Turnout construction - Question here please.

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
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David Thorpe
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby David Thorpe » Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:19 pm

I haven't used Masokits chairs bacause I don't use PCB sleepers, and never have. I've always thought that timber sleepers are visually more appealing. So for many years I used ply and rivet and tried to pretend that the little blobs of solder on each rivet represented a chair. At the same time, it struck me as completely daft that when I took such care to get the track gauge looking as good as possible my "chairs" were less convincing that those on most proprietary RTR systems. Oh, there were cosmetic chairs available but as I recall they were expensive and difficult to fit.

So then along came the plastic functional chairs from Exactoscale and C&L.. Terrific, I thought, and adopted them for my new layout with pretty disastrous results as I hadn't realised, far less allowed for, the fact that when I set the gauge using the standard society gauges I'd always used, the chairs subsequently started to cant in which led to gauge narrowing and unsatisfactory running. I also tried adapting the chairs to fit some of my old ply and rivet pointwork, which had remained true to gauge, but the whole procedure was absurdly tedious although the end result was largely satisfactory.

I'm now thinking of building some hybrid turnouts, with a few strategically placed rivets, but otherwise using Exactoscale chairs slid onto the rail beforehand. These would not have to be cut in half and fitted retrospectively. But will this too lead to problems? The rivets hold the rail vertically, the chairs want to cant inwards. The rivets are stronger then the chairs and I hope that the rail would therefore remain upright throughout the turnout, but am a bit concerned lest the chairs would continue to try to turn the rail inwards. Just how strong is their cant?

So perhaps that shows why I think that any tutorial on building pointwork in 2020 should really concentrate on functional chairs!

As for Wayne's new point kits, it seemed to be taken for granted that they would not meet P4 tolerances. Excatoscale used to produce point kits that presumaby met P4 tolerances (provided you knew about and made allowance for the cant) and C&L still do (same proviso), so I'm not quite sure why Wayne Kinney wouldn't be able to. I do understand however that as things stand it might not be worth his while financially to give it a try.

And as for the complications of P4 trackwork, just put yourself in the position of someone considering moving to P4 and then try reading this thread from TEXBEDZ's posting downwards..... As others have said (and I completely concur) it really isn't complicated so why try to make it seem so?

DT

allanferguson
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby allanferguson » Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:23 pm

David Thorpe wrote:Isn't all this ply and rivet construction just a bit old hat now? Surely most people are using Exactoscale or C&L chairs and sticking them directly to the sleepers and I'd certainly like to see a bit more about how that is done, including the positioning of chairs in the more awkward areas and ensuring there is no gauge widening. For those that are using ply and rivet, I assume that you are then having to apply cosmetic chairs and I'd be interested to know how you go about that. I've found it something of a nightmare as the holes in the base of Exactoscale chairs are just a little bit smaller than the head of the rivet in the sleeper which means that in order to get a close fit of the chair it is necesary to file away some of its base. Doing that for all the chairs - or more accurately all the half chairs -in a turnout is an extreme pain, especially when a rivet is not directly under the rail or ones soldering is not as minimal as might be hoped.

I cannot help but think that anyone contemplating starting out in P4 who then reads this page will gain the imoression that trackwork construction in P4 is exceptionally complicated and will start thinking about EM instead, especially now that Wayne Kinney's new point kits are to become available. I was rather disappointed to see the negative attitude shown on this forum towards these and their possible application to P4.

DT


I must agree with the general sentiment. I have used plastic chairs with ply sleepers for some years and find them very reliable. The chairs need to be threaded onto the rails before laying them, and for point and crossing work the order of doing this needs a bit of thought. The actual crossing I assemble offscene using a jig and all four rails are soldered to a wee piece of brass sheet of a thickness to raise them off the sleepers by the same amount as the chairs. The piece of brass is cut back to the width of the chairs and is undetectable after cosmetic half chairs are added The only other place I solder is slide chairs where this is the only way to keep the stock rail attached -- I use brass slide chairs.
One issue I've never resolved is gauge widening, which I need "round the ends". There is no track gauge I know of which will give controlled gauge widening. I got round it by using widened gauge track bases from exactoscale, but these are not entirely satisfactory -- for one thing 8'6" sleepers are not correct for my pregroup layout.
Trackwork construction in P4 is complicated; but so it is in EM and 00 also; and anyone who can build locomotives and rolling stock in P4 can certainly build track.

Allan F

Philip Hall
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:36 am

My visible turnouts are likely to be the hybrid variety as David describes but with one difference: the plastic chairs will not be threaded onto the rail but cut in half and added later along with those that conceal the rivets. With ply and rivet every three sleepers the rail will be held firmly, and the intermediate chairs, glued each side of the rail, will not try to force the rail off vertical but will still hold it firm. I can’t tell/am not bothered if the rail is vertical.

That’s the theory anyway. All off stage track is to be soldered PCB.

Philip

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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Highpeak » Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:15 am

I think "old hat" is a somewhat weighted term for a method or process that as Terry Bendall observes still has a place as a one of several viable means of building track. As far as I can see there are some advantages to the process and some drawbacks, but I think this could be said of other approaches too.

From the perspective of a beginner any of the soldered construction techniques offer the significant advantage of adjustability. I had to do quite a bit of "adjusting" of the track on my shunting plank once I bought a Mint gauge which most obligingly showed me the error of my fortunately not completely permanent way. I had to adjust some of the track that used the plastic components along with the ply and rivet work and while the plastic fittings can be persuaded to come loose and be moved slightly the process is not quite as straightforward as a quick dab with a soldering iron.

David does have a valid point about the addition of cosmetic chairs which can be a time consuming process, especially if rivet placement wasn't completely accurate. Overall I think the cosmetic steps (including painting) probably take me as long as the construction phase itself. Painting though must surely be part of any track construction method.

The first two turnouts I built gave me a self-awarded C- "Must take more care" grade. They were built prior to Tony's thread which encouraged me to have another go, and the results of applying most of his methods led to a significant improvement in the outcome. The Mint gauge slides through the turnout built after reading Tony's thread quite smoothly.

Lacking any sort of rivet press I just used the vise jaws to close the rivet, a bit time consuming but it did the job. I also deviated from the process by using a needle in a pin chuck to mark out the rivet locations as I found I got more accurate results. It's not my idea but I can't remember where I read it. Bill Bedford's etched brass components for slide chairs also came in handy but a lesson learned there was to move the rivet location so that the edge of the slide chair didn't stick out a long way from the rail which made adding the plastic cosmetic chair harder than it needed to be.

One thing that the traditional ply and rivet method shares with other approaches is the satisfaction that comes from building something and making it work. Tony's thread is invaluable as far as this method is concerned. Having greatly enjoyed the virtual Scaleforum presentations, in particular David Brandreth's work on resistance soldering, I think there is a place for a well-produced video version of Tony's thread as a real aid for beginners. Other methods would probably also benefit from this, video being a powerful instructional tool when it's done well.
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David Thorpe
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:40 am

As far as I know there are three geberally acknowledge methods of making P4 track. One of these involves PCB sleepers. I shan't say anything more on that as I've never used it as I don't really like the appearance of PCB sleepers.

The there's ply and rivet which I have used to make a variety of trackwork over the years in both EM and P4. Main advantages of this system is that it is robust and it works. However, it is time consuming and requires soldering, which puts some people off, and it requires considerable cosmetic embellishment. The process is quite lengthy; get plan and stick it down; cut timbers to length; apply double sided sellotape and stick timbers down; mark out proposed rivet holes; remove sleepers, drill rivet holes, insert and close rivets, replace riveted sleepers onto plans; prepare V, wing and switch rails; and then solder all rails into appropriate positions. But after that you'll presumably want to add some realistic chairs, so either grind each side of every rivet back to that it is flush with the rail side and then cut the chairs in half and add them, as Terry does, or else cut the chairs in half, file away much of their bases, and then try to put them securely in position, as I do. This process is a particular pain in the neck.

Then along came functional chairs. Oh how simple it all seemed in comparison. Stick down plan and cut timbers, just as for ply and rivet, but after that it's so much easier. Ascertain the appropriate position of the chairs, thread them on the rail (boring!) and then stick them down onto the timbers using MEK or something similar. No need for soldering or the tedious cosmetic work. Brilliant really - well, that is until a little while later you find that stock is beginning to derail on your points because you haven't taken into account the cant built into the chairs, and I'm still not aware of a foolproof way of getting round that.

So I'm going to do what Philip, whose postings I invariably find pragmatic and helpful, does and proceed with a hybrid system with chairs cut in half. If there's no rivet to get in the way there's no problem putting them into position, and if there is, well, I'll just have to try Terry's grinding method or continue to file away the bases of the chairs until they fit.

DT
Last edited by David Thorpe on Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:40 am

The hybrid system, with riveted sleepers at key points and functional chairs elsewhere was I think originally suggested by Iain Rice and as mentioned yesterday I have used it and it works. However I was advised some years back by someone who knows a lot about track than me that problems can occur with expansion. All riveted construction means that the rail is firmly held and is very unlikely to move. Functional chairs throughout allow the rail to move if needed. In a mixed system there is the possibility of distortion.

As with many other aspects of what we do, in the end the builder has to make a choice of how they do things. There are lots of sources of advice and information about different methods. Select what you think will work for you and try it out. If it is successful then problem solved. If not, review other methods and try something different.

What we all have to accept is that working to P4 standards, or any other "fine scale" standard is almost always going to take longer, sometimes become very tedious and almost always need greater care. That goes with the territory. :)

Terry Bendall

Philip Hall
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:55 am

Terry has an interesting point but I don't think my method will create any problems because the plastic chairs will not be glued to the rail, merely to the sleepers. They will possibly just provide a bit of 'location reinforcement' for the rail. The soldered sleepers will be more than adequate to hold the gauge on their own. I think more soldered joints will be required at crossings and blades etc. but still much less than having all rivet construction.

Philip

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David Thorpe
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:07 am

Terry Bendall wrote:Functional chairs throughout allow the rail to move if needed. In a mixed system there is the possibility of distortion.


That may be the theory. But in practice, has anyone ever found this to be a problem?

DT

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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Enigma » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:36 pm

I've used the hybrid method for many years, since the first plastic chairs appeared on the market probably. In point work I use a rivet either side of a rail break and at intervals of 4-6 sleepers depending on the size of the point and on plain track. Rivets are threaded on prior to soldering but, if I miss any, I just cut a chair in half and stick it in the gap. Check rails have a rivet each end and staggered with some on the stock rail. Crossings are soldered to scrap etch araldited to the sleepers (which can melt under the heat of the soldering though). Rivet heads are filed down with a curved tapered rifler file and half chairs Evostuck on. I'll admit I don't use any 'fancy' chairs around checks, crossings etc., I just 'hack' a plain chair to fit. Unless you get real close then this isn't immediately apparent. Well, in my opinion anyway. Can't say I've ever had any problems with expansion, even in hot exhibitions halls but then I'm not building Kings Cross or the like. The method works for me, has done for many years, and (if I do build any more pointwork) will continue to do so.

Chacun a son gout I believe out trans manche cousins say. Or something like that anyway ;)

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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby davebradwell » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:45 pm

Yes, re-inforcing plastic chaired pointwork with a few soldered sleepers concentrates stresses caused by thermal expansion and leads to failures so would suggest that you need Philip's or Enigma's mix for safety. I've used a couple of pcb sleepers to hold crossings and they just break off, same with the corresponding rail so can't see that rivets would be any better. Adding Masokits chairs seems to give enough soldered area to survive. I've also reduced the length of continuously soldered rail leading off a point. A couple of Exacto cast slide chairs each side of the switch aren't strong enough either but this might be down to the strange surface of the castings. Those cleaned and re-soldered are being monitored. Others have studied my layout, sniffed and gone away to use the Masokits chairs.

Plastic chairs aren't entirely free from problems as there was a whole batch from C&L years ago that went brittle. I moved to soldered crossings as I felt a need to tweak the various bits, especially at K crossings which wasn't possible with the glued assembly as they just weren't rigid enough.

We are regularly advised to solder dropper wires to the bottom of rails and I can report this is useless as they peel off with time and those tiny movements. I must have replaced nearly all of them with wire soldered into the rail web, through a hole drilled in the rail or tucked inside a Masokits chair. I want a layout that will work reliably when I invite others to an operating session.

Of course if you keep your layout in a room at constant temperature, none of this will happen. Keeping exhibition layouts in garages seems like a disaster waiting to happen unless very good mechanical construction is employed.

Yes, I've known Mike Clark for years but decided there were better things to do with life than sticking cosmetic chairs.

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David Thorpe
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:28 pm

davebradwell wrote:Yes, re-inforcing plastic chaired pointwork with a few soldered sleepers concentrates stresses caused by thermal expansion and leads to failures so would suggest that you need Philip's or Enigma's mix for safety.


But isn't that exactly what Philip's and Paul's mix does - reinforcing plastic chaired pointwork with some soldered (via rivets) sleepers? I have to confess that I didn't really understand your first paragraph too well - as you apparently use Masokits chairs I assume that you use copperclad sleepers for your pointwork? I've no experience of them, but I can say that I used ply and rivet construction for years and cannot recall any instances of stress fractures between the rivet and the rail. As I mentioned earlier, whatever other criticisms one might level at it, it's certainly robust.

DT

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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Enigma » Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:52 pm

David Thorpe wrote:
davebradwell wrote:Yes, re-inforcing plastic chaired pointwork with a few soldered sleepers concentrates stresses caused by thermal expansion and leads to failures so would suggest that you need Philip's or Enigma's mix for safety.


But isn't that exactly what Philip's and Paul's mix does - reinforcing plastic chaired pointwork with some soldered (via rivets) sleepers? I have to confess that I didn't really understand your first paragraph too well - as you apparently use Masokits chairs I assume that you use copperclad sleepers for your pointwork? I've no experience of them, but I can say that I used ply and rivet construction for years and cannot recall any instances of stress fractures between the rivet and the rail. As I mentioned earlier, whatever other criticisms one might level at it, it's certainly robust.

DT

Mmm, yes, sorry Dave B. but I'm a bit confused by your comment too. TBH, over the years I've seen more broken solder joints with ply and rivet than on the hybrid method. This can be especially so, it seems, with steel rail. As I said, hybrid works fine for me and for what I want to do so I'll stick with it.

For droppers I drill a small hole just inside the rail between sleepers, use a length of 0.45 brass wire bent into an 'L' soldered to inside of the rail web away from the viewer, the length under the baseboard being bent 90' and soldered to a small brass screw about an inch or so away. Any connections are made to the horizontal sub baseboard part of the wire which can be sufficiently long to allow several connections to be made.

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:20 pm

As one of the main protagonists of the ply and rivet track construction system, I would be delighted to see a ready to run range of P4 turnouts become available as nothing would encourage more modellers to have a go. However the range by definition is always going to be limited compared even with today's restricted range of prototype standard Flatbottom turnouts. The Exactoscale range of point kits was the nearest we have had so far, but sooner or later one is going to want something that isn't catered for and then its a matter of building from first principles whatever your chosen method.
There was a gag in a Goon show where after telling a joke the response was "That's a very old joke" Reply "I'm a very old comedian".
I have been building P4 track for about 50 years and the methods evolved work, so felt they needed to be put on record as a long overdue update to the digest and the forum was the obvious modern medium for this. Yes time and methods move on. I have tried functional chairs to construct a turnout, but being so used to soldered track, could not get on with them. I wouldn't gainsay them though. A variety of construction methods is surely a good thing. Each to their own and if anybody feels strongly enough that we should be promoting a newer method of construction for our point work then I can only encourage them to start a new thread and write it up for posterity.

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David Thorpe
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby David Thorpe » Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:33 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:The Exactoscale range of point kits was the nearest we have had so far, but sooner or later one is going to want something that isn't catered for and then its a matter of building from first principles whatever your chosen method.


As far as I know the Exactoscale range of point kits is not currently available. However, it seems that C&L do a wide range of P4 kits ranging from A4s to B9s as well as diamonds, tandems, and single and double slips. I'm a bit confused by the pricing - the point kit, for example, costs £57 and is labelled as a 4PK-POINT-KIT. I don't know if this means that it's a pack ro make four points, in which case very good value, or a pack to make just one point, in which case a bit pricey.

And Tony, everything you've said about Vees, wing rails and switch rails is true for all methods of construction and invaluable. It's only how you fix these to the rails that's a bit different! As a matter of interest, what do you do about chairs on your ply and rivet track?

DT

davebradwell
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby davebradwell » Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:47 pm

Sent this a while ago and it appeared then disappeared. This is second retry - am I barred?

Right, I'll try again. Much of my layout was built over 25 years ago and I started using the latest technique back then which used plastic chairs and sleepers. I found it difficult to build stable crossings so added pcb sleepers, soldered, and cosmetic chairs in critical areas, most of the pointwork being of this pattern. Yes, I accept that Len Newman has no trouble at all with all plastic construction. The layout was only run intermittently with no formal sequence and so it took time to realise that crossing components were coming adrift and soldering them back on was almost impossible. By this time the Masokits chairs had been invented and I was introduced to them for repair work. Riveting hundreds of sleepers and adding cosmetic chairs has never appealed so was never going to happen - this isn't a shunting plank. My pointwork isn't wonderful but I'm not going to replace them now as they work well enough with careful maintenance.

You'll see that I only have about 6 pcb sleepers in a whole point - 2 at the crossing, 2 at the toe and a couple where crossing rails meet point rails to stabilise the rail joints. Under theses circumstances the stress concentrations lead to failures and it seems that the more distributed arrangement used by Philip and Enigma would be more successful. It is possible that failures at the toe were due to me not cleaning up the Exactoscale cast chairs effectively before soldering. I should add that the layout was in the loft of an un-heated building. I am entirely supporting their proposal - I don't always disagree with people - you seem disappointed at the thought. Your method of attaching droppers, Enigma, is exactly how most of mine are done....now but I'm still getting failures of the few surviving originals. The lack of nice wood grained sleepers doesn't bother me as most of those in the North-East were long lost under coal dust on mineral lines.

The greatest improvements to the running of the layout came after introduction of regular operating sessions using a formal sequence and the necessity for regular maintenance if embarrassment was to be avoided. All faults are now logged and fixed so problem areas soon show up. This is why I have become sceptical about ideas for track or stock that have not been subjected to this type of testing.

DaveB

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Martin Wynne » Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:49 pm

Tony Wilkins wrote:The Exactoscale range of point kits was the nearest we have had so far, but sooner or later one is going to want something that isn't catered for and then its a matter of building from first principles whatever your chosen method.

Wayne's new FinetraX kits look very promising. The bases are 3D printed, using a resin mixture he has cooked up to provide good flexibility, see latest pictures here:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... nt=4236012

Which means they can be assembled on a curve as required. And the low-volume 3D printing method means other formations are feasible, he has already mentioned doing slips and tandems.

The crossings are lost-wax cast in nickel-silver, and cry out to be kit-bashed into other formations:


Image

Note the prototypical spacer blocks and bolt-heads -- how many P4 layouts have that?

Crossing waxes being made here:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... nt=4229693

Wayne has quoted a provisional price of £23 per kit, which compares very favourably with C&L kits, and with the Peco RTR bullhead items.

He has already said that he will be doing 00-standard, 00-SF and EM versions of each size. I think he could be persuaded to add P4 to the list, IF (big IF) he could be sure they would be accepted for what they are -- Easy-Build kits for modellers who just want some reasonable-looking track.

If the first P4 kit resulted in the usual barrow-load of nit-picking tipped over it, I doubt there would be any more of them. For example, he has very sensibly opted for vertical rail, not canted. No-one can see the difference in 4mm scale anyway. The crossings are castings, so however hard he tries there is going to be some variation and a wider tolerance range than the usual P4 standards. The switch blades are machined on the back only, and cut short from the usual toe position. Easily modified or replaced if necessary, and an additional slide chair added.

Pre-production pics of a turnout:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... work-kits/

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Julian Roberts
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:13 pm

Regarding expansion problems I was told to make a gap big enough to allow for movement every 250mm, or two 60ft track panels which equals 240mm. Turnouts I have been making with Masokits chairs (see my thread viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7028)are this kind of length, so will have a rail gap to adjoining trackwork.

Regarding rail droppers Masokits Mike Clark pithily describes the advantages of his system which uses functional fishplates for this. So I intend to solder the fishplates to one rail only where the adjoining rail will slide within the jaws of the fishplate. Cosmetic rail joint fishplates on alternate track panels will hopefully have droppers.
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Enigma
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Enigma » Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:35 pm

davebradwell wrote: Your method of attaching droppers, Enigma, is exactly how most of mine are done....now but I'm still getting failures of the few surviving originals.DaveB


That's interesting. How are they failing?

davebradwell
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby davebradwell » Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:54 pm

It's all in the word "now". They weren't like this originally as my first post described although they used what is a very common arrangement.

DaveB

Enigma
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Enigma » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:59 pm

davebradwell wrote:It's all in the word "now". They weren't like this originally as my first post described although they used what is a very common arrangement.

DaveB

Ah, I now understand what you were saying. Sorry!

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Martin Wynne » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:30 pm

Martin Wynne wrote:There is a drawing showing the machining of K-crossing point rails in the NERA reprint book. I will get it scanned later and post it

Scan now here:

https://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php? ... 615#p31615

Martin.
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Paul Cram
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Paul Cram » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:11 pm

davebradwell wrote:Sent this a while ago and it appeared then disappeared. This is second retry - am I barred?

Right, I'll try again. Much of my layout was built over 25 years ago and I started using the latest technique back then which used plastic chairs and sleepers. I found it difficult to build stable crossings so added pcb sleepers, soldered, and cosmetic chairs in critical areas, most of the pointwork being of this pattern. Yes, I accept that Len Newman has no trouble at all with all plastic construction. The layout was only run intermittently with no formal sequence and so it took time to realise that crossing components were coming adrift and soldering them back on was almost impossible. By this time the Masokits chairs had been invented and I was introduced to them for repair work. Riveting hundreds of sleepers and adding cosmetic chairs has never appealed so was never going to happen - this isn't a shunting plank. My pointwork isn't wonderful but I'm not going to replace them now as they work well enough with careful maintenance.

You'll see that I only have about 6 pcb sleepers in a whole point - 2 at the crossing, 2 at the toe and a couple where crossing rails meet point rails to stabilise the rail joints. Under theses circumstances the stress concentrations lead to failures and it seems that the more distributed arrangement used by Philip and Enigma would be more successful. It is possible that failures at the toe were due to me not cleaning up the Exactoscale cast chairs effectively before soldering. I should add that the layout was in the loft of an un-heated building. I am entirely supporting their proposal - I don't always disagree with people - you seem disappointed at the thought. Your method of attaching droppers, Enigma, is exactly how most of mine are done....now but I'm still getting failures of the few surviving originals. The lack of nice wood grained sleepers doesn't bother me as most of those in the North-East were long lost under coal dust on mineral lines.

The greatest improvements to the running of the layout came after introduction of regular operating sessions using a formal sequence and the necessity for regular maintenance if embarrassment was to be avoided. All faults are now logged and fixed so problem areas soon show up. This is why I have become sceptical about ideas for track or stock that have not been subjected to this type of testing.

DaveB

As one of the group involved with the first plastic chairs we always used small strips of .6mm copper clad under the point nose and wing rails with cosmetic chairs either side. John Sttaniforth who was also a member of the group wrote a digest sheet for this method in 1992. We also used to demonstate this at Expo when Len had his trade stand there. Hawes whcih we are still building has this method of construction.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:12 am

David Thorpe wrote:That may be the theory. But in practice, has anyone ever found this to be a problem?


No but the layout where this method was used was dismantled about 10 years ago.

David Thorpe wrote:As far as I know the Exactoscale range of point kits is not currently available.


They are not listed in the Stores list but my understanding is that they are still available to order. Some were on sale I think at Scaleforum 2019 and there may be some still in stock.

Enigma wrote:For droppers I drill a small hole just inside the rail between sleepers, use a length of 0.45 brass wire bent into an 'L' soldered to inside of the rail web away from the viewer,


My method is to use 1.0mm copper wire, usually stripped from lighting cable, bent to 90 degrees, pushed through a hole drilled next to the rail and soldered to the underside of it. Under the baseboard it is soldered to a shall piece of pcb material screwed to the baseboard. Once ballasted and painted the connections are well hidden. There is the occasional failure but I always use at least two droppers on every piece of rail. It works! :thumb

Terry Bendall

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Jol Wilkinson
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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:02 pm

Terry,

that method of attaching droppers was used on the original London Road, built in the mid 1980's. When I bought and "resurrected" the layout, exhibiting it from 2008 we found that the droppers developed dry joints under the rail. Although apparently still attached a good pull would remove them. It may be that whatever flux or solder was used had caused the joint to deteriorate over the years.

When I built the 11 foot extension to the layout I used etched fishplate that incorporated a tag to take a wire dropper. giving a more robust mechanical attachment. I think they were Masokits, but Eileens Emporium also supply a similar Bill Bedford item.

Jol

Tony Wilkins
Posts: 491
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Postby Tony Wilkins » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:32 pm

David Thorpe wrote:
And Tony, everything you've said about Vees, wing rails and switch rails is true for all methods of construction and invaluable. It's only how you fix these to the timbers that's a bit different!

As a matter of interest, what do you do about chairs on your ply and rivet track?

DT

Hi David.
There is no escaping the tedium of splitting and fitting cosmetic chairs to the track I'm afraid. I don't have a magic solution.
However I am happy to leave this until I have laid and fully tested the track first as there will often need to be adjustments made and this is far easier without the chairs fitted. Any excess solder needs to be removed from the web of the rail and I have a specially sharpened square needle file for this. Generally I prefer to file the underside of the chair with a small round file to fit the half chairs, but there will be occasions where the rivet needs to be ground back to achieve sufficient clearance.

Regards
Tony.
Inspiration from the past. Dreams for the future.


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