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What Mike and Susan built is really nice.  Very clean visually.  I did something like that but was not happy with the bridge's durability.

My experience with the Atlas Pratt bridge when used as a lift bridge has been disappointing.  It is a well done economical offering, however I found it rather fragile.

Several years ago I thought to set it on a lift out panel with glued down approach tracks.  A little flat black on the subframe and it was good to go.  Photos upon request.Not a rivet counters project but dependable.

I have since done it on several others with success.  The subframe also serves as a linear mount for wires without going down to the floor or over head.

What i really need to do is to use the actuator Like Mike shows to make a self lifting bridge.  thanks for the photos and encouragement!






Here goes Mike,

For the double track bridge I use two blocks to basically key in the position of the bridge on the tray.  A couple of hand hold slots and a pedestal on which to mount the fixed end tracks.

For removal and replacing of the bridge you never have to touch the flimsy plastic.

Indexing dowels guarantee rail alignment.  The ends make a nice mount for micro switches.  Cabinet magnets matched together double the magnetic grab.

I use either Anderson power poles or feed power through the brass dowels.

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For the base I use 1/2" multiply.  it is a high quality cabinet grade  with 7 or 9 plys.  I route the edge with a 1/4" X 1/4" step so at to mute the "hunk of wood " essence.  Flat black finishes it off.  Tain't exactly right but it is durable.

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These bridges were uses on the last layout and did not fair well.  Awaiting replacement repair pieces.

What is the best glue to use on this  bridge plastic?


When you go to buy the cabinet magnets check each pair so as to get the North / South as you need them.  These magnets are intended to go against a ferrous plate so no attention is paid  at assembly as to polarity.  Sometimes the need to be mounted on the same plane sometimes on opposite plane.  So check which ones you have before purchase.



For securing the end fitter pieces I like to use non flex rigid snap track and glue them in place with a 1 1/4" Masonite alignment  strip:


Note the four tracks of wire molding around the basement door.  Three are for RR track power usage and one is for several 110Volt circuits supplying outlets and power packs on separate breakers.


These single track bridges have track power fed via the brass dowels.  Power to each approach track is controlled with micro switches.



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The power is cut in one of two ways.  When I use the Anderson power poles I feed the last several feet of the approach tracks thru the bridge plugs.  When I use the brass dowels I solder leads to  the male and female ends and solder to the isolated rail.

The brass dowels are from the foundry industry for use in mold assembly. 

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Freeman Square-Head Brass Dowels

Freeman Square Head Brass Dowels are used for hard and soft wood pattern equipment, plasters and plastics. The square dowel head provides four wide flat areas that fit perfectly into the Dowel Inserting Wrench assuring accuracy and control when installing both the pin and the bushing. The large contact surfaces of the male dowel will withstand the strain of removing without stripping.

The difficulties of squaring the wrench to the dowel and to the work, when inserting, have been eliminated because the Dowel Wrench covers the entire pin of the male dowel down to the flange of the dowel.

**SIZE 7** Please note

Micro switch to power a single rail several feet before the abutment.  I use a feeder on each piece of rail as a S.O.P.

However just before the bridge I run the feeder for the protecting rail up to a roller micro switch and then back to the rail needing power.  With the bridge raised the circuit to that rail  is cut.



Another method I use is to run the feeder wire to the last section of protecting rail into the Anderson Power Pole plug assembly first then u turn right back out again thru the adjacent plug onward to the protecting rail.



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Last edited by Tom Tee

Hi All, after seeing what Tom Tee did with his Micro switch's I looked around the shop thinking I had some, but nothing found. So I went about trying to build my own, and here is what I came up with. I had some Brass from an old brass door kick that I cut into 1/4 wide strips, wired the ones on the bridge to the power of the TIU. Then made little tabs for the approaching track and wired them to the 2 tracks. The power and signal work just fine. Here are a couple pictures and a short video showing the power being cut when the bridge goes up.20180105_07381920180105_07382720180105_073841


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