the layout ! I needed something that looked like part of the scenery as I am building an N gauge layout that folds into a bookcase. I looked and didn't find one. So I came up with my own.

I'm well into my 3D printing which seems essential in anything involving scale models these days. I designed a hinged bridge that definitely looks like part of the scenery and is very functional. Here is a couple of images:-

Automotive tire Wood Rectangle Flooring Bumper
Automotive tire Stairs Wood Grey Floor


I wasn't 100% happy with the way it was holding the Peco code 80 so have now designed with sleepers and chairs to keep it exactly aligned. Version2 looks like this but not yet installed:-

Rectangle Automotive tire Automotive design Toy Font


I adapted to be used as a road bridge as well. Hope you found this interesting.

(y)
 

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Great work, the only thing that would worry me is whether the hinge will be strong enough once you have both baseboards finished as they could well be a bit heavier than you imagine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great work, the only thing that would worry me is whether the hinge will be strong enough once you have both baseboards finished as they could well be a bit heavier than you imagine.
Hi David and thanks - weight was definitely a consideration so I used 3 hinges consisting of 2 rail and 1 road. However the layout is quite tiny and fits on a bookcase shelf. The hinged section is 9mm ply and measures approx 3ft by 1ft. Here is an image. The hinges support the board but will add some stays as well to keep the angle perfectly flat. As you can see, I have way to go yet.

Wood Home appliance Rectangle Flooring Hardwood
 

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My first thought was - why do you need the hinge carrying the track? Why not use two flat metal hinges a little way to the side of the tracks? These could then be covered with scenic mat material. I once did this with a lifting flap across a doorway and the hinges were very effectively hidden.

By the way, some people think that the hinge must be set a lot higher than the track, but this is not so. The centre of the hinge pin only needs to be just above the top of the rails.

Robert
 

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...The hinges support the board but will add some stays as well to keep the angle perfectly flat...
Neat idea, suspect you'll find sales for that hinge design if you make it available for others to print.

What sort of stay are you planning? If the furniture will accomodate it, then slide out bars underneath (traditional support on drop flap desks) are very stable; and if you are feeling ambitious there can be a locking mechanism that won't allow the drop flap to come down until the supports are extended; prevents hinges being strained by dropping the flap without the stays in place to receive it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Neat idea, suspect you'll find sales for that hinge design if you make it available for others to print.

What sort of stay are you planning? If the furniture will accommodate it, then slide out bars underneath (traditional support on drop flap desks) are very stable; and if you are feeling ambitious there can be a locking mechanism that won't allow the drop flap to come down until the supports are extended; prevents hinges being strained by dropping the flap without the stays in place to receive it.
Thanks! For the stay design, I was thinking of a simple pair of pivoting stays attached to the underside of the board. I only have 5mm to play with though so may not be strong enough if it is printed in PLA so will need to do something a little more substantial. As for a locking mechanism, that is definitely a bit ambitious! I can imagine the stays sliding out as the board is lowered - that would be impressive!

Regarding selling STL's, I don't think promoting sale of items would be encouraged on the forums?
 

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Looking at the size of the layout I think your correct those hinges should be strong enough there. I like the built into the furniture feature.
 
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