Hand made turnouts

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
AlanBrady
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Hand made turnouts

Postby AlanBrady » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:29 pm

I have made two turnouts. Well almost. The basics are done. I have a few more sleepers to add but it works ok.
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DSC00899.JPG (144.91 KiB) Viewed 1826 times

My query is, does anyone know of a way to manually change the point so that it stays put. Eventually I would hope to use a point motor but until I get the time and money to build a baseboard I will have to dismantle it after use. :roll: I've been toying with the idea of using a paper clip bent to shape. As to what shape, I haven't figured that out yet.
Something like this, but better (cause that only kinda works)
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DSC00900.JPG (136.01 KiB) Viewed 1824 times

Any suggestions or pointers in the right direction would but greatly appreciated.
Thank you kindly,
Alan.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:14 pm

Once you can fasten the point down use a miniature slide switch, minimum of one changeover, no centre off position. Use the switch contacts to change frog polarity. Bend the paperclip through 90 degrees horizontally and pass through a hole drilled in the plastic knob of the switch. It would help if the paperclip was bent into an omega or zig-zag shape to absorb some overthrow and hold the blades closed, the switch will provide the locking action.
If the blades prove too springy to hold over first try filing a nick in the foot of the rail on either side two or three sleepers away from the frog. If that doesn't make them flexible enough, cut straight through and rejoin with either a metal fishplate (a bit loose on the blade end) or an insulated rail joiner which will be flexible enough. Don't forget you would need to bond the switch rails (to the frog if you use fishplates, to the stock rails if you use IRJs). I've built similar points in the past (using copperclad paxolin sleepers) in both 00 and 009. I found the fishplate method the most satisfactory. You need long (large radius) points to use the flexibility of the blades. Did you use a plan for the point, I have downloaded Peco point plans from their website, printed them out stuck them onto a piece of board and built my points on top of them.
John W
aka Bufferstop.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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AlanBrady
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Dunboyne, Ireland

Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby AlanBrady » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:17 pm

Hi Bufferstop. Thanks for the info. For the moment, fastening the point down will be a problem. However I will look into a slide switch as you suggest and see what I can do with that. I did use a plan which I drew up on AutoCAD and printed out. I haven't gotten around to sticking it to wood yet though. The two made are based on the standard set track points. My next ones may well be longer ones.
Thanks again.
Alan.

locoworks
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby locoworks » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:25 pm

are the sleepers balsa?? if so i think a wood a bit harder would be better suited. how are you fixing the sleepers to the rail ( or rail to the sleepers )? you can get micro 'rail spikes' for the job but i'd still use glue aswell.

AlanBrady
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby AlanBrady » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:05 pm

The sleepers are actually matchsticks (glued, cut and filed to size). They're quite tough. It's been a while since I've used balsa, but they're harder than that. At first I just tried using Bostic all purpose glue (or something like that) but they practically just fell off. The slightest touch and they're off. (If only other things in life were so simple!) Now I just use superglue (for the sleepers) I haven't had any problems when testing trains on it, but then I haven't run them too often.
I had a look at spikes, but I can't really figure them out. Am I correct in saying the spike goes through the sleeper into the baseboard, or are these much smaller than that. I'm not at the stage where I'll be making anything permanent. I almost have a small oval made and I'll build up from there. I'm getting closer to starting a proper 'Under Construction' thread.
Thanks for posting.
Alan.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:03 pm

A word of caution, at some point you're going to have to attach a wire ( to the frog at least). Many superglues break down with heat so proceed carefully and be ready to have to re apply the glue.
John W.
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

locoworks
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby locoworks » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:29 am

AlanBrady wrote:The sleepers are actually matchsticks (glued, cut and filed to size). They're quite tough. It's been a while since I've used balsa, but they're harder than that. At first I just tried using Bostic all purpose glue (or something like that) but they practically just fell off. The slightest touch and they're off. (If only other things in life were so simple!) Now I just use superglue (for the sleepers) I haven't had any problems when testing trains on it, but then I haven't run them too often.
I had a look at spikes, but I can't really figure them out. Am I correct in saying the spike goes through the sleeper into the baseboard, or are these much smaller than that. I'm not at the stage where I'll be making anything permanent. I almost have a small oval made and I'll build up from there. I'm getting closer to starting a proper 'Under Construction' thread.
Thanks for posting.
Alan.


the small spikes would end up in the cork and maybe the baseboard too. i think you lay the sleepers on the cork with glue and then the rail on the sleepers. your glue may well be problem free at the minute while the whole point is loose from the layout, but once the track is laid and the very slight expansion of the rail due to heat changes occurs it may decide to get awkward. also the heat problem with soldering mentioned in the above post is valid too. i'm not sure what scale you are in? looks like it could be N, but in the smaller scales copperclad is the norm with soldering. i think wooden sleepers are usually found in O gauge upwards and there may be a good reason for this. but good luck anyway it could work fine for you.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:58 am

If obtaining copperclad is a problem for you, it's predecessor was relatively straight forward - thin wooden sleepers with office staples driven through them into the cork or board base. The tops of the staples needed a touch with a file before soldering as they are bonded into strips with some sort of plasticy coating.
John W
aka Bufferstop
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

AlanBrady
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Dunboyne, Ireland

Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby AlanBrady » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:49 am

Hi Bufferstop. First off, this is OO gauge. My initial plan was to have the point blades transfer the current to the frog, make a cut in each of the rails just after the frog and connect the remainder to the appropriate stock rail. When I know where they're going 'permanently' I'd probably look into powering the frog as well.

I did have to redo the solder after gluing and no, that wasn't good. It's still stuck ok but the fumes ... that can't be healthy! Then again my soldering skills leave a lot to be desired. Chances are I was doing it wrong. I don't have a problem getting copperclad, per se, I just thought I'd see how cheaply I could make track really.

Hi locoworks, I'm looking at my track with head hung. Hopefully it'll work out ok. I'll finish the oval that I've started (I've nine and a half out of ten tracks done) and see what I'll do after that. I'll post a couple of pics when I get the points done.

I greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
Alan.

gppsoftware
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Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby gppsoftware » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:04 am

I think you are going to have a lot of problems with the strength of this construction method.

Is this turnout modelled on anything prototypical ?
It looks like an incredibly sharp radius for 00, probably only suitable for 0-4-0 dock shunters.

Graham Plowman

AlanBrady
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Dunboyne, Ireland

Re: Hand made turnouts

Postby AlanBrady » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:08 pm

You may well be right about the strength. Time will tell and as I have been busy with work of late, I'm no further on than I was a month ago. Ah well. The geometry is based on Hornby/Peco setrack points so hopefully it'll work as well/poorly as they do. I just wanted something to compare them to and I have a few very old peco points. Work is quiet at the moment, so I might get something done now. Of course, work being quiet means funds will be low, unfortunately.

Alan.


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