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Author Topic: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?  (Read 585 times)

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Offline Ricky B

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Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« on: November 21, 2019, 07:26:15 PM »
Maybe so not the most mouthwatering of thread headings..but I can't think of anywhere better to answer my question than amongst the good citizens of this forum. So if you're still reading, thanks  :thumbsup: It's something which would be a departure from my current plan which is moving slowly towards being a modest end to end layout with cassettes up to 36" long at either end to turn/swap stock-  about eleven foot long all told.

But in the way railway modellers, do, I've started fantasising about extending at both ends of the layout at right angles -  with fiddle sidings on both extensions on both walls of the loft. Sidings about 6' ong to allow longer more prototypical trains to run through. Along one wall the extension could be supported atop a standing, existing, bookcase.
But along the other wall,  the extension would need to on a shelf as it's above the loft hatch and there's very little floor available. The question is, the loft walls are lined out with (I think) mdf so with all joists hidden I assume any shelf would need to be fastened to the joists beneath?

Any observations at all, welcome.

Online lil chris

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 07:44:31 PM »
My loft room has been lined with plaster board, but it was done a few years ago. Yes you need to fix any shelf to the joists, mdf or plaster boardwould not be strong enough. If you can work out where the joists are you could fix through whatever has been used to line the loft. Mine is a old terrace house and I think the joists are about 18" apart.
Lil Chris
My new layout here, Irwell Valley Railway. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47127.0

my old layout was East Lancashire Lines.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 07:48:57 PM »
If you can't see the screw heads where the MDF is fitted to the joists you might want to try a stud finder to locate the joists.

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 08:09:13 PM »
Back in the '80s we moved to a large house in Weston Super Mud, as we had moved from a house in Poole, we had some cash to spare so had the loft floored and a staircase  and a Velux window put in. I then put up a wall 4' high all round using chip board with some insulation fixed to the back, in that enclosed space I then fixed plasterboard and more insulation to the roof timbers. I then had a nice fairly cosy "room".

I then bought a load of second hand kitchen units which were placed at intervals all round the "walls" these supported 2"x2"timbers to which I fastened my 2' wide baseboards. The result was an "L" shape, base was 17'x12' and the "leg" was 13'x8'. Plenty of storage space under and room for a work bench in the middle.

Five years later work forced a further move - back to Poole. Had to abandon the layout, but did keep all the stock and electrics. (8 layouts since then, not all completed though, all got as far as running, some even had scenery.
Cheers MIKE
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Offline Ricky B

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 09:51:25 PM »
Thanks lil Chris, Dorsetmike and Lawrence. Your reassurances and insight are very helpful. Carpentry and general "DIY" are not my strongest suit so to have my suspicions confirmed is helpful.

I can't check the position of the pins in the mdf wall panels just now but hope they're in a position allowing me to fashion the shelf to take the fiddle yard board- which would allow me to possibly proceed.

I remember seeing Chris Leigh in Model Rail fairly recently extending his Staines West n gauge model right round the walls of a room and it planted something in me. Now I've gained the confidence that things are working (electrically speaking) on my existing end to end 'Wheldon Bywater" (closely resembling Ledston on the Castleford to Garforth branch), I'm suddenly eying the chance to have Sunday East Coast (West Riding to KX)diversionary traffic running through as branch actually did in the 1960s when, still intact, it was an alternative route from Donny to Leeds via Knottingley, Cas, and Garforth.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:56:40 PM by Ricky B »

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 04:14:12 PM »
If you can't see the screw heads where the MDF is fitted to the joists you might want to try a stud finder to locate the joists.

Thanks Lawrence. I. Needing to ask a bit more of you chaps.
Admittedly I'm trying to avoid buying an expensive Stud Finder so been looking online for other advice...can anyone tell me, how far apart are the vertical studs likely to be? 16" or 24" seems to be the common answer?

On my wall which has been lined with plaster board, the screws aren't helping much - the sheets of dry wall seem to have been fastened to the horizontal studs, not the vertical. I need to find the verticals to fix my shelf bracket to.

I've poked a sharp file through to find them and think I've identified one of the vertical studs but finding others elusive. Knocking on wall and listening technique inadequate.

And further  guidance?

Offline rob_au

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 01:13:59 AM »
Quote
Admittedly I'm trying to avoid buying an expensive Stud Finder so been looking online for other advice.

Basic stud finders are relatively inexpensive, but you may be able locate joints with some percussion of the loft walls and a keen ear. Simply by knocking on the wall, you should be able to locate the stud by listening to the change of pitch in the sound as you knock over the stud. This is my "go to" method for locating a stud, even though I do have a stud finder.

Other methods/advice for locating a stud - https://thehonestcarpenter.com/blog/5-ways-to-find-studs-in-a-finished-wall/

Offline Bealman

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 03:27:56 AM »
Yes, I too have a stud finder, but usually end up going back to the good old knocking on the wall. With practice, it works 99% of the time.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Malc

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 11:11:40 PM »
Generally studs are at 16” intervals, so you get one in the middle and one at each end of a 8’x4’ sheet of plasterboard. I have a stud finder, but don’t find it works terribly well on wood, but great for mains and water pipes. Knocking always works though.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 12:07:50 AM »
Yep, all studs throughout Chez Bealman are timber. The electronic gizmo doesn't pick 'em up real well. Knocking works.

It's not just the sound, there is tactile feedback from your knuckles as well!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online dannyboy

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David.
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 10:25:35 AM »
What I find worrying about the knocking method is when you get a reply :worried:

Online tutenkhamunsleeping

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 11:19:17 AM »
What I find worrying about the knocking method is when you get a reply :worried:

With my positive thinking hat on, that’s a chance to join up to the person next door’s layout :D

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 11:00:05 PM »
Generally studs are at 16” intervals, so you get one in the middle and one at each end of a 8’x4’ sheet of plasterboard. I have a stud finder, but don’t find it works terribly well on wood, but great for mains and water pipes. Knocking always works though.

Thanks chaps for the input. In fact lying awake pondering the subject the other day it dawned that I didn't explain the situation all that well- I'd maybe not thought aspects of it through. I am talking about the loft and I had it professionally lined out about three years ago (by a company advertising in I think Model Rail). As the wall in question was the gable end of the loft, I realised that the dry wall panels must have been fitted to a wooden framework THEY THEMSELVES FITTED. In other words Indon't think there was any stud franework there before- why would there be in a loft? Furthermore, if the loft lining people built the framework to 'hang' the plasterboard on, isn't it quite likely that it doesn't conform to classic 16"/400mm spacing?

I'll have some time to continue my attempts to tap or knock, knock my way to finding those verticals this week.👍

Offline Malc

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Re: Extending a layout along a lined loft wall: a big no no?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 08:56:16 AM »
I would expect it to conform to the 16” spacing as they would use 8 x 4 sheets. They would have built a frame around the perimeter and then used studs at 16” with noggins as required.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

 

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