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My Helix Build

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  • George_D
    replied
    I can't imagine trying to run those nuts down by hand. Your foam attachment to the drill is a great idea.

    George

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  • john_holt
    replied
    If you have ever had to run a bunch of nuts down a bunch of rods only then can you appreciate these types of "tools". I was surprised how well the foam held up on my whirly-gig. I tried to trim the foam as round as I could with a pair of scissors and I think that really helped. Foam or rubber sanding disk, hey, if it works for you, go with it.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Originally posted by john_holt View Post
    Click image for larger version

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    Running those nuts down the threaded rod is a whole lot easier with this tool. Just four layers of foam
    sandwiched between a couple of fender washers with nuts on a 3/8 bolt. Holding the foam against the nuts and
    running the drill moves the nuts on the rods real quick.

    I hope I haven't bored anyone with just one more helix build. But this is my first It worked well for me.
    More photos in a bit.
    Thanks for looking....John
    Interesting approach to running the nuts on the threaded rod. I would have thought the foam would shred pretty fast (shows what I know!).

    I did something similar years ago when I built my behemoth helix. I used a rubber sanding disc in my cordless drill. That's my friend Walt running the drill while I took the pictures.

    Click image for larger version

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  • Rick
    replied
    I marvel at the woodworking skills some of our members here exhibit.
    Very nicely designed and built and thanks for sharing.

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  • Philip
    replied
    Looks great on a hexagon! I like the speed all thread idea.
    My 1st and final attempt ended in the burn pile.Well done!

    Philip

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  • George_D
    commented on 's reply
    Your screw idea may work. It'll be interesting to hear how it works out.

    George

  • john_holt
    replied
    George.....I am hoping by using the #6 screws with a washer as my devise for track hold down, that it will give a bit, to account for any expansion/contraction. I found the curving of the flex track worked better if I soldered the track together in a straight section then pulled the curve. It made a nice smooth continuous curve. I tried leaving a gap and using rail joiners but I always had a small kink at the joint and for me track work in the helix needed to be as near perfect as possible. Time will tell. One thing in my favor is I am located in west Texas and the climate is dry here most all year long.
    I'll be posting a few more pics in a day or two and will try making them larger.
    Thanks again for all the replies........John

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  • Bernd
    replied
    As George said, "well engineered helix". I agree. I'll be looking at using plywood for my build instead of pine. Any chance of posting larger pictures to get a better look at that beautiful wood work? Thanks.

    Bernd

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  • George_D
    replied
    That's a well engineered helix, John. I'd rethink soldering the track together if I were you. Any temperature change will play hell with your track.

    George

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  • john_holt
    replied
    Louis & Bernd....Thanks for your comments. The plywood in the helix is 5/8 nominal thickness. It is 7 ply with a thin birch veneer on two sides, so 9 layers total. The 3/4 plywood on the walls is the same thing. The plywood is an import item and I get it from a place called Texas Plywood Warehouse in Ft. Worth Tx. The prices there and the price of gas in Ft. Worth as compared to where I live makes it worth the 300 mile round trip. I saved over $200 buying there as opposed to making a 130 mile round trip to my nearest orange or blue box stores. The thickness is slightly less than 5/8 inch, it is a metric size but works great.
    I have added a few more progress pics and hope every one enjoys.
    Click image for larger version

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    I am using code 100 track for the helix and staging area and will use code 83 for the rest of the layout.
    I have also soldered each piece of track to the next. Track is installed with screws and a washer.
    Click image for larger version

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    That good looking young man in the photo is my son. He gives a bit of measure to the size of the helix.Click image for larger version

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    Moving along.Click image for larger version

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    An interior view showing track feeders and wiring for turnouts in the helix.
    Peco makes a turnout with a 36 inch radius diverging track so it worked well with my 36 inch radius helix.
    Yes, those are Tenshodo twin coil switch machines. I was fortunate to purchase about 25 of them (brand new)
    for $3 each. They will be in the helix and staging area only. With a CDU, they really flip the Peco turnouts.
    Click image for larger version

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    Feeder lines hooked to main bus.
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    This level of helix is going to staging. Finally got rid of the propane tank support.
    I like to cantilever my supports over the support legs as this allows
    me to move the supports further back away from my aisles and reducing a trip hazard.
    More to come later.

    Thanks....John

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  • Bernd
    replied
    Originally posted by desertdrover View Post
    Bernd from the looks of that plywood I'd say it is 5/8" Birch Plywood. I even think I saw Norm Abram's building that while doing one of his home shows. That is state of the art building. I love that drill idea as well.
    I think you're right about the 5/8" plywood. I used birch plywood in the kitchen cabinets I built. It is called Baltic birch and comes in 5' X 5' sheets and has 13 plys. The plys on Johns looks like about 4 or 5. Still top notch workmanship. Ya, I like that drill idea too.

    Bernd

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  • desertdrover
    replied
    Bernd from the looks of that plywood I'd say it is 5/8" Birch Plywood. I even think I saw Norm Abram's building that while doing one of his home shows. That is state of the art building. I love that drill idea as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bernd
    replied
    I have to agree with Louis on the heavy duty helix build. You must have watched Norm Abram's Yankee Workshop. Love the biscuit assembly method. That won't move on you. Following along. I might learn something. By the way, what kind of plywood are you using?

    Bernd

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  • desertdrover
    replied
    Man that is one heavy duty helix. You could walk on that one when finished. Great job John. You should have trouble free operation with that process. Very, very well built. Click image for larger version  Name:	thumbupmove.gif Views:	0 Size:	3.1 KB ID:	970305

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  • john_holt
    started a topic My Helix Build

    My Helix Build

    Back in March of this year, I began bench work finally after getting my train room about 95% complete. I still have some 110v wiring left to do for outlets and switches. However, I have started on my helix build first as I thought If I could get that done the rest of the bench work would be a bit easier. So I have included a few pics of the "early days". I have used 3/4 inch plywood for support material and used 5/8 inch material for track work support. The helix is 6'-0 diameter, at center line of track. I chose using eight segments to build the structure as for me it was easier to layout and I think uses less material. I have more progress photos to post but need to download and resize them.
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    This is a foam board layout I used to just get a feel of the size of the helix. 6'-0 from center of one side to the other.
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    Those wood pads ares where the 5/16 dia support rods will anchor.
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    Segments cut and slotted for biscuit type connection.
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    I built four segment sections and then glued and screwed them as the helix went up.
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    Things are shaping up.
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    When you work by yourself, you have to improvise so the propane tank support.
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    My rod support "pedestals". I like this approach as I have plenty of room inside the helix.
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    Running those nuts down the threaded rod is a whole lot easier with this tool. Just four layers of foam
    sandwiched between a couple of fender washers with nuts on a 3/8 bolt. Holding the foam against the nuts and
    running the drill moves the nuts on the rods real quick.

    I hope I haven't bored anyone with just one more helix build. But this is my first It worked well for me.
    More photos in a bit.
    Thanks for looking....John

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