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Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:08 pm
by Tony Wilkins
Dear all.
I have received a suggestion which I think well worth pursuing of setting up a separate thread for questions concerning my Turnout construction thread. How well this will work remains to be seen. The aim is too keep the main thread focused on the construction process without interruption, but will also allow questions to be asked as I go.
Regards
Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:43 pm
by Lord Colnago
Hi Tony,

That's a great idea and just the type of thing we need to see on the forum. There's a lot of modellers out there who will find it very useful and I shall follow it with great interest. Good luck.

John.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:29 pm
by kelly
It does make sense and is a problem other forums tend to suffer with when people start these sorts of threads, finding the actual 'steps' of the process can then become a nightmare, but if comments/suggestions/questions are in a separate thread it makes it much easier to follow.

Great stuff so far Tony. I'm sure it will prove helpful for members.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:44 pm
by David Thorpe
Excellent idea, Tony.

DT

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:01 pm
by Mike Garwood
Excellent, just in time for my desktop test track. Four feet of fun with a single point.

Mike

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:51 am
by DougN
Tony, your explanation of the knuckles has been fantastic as I was at this stage for my tandem 3 way point. It has actually helped me a heap. This is before I go on with the single slip which I thought was very difficult on the last one actually was quite straight forward. One tool I found very useful was a Jewelery pliers that are designed for bending wire! :D

I found I could adjust the bending almost in place with the nickel silver rail I was using.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:23 am
by Martin Wynne
Hi Tony,

+1 from me on your latest instalment.

Never too old to learn. :)

Using a rotating rivet to align the wing rails is a brilliant idea. I have never seen it mentioned anywhere before in 50 years track building. Certainly never thought of it myself. Making the flangeway adjustment after the rail is in a fixed position is such a fundamental change in approach and so much more likely to result in an accurate crossing.

It does assume that the rivet has been neatly closed using the press tool and not just bashed with a hammer. Normally for rigidity I would try to get the rivets as tightly closed as possible. This one needs to be left just a fraction loose to avoid damaging the timber when rotating it.

Also now wondering how the method could be applied to other trackbuilding systems. It works for the Vero pins in copper-clad method (if soldered very carefully to the pin head only), but not easily for flush copper-clad or functional chairs. Possibly some means could be devised of inserting a temporary pivoting fixing between the timbers for such methods. A pin directly into the work board would do, if it could be neatly unsoldered or snipped through before removing the finished turnout from the board. Or if it was a loose fit in a drilled hole -- perhaps worth turning a re-usable brass pin with the required head thickness for the purpose.

regards,

Martin.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:29 pm
by Tony Wilkins
kelly wrote:It does make sense and is a problem other forums tend to suffer with when people start these sorts of threads, finding the actual 'steps' of the process can then become a nightmare, but if comments/suggestions/questions are in a separate thread it makes it much easier to follow.

Great stuff so far Tony. I'm sure it will prove helpful for members.

Hi Kelly.
Often the simple ideas are the best, so thanks for the suggestion.
Regards Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:35 pm
by Tony Wilkins
DougN wrote:Tony, your explanation of the knuckles has been fantastic as I was at this stage for my tandem 3 way point. It has actually helped me a heap. This is before I go on with the single slip which I thought was very difficult on the last one actually was quite straight forward. One tool I found very useful was a Jewellery pliers that are designed for bending wire! :D

I found I could adjust the bending almost in place with the nickel silver rail I was using.

Hi Doug.
Not come across Jewellery pliers before and we used to have a jeweller and a watch repairer in CLAG. There are so many specialist tools available if only one was aware of them and knew where to look.
Glad you have found this thread useful. Switches still to come.
Regards
Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:57 pm
by Tony Wilkins
Martin Wynne wrote:Hi Tony,

+1 from me on your latest instalment.

Never too old to learn. :)

Using a rotating rivet to align the wing rails is a brilliant idea. I have never seen it mentioned anywhere before in 50 years track building. Certainly never thought of it myself. Making the flangeway adjustment after the rail is in a fixed position is such a fundamental change in approach and so much more likely to result in an accurate crossing.

It does assume that the rivet has been neatly closed using the press tool and not just bashed with a hammer. Normally for rigidity I would try to get the rivets as tightly closed as possible. This one needs to be left just a fraction loose to avoid damaging the timber when rotating it.

Also now wondering how the method could be applied to other trackbuilding systems. It works for the Vero pins in copper-clad method (if soldered very carefully to the pin head only), but not easily for flush copper-clad or functional chairs. Possibly some means could be devised of inserting a temporary pivoting fixing between the timbers for such methods. A pin directly into the work board would do, if it could be neatly unsoldered or snipped through before removing the finished turnout from the board. Or if it was a loose fit in a drilled hole -- perhaps worth turning a re-usable brass pin with the required head thickness for the purpose.

regards,

Martin.


Hi Martin.
This is a method I have used for many years and thought worthy of wider dissemination. It breaks the positioning of the wing rail down into two distinct steps, the lateral positioning first and the flangeway spacing second. If it does not quite work first go it is a relatively easy to remove the rail and adjust before trying again. It is even possible to gently tweak the bend with the rail held by the two soldered joints if needed. Each track building method has its advantages and disadvantages. This is one example of where copper clad is perhaps not an advantage as one has more or less got to get the wing rail correctly positioned first go.

One thing I did not mention when closing the rivets is the importance of consistent results. This is where a press tool scores, although even here there can be small variations between both sides when closing two rivets at once. I feel an edit coming on.
Regards
Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:38 pm
by kelly
Tony Wilkins wrote:
DougN wrote:Tony, your explanation of the knuckles has been fantastic as I was at this stage for my tandem 3 way point. It has actually helped me a heap. This is before I go on with the single slip which I thought was very difficult on the last one actually was quite straight forward. One tool I found very useful was a Jewellery pliers that are designed for bending wire! :D

I found I could adjust the bending almost in place with the nickel silver rail I was using.

Hi Doug.
Not come across Jewellery pliers before and we used to have a jeweller and a watch repairer in CLAG. There are so many specialist tools available if only one was aware of them and knew where to look.
Glad you have found this thread useful. Switches still to come.
Regards
Tony.


They come in many forms. Some have round tapering ends to form loops with, others have a round bit with a corresponding square bit with the round profile cut out of them for forming bends and curves. Others still have staggered bits of different sizes for making loops of different sizes for different requirements (earrings generally require smaller loops, but loops for pendants often tend to be bigger). There are also jump-ring forming pliars, where the wire is wrapped around and around the pliars and then cut along to split the loops in half, these are then pressure fitted to link pieces together, the wire being split sideways to allow looping.

There are also nylon pliars to protect work from marks.

My jewellery pliars I often used to get some of them much cheaper at model railway shows in the past, but some are so specialist that they can be only found from jewellery suppliers, some at eye watering prices.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:37 pm
by Colin Parks
Hi Tony,

What a great pictorial resource your topic will tun out to be. The section about shaping point and splice rails ahd the revelation: the taper equates in mm to the angles of the crossing and the blunt nose curves subtly downwards. Also, your explanation of shaping knuckle bend radii is very clearly explained. It is a wonder that anything I have made previously does not derail everything!

Can I just clarify one point (excuse the pun): is all your track constructed with vertical rails? I have always suspected that it is by far the best solution in 4mm at least. The functional plastic bullhead chairs that I have been using have the 1:20 cant, which makes life 'interesting' when turnout building and in all cases, the correct gauging of the rails is problematic with some gauges.

All the best,

Colin

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:52 pm
by Julian Roberts
:thumb
Really great stuff Tony. I am sure many of us will have cause to be very grateful for this visual resource.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:53 pm
by DougN
The "jewelry"pliers I have as Kelly has mentioned have the jaws which are round. I will see if I can remember to get a photo tonight at home. These were purchased from the local "Spotlight" which is an Australian chain of sewing, scrap booking, needle point, Jewelry (cheap not precious metal & stones) etc hobbies in a ware house style shop. OK it is very orientated towards ladies rather than gents hobbies but as we all know our hobby has need for certain things such as dyes, brass pins, etc. Any how the pliers were for Ms DougN who needed to make something and it was a pack of 3, standard needle point pliers, side cutters and the Jewelry pliers... all of which Mrs DougN said when said daughter had finished could find uses on the railway front.

I have walked around in there a number of times, dragged by Ms DougN, looking at things to make. She certainly has my making abilities and enjoys all sorts of drawing, making jewelry, minor sculptures etc. In the mean time I browse looking at other uses for things. EG low and high temperature glue guns, Pins, a scrap booking computer controlled cutter from Brother.... I'm imagining similar to the silhouette cutters.... some of which I have purchased others not through.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:53 pm
by Tony Wilkins
Hi Colin.
Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tony,

What a great pictorial resource your topic will turn out to be. The section about shaping point and splice rails and the revelation: the taper equates in mm to the angles of the crossing and the blunt nose curves subtly downwards. Also, your explanation of shaping knuckle bend radii is very clearly explained. It is a wonder that anything I have made previously does not derail everything!


The taper should be slightly less than the angle in mm because the width of the rail is about 0.95mm. The taper length needs to be Angle x Rail Width max. It does not matter so much if it is shorter as the discrepancy will be lost when filing the second side of the rail. If the taper length is greater than max then the length of the taper will be greater than the amount require to be removed from the second side and you will not get a sharp angle at the end of the final taper. So Crossing angle in mm less 1mm is a good target. Hope this makes sense.


Can I just clarify one point (excuse the pun): is all your track constructed with vertical rails? I have always suspected that it is by far the best solution in 4mm at least. The functional plastic bullhead chairs that I have been using have the 1:20 cant, which makes life 'interesting' when turnout building and in all cases, the correct gauging of the rails is problematic with some gauges.

All the best,

Colin


Yes, all the rails with my soldered track are nominally vertical. If anything, I do try to slant them inward rather than outward. Placing the screwdriver blade on top of the rail applying pressure and tilting the screwdriver inwards does cause the rail to follow slightly. One area were you need that bias is with the stock rails through the switches.
Regards
Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:07 am
by Philip Hall
I have a couple of pairs of fine round nosed pliers, one thinner than the other, and they came from various tool suppliers at exhibitions. I find them handy when it comes to bending up coupling links or winding the coiled end of springy collector wires. On one pair I have ground down one jaw to a smaller diameter so as to able to make finer coils.

Philip

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:03 am
by David B
About the biggest range of pliers I have come across - conventional and parallel jawed - can be found at Tools'n'Tools.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:28 am
by grovenor-2685
David B wrote:About the biggest range of pliers I have come across - conventional and parallel jawed - can be found at Tools'n'Tools.

That is a useful link, thanks. Standard round nose pliers have tapered jaws, they were the required tool for making wire terminations on railway signalling )BA post terminals. However for bending rail the taper would make it tricky to keep the rails vertical both sides of the bend. (The right taper might work for wing rails inclined at 1:20).
For vertical rail bending this one looks useful.
Regards

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:56 am
by kelly
grovenor-2685 wrote:
David B wrote:About the biggest range of pliers I have come across - conventional and parallel jawed - can be found at Tools'n'Tools.

That is a useful link, thanks. Standard round nose pliers have tapered jaws, they were the required tool for making wire terminations on railway signalling )BA post terminals. However for bending rail the taper would make it tricky to keep the rails vertical both sides of the bend. (The right taper might work for wing rails inclined at 1:20).
For vertical rail bending this one looks useful.
Regards


Yep, those are very useful pliers, I have a number of different sized ones as well as mandrels of a similar design (basically just a single plier side).

Cookson gold are one of the best sources for jewellery tools, as well as proops.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:13 am
by Martin Wynne
For track making you don't need expensive pliers. Here are a couple of ideas I have posted before:

Image

Image

Despite costing nothing, the results are actually better than using pliers because the bend is always symmetrical.

Hopefully the diagrams are self-explanatory. Just two bits of rail about an inch long laid side by side with a gap between. The smaller the gap, so the harder you need to press/hit, but the more precisely located will be the bend. Make sure the rail is exactly square across them before making the bend -- a sheet of graph paper underneath helps. Practise on scrap rail to find how hard you need to hit. To be exactly repeatable, you could use a sliding drop-weight on a length of bar, similar to some riveting tools.

If you do want pliers for rail/etched kit bending, try to get a pair of these parallel-action pliers from Maun:

Image

The jaws remain parallel while opening and closing. Make accurate square bends. Hold round items safely without excessive force, and without them pinging across the workshop. Available with flat or serrated faces.

Made in the UK: https://www.maunindustries.com/jewellery-craft/

regards,

Martin.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:24 am
by DougN
Well here is what I have been working on over the weekend. The pliers with the green handles on the left hand side are the ones I was talking about. These were very cheap and seem to do the job for me.
image.jpg


I have a number of gauges now which make the track building easier as everything can sort of jig across the track sections.

Again Tony thanks for the inspiration and guidance with your topic!

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:31 pm
by DaveHarris
This thread is excellent! I have one question though as a newbie to track/point construction........ do you normally leave the sleeper/crossing timbers unstained until the end of construction, or have you omitted to stain them for clarity in construction for this thread?

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:13 pm
by grovenor-2685
Personally I stain point and crossing timbers after construction, mainly because I need to see the reference numbers under the timbers when setting them out on the template. http://www.norgrove.me.uk/points.html and http://www.norgrove.me.uk/shed-relay.html
For plain track I have stained the sleepers before rivetting when the whole bundle of 100 could be dipped in the stain.
Regards

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:01 am
by Tony Wilkins
Hi Dave.
Like Keith, I stain my timbers after the track has been assembled but before it is laid. Unlike Keith, I no longer go to the bother of numbering each timber. I lay all the timbers out on the template (the double sided tape holds them in position) and mark the rivet positions before removing one at a time to punch and rivet before replacing them on the template and doing each in turn.
Others do things differently. I have acquired some pre-stained timbers and have tried using a few. it is possible to see the black marks against the stain but all to easy too miss the odd one.
Glad you are finding the thread useful, that is what it is all about. Also don't think that mine is the only way of doing the job as there are other approaches, Keith's and Howard Bolton's (JFS) being prime examples. This is my preferred method evolved over 40+ years, which works for me and if people wish to adopt parts of it and find it helps them all to the good.
Regards
Tony.

Re: Turnout construction - Question here please.

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:13 pm
by RobM
Tony Wilkins wrote:This is potentially one of those Ping moments as the saw blade breaks through.


I put a good blob of blu tack on the 'loose' end of whatever bits I'm cutting through so if they do ping the chances of finding the other half are greatly enhanced even on carpet.

Very informative write up Tony, has taught me a thing or two......
+1.... :thumb
Rob