Author Topic: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners  (Read 1901 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

wmcbride

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 332
  • Respect: +20
Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« on: January 25, 2017, 03:14:09 PM »
0
Frog drop (and freight car wiggle) got me to the point of building my own turnouts -- sorry Atlas code 55. It's rewarding but a bit tedious.

I want to add a yard and thought I would give ME #6 turnouts a try. They snap in place (yay!) and would be good enough in terms of rail drop - I hoped. I ordered two of the "newer" DCC-compatable turnouts as well as some ME rail joiners.

Now I remembered why I had so many Atlas code 55 rail joiners in my bin: because I can actually get them on the rails as opposed to the ME which were crimped flat. Ugh. Must have been a bad day at the factory.

Unfortunately, the "snap action" designed to hold the rails in place don't work on either turnout. It may be time to get out the soldering gun and build some turnouts or add a throw control to the ME turnouts.

This made me feel like today is a Monday, except ... it isn't.   :D

Bill McBride

thomasjmdavis

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1879
  • Respect: +252
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 04:18:07 PM »
0
I believe the ME rail joiners are actually made by the National Adhesive Bandage Marketing Consortium.  I am sure one or another of the RW engineering experts has developed a tool to install them, but like you, I gave up a long time ago and just use Atlas joiners. 
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

Mark W

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1719
  • Respect: +1411
    • Free-moNebraska
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 04:59:13 PM »
+1
Funny you bring this up.  I was having fits with ME C55 Joiners just last night.  I found a technique to make them SOOO much easier to work with!!



Support CGNscale on Patreon!

Contact me about custom model building.
Learn more about Free-moNebraska.

thomasjmdavis

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1879
  • Respect: +252
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 05:31:13 PM »
0
Tried that technique some while back - I think you are much better at it than I am, or at least getting better results.  Mine either still did not work, or I went too far and they were loose.
Tom D.

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.

wmcbride

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 332
  • Respect: +20
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 06:31:21 PM »
+3
Funny you bring this up.  I was having fits with ME C55 Joiners just last night.  I found a technique to make them SOOO much easier to work with!!



Mark,

You forgot the photo of your bleeding finger(s)...
Bill McBride

Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13381
  • Respect: +2717
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 06:46:47 PM »
0
Just buy Atlas joiners.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20985
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +1896
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 06:49:31 PM »
0
That knife blade looks brand new (pointy and sharp)!   :D
I wonder if a spreading tool could be made from a piece of MT track filed down to an edge and mounted in a dowel?

Then to hold the joiner take another dowel and drill a hole deep enough for the joiner to go in about 2/3 of the way in..
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"

Santa Fe Guy

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 937
  • Respect: +183
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 07:06:05 PM »
0
That knife blade looks brand new (pointy and sharp)!   :D
I wonder if a spreading tool could be made from a piece of MT track filed down to an edge and mounted in a dowel?

Then to hold the joiner take another dowel and drill a hole deep enough for the joiner to go in about 2/3 of the way in..
Used a similar home made tool to add the joiners to the rail many years ago. Saved many a sore finger and got the job done very quickly.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2996
  • Respect: +351
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 07:45:53 PM »
+2
I just use a small jewelers screwdriver to slightly spread the ends.   I also use a flat file to remove burrs and make a small chamfer on the base of the rail.

Ed

OldEastRR

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2489
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +123
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 08:19:26 PM »
0
A ground-down C55 rail is great for fixing this. And cheap. Insert the pointed rail tip into the end of the joiner enough to hold it, and stick the other end of the joiner into a piece of Homasote or the end of a piece of finished lumber (where the wood is rough and softer). Use small pliers to push the rail slowly onto the joiner while holding the homasote/wood piece. I just leave the altered joiner on the rail and do a bunch more joiners the same way, lining them up on the rail so they don't get lost. Once you get the hang of it you can do a lot of joiners quickly -- w/o punching holes in your fingers.
Don't understand why your ME turnouts don't snap-switch the points. Maybe e-mail ME and tell them about the problem. I've got 20+ YO ME C55s that still snap well. Don't use a lot of force when throwing the points by fingerpower. But I've found they're good reliable switches even tho I now use DCC and don't have powered frogs.

Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13381
  • Respect: +2717
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 08:29:33 PM »
+1
There is that new Atlas 3 sided joiner puter on tool.

jagged ben

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2336
  • Respect: +201
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 08:51:50 PM »
0
A ground-down C55 rail is great for fixing this. And cheap. Insert the pointed rail tip into the end of the joiner enough to hold it, and stick the other end of the joiner into a piece of Homasote or the end of a piece of finished lumber (where the wood is rough and softer). Use small pliers to push the rail slowly onto the joiner while holding the homasote/wood piece. I just leave the altered joiner on the rail and do a bunch more joiners the same way, lining them up on the rail so they don't get lost. Once you get the hang of it you can do a lot of joiners quickly -- w/o punching holes in your fingers.
...

This is good advice.  Also, just filing and deburring the rails you are actually joining.

Angus Shops

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 315
  • Respect: +58
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 08:52:21 PM »
0
I also use a chunk of the code 55 filed down. I narrow and thin the base of the rail for about an 1/8" from the end and then push the joiner on, but only enough to open up the end of the joiner, and then repeat for the other end. This lets the joiner slip onto the end the track relatively easily, but tightens up on the rail as the joiner is moved fully into place. I like the way the ME joiners hold the rail tightly, especially when trying to lay curved track without kinks at the joints.

I still need some sort of joiner holder tool because the above does not do much to save the finger tips, but it does a lot  to reduce the "why can't I get the $&@?ing joiner onto the rail" frustration.

Geoff

Mark W

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1719
  • Respect: +1411
    • Free-moNebraska
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 09:35:41 PM »
0
Doesn't have to be a hobby blade.  Try a metal ruler or a track gauge.  Any metal strip about .015-.02" should do.



I challenge anyone who does the filed rail technique to try this method a few times.
Support CGNscale on Patreon!

Contact me about custom model building.
Learn more about Free-moNebraska.

nkalanaga

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 6518
  • Respect: +273
Re: Micro-Engineering Code 55 Turnouts and Rail Joiners
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 01:06:57 AM »
0
Ed:  That was my technique as well.  Then, after getting the joiner on the first rail, I could use the same screwdriver to move it if it need to be centered, or offset, to fit better.

Jagged Ben:  Oh yes, I always deburred my rail ends.  Not only did it make installing the joiner easier, but rough ends also can result in rough joints, if the burrs make one rail taller than the other.
N Kalanaga
Be well