Author Topic: Hand laid turnout question  (Read 6050 times)

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narrowminded

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Hand laid turnout question
« on: October 23, 2018, 05:49:10 AM »
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I was wondering if somebody with a stock aid tool could measure the angle on it.  Just curious before I go and reinvent the wheel. :)
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 12:17:40 AM »
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Venturing in to the hand laid track arena. :facepalm:  Just placed an order with Fast Tracks for the first pieces, #4 Nn3 switches.  Getting started is expensive. :o
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 12:21:26 AM »
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Not sure if I ever used a stock aid. I grind them with a cut off wheel and clean with a file if needed.

narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 12:39:30 AM »
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Not sure if I ever used a stock aid. I grind them with a cut off wheel and clean with a file if needed.

I figured that from the last couple of days researching.  I also think I can make a small clamping fixture to do them easily and very precisely in the mill, removing the necessary material while leaving the maximum available foot.  It appears to me that the file tool would take some of the minimal available foot due to the filing at an angle. 

I really need to see the stuff and start to play with it and I'm sure it will all make sense.  I could probably do the frog and point rails in the mill too (with a machined fixture) but for the $54 dollars for a point tool and how little filing code 40 or even 55 will take, the tool seemed worth it.

What I couldn't find this far is a Z/ Nn3 code 40 track gauge.  Do you know of any or should I just make a few?
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 12:45:09 AM »
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I have a code 55 point/frog tool that I do use a lot. Can't remember if code 40 fits in it or not. ( it should) But rail is rail, doesn't matter what scale or gauge you're using it for.

wcfn100

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:52:41 AM »
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Skip the point tool and make them by hand, they'll be much better.

Jason

narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 01:03:59 AM »
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I have a code 55 point/frog tool that I do use a lot. Can't remember if code 40 fits in it or not. ( it should) But rail is rail, doesn't matter what scale or gauge you're using it for.

Yes, they are good for 40 and 55 and any scale but they are only good for one switch number in any of those scales.  I considered making one with some aluminum drops I have and using (replaceable) feeler gauge stock for the hardened wear surface but decided at this time and my inexperience, that I was better off dropping the $54 for the proper hardened one.  Maybe another day, another size, and some experience. 

What I WAS having a hard time with was $75 for the stock rail tool and what appeared to be a not so fussy part as well as a less than desirable result with the cut at an angle, removing more than necessary of the minimal foot.  At least that's the way it appeared to me, best I could tell at this time and with my lack of experience.  I'll know better in a month or so when it all gets here.  :)
Mark G.

nkalanaga

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 01:42:38 AM »
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Republic Locomotive Works should have Nn3 track gauges, but if you have a machine shop, you can probably make your own quite easily.  I have both metal and resin gauges, but a lot of my track (not turnouts) was laid with wooden ones.  File a pair of notches in a piece of wood, use it for soldering, and when it starts to wear, make a new one.

RLW used to have both the three-point gauges and etched brass "NMRA-style" gauges.
N Kalanaga
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narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 03:49:20 PM »
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RLW used to have both the three-point gauges and etched brass "NMRA-style" gauges.

Thanks.  I was pretty sure I had seen them before but couldn't find any when I searched.  I forgot about RLW.  I'll check them but as you said,  I could make my own and with full confidence in the dimensions.  Castings can be accurate and there is some tolerance for error in the completed assembly but I sure hate to consume any of the tolerance in the very first step, the fixture or set-up.  That's supposed to be for all of the other things that can go awry. :)  And it's about time I got more familiar with RLW's site.  In the direction I'm heading with some of my miniature stuff I should be able to make good use of many of their products. 8)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 03:52:39 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2018, 03:56:40 PM »
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I would make roller gauges out of brass if you can.

narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2018, 04:23:24 PM »
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I would make roller gauges out of brass if you can.

I know a guy. 8)  How many would you find useful?
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 05:08:12 PM »
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At least 2, but I have never used them. Just wished I had em.

I have the RLW gauges and they were useless to me. I ended up just using a MTL Z coupler height gauge. It has a track gauge on the side. It is way too loose for C40 rail, but it is all I had.

BAZ-man

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 05:09:34 PM »
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The Point tool made it super easy to get the rail head quickly down to the web (don't thin the web) and the foot, so it hugs the stock rail. This way, you virtually no gap line between the rail.This is most noticeable on the straight stock rail where there is a longer taper need. The point on the contacts divergent stock rail, doesn't need as long of a taper.
I also taper a very short length on the inner side at the end of the rail, to help keep a smooth line for the flange contact.

The stock rails are easy to do on a $40 belt sander with 1" 320 grit. Clean up the point end with a good square corner file. Don't forger to pre-curve the divergent stock rail, as you only need a short taper there.

For curving the divergent point and stock rail, that $89 thing gave me an idea. Get some small ball bearings from the RC shops. You'll need thin 'shim' washers for whatever screw size your small bearing need. This makes the bearing clear the foot. Mount them about 2" apart. You will need a 3rd ball bearing to mount in the middle. I made mine adjustable so I could move with my thumb but fixed is OK. The pathway in between should make an arc about 20% more that you need. Feed the rail through it and roll back an forth a few times.  Bingo.

narrowminded

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 08:25:43 PM »
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At least 2, but I have never used them. Just wished I had em.

I have the RLW gauges and they were useless to me. I ended up just using a MTL Z coupler height gauge. It has a track gauge on the side. It is way too loose for C40 rail, but it is all I had.

Are you talking about Nn3 or N?  I guess if I make one, I could cut both gauges in one tool.  Then one for code 40 and one for code 55.  I might draw something up.  Any feel what diameter might be most comfortable to work with?  Just feeling a piece of brass in hand 3/8" round or maybe even 1/4" seem nice.   1/4" might be best for working in small areas with two tools. :| 
Mark G.

Chris333

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Re: Hand laid turnout question
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 08:46:09 PM »
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Oops yes Nn3. For N I use those 3-point gauges for C55. Never really messed with C40 for standard gauge.