Saturday, June 6, 2015

"That's my story... and I'm sticking to it!"

With the transition from single-deck to multi-deck now complete, it was time to embark upon the start of the backbone helix that would link the two levels by way of the finished rec room. On a day in which we were expecting our daughter home from college for a holiday visit, I worked on framing the helix while my wife went food shopping for all items preferred by our fussy little offspring.

But soon the barking of Stormy and Duffy told me that Miss Heavy-Foot had arrived, well ahead of our earliest ETA for a drive from Boston. She bounded down the basement stairs to greet her beloved dad, stopped, looked and deadpanned, "Does mom know about this?"

"I'm sure she must," I testified. "I mean, we talked about my going to a second deck. Obviously she would know that I had to connect the two levels somehow. And by the way, it's great to see you too, honey!"

She was incredulous. "That's all you've got? That's what you're going with?"

"Yes. Yes it is," I proclaimed confidently. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

She shook her head."Boy, are you in trouble," she said even more confidently.

The helix occupies an area that was otherwise not used. The frame measures 6'-3" square and will handle alternate loops of 34" and 28" radii. The legs match those of the peninsula in the main train room.

The first and third loops @ 34" radii will be visible and sceniced, separated by about eight inches and linked by a second, hidden loop @ 28" radius. The grade will be just about 2% to provide the necessary 15" of  total climbing between decks. 

A 12" high hardboard mock-up was put in place to depict how (2) layers of 1/8" hardboard would form the backbone helix. The final version will utilize 30" high hardboard to insure a full view block.

The exterior 1/8" sheets not only serve as a partial structure for the helix, but also as a backdrop that nicely begins and ends at the room's wall.

This overhead shot illustrates the full configuration of the (2) layers of 1/8" hardboard. The eventual 30" high inside layer will actually have an area cut out of about 15" x 30" to allow the hidden criss-crossing loops to enter and exit the backbone. Future wall penetrations are shown using black construction paper.

Regular readers of this blog will recognize the sentimental piece of pine that was used as bracing on the interior of the helix. It was explained in the May 20th entry.

Ah, but there was a method to my madness. Recognizing early in life that timing was everything, and having that confirmed repeatedly during nearly 30 years of wedded bliss, I had planned for this day carefully.

I knew that nothing make's my wife happier than the safe arrival of our daughter for a visit. In those times, I become totally inconsequential, and if I'm inconsequential, then my helix is inconsequential!

To be continued...
What best describes the author' strategy in this particular instance?
A) Pure genius          B) Misguided soul          C) Cockeyed optimist         D) Dead man walking

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