Author Topic: Hand laying thread  (Read 854 times)

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Hand laying thread
« on: January 02, 2015, 02:51:48 PM »
Once I get settled in a permanent (heh, Raleigh was supposed to be permanent, but, whatevs) location in SoCal, I plan to start building a layout.  I have a set of Fasttracks #10 jigs and ME C40 rail.

What would be cool would be a thread with the collective Railwire handlaying knowledge all in one place rather than buried in other threads like DFFs Seaboard Central thread.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 10:54:54 PM by tom mann »
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
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Re: Hand laying thread
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 04:24:24 PM »

Try searching through Ed Nadolski's posts.  His work blows mine away, and not long ago, he was even posting about etching parts to super-detail handlaid turnouts.


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jagged ben

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Re: Hand laying thread
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 05:20:23 PM »
My advice:

1) Don't let people be snobs about the Fastracks point form tools.   They are wonderful tools that will save you a ton of time as a beginner and ensure that you can build a functional turnout in your first couple tries.   Yes, they have some shortcomings from an advanced point of view and for people who are sticklers about the prototypical geometry.   But a) you can learn to overcome these shortcomings, and b) this is N scale, most people can't see that geometry.  My advice for about using the point form tool is as follows:
- make sure that the foot of the rail is pinched between the two halves of the tool and doesn't pop out.   Don't extend the rail farther out of the tool than where you want the end of the point to be. 
- Don't overfile; stop before you start filing away the web of the rail.  If you do overfile, take it out of the tool, nip off the end, then put it back in a little further than it was and re-file.
- Finish off the end of point outside of the tool, by filing away the extra bit of the head of the rail.  Try doing this before you install the point,  (You can also try some bending of the point at this juncture if you want to go advanced on simulating prototype geometry.)

You can build your first functional turnout much easier on a template (i.e without the Fastracks jig)  than without the point-form tool.  If you want to go old-school and do it all with just templates, have at it.  But if you do, understand you are doing that because you are planning to put in many long hours honing your skills, and you will enjoy doing that.  And probably also because you have far fewer turnouts to build for your layout. 

2) N scale turnouts need more PC ties for strength around the throwbar than the Fastracks jig allows for.  I take the turnout out of the jig and put it on a paper template for adding up to five more PC ties in this area.   (I won't go into detail, because how many you need and where depends on  what your using to throw turnouts, whether your modeling switch levers or machines, etc.)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Hand laying thread
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 04:26:46 PM »
Hand laying recommendations? Don't use your dominant hand. That's your mousing hand.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Hand laying thread
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 06:13:48 PM »
Can you move this thread to the proper category? Needs a bit more content until it qualifies for Best of TRW.  :facepalm:

Best wishes, Dave
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