Author Topic: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout  (Read 1522 times)

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spr1955

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Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« on: September 02, 2013, 04:01:46 PM »
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Ok, so I've made a few turnouts using ME code 55 rail and PC ties. Now I want to fill in the rest with wooden ties. What are some of the methods people are using out there?  I did one #7 with contact cement (which is the same thing as pliobond) from a small tube using toothpicks to apply as the little caps were too small for this tube of contact cement. Not really all that happy as it is a pain to apply and not get on the switch points.
I'm using Kappler sugar pine 16' ties. I have a jig that all the cut ties go into and works well but looking for a best method to attach to the rail.

David P.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »
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I use Pliobond and it is quite rugged when it sets.  I build my turnouts on a template and lay the wood and PC ties together at the beginning, rather than afterwards.  If you're using Fast tracks jigs, you can also buy single-piece laser cut tie strips to match the jig.  I don't think they look as good, and they're a bit pricy, but they do save time.

dnhouston

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 10:13:15 PM »
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I use Pliobond as well.  I've tried CA, and other contact cements, but Pliobond works the best for me.  As a trick, you can let the Pliobond dry on the rails first, then after they are in position, simply heat the rails a little with a soldering iron and the Pliobond will instant bond.

Chris333

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 10:37:44 PM »
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Yep yep Pliobond here as well.

jdcolombo

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 11:37:52 PM »
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Pliobond for me, too.  You can get a pack of very fine tips for the Pliobond tube from Fast Tracks.  I use a paper template with some thin double-sided tape to locate the ties and cut to length.  Put Pliobond on rail bottom and ties, wait two minutes, press together, and done.

John C.

robert3985

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 12:29:29 AM »
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I've used Pliobond in the past, but it's been a long time since I've done that.  I use enough PCB ties so that I don't feel like it's necessary to glue the wood ties to my bench-made turnouts.

Here's my process.  (1) I construct the turnout and do my QA on the bench testing for both mechanical and electrical flaws.  After I'm satisfied, I cut the turnout into my mainline trackage (with no wood ties) and get it "just right" as far as where the rail cuts are...but I don't solder them yet along with determining the position of my Tortoise "throw-wire" and drilling that hole under one of my throw bars and painting the inside of that hole flat black.

(2) I then lay one full-length wood tie on either side of my PCB ties (after applying a bit of yellow carpenter's glue to their undersides), especially on the track ends of the turnout, and at the frog, aligning the tie ends to be even on the straight side of the turnout.  I usually also place one wooden tie adjacent to each of the PCB ties at the headblocks and at the heelblocks, and if it's a long turnout, I put one somewhere in the middle of the space between the heelblocks and the wing rails at the frog.

The reason I do this is because the PCB ties are not as tall as my wooden ties, which are the correct height for ME flex.  This gets my turnout rails at the correct height to match up with the track I'm cutting it into.

(3) Then, I solder the turnout in place and test it again.

(4) Next, I glue it into place using medium viscosity CA at the SIDES of the PCB ties, letting capillary action to pull the CA underneath the PCB ties because they're off the cork a few thousandths, being EXTRA CAREFUL not to get any CA on my turnout's throwbars...then, while pressing a bit downward on the rails to make sure the base of the rails are securely against the wooden ties, I spray accelerator onto each one of the PCB ties I've just applied CA to.

(5) After the CA is hard (almost immediately) I like to take a 1200 W hair dryer to everything to evaporate the accelerator and its attendant odor.

(7) Then, I slide full-length (I cut them to length later) wood ties underneath the turnout between the previously applied wooden ties and those PCB ties that don't have any wooden ties next to them after applying a little yellow carpenter's glue to their undersides using my paper template as a guide to get them correctly spaced, making sure the ends on the straight side of the turnout are even with the previously installed ties.  Tape a skinny straightedge butted up against the previously installed tie ends to make getting them even a lot easier.

( 8 ) Let it dry for an hour

(9) I then drill my feeder holes directly adjacent to a handy PCB tie and adjacent to the foot of the soldered-on rail.  This is so I don't cut a quarter-moon out of any wooden ties I'm going to put on next, and should be slightly smaller in diameter than the distance between ties, but big enough to be able to insert an insulated feeder wire into.

(10) I then trim the wooden ties to their proper lengths progressively with a cut-off disk in my Dremel using various free print-outs as a reference.

(11) Next, I solder my feeders to the undersides of the rails...to EACH PIECE of rail as well as my green 22 ga. feeder to the frog.  I don't want my turnouts to have any dead spots, and this is consistent with my practice of a feeder on each piece of rail everywhere on the layout.

(12) Inspection time...I use a small, stiff steel welder's brush to brush off any burrs and run my inspection car on the assembly to insure I don't have any problems and vacuum up the dust, chips and other loose particles during this operation.

At this point, the turnout is "in", but still needs to be connected electrically to my sub-busses and my Tortoise also needs to be aligned and installed. 

I wait until at least three or four feet of trackwork is complete (depends on the complexity) and run a few times before painting...which I do using Krylon Camo Ultra-flat Black as the first light coat making sure all visible surfaces are covered.

I use Neo Lube on copper PCB ties surfaces where the motion of the rails scrapes the paint off which lubes the moving parts as well as darkens them.

I ballast after all the track has been run and painted and weathered a bit.  Affixing the ballast using either a matte medium or white glue wash will attach your wooden ties to your turnout's rails.

Then, I weather everything and install my investment-cast, operational switch stands.

That's the WHOLE story of my methods, and although it seems like it'd take a long time, it doesn't.

I suppose the only advantage to my method is that I usually wire up the turnouts before I put in the wooden ties as I'm testing and that reassures me that it's working okay and allows me to run trains before the turnout is cosmetically finished.


nkalanaga

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 12:51:22 AM »
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MicroEngineering small (1/4 inch) spikes.  Spike the outside of the stock rails at the points, both sides of the frogs, and along the guard rails.  Except for the frog, most turnouts have rail braces in those locations, so the oversize spikes aren't as out of place, and they won't ever come loose.  Ballasting around the PC ties will finish locking the turnout in place.

Spikes in the point area will also relieve stress on the solder joints from whatever means you use to throw the switch.
N Kalanaga
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 04:28:20 AM »
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Nick, sounds interesting. Pics?
Thanks, Otto

robert3985

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 06:39:51 AM »
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Spikes.  Micro Engineering spikes are too big.  Simple.  When I spike ties, particularly at junctures of my modules to reinforce my track there and make sure it stays aligned, I drill a .012" hole in the ties next to the rails and slip these chemically etched stainless steel spikes into place, which are long enough to get well into the cork.  They're made by Proto87 Stores and are available in various sizes and are touted as being "True HO Scale Spikes" and are .010" square, with the ones I use being either .120" or .150" long.  So far either size works well for me.  $7.95 for 600 of 'em, available here: http://www.proto87.com/product1908.html



Hmmm...at .010" square, that's only 1.6 scale inches square in N-scale.  Not too bad and they do hold well.  To make the installation permanent, just add watery CA and accelerator.

As for spiking the ties at the headblocks...I never had a stock rail come unsoldered at that position.  What comes unsoldered for me used to be the points soldered to the throwbar (even with a monolithic tab on the end of the points).  I use a Tortoise underneath with a thicker wire so's to make sure the points WILL move, so there's quite a bit of pressure on the points when the point is against the adjacent stock rail.  I've solved that problem however, and I attach my closure points without any solder of the points to the throwbar by making a simple hinge that is purely mechanical and won't break from use and looks much more prototypical than just slobbering them to a PCB throwbar. 

Here's a coupla pics:

Top:


Bottom:


If ya wanna represent rail braces, Proto87 Stores is making a "Rail Braces Spike Fret" which can be seen near the bottom of the page here: http://www.proto87.com/page20.html    They make 'em in HO scale for code 55 rail, so I'm assuming they'd work okay in N-scale too for code 55 turnouts.  Only problem is I haven't figured out where they're selling them on Andy's new website yet, but I'm betting their size for C55 isn't going to be overtly too big.  However, since I haven't seen them "in the flesh", I'm only guessing.



I suppose I'll have to order a fret of 'em when I figure out how to do that.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 06:54:11 AM by robert3985 »

spr1955

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Re: Attaching wood ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 11:24:29 AM »
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The contact cement I tried seems to be working it's just the application technique that needs help. Looks like I need to get the Pliobond tube with the little cap to apply it with.
I appreciate everyone's responses.

David P.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 01:33:28 PM »
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Yes - the little caps are critical for working with Pliobond in N scale.

nkalanaga

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 02:07:57 AM »
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True, ME spikes are too large for N scale spikes, which is why I tend to use them where the prototype would have rail braces or anchors.  They're also a lot cheaper, and easier to use, than the fine-scale spikes.
N Kalanaga
Be well

garethashenden

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Re: Attaching wooded ties to hand built code 55 turnout
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 08:00:34 AM »
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If ya wanna represent rail braces, Proto87 Stores is making a "Rail Braces Spike Fret" which can be seen near the bottom of the page here: http://www.proto87.com/page20.html    They make 'em in HO scale for code 55 rail, so I'm assuming they'd work okay in N-scale too for code 55 turnouts.  Only problem is I haven't figured out where they're selling them on Andy's new website yet, but I'm betting their size for C55 isn't going to be overtly too big.  However, since I haven't seen them "in the flesh", I'm only guessing.

Here they are: http://www.proto87.com/product1926.html