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HELIX CONSTRUCTION

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 12, 2003 12:12 PM
I have 2 large helixes on my layout. Both work well, (finally) but don't be fooled, Helixs take a lot of work to build. I won't go into how I built mine, just offer these cautions: 1) they take a lot longer to build than you think. They must be built very carefully or they don't work well. 2) I used double layers of masonite to keep the road bed thin. Problem with masonite is that it more easily flexes from side to side (perpedicular to the rails) so if you don't get the helix supports at the right elevations this twisting ends up derailing trains. If I do it again, I'll use threaded rods instead of notched risers (or L brakets, which I used in some spots as well) to allow easy up/down adjustment. 3) They take up a lot more space than is first evident, since the riser supports on the O.D. of the helix add to the foot print. GOOD LUCK.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 12, 2003 12:12 PM
I have 2 large helixes on my layout. Both work well, (finally) but don't be fooled, Helixs take a lot of work to build. I won't go into how I built mine, just offer these cautions: 1) they take a lot longer to build than you think. They must be built very carefully or they don't work well. 2) I used double layers of masonite to keep the road bed thin. Problem with masonite is that it more easily flexes from side to side (perpedicular to the rails) so if you don't get the helix supports at the right elevations this twisting ends up derailing trains. If I do it again, I'll use threaded rods instead of notched risers (or L brakets, which I used in some spots as well) to allow easy up/down adjustment. 3) They take up a lot more space than is first evident, since the riser supports on the O.D. of the helix add to the foot print. GOOD LUCK.
  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 6,871 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 11:07 AM
Believe it or not you didn't gain much by using masonite for the base. All you saved was the thickness difference over heavier wood on the first lap. After that the physics are the same regardless of the thickness of the base material. If you need 4" clearance the thickness is not part of the equation merely the rise per unit length.
  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 6,871 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 11:07 AM
Believe it or not you didn't gain much by using masonite for the base. All you saved was the thickness difference over heavier wood on the first lap. After that the physics are the same regardless of the thickness of the base material. If you need 4" clearance the thickness is not part of the equation merely the rise per unit length.

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