Swing Gate Design Measurements

John Burnett Jul 26, 2018

  1. John Burnett

    John Burnett New Member

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    The only area of my layout where I can place a swing gate measures 600mm (24") wide. I would like the internal side of the door to centre of the layout to be about 550mm (22"). I'm currently at a loss to work out the diagonal and external measurement of the external side of the door that would allow the gate to open and close. A lift out door is not feasable as I have a high track going over the top of where the door will be located
     
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do you have pics or a drawing of the area of the layout where the swing gate will go, so we can see some of the possibilities and limitations you are working with? I assume “To the center of the layout” means the swing gate will allow you to pass into or out of a donut-shaped or around-the-room layout. What are the dimensions of the area the gate swings into that might affect size or opening arc of the gate? (Is there enough space for the gate to open and close if another person is already inside that space?)


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  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You have indicated the interior width of the gate is 22 inches and the available space for a gate is 24 inches wide. How deep is the shelf (interior/inside edge to exterior/outside edge) where you want to place the gate? If you put the hinge on the outside of the shelf on the left side of the gate, the exterior width will have to be equal to the length of the diagonal from the hinge on the exterior left side of the gate to the back of the shelf (interior edge) on the right side of the gate. For example, a 22 inch deep shelf with a 22 inch wide interior gate would need to have a gate exterior width of about 31 inches. With the hinge on the left as you look at the gate, this would require enough space outside the layout gate for someone to stand and open a 31 inch "door" and swing it 180 degrees to fit against the fascia for 31 inches along the shelf to the left of the hinge. The arc of the gate would cover a half-circle about 62 inches in diameter, and, for a reasonable amount of comfort, there should probably be at least 2 feet of clearance outside of that half-circle for an adult to stand, because, if you make your gate as thick/deep as your shelf, the opened gate will be sticking out 22 inches into the area outside the layout.

    If the shelf is deeper than 22 inches, the diagonal will be longer, the fully opened gate must be able to fit flat against the fascia to the left of the hinge for a longer distance, the half-circle arc of the opening gate will extend farther into the space in front of the gate, the thickness/depth of the gate itself will stick out farther when the gate is in its opened position, and the amount of space required for comfortable movement will remain about the same. A 24 inch deep shelf will require a gate exterior width of about 32 inches, which will yield a 64 inch diameter half-circle that sticks out 24 inches in front of the shelves to the left of the gate; a 30 inch deep shelf will require a gate exterior width of about 38 inches, will make about a 76 inch diameter half-circle arc as it opens, and will stick out about 30 inches in front of the left shelves when in its opened position.

    I drew these 2 Figures to show gate dimensions for three possible options.
    [​IMG]

    Toward the upper left, Figure 1 shows a 22 inch deep shelf in green with a blue gate that is also 22 inches deep, back/interior gate width = 22 inches, front/exterior gate width = 31 inches. When opened, the gate extends 31 inches along the left shelf and there is room for a person to stand next to the opened gate in less than 4 feet. But, as the gate swings through its opening or closing arc, the space would have to be about 4.5 feet wide to comfortably accommodate a person.

    If your layout has less than 31 inches to the right or to the left of the 24 inch section where the gate can be placed, or if there is less than 4.5 feet of available space in front of the gate for a person to stand while opening and closing the gate, then the thickness of the gate (the depth of the shelf) that is moved to create the (at least) 22 inch wide gap in the shelves, will need to be reduced.

    In the lower right, Figure 2 has two smaller gate options. The green outlines are for 30 inch deep shelves; the blue gate is 22 inches wide at the back, 28 inches wide at the front, and only about 18 inches deep. The hinge for the blue gate in Figure 2 is on the left front of the shelf, just like the hinge in Figure 1. The Figure 2 blue gate diagonal length is only 28 inches, so the opening arc of this gate only comes out 28 inches. When the gate is fully open, it extends 28 inches to the left of the hinge and only sticks out 18 inches in front of the permanent shelves.

    The second gate option in Figure 2 is outlined in red. The back/interior width of the gate is 22 inches (just like the other options), but you mentioned that you only had 24 inches available for a gate on the outside of your shelf, so the depth of the gate has been reduced to about 13 inches by bringing the front edge back about 5 inches from the front/outside edge of the shelf on the right. This reduced depth means the length of the diagonal from the hinge at the left front of the red gate to the right back of the red gate is only 24 inches...so the gate (though much more shallow than the shelves on either side) will only be 24 inches wide. Where the right shelf edge curves to meet the red gate edge, it is marked in purple. The purple front edge of the right shelf for the red gate is the same as the green front edge of the blue Figure 2 gate.
    On the left shelf, the front edge of the left shelf for the red gate has also been moved back about 5 inches, so that the red gate hinge may be positioned on the front edge of the left shelf and allow the red gate to fully open 180 degrees, so the gate can rest flat against the fascia of the left shelf. As the 13 inch deep red gate swings open, it will arc out 24 inches from the hinge on the left shelf (which is 5 inches back from the front edge of the right shelf), which means when it is fully opened to 180 degrees, the gate will stick out 13 inches from the purple front edge of the left shelf, and only 8 inches beyond the front edge of the right shelf.
     
  4. John Burnett

    John Burnett New Member

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  5. John Burnett

    John Burnett New Member

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    To all, Your input has been most valuable and appreciated. I have taken everything on board and produced a swing door to be proud of, thanks to your designs. Once again thanks to all
     
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pics??
     
  7. John Burnett

    John Burnett New Member

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    Been away. Anyhow, here's some pics. Once again to all especially to 'ppuinn
     

    Attached Files:

    Helitac and ppuinn like this.
  8. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    WOW!! Fantastic gate. I really like how you paneled the front.

    I had to make some assumptions about your shelf depth. What were the final dimensions of the gate: front width, rear width, depth of the gate, and radius of the gate arc; and depth of the shelves to the right and left of the gate?

    Any chance of a full train room view, or a rough track plan showing how the gate fits into the total layout footprint and into the train room space?

    What sort of design issues did you have to contend with, when mounting the gate? The curved side of the gate looks like it nestles snugly into the left side shelf. What sort of mechanism, if any, did (will?) you use to ensure smooth mechanical connections of the gate rails with the right and left side shelf rails, and to provide reliable electrical connections on the gate?

    For what it’s worth...
    An N-scale friend of mine used a 36 x 3 inch lift out section to bridge a shelf gap across a doorway. The lift out fit snugly into pockets on the side shelves at each end, so the rails aligned without needing rail joiners. Over time, the wood dried or wore enough to cause a misalignment sufficient to derail a loco and two cars...which took “the plunge”. He started using sliding rail joiners to ensure rail alignment at each end of the lift out. If your track is farther from the front or back edge of your gate than his was, a derailment might put locos or cars on the “ground”, but not off the layout (gate or shelf) to the floor.

    What, if any, plans do you have of arranging electrical Interlocking for tracks on the right and left shelves to prevent a loco from pulling (or pushing!) a string of cars into the gap of an opened gate?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. John Burnett

    John Burnett New Member

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    Will give you as much info re swing gate, BUT you'll have to give me about a week. Over the past weeks I have been really busy. Please be patient
     
  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    No problem. Take your time.


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