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Out of the Helix

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  • Out of the Helix

    I have some up to date photos of my layout build. While there are some photos of my helix, there is also photos of "building out of" the helix. I have a cove area on either side of my helix that must be wired and have track installed there because as I progress, I will be somewhat blocked from easy access to these areas. So some track that comes out of the helix needs to installed. I have wired and glued down track and the Woodland Scenics foam trackbed on the right (north) side of the helix and have started on the left (south) side of the helix. I hope you can follow and enjoy my photos.
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    The above photo shows some things a person who attempts to build bench work by themselves has to do.

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    The above photo is where track will exit on the main level (south side) of the helix

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    Above photo shows lower exit from helix to staging.

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    The above photo shows three tracks to staging. Next track up is exit from helix to main level and the track above that exit from helix to upper level.
    Those bean cans are from my "survival" kit. They weight the track until the adhesive is dry. I am using Dap Dynaflex 230 caulk/sealer to glue down my track/roadbed.

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    The above photo shows the plywood , just set in place for photo, that will support a station and freight house along with three tracks going in front of the helix.

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    The above photo shows supports at staging. The main level is supported by 5/16 rods up from staging supports. I plan to install a front panel fascia at the main level with a curtain that will cover the staging tracks. Curtains will NOT go to floor but just a bit lower than the staging level.

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    I left the front open for easy access into my helix and supported it from the ceiling. The rod goes up to a 2 x 4 that straddles two ceiling joists. I still have to crawl into the helix but I have to arch my back a bit to even touch the lowest segment, so I have a comfortable crawl, if there is such a thing.

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    The above photo shows the access I have into the helix.

    Bernd requested some larger photos than the ones I posted before. I hope these are OK.

    Thanks for looking........John
    Attached Files

    GULF COAST & WESTERN


  • #2
    Nice clean carpentry. Are you planning a bridge in the low section of framing to the left of the helix?
    James

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    • #3
      John,

      Wonderful photo's. Now we can appreciate your fine wood work you are doing. I'll be following along so I can get ideas for when I start working on my layout.

      Bernd
      New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

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      • #4
        Wonderful looking set-up John. You definitely are keeping the Plywood company in business.
        Love your ideas, and the looks of what is to be. However, my concern would be the helix will keep trains out of sight for quite some time though. I'd want some kind of area around the helix with a reason for it to be opened to view, to break-up the long awaited train to appear. Just my 2 cents worth. Your thoughts or concern, if any???
        I also like the larger pictures you have taken of your work area.


        Louis
        Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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        • #5
          Thanks for the comments and thanks to those who looked.

          James....That "lowered area" left of the helix will be a water effect/ lake or pond. There will be a similar situation at the upper level with no lowered area and I hope to put a structure of some type there.

          Bernd....Thanks for the Kudos. This is my first layout build. I am trying to get it right as I don't have the time, money or materials for a re-do. Even though I have a track plan done by Bill the Track Planner, the framework keeps me on my toes. I am trying hard not to have a support in an area where I will have a turnout. Sometimes I over-think this point and have to remind myself I am building a train layout and not a piece of furniture that is going in the Governors home.

          Louis....I was fortunate to have purchased a lot of my plywood before the price hike. However, I will need some more of the 5/8 thick stuff soon. I started the train room proper almost three years ago. It took a bit longer than planned as I was still working pretty steady up until the first of this year. I have chosen to use the 5/8 plywood as a base instead of the foam stuff most folks like to use. It just seemed to me to be a much more solid base. I will be using foam for scenery where possible. Most all the helix will be covered and will have tunnel portals where track exits/enters into the helix.

          The layout is setup for continuous running at the main and upper level with track winding around in front of the helix. And there is a way I can run a train into the helix on one side and out the other side without going up or down to the next level. This allows the train to be out of site for only a short time and provides something different. I have taken 3/4 inch plywood and cut strips either 3" or 3 1/2" wide by 8 foot long for bench work framing. This is, for me, cheaper than buying 1 x 4s and the pieces are nice and flat. Most of the 1 x 4s I found at the big box stores were warped and twisted.
          It has been a week since I have had time to work on layout. Just been busy having to put out other fires. I hope to get back in the groove tomorrow. Updates when available.

          Take care....John

          GULF COAST & WESTERN

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the extra explanation John of the helix operation. Sounds as though you have it all planed ahead. I did a lot of my layout by the seat of my pants. Just got lucky for the most part with mine. Using the 5/8 plywood as a base instead of the foam is a good choice. For the track, I went with 3/4" plywood covered over with homasote board, then cork roadbed.
            I use the foam only on top for scenery height changes. You will be happy with using the 5/8".


            Louis
            Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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            • #7
              Thanks Louis. Your comments are great source of encouragement.

              GULF COAST & WESTERN

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              • #8
                Scan_0001.pdf

                Scan_0002.pdf

                I have tried to upload scans of my main and upper level track plans. This should help make more sense of my bench work.

                Thanks for looking

                GULF COAST & WESTERN

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                • #9
                  Thanks for attaching your PDF's John. I wish I had something made-up like those for my layout.


                  Louis
                  Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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