Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Vonsworld
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:32 pm

Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby Vonsworld » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:11 pm

A simple question about track cutting if I may...

I have read about how to cut flexible track and then attach fishplates, but can you also cut Hornby set track (straight pieces) and attach fishplates to the cut end?

Thanks

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:13 pm

You can, but you'll need to cut a few mm of the plastic "web" underneath off at the ends, and maybe cut a rail chair off as well.
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skyblue
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby skyblue » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:31 pm

Attaching fishplates to flex-track can be quite difficult as they can need a bit of 'persuasion' to attach. If you remove too many sleepers, don't worry, put them on one side and then slide them underneath the track once it's in place.

Dad-1
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:37 pm

FS123 has probably given all you need to know. Because Set-track is rigid (or should be)
you can get away with a cut down fishplate just to align correctly BUT for electrical
security you would then need to have a dropper as the shortened fishplate would be
suspect for carrying current.
To cut fishplates a Dremel is needed, Xuron cutters and such would just crush and
trying to saw one would be a laugh for anyone watching !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

kebang
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby kebang » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:28 am

I have often cut straight set track to length with a junior hacksaw with no problem. However I had never considered shortening the fishplates, that's a great tip & would have saved quite a few sleepers :)

I live on an island in the Philippines & it is quite frustrating when you realise you need an 11.25deg 2nd.rad curve that will take at least a month to arrive. I have successfully cut a hornby R606 into 2 x R643 (& also R608 into 2). Just wish I had thought of shortening the fishplates!

Vonsworld
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby Vonsworld » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:14 am

Thanks for all the feedback, I thought I'd have to use flexi-track, so am pleased we can successfully cut the set track too.

I am installing a new circuit into a large layout, and have planned all the geometry so that using set track the tracks should meet exactly at the other end. However you never know I might need to cut a custom length of track to bridge the final gap. But fingers crossed that won't be necessary. After all I hear when they built the channel tunnel, tunneling from each end for 31 miles, when they met in the middle they were only 1 inch out! ;-)

Is a hacksaw the best tool for cutting track, I thought it would be, but then I see some people use a track cutting tool which looks like wire snippers?

Have a good day :)

ParkeNd
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby ParkeNd » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:24 am

A junior hacksaw can do the job but a razor saw would do a better job. The cutters you saw will be Xuron track cutters which are excellent for cutting large volumes of track - just make sure you use them the right way round because you get a perfect cut on one edge but the offcut follows the angled edge of the blade.

Track cutting is like religion it seems - there is an inflexible divide between the users of Xurons, razor saws, and Dremel disc cutters that will not be resolved by mere discussion or demonstration alone.

Ex-Pat
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Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:11 pm

ParkeNd wrote:
Track cutting is like religion it seems - there is an inflexible divide between the users of Xurons, razor saws, and Dremel disc cutters that will not be resolved by mere discussion or demonstration alone.


The less extremists might use all 3 - I use Xuron for unlaid track, and either slitting disc or razor saw for track that has already been laid (across board joints, or for cock-ups!).

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Bufferstop
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:27 pm

If you are going to saw the rails they need to be rigidly held otherwise they can be ripped from the fixings by the action of the saw. You can buy track cutting jigs but it is easy enough to make your own. Take a spare piece of track and a block of hardwood (for 00/H0 2cm thick and 4x4, use a water based marker to coat the rail surface then drag it across one face of the block. Saw carefully along the lines you have made, opening out the width of the cuts until they are a good tight fit onto your piece of track. Eh viola, a track cutting jig. just press it down onto the track as close to the cutting point as you can get it. Mine now has a second pair of cuts on the other face, one's tight on code 100 the other on code 75.
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kristopher1805
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Re: Newbie Question on Track Cutting

Postby kristopher1805 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:26 pm

OK, I have a very large railway and there are two methods that I use. I also cut set corners of R3/R4 (do not use R1 at all and R2 sparingly) I will cut down standard track as well as small sections of streamline falls apart, I rarely use Hornby as the chairs are more brittle. Hornby semi flex is quite useful in fiddle yards as it stays in the position as set.

1, Use a Dremel where possible, a disc cutter will cut the track cleanly and the rail joiner will slide on directly, a disc lasts between 3 and 5 cuts before it wears out or disintegrates.

2. Use a Xuron vertical track cutter, the side cutters I no longer use for track cutting but they are great pliers/cutters/ track pin removers. The thing here is that eventually you will want to cut in situ to get the lengths right, so using an upright cutter it shears the track, you then need a small flat file to trim under the track, the shoulder so both sides are clean and the rail joiner can slide on directly.

As above saved sleepers are slipped back in as required. cutting the sleeper base is easy and again the side track cutters are very good for this.

I use Peco rail joiners but both peco and Hornby insulating types as they are different colours and suit different locations.

Peco make a second type of track pin and I use these, the long thin ones are made of easy bend whilst the Hornby ones are short and fat, as I use Noch underlay then I want the pin to go right through to the base.


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