The day wasn’t spent in Shipping/Receiving parcels, as the previous post might make it look like. No Sir, actually real work has been done on the railroad. Crews have been busy drilling the sub/road bed and fitting turnouts and motors. Finally, we are “doing trains” !!
…or “Making a Mess”. It was bound to happen after spinning in circles for a day, trying to figure out whether I’ve missed something glaringly obvious or not. I wasn’t ready to commit cork to the helix sub-roadbed yesterday, so today I bit the bullet. Truth be told, I did re-adjust 3 spots on the threaded rods last night where the height did not match the calculations, but that was only a matter of adding or removing a 1/32″ washer. There’s no going back now.
I knew I needed a way to cut 80+ spacers for the upper helix loops, and I definitely did not want to use a simple blade knife. All of these spacers need to be exactly the same length (height) in order the maintain the grade across the entire helix so some amount of precision is needed. Thus I spent the day fabricating my own chopper block. I ended up buying a PEX/Tubing cutter blade and then finding a way to mount it on a sturdy handle that won’t deform from pressure.
Slow start to the day…as always a lot of time wasted at Home Despot and Lowers, with multiple trips, plus running other errands, etc. Fun. Not. Oh yeah, check out the reverse super-elevation (1/16″) on the inner rods. I opted to do this instead of adding hundreds of tiny plastic bits under the track. The effect is the same, yet the time spent is minimal.
Finally more time to work on the helix – blasted work keeping me away from them trains!! Actually, I also needed more materials, namely a piece of rubber, 1/4″ thick, for the first ramp base. Though, I think I’ll just use rubber fender washers instead to build up to 1/4″ thickness, then drive T-nuts through that and call it done. I’m tired of trying to figure out crazy ways of doing things.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I was going to use rubber door stops in combination with large washers and nuts to hold the threaded rods for the helix. After sleeping on it, I decided to go back to my original idea of using a piece of rubber as a base into which I would hammer a T-nut and run the rod through.