Society Gauge Widening Tool

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
Julian Roberts
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Julian Roberts » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:18 am

Russ Elliott wrote: Our triangular gauges provide only half the amount of gauge widening the prototype might use for a particular radius


Please excuse the daft questions:

Why is this the case? What would be the problem with one (presumably) twice as long if it thereby gave prototypical gauge widening? Or would that not be a desirable aim?

Could prototypical gauge widening (i.e. more than we normally get with the triangular gauge) result in more reliable running and less likelihood of derailments on curves?

Philip Hall
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Philip Hall » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:55 pm

Although this apparent short change in the gauge widening department is news to me (and I suspect to many others) it probably doesn't matter too much, just so long as there is adequate widening. In fact, Alan Austin's studies in the latest Snooze question the need for any widening in many cases.

However, for years I checked the gauge widening by simply inserting the rectangular Society gauge in the track and waggling it about a bit. Just a little waggle, that was fine, but too much and it was out with the soldering iron. I should not really be admitting this, but it worked, and at one point I managed to coax a 9F and a Merchant Navy (both built by Alan Ketley, who was not known for sloppy chassis) around a 2' 3" radius curve. But in this case there was a bit more waggle than usual and the speed was dead slow. I'm not sure I would apply this philosophy, though, to a mainline where I want things to hurtle around at 60 or so.

Philip

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:23 pm

The P4 standard has a slightly reduced back to Back and slightly wider flangeways than an exact reduction from the prototype (hence leaving room for the really keen to 'correct' this). This is intended to give a little more tolerance in construction and has the effect of reducing the need for gauge widening. The standard triangular gauge (and the rectangular one) provides enough gauge widening for the P4 standard for the most part, proven by almost 50 years practical use.

If you really want to run big engines round 2'3" radius curves then you will have to experiment for yourself.

If you want to use the exact reduction dimensions then use the prototype gauge widening standards as well, and prototype minimum radii.
Regards

Philip Hall
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:13 pm

I wouldn't really advocate such curves for any engine, but it worked at the time and was more a bit of fun than anything else. My planning these days is for 4'0" or larger, so long as I have the space.

Philip

Julian Roberts
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Julian Roberts » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 am

Hi Phil and Keith

I think what we do in the privacy of our own homes is our affair, and if we discover something to everyone's benefit, all the better!

I was baffled by Alan Austin's article. Pages of maths and my eyes glaze over, but the conclusions (which I skipped to) didn't seem to say anything much new, or am I missing the point?

Keith you say the reduced back to back is intended to give a little more tolerance in construction. I have found it really difficult to precisely gauge wheels to within the envelope 17.67 - 17.75, for various reasons, chief of which is that I am not an engineer. Using the B2B gauge with accuracy of within 0.1mm comes down to how hard you are pressing and other such absolutely tiny issues, and any wheel wobble can easily take the wheel out of that envelope. 17.60 - 17.80 is the best I can do, but it seems to work, because of that tolerance.

As you in other places refer to the Protofour Manual I looked at it on this subject and it says ( http://www.scalefour.org/history/p4gauges.html) about the track gauge tool: 4.1.5.(4)

"If it is accepted that virtually all curves on a model railway are to radii below the minimum value of the prototype equivalents, it is logical as well as convenient to apply maximum gauge widening in all cases where track is curved. To convert the Track Gauge for use on curved track (Fig. 4), a washer 0.2mm thick is inserted between the spacer and one bush. This is the Gauge Widening factor."

Well, that is drastic! - it's the maximum amount allowed in the standards for the very sharpest curves.

However it later says, referring to the triangular gauge: 4.1.5 (7)

"this automatically produces the required gauge widening."
- as you say.

Mark Tatlow wrote in his recent "problem finding checklist" in S4 News 195 :

"A small degree of over gauge is acceptable; any under gauge is not."

On the prototype, would I be correct in saying that they don't go round with a vast triangle, but that gauge widening is done in the three steps as per the digest: "prototype gauge widening at 10 chains radius is 0.25in, at 7 chains radius is 0.5in, and at 5½ chains radius is 0.75in maximum."

A triangular gauge which gave that prototypical amount of widening but extended in its use to all curves would give less than the above drastic +0.2mm everywhere, but would give the required amount for the sharpest ones. To repeat my question, might this not ever so slightly improve our reliability on prototypical track layouts, and also, give more "wiggle" room in the context of people trying to get big engines round impossible curves on layouts at home?

In the context of Tony Wright's really excellent piece in the S4 news, that his standard of derailments is never, without "pushing the envelope" might it not be good to at least consider or discuss "slightly enlarging the coverage of the envelope"?!

Anyway thanks for the replies.
Julian

billbedford
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby billbedford » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:05 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:If you really want to run big engines round 2'3" radius curves then you will have to experiment for yourself.

If you want to use the exact reduction dimensions then use the prototype gauge widening standards as well, and prototype minimum radii.


...and check rails, don't forget the check rails.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

Philip Hall
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:13 am

Julian,

You've made some interesting points. I think that we are all trying to push the envelope a bit, and that the standards have been proven to work over so many years is testament to them being about right for a working model railway. I also share Tony Wright's insistence/desire for no derailments but realise that some things will always happen.

To return to the gauge widening question, Steve Hall wrote in MRJ a while ago of the trouble he had when he applied a little too much gauge widening on some of his curves. So it pays not to get too carried away! For myself, my new layout will, on the main lines at least, use the Exactoscale Fast Track bases (soon to be released as ready to lay track, apparently) in both the gauge widened and standard forms. I believe the gauge widened version is 0.2mm wider. Since it is very accurately made and robust, it will be almost like laying Peco Streamline!

Philip

User avatar
jim s-w
Posts: 1720
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby jim s-w » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:50 pm

I dunno why but I always understood the triangular gauges exaggerated the amount of gauge widening not the other way around.

Cheers

Jim

Julian Roberts
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Julian Roberts » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:29 pm

I haven't so far been able to find the Steve Hall article so far that you refer to, Phil - which MRJ was it do you happen to know?

What you say about the Exactoscale FastTrack I find very interesting - the +0.2mm for whatever radius curve is the same idea as I quoted from the Protofour Manual - it is the maximum gauge widening "allowed" in the P4 standards for the tightest curve, so therefore, I guess (?), much more "lax" than Keith says we really need for say 60mph curves...?

I am trying to get my head round the various issues here still. One problem is the various measurements all being in different units, as in the P4 Digest: ""prototype gauge widening at 10 chains radius is 0.25in, at 7 chains radius is 0.5in, and at 5½ chains radius is 0.75in maximum" , while earlier the maximum GW is given as +0.22 at 528mm radius.

This is put onto graph form in Russ Elliott's "Easing the Traverse through the Switches" on the Clag website, here:

http://www.clag.org.uk/switch-traverse.html

Here is the graph, though confusingly we still aren't in metric everywhere, we have chains and inches too. The subject of the article is specifically about the switch of the turnout, obviously a related but separate matter.


Gauge Widening Graph (Clag).jpg
Photo of screen of my pc


My head aches trying to do maths and I may be going wrong now.....?

1 chain = 66 feet.

1 foot = 304.8 mm

4mm scale = 1: 76.2


Translate the prototype chains into our scale and inches and millimetres, I get:

0.25" gauge widening at 10 chains = 660ft = 7920" = [to 4mm scale roughly 104" ]= 2640mm

0.5" gauge widening at 7 chains = 1848mm

0.75" gauge widening at 5.5 chains = 1452mm

Reading from the graph:

0.1mm widening for curves of approx 105" = 2667mm

0.2 widening for curves of approx 63" = 1600mm

So here I am now again surprised, that prototype gauge widening according to this graph equivalent to our +0.2mm would be at near enough 6 chains = scale approx 63" = 1600mm.

Yet our standards specify +0.22 widening at 528mm...I don't get that, why is it so different?

Keith says the increased tolerance has the effect of reducing the need for gauge widening. Now correct me if I am mistaken here, but isn't the tolerance an allowance for inaccuracy in B2B setting and wheel wobble inevitable if the hobby is to be affordable or practical for heathens like me who take fright at the sight of a lathe? - and that that inaccuracy may well take my B2B to nearly the prototype width in some instances. So while some wheelsets may not need prototypical GW, others very nearly may do.

It may not be quite appropriate to quote this from one of Russ's posts without the full context, which is at:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3749&hilit=B2B+envelope&start=5

The B2B window.jpg
I don't know how to copy without doing it as a photo


Where I came in on this whole subject was regarding making turnouts: not only the question of how much gauge widening is needed in pointwork, but even whether it should be added at all, hence I was looking on the Forum about the whole topic of gauge widening.

An A6 turnout is not outside fairly average P4 modelling is it, in yard areas for example? According to the template information at the top of it, the "closer radius" is 1240mm (or - thanks Google for doing the sum for me! - 49 inches). According to the above graph, that would require at least +0.2mm GW, probably more, prototypically. A four foot radius curve is well inside the average modelling envelope, I think.

From the same information, a B8 has a closer radius of 2452mm, so needing +0.1 at least.

What I wonder is, what the triangular gauge gives for these two examples.

The other thing that is often said is that GW is not needed for short wheelbase trucks, but are such vehicles are less prone to derailment than others on a typical exhibition layout? Of course there are other issues there, and I personally think that in P4 to leave any vehicle without some sort of suspension is potentially a problem. But maybe gauge widening would not help...?

So, going back to my original question and Russ's statement, is he saying that the triangular gauge gives half of the prototype GW, but that this is the Society's standard GW? - I think so. But if so that means that our decision to take prototypical GW over and above the triangular tool might be appropriate at quite a normal size curve...doesn't it? By the way the quote is from:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2021&hilit=gauge+widening+at+the+crossing

As before, if I am talking rubbish please say!

Philip Hall
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:50 pm

Sorry, I don't have easy access to my bound MRJs at the moment, but it was in one of his articles on Drighlington, although probably not the first one or two. Only a few years ago, so one of the online indices should locate it.

Alan's article does take a bit of digesting, I agree, and probably interesting but not really for me. I can only say that I have never needed to go any further with this business than using the various gauges, as there are many more interesting things to do! When I built turnouts I simply used the triangular track gauge on the curved road, and set the check rail with the check gauge, which measures this critical dimension from the nose of the crossing. Thus the gap between the check rail and the stock rail becomes a little bigger as the gauge widens, and I am sure this is how it should be.

If you find it interesting to go into this in depth that's fine, and I don't think you're talking rubbish at all. All I would say is that it isn't necessary to go to these lengths, and I have just got on and built track and stock and it has all worked. Experience told me what didn't work and that wasn't often.

If you do widen the gauge too much, there is of course the possibility that wheels can drop between the rails, but it would have to be pretty extreme circumstances to do that. A short wheelbase wagon will effectively go around the edge of a dinner plate if you want it to, so for most applications is the least troublesome of the vehicles we use.

Philip

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:32 pm

I am with Philip, build with the gauges and you are going to be OK. The points I built that way 48 years ago following the P4 manual are still working just fine on my layout. There is no need to overdue the theory unless that is your specific interest.
Tutorial here http://www.norgrove.me.uk/points.html
If using functional chairs just ignore the rivet and solder bit, the assembly and gauging is the same.
Regards
NB1. Using P4 track Co check rail chairs you need to set them in place using a check gauge and let the running rail fall wherever. You won't get gauge widening at the crossing in this case, but you don't normally need it anyway, using the triangular gauge for the curved closure just provides a little.
NB2. The prototype GW goes in steps as special components are needed that cannot economically be infinitely variable.
Same applies to plastic track bases.

Julian Roberts
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Julian Roberts » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:54 pm

Phil you are quite right and the time I spent doing that last post is scarce modelling time I have lost making stuff that is far more interesting!

I probably sound as though I am arguing for more gauge widening than I am. The P4 maximum GW is +0.22 and I am not really arguing for any more than that, though that is partly because I am not interested in making stock to go round sharper curves than 4 feet radius, and only make track and stock for a club layout that is prototypical.

What set me off on this was being told by a friend and respected modeller that gauge widening should be avoided in pointwork, and that its use can lead to all sorts of problems.

Your way of building points makes complete sense to me and is what I have done myself. But I can see where he is coming from, as the Digest says

'Gauge widening should not be applied to any sections of pointwork where CG, CF or BC dimensions are specified.'
and
'gauge widening should not be necessary unless using long-wheelbase stock around sharp curves'

However it more or less coincided with Mark Tatlow's Track Fault Finding Checklist in the S4 News, which emphasized more than once the importance of not going undergauge: that overgauge is OK, while undergauge is not.

Meanwhile the Digest seems very prescriptive on the subject. No mention is made of the triangular GW tool unless I am mistaken, so it is not clear whether it should be used at all. It would seem to imply a frown on the Fast Track +0.2mm. But I wonder whether it is written from the mentality where GW is a specifically chosen option, by putting the +0.2 washer into the track gauge tool, rather than the automatic widening provided by the triangular tool which obviously is proportional to the radius.

In a way I see now that the quote from Russ that started all this was a red herring...

Julian Roberts
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Julian Roberts » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:08 pm

Yes thanks Keith, your tutorial is excellent (although it misses out filing the switch blades, when I last looked at least.) Your reply overlapped mine to Phil. These points I am making are rivet and ply like yours, great for infinitely adjustable honing till it's right though terribly time consuming putting in the rivets...I am not a rivet counter!

User avatar
Allan Goodwillie
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:15 pm

Hi Julian,
I have been following this thread which has been interesting to say the least. These are all pratical modellers giving advice. The building points program which we have been following in the West Group has been following the classic method of building which was set out by the Protofour Society all these years ago and which others have had success with. Building points this way should not give any trouble as it is well tried and tested. The great thing about using the rivits and wooden sleepers is that it is possible to add gauge widening at a later date if required. It will be interesting to see if it is needed on our extention when we start to run a WD or two through the point work! If necessary we can change things at that point before applying any chairs. The notes from the society at the time pointed out that it should not be necessary to worry about such theories and that the gauges should sort things out without having to worry. Your three point gauge should be OK from that point of view.

When the East Group layout was first built and due to go to the competition at Scalefourum I had the job of making it all work, but most of the points had problems and it took six weeks of effort in my garage to get it all working properly. :shock: Most of the problems were nothing to do with gauge widening, most were due to the track not being level and point blades not being level with stock rails or having the correct back to back just where the blades met stock rails. I ended up putting in slight joggles and also gave more clearance between point blades when open and their stock rails - all things that the theorists said I should not do. Another thing that managed to get in the way of smoothe running was high, or otherwise, crossing vs.
To get around this I took a big sanding block and gently rubbed down until all was level. Not particularly noticeable when the rail tops are level (when building with rivits and wooden sleepers.) - I do not recommend this for any other technique when the chairs are held at the correct angle as in plastic chaired track. Cosmetic chairs being too high and lifting flanges was also a problem sorted by filing!

The use of steele rail - which I recommended against, has also been a problem on Burntisland as well as the foam underlay which I had used on Grayrigg and had problems with - I recommended against both, but was overuled at the time as they were considered to be the "latest" and therefor an "improvement" -but I wish I had been more persistant and insistant now :|

I have noticed recently a number of complaints about track being tight to gauge where plastic chairs have been used and I think I know why this is. The techniques I have been teaching in the West Group will give a good reliable outcome, and I did not want to compromise this, but I have experimented with plastic chairs and gauge widening recently with the points on my new railway - I will try to cover that on the fourum if they run reliably. I will talk to you about this at our next meeting and bring some along for you to have a look at - it may lead to a new way of using the components altogether. :thumb Reliability comes first Julian and I know this is what you are looking for - the same reliability as you have built into your locos. :thumb I have attached a photo of your Q1 passing through a B6 point on Dubbie at Glasgow which you took during your operating session.

20160227_180124.jpg
Here is one of the photos you took recently on Dubbieside's ancient trackwork - all done in wooden sleepers and rivits. Cast whitemetal chairs were produced for me in these early days, (45 years ago) by Ian Middleditch. No wooden blocks in these days, but most finescale layouts were rather bare of such things way back then. problems in recent times have been more to do with Hammant and Morgan point motors and relay blade contacts rather than track as such. I have recently replaced half the motors with new ones and will probably replace the blades with micro switches - unavailable all these years ago!

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:28 pm

The use of steele rail - which I recommended against, has also been a problem on Burntisland as well as the foam underlay which I had used on Grayrigg and had problems with - I recommended against both, but was overuled at the time as they were considered to be the "latest" and therefor an "improvement" -but I wish I had been more persistant and insistant now :|

I have used steel rail for P4 since Studiolith sent me samples when they first introduced it, getting on for half a century now so its hardly new ;)
I have not had any problems using it in all that time so I would be interested to know what the problems are that Burntisland had and you attributed to the use of steel rail. maybe there's something in the methods used that can be learn't from.

and will probably replace the blades with micro switches

Certainly be interesting to see the trains running over microswitches :)
but I suppose we know what you meant, use of proper switching for the crossings is a must in my book and I have always bonded the switches to the stock rails which prevents use of blade contact switching, and also prevents any shorts from wheel backs contacting the open blades.
Regards

User avatar
Allan Goodwillie
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:58 pm

Hi Keith,

Yes I too have always bonded the two. I know steel has been out a long time now, but none of the others had tried it except myself. I used some when it first came out on one of my extentions to Dubbieside. I did not extend the trial as I prefered nickle silver - it proved to be better for running when I had it in the Museum on a number of counts.

As to the steel rail - the reason the others were so keen was the look of the steel as against nickle silver, which I can understand. I also know that steel works better when used on gradients - gives a bit more grip - I had considered using it on the gradients on Grayrigg - really glad I did not now. However my worry was how the steel would react with the colder damper atmosphere of a garage when in store. We heat the garage, but still have problems with the rails rusting - not a problem on the real thing.

Every time someone gets out a soldering iron to adjust the track and even during the initial construction phase we found that flux spluttering over everything and landing on the running surface creats pitting when left in the garage even for a few days. It is amazing just how far flux travels! So cleaning up afterwards is not an exact science.

The foam has caused no end of problems as there are no fixed levels at the board joints and this has meant a great deal of adjustment with a knock on effect on the trackwork top surfaces. The track once it has started to rust then becomes more difficult to get clean before any resoldering of joints, chairs, etc. which makes them less reliable. :( I am reasonably sure however, that if someone is working with a layout at home and it is in a nice dry warm environment it will be fine.

My new layout is using the high nickle rail throughout and if this had been available years ago I am sure I would have used it - it has the steel look and is not much harder to work than normal nickle silver with the same conductivity and solderability. :geek: This is not a recommendation however as I want to see the layout in operation before I am willing to do that. Far too many rush into print before methods have been proved and some people talk a good game and yet have never built a layout for themselves. :shock: They know all the theory though. ;) :ugeek:

The East Group's current Trackmeister has asked to be relieved of the task and it is yet to be seen what will be done to improve reliability, the layout will be going to Wigan later on in the year and must be working well for then. The West Group are taking Calderside there and I will be there with them as we have less in the way of numbers than the East Group to play around with.

I am assuming Keith that your layout is in a set place in the house and not in extremes of temperature or humidity. When in the museum Dubbieside had a short period during the month of January when we were not open and I was not in Melrose and there was no heating on. When I returned I found that the layout was not working in any number of sections on all the later built stuff. :o Turned out that many of the solder joints had broken due to the cold. :cry: The original section built with the P4 droppers soldered on to the bottom of the rivits had all survived OK and they still do.

I had a chat with old mate Alan Clark who orignally built Calderside when at Glasgow this year, and we were talking about such things and he said that he had had bother with this method - just shows you nothing is universal - so I am sure many use steel and have no problems - it is probably more to do with circumstances than with anything else. :)

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:53 am

Every time someone gets out a soldering iron to adjust the track and even during the initial construction phase we found that flux spluttering over everything and landing on the running surface creats pitting when left in the garage even for a few days. It is amazing just how far flux travels! So cleaning up afterwards is not an exact science.

Corrosive flux on steel rail does have to be avoided, its good practice to avoid it on nickel silver as well.
The traditional solder paste with corrosive flux is fine for construction off board, almost all my track was built with it but each piece gets a scrub down with Vim under the hot tap and then dried before laying. Once laid any further soldering is done with rosin core solder or if additional flux is really needed using 'no-clean' flux as sold for electronic work. Cleaning up, enough to remove any traces of corrosive flux, on track that is already laid is almost impossible IMHO. So I avoid any need.
My layout lives in the loft which has pretty high temperature variations but is not damp, when I was in Adelaide my house was on the sea front with salty air much of the time but the layout survived and was developed further after I left.

So far as foam goes I agree entirely, a very small sample was enough to put me off it years ago.
Regards

User avatar
Allan Goodwillie
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:16 pm

Hi Keith,

I pretty much agree with what you have said and know where you are coming from - I will get hold of some of the solder you mention and trial it for myself to see if there is any advantage. There are problems with layouts which have to travel and no matter how much you add protection, damage is still possible and I would say probable in time. There is also all that banging about in the back of a van or truck. Don't know if you have ever travelled in the back of a truck with a layout in it - I have - everything moves and shakes. We have travelled many miles with Burntisland and also with Dubbieside over the years and boy :!: does it have to be well built to stand up to it all. The last two shows Dubbieside was at I had damage done, with some expense and modelling time lost. :cry:

The worst damage done took two months of repairing after the trailer that was carrying the layout went over a sleeping policeman at 30 mph. and this before reaching the show - quite a few components were not working after that and two locomotives where the springs in the suspension were thrown out due to the force - and this in a box tightly packed and all locos in foam protection. 8 point motors/mechanisms required replacement as well as a new motor/gearbox for the ash plant and a replacement motor on the working tipler. I was amazed there was no damage to the boards as such.

After Glasgow we also had damage done to the buildings on one board as it was allowed to drop accidentally on to the floor wrong way up. Being an old layout the buildings came to bits a bit like a build up kit as glue and ancient solvent-joined edges gave up the ghost. I was very sorry for my friend who was horrified that such a thing should happen to such a historic layout - but the same had happened previously, many years ago to the stables building when we were setting up in Manchester. John Wall, sadly no longer with us, but the builder of the "Diver" on Burntisland did the damage and was mortified - took the model home overnight and returned with it rebuilt - not sure how much time he had for sleep - needless to say all was forgiven. He was a good man and modeller. The damage after Glasgow has been put right and the layout looks much the same as it ever did. I will not publish photos of the damage here as I do not want to upset my friend further -our friendship is worth far more than a few damaged buildings.

I still think that building a transportable layout using steel rail and foam is asking for it, because of what I have described above. As regards my new layout, I am considering what protection will be needed right from the start and plan for it to be transported only by car. :idea: Sorry we have strayed off subject a little here, but it is still a progression. I am sure we will get Burntisland back to form. There is nothing that cannot be fixed. :thumb

FCA
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby FCA » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:16 am

Keith is absolutely right regarding corrosive flux and steel rail. Nowadays I prepare my lengths of steel rail by tinning the foot so that the subsequent use of rosin solder will be more reliable. The tinning, using red or green label flux, is followed by thorough cleaning and the rail lengths are then painted; primer followed by "rust". I have encountered no problems in loading the rail with chairs after painting, the chairs also being painted whilst on their sprue. Electrical droppers are fixed to the foot of the rail, I generally drill a 0.4mm hole in the foot, and they are positioned so that they pass through the hole in the sleeper which makes them invisible once half chairs have been applied.

All of these tasks have to be performed anyway but doing them in the order I have outlined minimizes the risk of corrosion, the paint finish is better, having been applied with an airbrush, and electrical reliability is enhanced.

Richard

User avatar
Allan Goodwillie
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:54 am

Hi Richard,

That as a process looks to be a good one when using steel rail - I have some steel rail in stock and sometime over the next couple of months I will try the process out for myself, although I am unlikely to adopt it for my own building, because of the reasons given above and that high nickle rail is now available. The starters group I have started may have one or two intending using steel. I will ask at the next meeting. :)

billbedford
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby billbedford » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:20 am

Allan Goodwillie wrote:As to the steel rail - the reason the others were so keen was the look of the steel as against nickle silver, which I can understand. I also know that steel works better when used on gradients - gives a bit more grip - I had considered using it on the gradients on Grayrigg - really glad I did not now. However my worry was how the steel would react with the colder damper atmosphere of a garage when in store. We heat the garage, but still have problems with the rails rusting - not a problem on the real thing.


But.....

Cars rust more if they are kept in garages than if kept outside, especially if the garages are heated. This has to do with the circulation of air, or lack of it, in a garage. I can imagine that layouts that are stored boxed together would have more problems than those stored with the trackwork exposed, because there is just not enough air circulation inside the travelling boxes.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:30 am

Nowadays I prepare my lengths of steel rail by tinning the foot so that the subsequent use of rosin solder will be more reliable. The tinning, using red or green label flux, is followed by thorough cleaning and the rail lengths are then painted; primer followed by "rust". I have encountered no problems in loading the rail with chairs after painting, the chairs also being painted whilst on their sprue.

Threading the chairs on after a thin coat of paint may work, but I am surprised you can thread chairs on after tinning the rail foot. I'm also puzzled why the rail needs tinning if using functional chairs, or am I missing something?
Regards

FCA
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby FCA » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:03 pm

Tinning the rail dates from my days using riveted track where getting a sound joint I always found challenging. Removing flux residues from the rail after laying was, for me, also problematic. The layer of tinning is very thin and has given no problems with loading chairs to the rail.

FCA
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby FCA » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:18 pm

Allan Goodwillie wrote:
"That as a process looks to be a good one when using steel rail - I have some steel rail in stock and sometime over the next couple of months I will try the process out for myself, although I am unlikely to adopt it for my own building...."


With the exception of tinning the rail all the tasks, painting the rails and the chairs and loading the chairs, are applicable to nickel silver rail. As I said, I think you get an improved finish if the components are painted before assembly.

Richard

User avatar
Allan Goodwillie
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: Society Gauge Widening Tool

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:31 pm

Bill's point about a heated garage is probably true about circulation, we have spent some time boxing many of our boards recently - so may be in for more trouble if Bill is right. Time will tell. The other solutions suggested require working the track up beforehand, which is not a solution for us, but may be a solution to allow others to avoid such problems. Will not be using it myself, but there will be plenty who plan to use steel and a good method that can be used in all states of storage "climate". I would be interested to see some information from others like us who have had to store layouts in less than perfect conditions for periods of time.
A previous layout that the group made using N/S track was kept in an outdoor shed without any problems with the track, but problems instead with boards expanding due to dampness - there was no heat in that situation, thus the use of heat in present circumstances.

I assume Richard has used enamel paints when spraying his rail as acrylic would blister if there was any soldering - I was wondering how Richard built his points-are they all soldered or does he use plastic chairs or a combination :?:


Return to “Track and Turnouts”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests