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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Bbags Posted - 02/25/2003 : 4:13:07 PM
This sticky is for discussions about subroadbed, roadbed and track. Please ask your questions and post any pertinent information you have about these topics. Please on track which includes turnouts if the question is about operation of turnouts using DCC then ask the question in the DCC forum. Eddie (the moderator) is very knowledgeable and I would prefer his forum answers these questions.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jbvb Posted - 02/17/2018 : 08:51:36 AM
In the past, I've posted pictures of the 'heel thrown point' turnout construction I'm using on my B&M Eastern Route. The turnout work shown above required two minor modifications to it:

First, the fascia is low in this area because the edge of the layout is in the (model) Merrimack River. I handled this by using 2.75" point rods, only threading the lower .625" 3-48.

Second, the simple form of the plexiglass coupler/insulator shown here only has one longitudinal hole. Normally, this places the block between the fascia and the slide switch. But here I had a choice: Thread several inches of the .0625" brass rod 1-72 vs. attach wood blocks to the bottom of the roadbed to support the DPDT switches.

Extra threading seemed cleaner, but after turning the die more than 1,000 times to make all 3 rods, next time I'd order 1-72 threaded rod from Special Shapes instead.
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/12/2018 : 09:00:34 AM

Thank you for the detailed how-to.

George D Posted - 02/12/2018 : 08:22:10 AM
Very interesting, James. Thanks for posting all the details of your work on the crossing. I'm adding the "notch the rails" technique to my gotta try list.

quartergauger48 Posted - 02/11/2018 : 11:27:05 PM
JBVB, very nice presentation! Thanks for all the great photos and explicit explanation'..Nice work'.
jbvb Posted - 02/11/2018 : 9:22:16 PM
I took some photos of some moderately complicated handlaid track in HO. I thought it might be useful to show how I break a job like this down into steps:

I decided to start with the more sharply curved track through the diamond. I polished the weathering off the railhead to mark where to notch for points and clean the underside for frogs and guardrails.

Here I'm laying the first rail for the rightmost turnout frog. Initially, I only drive enough spikes to hold the rail roughly in gauge, usually on alternate sides of the rail. When I need to, I can wiggle or snake the rail out for filing, cleaning, cutting etc.

Here I've got two turnout frogs filed and located. To work on the leftmost (distant) turnout, I'm carrying its rails over the diamond's other track. I'm trying out Tim Warris' "notch the rails" approach for the first time. My previous diamonds have been built from many little bits of rail, with much filing.

Turnout frogs located, one point notch still needs to be cut. Next will be the diamond's frogs. The T-pins are holding the 'flying' rails roughly in gauge.

Once everything is located, I'll cut the two loose rails to length and insert the joiners (none of the rails have been permanently spiked or soldered to yet).

I've learned that this is not a good example of workholding for applying a guardrail out-of-place. If I'm to try this again, the best idea I've had yet is to spike the rails down on a throwaway piece of Homasote.

And here I've learned that rotary tool cutting disks are very much not a milling machine. It was way too easy to go too deep once I got through the head and into the web, and impossible to hold the tool well while my eyes were near track level. But almost all the awful is hidden by the solder I flowed in.

Note that I didn't flow the solder in till I'd securely spiked all the rails involved on every tie, checking gauge and flangeway as I went.

Flangeways have been cut with the rotary tool, now I'm trying to do a better job on the other 'top' rail's guard.

The masking tape did a much better job of marking cut boundaries than the razor saw nicks I made on the first pair of frogs.

Better than the first pair, but cutting disk followed by filing is still very much not a milling machine. And weights on an asbestos cement board aren't a purpose-built jig.

Test fit reveals more filing is needed. Layout fluid (blue dye) would have showed the high points, but could I have gotten it out of the ties and ballast?

Most of the hard work is done - filling in the closure rails and points of the turnout is routine, even if you've only worked with jig-built turnouts before. It will get a lot uglier when I cut the required gaps; While I can buy a .010 thick slitting saw, I would be weeks building the tool that could safely apply it to Code 70 rail in situ.

My takeaway on Tim's 'notch the rails' method:

1. A good deal less filing than 'many bits of rail', and no sore fingers from holding them while I file. And so, probably faster.

2. Only one rail is noticeably out of position (RH rail of the sharply curved track, between its two frogs). And it isn't far enough out to bother .088 wheels. I'd have to fill the flangeway with solder and make it flange-bearing for Proto87, though.

3. It is easy to create subassemblies with a 100W soldering gun that can only be taken apart with a torch. Luckily, that torch was 75 feet away and I hadn't built the subassembly into the layout yet.

4. It is easy to over-notch with hand tools. Once you've done it, you either re-do the part or you hide it by flowing solder in.

Notching the rails with hand tools is not precise enough for me (at least) to create the pretty reproduction of an antique bolted light duty diamond I was originally thinking of.
jbvb Posted - 06/24/2017 : 9:12:42 PM
You never know; A passenger terminal for which I built most of the track and turnouts is still in service at MIT's Tech Model RR club, 39 years later. My Rowley module will pass its 29th anniversary some time this coming winter.
ed k Posted - 06/24/2017 : 7:17:29 PM
Let's see 20 puts me at 94 (maybe) 30, I don't think so. I have stopped jumping out of planes, so that should help.
quartergauger48 Posted - 06/23/2017 : 7:50:32 PM
We may all make another 20'. But 30 is probably a long shot'..
ed k Posted - 06/23/2017 : 7:21:20 PM
I love to learn. Thank's men.
southpier Posted - 03/27/2017 : 9:19:09 PM
I won't be around in 20 or 30 years, so I am counting on the ballast cement to seal of the cork from drying out and crumbling away in my lifetime.
jeyjey Posted - 03/27/2017 : 6:02:38 PM
I use aliphatic resin with Sundeala (an other-side-of-the-pond product similar to homosote), but I've never tried it with cork.

Atherton999 Posted - 03/26/2017 : 9:45:45 PM
I am successfully hand laying On30 code83 on cork on top of 2" styrofoam
jbvb Posted - 02/18/2017 : 08:14:21 AM
I would not try to hand lay on cork, or anything softer than Homasote. Others' mileage may vary, but cork doesn't provide much grip or support for the part of the spike that extends below the tie. As far as gluing the ties to cork, aliphatic resin would do the job, but too much force on the ties later on would pull crumbs out of the cork. In the 20-30 year term, cork roadbed hardens and gets brittle.
southpier Posted - 02/18/2017 : 07:25:45 AM
my "searches" all timed out on this one.

Q: to handlay track over cork roadbed, should i just use wood glue (aliphatic resin) for the redwood ties?
Reg Barron Posted - 08/27/2016 : 12:39:16 PM
I have had good luck converting HO code 100 snap and flex track to On30. I first remove a few plastic ties and replace them with soldered PC ties. Once the gauge and radius are set, I remove the rest of the plastic ties and replace them with wood ties. I use soft woof roadbed, but I think this method would also work with homosote or cork.

Reg Barron

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