Plywood sleepers

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
bordercollie
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Plywood sleepers

Postby bordercollie » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:10 am

What are the practicle pros and cons of 0.8 mm campared to 1.5 mm thick plywood sleepers other the thicker ones are closer to scale.

Thanks

Terry Bendall
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:45 am

In my experience no practical difference. The rivets are designed to fit 0.8mm thick ply so may not be long enough for 1.6mm thick. More ballast is needed.

Terry Bendall

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Rod Cameron » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:00 am

I'm pretty sure you couldn't close the rivets in thicker sleepers, although I suppose you could epoxy them in (what a prospect after drilling the holes as well!). Otherwise you are left with gluing chairs to the thick sleepers with butanone. Better make sure you get it right first time though, especially in anything a bit complex; soldering to rivets (or copperclad for that matter) is so much more forgiving as you can easily make fine adjustments. And you can still use functional plastic chairs between the rivets - the proportion is up to you.
Rod

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John Donnelly
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby John Donnelly » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:15 am

I've glued down about 3,000 0.8mm sleepers so far for my current project and, once the ballast is down no one will have any idea how thick they are. I am using plastic chairs though although I have driven pins through the sleepers at the board joins so track can be held more securely.

John

nigelcliffe
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby nigelcliffe » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:29 am

An EM gauge modeller I know is using walnut sleepers, bought in strips from one of the model boat building companies, chopped to length with a little chopping tool. His view is the walnut take stains better and look more like sleepers than ply.

His chairs are plastic, fixed by solvent to the sleeper.

Dave Franks
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Dave Franks » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:16 am

Hi all, on Wharfeside all the pointwork on the scenic side is 0.8 ply with C&L plastic chairs some of which have been down more than ten years and is still holding up and working well. Painted with a thin wash of Humbrol No 10 brown to match the C&L flexi track, the track is then weathered with the airbrush. Point rodding still to be added.
Yard pointwork on Wharfeside..JPG


Dave Franks
Dave Franks

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bobwallison
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby bobwallison » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:06 pm

0.8mm scales at 2.5 inches, give or take. Subtract a smidgin for the thickness of glue and it is apparant that any ballast larger than a scale 2 inches will project above the top of the sleepers - hardly realistic for the vast majority of jointed track.

I started off with thin slepers and fine/"N-Gauge" ballast but was never really happy with the appearance, so swapped to the thicker sleepers. I am told that the group modelling Hawes in P4 made the same decision for the same reason. I spread Copydex over the underlay, place the track and spread the ballast immediately: once the excess ballast is hoovered up it looks just right.

In sidings where ash ballast is the order of the day, thin sleepers work fine, better than thick ones in fact.

Notwithstanding all the above, many people seem to have good-looking ballast combined with thin sleepers: I can see it working if you are prepared to lay the ballast dry and drip glue on afterwards.

Regards,
Bob

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Martin Wynne » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:35 pm

Rod Cameron wrote:I'm pretty sure you couldn't close the rivets in thicker sleepers, although I suppose you could epoxy them in (what a prospect after drilling the holes as well!).

With thicker plywood (or model boat-building Limewood strip) it might be possible to use the push-fit Vero pins method instead of rivets:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6319596/

(similar available on ebay from the far east)

They are tinned brass. The head is the same thickness as the rivets to lift the rail off the sleeper. But it's smaller than the rivets (1.6mm dia), so easier to fit cosmetic half-chairs afterwards.

Image

They are intended to be a push-fit in 1mm holes in copper-clad. With a slightly smaller drilled hole in a wooden sleeper they might be a firm enough push fit for track construction, it would depend on the wood and thickness. Unlike the rivets they can't rotate, having barbs under the head. Easily trimmed flush underneath with electronics snips (some could be left longer as invisible electrical connections).

Brian Tulley post some pics 5 years ago of track building using Vero pins (in copper-clad):

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... nt=1793752

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

CeeJay60
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby CeeJay60 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:53 pm

I am currently building with both thicknesses of sleeper - thick sleepers on the main line, and thin sleepers in the sidings.

On the same datum, this allows a subtle difference in the rail heights, which some of the cognoscenti might notice ;).

I taper out the difference with a few sheets of paper.
Cheers,
Colin

I promise I'll get some of it right some of the time!

trustytrev
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby trustytrev » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:49 pm

Hello,
Many of the sidings in prototypical images appear to actually lower than the main running lines.
Maybe thick and thin sleepers make realistic recreations of the prototype easier and more economical at the same time.
trustytrev. :)

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Martin Wynne » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:51 pm

trustytrev wrote:Many of the sidings in prototypical images appear to be actually lower than the main running lines.

Hi Trev,

That's done intentionally to provide gravity trap points -- wagons don't roll away uphill. :)

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

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Noel
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Re: Plywood sleepers

Postby Noel » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:10 pm

Its also because slow speed areas such as sidings or loops don't require the same depth of formation as high speed main lines as the stresses involved are less.
Regards
Noel


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