The S-Curve is done

While is is very pretty and eye-catching, building the only S-Curve was a bear of a job. The challenges were:

  • The curve traversed an area that ran parallel to the floor joists
  • The curve required making one almost perfect 90 degree curve followed by another 90 degree curve

Since the S-curve ran parallel to the floor joists, it was difficult to locate a secure mounting point for the ceiling hangers. Considering the weight of the track alone, attaching the mounts to drywall is not sufficient and I didn’t want to open up the ceiling to put a cross member between the joists. So, I adjusted the starting point of the curve so that the ceiling mounts zig-zagged in line with one joist and I used only one screw in each mount. Since the curve alternates sides of the mounts, this should be sufficient to avoid a bow. I will put expanding screws into the dry wall to secure the free side of the ceiling mount. The final result of the problem with the joists is that there is a gap in one of the curves where I could not put a ceiling mount. I am considering putting one in just for cosmetic purposes.

The curves are not perfect curves. Even though they came from a jig that was a perfect curve on the work bench, the wood had inconsistent spots in it that caused some areas to bow more than others. When stacked one on the other, the curves are very close to each other, but when cutting the ends to make a perfect 90 degree curve, a difference of an inch can be the difference between a good curve and a ruined one. Case in point, I cut 1.5 inches to much off of one curve, and had to work to rebuild the end so that I would not lose one of the curves.

So, here is the requisite picture. This first picture is straight on looking down the length of the floor joists. The first half of the S-Curve has the ties mounted and the second half is bare. The second half of the curve also does not quite meet up with the next ceiling mount and if you look carefully, you can see that I had to rebuild about 1.5 inches of the curve after cutting off to much. Rebuilding is a strong word…I had to brace and reglue the piece I cut off. Notice that a ceiling mount appears to be missing in the body of the curve closest to the camera because there is no joist in that section of the ceiling to get a strong mount.


This second angle shows the grace of the S-Curve as it makes the bend around the duct work. The first half has ties on it and the second half is bare. Again, from this view it is clear that a ceiling mount is missing. On one hand, the ceiling mount would block a beautiful view of the train as it moves through the curve, but on the other, the lack of the ceiling mount takes away from the symmetry of the curve. After I get the ties completed and am just about to mount the curve permanently, I will decide if I need the extra mount.