Tag: Helix

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Revenge of the Benchwork

I was on my way to start mounting the threaded rods and building up the first loop of the helix, thinking I’m finally going to get a breakthrough. Not…so…fast. Even the best laid plans can bite you back in the ass when you are not paying attention.

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The Helix, part 1 of many?

A number of people had suggested I start with the helix because there’s no moving it, if things need to line up with the rest of the yards, as opposed to moving a few yard throat turnouts inch here or there. So I heeded that advice and we are on our way towards building the helix.

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The Staging Track Has Arrived

God knows why I waited till the last moment to order the track and turnouts…believe it or not though, I made changes to my staging plan hours before ordering the parts. In a moment of panic I realized that I could use large turnouts instead of medium, duh. So, I replaced all medium turnouts and then placed the order.┬áIn retrospect I’m glad I did this, except that I shouldn’t have waited till the last moment to do it.

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Helix Segments Completed

I sent my helix segment design to be laser cut this past Monday, and the local company made them pretty quick, having completed the job in only couple of days, awesome! And what a beauty they are, I am so happy that I did not go with my own materials (which were not marine grade), or god forbid cut the segments myself with a jigsaw.

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Design for the Helix

This took me a while to do, with a lot of tweaking and adjusting. Perhaps it was the use of rudimentary tools to make this (no CAD program) or my inability to focus (too many distractions elsewhere). Alas, here’s what a segment looks like:

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Layout shape under construction

Hard to believe, but I have a layout shape I actually intend to see through completion. Granted, most of the benchwork is already built, but this last mile was a real killer for me (figuring out relationship between staging and my railroad, geometry of the staging deck, where to put an entrance to the layout space, and half a dozen other things). Not to mention that earlier this year I switched scales and went (back) to H0 from N that I have been planning to build.

I wanted to re-use as much, if not all of the benchwork I already have, plus stick with the layout shape that is in place (around the walls and a peninsula on the center). Stumbling stone was the helix location and how it ties into the layout plus available space for it.

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Helix materials acquired

It’s been a while since the last post here, partially due to Summer (house maintenance, etc.) and partially because I did not have a direction. That is not to say I did not spend a lot of free time trying all kinds of various way to squeeze a 5 ft wide square through a 2 ft wide circle, figuratively speaking. I did come up with what I believe to be final helix dimensions, among other things.

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