Monday, January 30, 2012

Start the Helix

G'day all I have been busy over the summer with a wedding in Thailand and some house maintenance to do but I am back in the layout room and starting the helix planning and construction. While my wife and daughter were in Thailand for an extra month I took the opportunity to chase some trains.

 The helix will be double track with an outside diameter of 120cm and will rise about 75mm per turn which will give it a grade of just over 2.1% or so the web sites that have grade calculators tell me. I would like to thank all the people who have posted helix charts and designs online you don't have to do it but I has helped me a lot and I am sure that many other modelers have applied what they have studied on your posts. I have been a member of a club where the most common skill was the keeping of knowledge lest somebody do it better than you.
I drilled some holes in a stick of timber to draw the right diameter helix pieces on 6mm MDF board and will
glue the sections together over lapping so there is no need to add joints. Why MDF ?, only one reason it is cheap $20 for a 2400 x 1200 sheet. I will paint it to keep out the moisture to prevent sagging.
To use most of the MDF board I will cut two types of pieces a 45 and a 90 degree section I made a template from some scrap for the 45 degree section to place over the off cuts.
A mock up of the helix location, it helped me to decide to make the base then slip in the helix for ease of construction. I was quite surprised about the size of it, looked smaller on the plan.
I will support the helix decks with some brackets because they are easy to adjust to where I want them and there are no joints to support.