You may have noticed that my modelling output has been rather limited the last few months. Partly this is because sometimes I do a lot, sometimes I don't. It is a hobby after all, and after the EXPO challenge last year it is nice to not have deadlines. However another factor is that we moved house at the end of last year, and while the new house doesn't need a lot of work, there have been more DIY jobs than usual to content with.
One such task has been to make usable space in the loft. Like many houses built in the last 50-years it has a low-profile roof with pre-fabricated roof trusses, which combined with extra insulation makes the space difficult to access and no use at all for storage.
The first task was to make a floor for safe access. Some pieces of chipboard from an old chest of drawers were fixed to the few planks at the top of the ladder, but I didn't want to remove any insulation. So I got some 4"x2" timber from a local timber merchant, who cut it to 4' lengths too, these are then screwed on top of the joists between the insulation and could then support 18mm chipboard flooring. This provides crawling space (no room to stand!) but allows air to move above the insulation.
Next up was to provide storage space. I had a load of old bed slats which were cut and screwed across the outer "vee" of the trusses as seen above. More chipboard recycled from old furniture could then sit on top of these to provide a shelf. The shelf is about 18" deep and the trusses are around 18" apart (though it does seem to vary!). Having just dismantled a built-in wardrobe I have now fitted out about half the loft in this way (the water tank makes the rest of the space more difficult to access).
Now I suppose this space could be used for a model railway, but it isn't really ideal. Apart from the temperature variations, poor light, limited space for humans, and the difficulty of getting any layout in or out, it isn't a sociable place to be! Nonetheless it will help by allowing stuff to move out the garage (you know, Christmas decorations, spare bedding, all those railway mags and anything else that probably isn't needed but isn't ready to be thrown away), meaning perhaps one day I'll have enough space there to build a layout!