A new Gauge 3 garden railway

Discussion in 'G3' started by Mike W, 30 July 2015.

  1. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    We hope to be moving house in the next few months and the house I've just made an offer for has a much larger garden. Now, as a Gauge 3 modeller I can't think of any possible use for a large garden (nudge nudge, wink wink) but there is a snag - it doesn't have anywhere for a workshop, so, I shall have to build one from scratch. First thoughts are for a traditional brick and block shed with tiled roof. BUT, is there a prefabricated building which looks attractive and might do the job more quickly and maybe cheaper? I need about 150 to 200 sq.ft.

    Any suggestions please?

    40126 likes this.
  2. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder! To some extent this will depend on the site (tucked away in a corner or in full view) and what could be done to hide it - shrubs, tress, etc. - together with the architectural style of the house.
    On my list of factors to consider would be:
    • Is this to be your only workspace or will you have another indoors somewhere?
    • Do you want to use it year-round?
    • Balance between insulation possibilities vs heating costs (dependent on above point)
    • Do you expect to need to shift heavy things (machine tools, etc)?
    • Do you expect to need to handle long materials?
    • Is there any height constraint?
    My self-imposed design constraints led to my garage / workshop having a steel frame (incorporating a 2T capacity runway beam for a hoist), brick clad with a roof pitch matching the house. The internal height at the ridge enables me to turn 4m lengths of timber end-for end without going outside (great for doing joinery projects on rainy days!). The hoist is brilliant when messing about with machine tools.
    Also, mine is not square (in plan) as the site tapers ....
    Having a masonery skin enables vine-eyes to be easily inserted - for support wires for roses and other climbing shrubs over 3 walls (the other is against the boundary hedge). I used one contractor to make and erect the steel frame, purchased the remaining materials myself and used a local builder to do the brick & roof work - all of which helped to keep the cost down.
    I'm sure a basic pre-fab would be cheaper - if the restricted design options meet your needs and you can hide it sufficiently.


    Edit - P.S. Happy to supply more details via PM if of any use
    Dog Star likes this.
  3. John Miller

    John Miller Western Thunderer

    Whatever you decide on - don't foget the cat flap at each end to run the garden line right on to the work bench and rolling stock storage shelves.

    Saves time messing around hooking up a consist every time you want to run a train. It can also make it great fun to run live steamers at night or in the rain - or even snow if you've got good heating in the building.

    You will need a roof mounted floodlight and windows overlooking the line. Maybe even base the design on a replica signal box .... :)
    Last edited: 31 July 2015
  4. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    I will never think of cat flaps in the same way again!! :) That's inspired!!
  5. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the ideas. It might be possible for the track to run into it, but its mainly a "dirty" work room for lathe, drill, mill, resin and w/m casting, sheet metal folding, rolling etc.

    Yes Andy, I will have a "clean" workroom in the house for Plastikard, hand assembly etc (and t-other half's crafts too).
    Must be year round and anyway machine tools need to be kept warm and dry.
    Insulating for heat and noise are fairly important.
    Its not a wood working shed for long lengths, but that is a good point.
    Will probably be in a far corner of the garden (long walk in winter!) and only partially obscured, so should look reasonable.

    I was hoping for some sort of small log cabin type thing but on a concrete base and more solid than a garden shed, but not so ugly as a Portacabin (it will be yards from a Georgian summerhouse). Maybe brick and slate is the best option afterall?

  6. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    Here's something you might consider. Having seen their products, they are much better built and certainly much better looking (to my eyes anyway) than most timber buildings on offer at a similar price point (anything cheaper are just too flimsy).We have ordered a small summerhouse from them.
    Very good people to deal with - happy to customise (door / window positions, etc) to suit your needs.
    The 12x18 home office illustrated gives you 216 sq ft. I'm guessing this has a timber floor - but as the company also make greenhouses than I'm sure they could do it without a floor such that it could be put onto a concrete base/floor.
  7. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Thanks Andy. That's the sort of thing I had in mind.

  8. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    This will not be to everyones' taste, but is a relatively instant solution. It is a result of thinking outside the box.Welcome to my recently acquired new lathe hotel - a demountable insulated army truck body constructed mainly from aluminium (and double glazed). The double end door configuration is not that common.

    Two main types are now available - the one below has quite restricted headroom. The later type are just becoming available and have superior insulation and headroom. Prices are variable - this one cost not much more than a good quality garden shed, others may seriously damage your wallet!

    Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 08.05.20.png Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 08.04.48.png
    Last edited: 1 August 2015
    jamiepage and 40126 like this.
  9. ScottW

    ScottW Western Thunderer

    Hi Mike,

    I moved house exactly one year ago today and a few weeks ago finally got around to sorting out my outside workshop. I make use of the spare bedroom for the 'clean' workroom and my new 'dirty' workroom is housed in, what I can only describe as, a small summer house.

    The workshop has single shiplap sides but I lined it internally with 50mm Kingspan and 9mm ply to make it more habitable during the winter months. It already had a power supply in it but I installed more sockets and strip lights. There is a wooden floor inside but the whole things sits on a raised bed of concrete.



    Due to the small size of the workshop I currently don't have any room for my small Seig milling machine. The plan is to eventually sell the milling machine and the pillar drill then replace them both with a mill/drill. :thumbs:

  10. Locomodels

    Locomodels Western Thunderer

    Yet another Taylor-Hobson owner I see! :cool: :thumbs:
    ScottW likes this.
  11. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    What are the dimensions of your workshop, Scott? That engraver looks interesting :)

  12. geoff_nicholls

    geoff_nicholls Western Thunderer

    I know nothing about the building aspects, but can supply the grapevine cuttings, do you prefer red or white wine?
  13. ScottW

    ScottW Western Thunderer

    The workshop is 10ft square, big enough really for the things I anticipate using it for.

    I aquired the engraver a few years ago from a friend. To be honest I'm still getting to grips with it. In my last house it was sat in a cold and draughty barn which never really inspired me to use it. Last Saturday was the first time I had used it in well over a year, and the first time I used the new workshop. The afternoon was spent cutting out some frames for an S Scale Caley 439. :)


  14. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Thanks chaps for your inspirational ideas for a workshop. Looks like the move to this house is going ahead, so I'll be putting the classic car into storage and using the garage as a workshop short term and until I can get permission to build a new and larger garage for the car and/or build an adjacent brick workshop.

  15. Ian G

    Ian G Western Thunderer

    I used to have a 4" x 6" shed that I insulated/heated solar powered fan through car battery, in my spray booth above my work bench I could spin a 7mm MK1.

    Ian G
  16. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Are you acquainted with Dr Who's Tardis? How you get a 7mm Mk1 into a 4" x 6" space defies normal laws of physics!
    Dan Randall likes this.
  17. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Well, just in case anyone was interested, we moved house and have decided where the workshop will be. This is a former potting shed, now vacant space beneath another building in the garden. It is above ground (just), so will be dug out to increase height, insulated, damp proofed and a concrete floor added. At about 27ft x 10ft it should be OK for most of my needs. Biggest problem is getting rid of the spoil, so it will be spread over part of the garden where the new railway will be. That means I need to start designing the railway now, so I have, and will add to this thread soon and change the heading to describe the new line. Havn't actually started work yet, but some Thunderers may well have useful input at the design stage anyway.

    to be continued ...


    Attached Files:

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  18. ScottW

    ScottW Western Thunderer

    Keep us posted, Mike.
    Gordon Halliburton likes this.
  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Being mostly underground, I'm assuming you model LUL if it's to be part of the running tracks ;)
    cbrailways likes this.
  20. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Being an LNWR enthusiast, the move from Bletchley on the LNWR main line, to Wellingborough deep into Midland territory, was somewhat embarrassing. All was not lost however as the LNWR also had a station at Wellingborough called by the LMS “London Road” which of course means it was a long walk from the centre of town! A quick scan of the Internet suggested that a reasonably accurate model could be fitted into the space available, so a friend Harry Jack kindly obtained some O/S maps for me to confirm it.

    Ordnance Survey maps are often overlooked for details of stations, but Wellingborough is typical in that the town was surveyed in 1885, 1899 and 1922, the maps being published a year or two later at the large scale of 6” to the mile or 1:2500. In 1966 another map of the area was published at 1:1250, which is large enough to scale all of the important buildings with reasonable accuracy. This was necessary because the station was closed in 1964 and goods services ceased in 1966. Today the line has completely disappeared beneath the high-level A45.

    Here is the space where the railway will be.

    lankytank likes this.