Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sections get tops and the Helix gets its legs..

Today I worked on the layout on and off between errands.  In the morning I worked on cutting the Styrofoam I had picked up at HD earlier in the week to fit the tops of the remaining sections that needed them.  You'll notice I'm using the pink stuff for these sections, but it's not by choice.  The local Lowes in Old Bridge was one of the casualties of the 20 stores Lowes closed last month.  It was conveniently located for me, but I always did notice not too many people were ever in there compared to the local HD.  I like the foam Lowes sells under their own name.  It comes in 4'x8' sheets and works out to be a few dollars cheaper than the Owens pink foam sold at HD (which only comes in 2'x4' sheets).  There's another Lowes further out in Holmdel, but I got lazy, and I went to the HD close by work instead.

The new Styrofoam pieces cut and ready to be glued to the sections.

After a fun trip to Costco (I just love getting run down by shopping carts, pushed by frenzied shoppers, rushing for the next batch of samples just hot out of the microwave) I glued down the the Styrofoam that I cut to size earlier in the day onto the top of the last remaining sections that still needed them.  I have about 4 more sections I need to build, but I'm out of my stockpile of Gator Foam pieces that came from the original sheets Ted Pamperin gave me.  A few of the guys in the group are looking to buy some, so we'll probably split a case from the local supplier in Hillside NJ.

Here are the last five sections with the foam tops glued on and waiting to dry.

After dinner I went back into the basement and worked on getting the space the helix will occupy ready. 

The furniture has been moved and the space is now ready for work on the helix to begin.

I flipped the helix upside down and attached the rolling legs at the inside corners of the pit (the pit is the inside of the helix).

The legs are attached at the pit's corners.  I screwed the legs on in two different directions and they are surprisingly sturdy.  I might still brace them but they do not flex at all now.

Once I attached the legs and made sure the whole structure was level, I rolled the helix frame into its final resting spot to see how it looks there.  When it's time to build the backbone on top, I'll roll it out to the middle of the basement so we can work on it easily.  

Some of the guys from our round robin group will be coming over this Friday, and hopefully we'll get the backbone and roadbed installed.  Once this is done I will roll the helix back and lock the wheels. 

The helix frame rolled into the spot where it will reside once it's fully completed.

I'm excited about finally getting the helix up soon!  Once it's in place, I can hang the rest of the sections and start laying track.  I can hardly wait!

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