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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone seen one or thought about building one? The idea is to send trains up to the ceiling track from the table layout. the table layout "folds" up onto the wall when not in use. So, when you want to play train, pull the layout down off the wall (slides down and out) then lower this multi turn helix that is coiled up and attached to the ceiling track (via an 022) down onto the table layout. then send the train down - like those multi-level parking garages. humm. I have seen gunny's' double helix going from table to ceiling. thats what got me thinking. if I used several circles of track connected into a continuous spiral that could be compressed onto itself. then lowered (relaxed) down onto the table layout. -any thought?
 

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Well, to start with, it will be a trick to make the helix rigid when it is pulled down, but flexible enough to bend so it can be raised. Maybe some flex track with 1/4 or 3/8 plywood. If you remember, there used to be extenders for telephones back in the '20s and '30s that would allow the phone to be pushed back to the wall when not in use and then pulled to the user as needed. I have no idea what it was called. Here is a picture: http://www.sandman.com/images/oldbracket2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
elevator is good thought. and the slinky is the concept. I'll tinker with it. I'll send updaes and pics. If I get it refined, a video is in order!!
 

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Making the helix go up and down won't be a problem.

The movement of the track on the helix will be the problem. The track will want to slide as the helix is going up and down.


Jody
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, to start with, it will be a trick to make the helix rigid when it is pulled down, but flexible enough to bend so it can be raised. Maybe some flex track with 1/4 or 3/8 plywood. If you remember, there used to be extenders for telephones back in the '20s and '30s that would allow the phone to be pushed back to the wall when not in use and then pulled to the user as needed. I have no idea what it was called. Here is a picture: http://www.sandman.com/images/oldbracket2.jpg
I was playing with my kids' Lego stuff with them the other day. we were building scissor type extenders like the phone bracket. they are surprisingly strong for what they are. I'll do some tinkering when I can. I think I can come up with something. this trial and error phase may take a while. of coarse there were some slinkys laying around that Santa left in stockings. and then there was the question- what to do with the Christmas layout and trains... staring at the ceiling while lying on the floor.. and wallah!

man-moment-machine!! and an imagination that keeps me staring into space!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Making the helix go up and down won't be a problem.

The movement of the track on the helix will be the problem. The track will want to slide as the helix is going up and down.


Jody
good point. I've given that some thought. if the track is self-supporting though -no roadbed - just attach the fancy hardware I haven't invented yet directly to the ties on the track, maybe? could be just some light chain (to set the individual spacing) but the bottom coil weighted to tension the coils, holding the proper spacing- thats kind of what I am thinking.
 

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good point. I've given that some thought. if the track is self-supporting though -no roadbed - just attach the fancy hardware I haven't invented yet directly to the ties on the track, maybe? could be just some light chain (to set the individual spacing) but the bottom coil weighted to tension the coils, holding the proper spacing- thats kind of what I am thinking.
i picture this swinging like a chandelier from the train's inertia while going round and round
 
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