July 5th, 2007

Over the 4th of July, I finally completed the helix. It has almost 4 full turns, and rises 11". Cutting out all the curved pieces was quite a chore to do. Each curved piece is connected together with a flat piece of 1/8" masonite glued to the underside. I had to keep the joint plate as small as possible to leave room for the double stack container trains that will be running up and down the helix. Instead of using round threaded rods with nuts and washers on both inside and outside of the curves, I used some scrap 3/4" MDF for the inside and cut grooves in them at equal intervals to slide over the 1/2" MDF subroadbed. On the outside at four places I used the threaded rods with nuts and washers. This combination seems to be quite sturdy. Now I just need to get the homasote cut out and glued in place. But for now, it really looks cool!



First level risers installed and subroadbed secured to them. Note the left side is 8" above the rest of the benchwork. That is how far the main line will have risen to by this point.



The total separation of levels is 3"



Most of the curved pieces have been cut out and are lined up to make sure all the joints are even and everything is lined up correctly.



All the levels are in and the supports are installed all around on the inside.



Close up of one of the inside supports.



The completed helix. Now I'm going around and installing the threaded bars with nuts and washers to give the outside just a bit more support.



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