Duck!

One of the little projects this week was finishing up the duckunder at the entrance to the room. It’s fine if you’re under 5’5″, assuming you don’t wear your hair in a bun, but taller folks run the risk of a head bump, as the bottom of the duckunder is at 66″. Here’s what I did to avoid that!

1. From the beginning, once I realized a duckunder was a desirable layour design element, I decided to make it as high as possible. This influenced the elevation of the entire layout, so it was important to plan it well in advance!

2. The construction of the duckunder was in keeping with the rest of the layout’s wood frame construction, though as thin as possible. The framing is made of 1×2″ nominal dimensional lumber ripped from 3/4″ ply, and the long ones are laminated with a second sheet to make a 2×2. The subroadbed sits on a 1/2″ spacer above these. The longitudinal beams are reinforced by a 1×1/8″ piece of steel. It is STURDY. All wires are run between the scenery and the benchwork, but not under as is the norm for the rest of the layout.

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I seem to have not taken good photos, so here is the benchwork diagram from xtrackCAD:

duckunder benchwork

3. My fascia is made from 1/8″ hardboard. I cut it flush on the bottom at the front and back, and added a piece to cover up the entirety of the bottom to avoid anything that could catch on a passerby. After that, I used a type of foam pipe insulation found in the plumbing section of a hardware store. I fastened it to both bottom corners using clear caulking, held in place with a piece of wood clamped down for evenness.

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The result? There are a thousand places on the layout you could hurt yourself, and this is not one of them!

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