Helix Building for N Scale - the method can also be used for HO Scale

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I originally bought 2 pair of helix kits on the internet to build fou aour N Scale layout. Eventually, when we got around to start the actual build, we found that the MDF cutting was very poor and the kit was, really, not usable so we decided to design and build 2 helices ourselves. My wife and I have no relevant skills and have not been involved in modelling since leaving school, we are now at retirement age!

The attached document describes our steps from the initial design to an (almost) completed pair of temproarily joined helices. Eventually they will be placed in opposite corners of our "Station House", a posh shed in our garden. We are in the UK so the document is in mm not inches.

I would suggest that the helices will scale either up or down by adjusting the measurements but the construction method is fairly standard.

I hope you find this useful, it works for us.

IMG_3954.JPEG
 
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Comments

Looks great, nice and clean!
I can’t open PDF,s but it looks like you have spacers over some of the rods?
I'm just starting work on my helix again, hope it turns out as good.
 
Looks great, nice and clean!
I can’t open PDF,s but it looks like you have spacers over some of the rods?
I'm just starting work on my helix again, hope it turns out as good.
I have added spacers to try and avoid the plywood from warping due to temperature changes in the Station House.

I have a Word document but it's 41 MB if you would like it.
 
Welcome to the forums Rick

One material you might consider in some of your future projects, might be what is termed 'cellular PVC' or 'foamed PVC'. I have used it on 2 projects,..

turntable pit: https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/build-your-own-turntable.32492/#post-481217

stone arch viaduct: https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/stone-arch-viaduct-bridge.31624/#post-462380

If I hadn't already built my helix with masonite roadbed (pain in the ___) , I would have considered this material.
 
Another idea for a helix construction,..



gator board reference starts here

I find the gator board and cellular PVC to be very close in properties
 
Thanks for your advice and links. I've had a quick look on the UK sites but it doesn't appear to be easy to find the cellular pvc as working boards etc. It's wound up in pre-formed house trimmings and pipes. I will have a beter look later. I like your turntable.
 
Thanks for your advice and links. I've had a quick look on the UK sites but it doesn't appear to be easy to find the cellular pvc as working boards etc. It's wound up in pre-formed house trimmings and pipes. I will have a beter look later. I like your turntable.
Remember I am NOT talking about conventional PVC products, but cellular form. Check with shops that make signs.
 
Rick, nice looking helices. I did not see anything to click on for the PDF!? I would be interested in seeing how you built yours. I'm running HO.
I checked out the Tracksidescenery helix kits, I need two, at about $600 apiece....OUCH!
 
Rick, nice looking helices. I did not see anything to click on for the PDF!? I would be interested in seeing how you built yours. I'm running HO.
I checked out the Tracksidescenery helix kits, I need two, at about $600 apiece....OUCH!
Yeah, if you have more time than money, DIY. I finished my own basement for under $5,000 because I didn't have $20,000+ to hire someone to do it.

In my case I only need an HO 34" radius 3 turn helix, so it would set me back a little over $300 for the prefab one. I'm planning on it but haven't gotten to that stage yet.
 
@riogrande,
I would highly recommend you paying a visit to your local sign making shop and picking uo some scraps of the cellular PVC material. The material is stable, easy to cut, easy to glue.
 
Hi, I originally uploaded the PDF but I can't find it on my original post so here it is, attached again. I'm new to this forum, I'm not too sure what I'm doing :D
Hi Rick,
Really nice work there I have been considering something similar for my big N gauge modern-day US layout when I get round to building it in the garage next year, so your PDF has been filed away for future reference! I am in the UK too - up in Lincolnshire, whereabouts are you?

Rich
 
Hi Rick,
Really nice work there I have been considering something similar for my big N gauge modern-day US layout when I get round to building it in the garage next year, so your PDF has been filed away for future reference! I am in the UK too - up in Lincolnshire, whereabouts are you?

Rich
Hi GEfan,
I'm pleased it may be of use. I am in Worcestershire.
 




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