N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:54 am

UrbanHermit's way of track laying is his own choice of course. But newbies may want to know that Tracksettas are more useful than just as a simple radius forming template. The 10" straight Tracksetta when inserted into a piece of flexi straight out of the box can be slid along the track - the rail ends wiggling about give away how un-straight the track was as delivered. Overlapping a curved Tracksetta between two pieces of curved track allows them to be drilled and pinned without a slight kink between them. The straight Tracksetta can be overlapped between the end of a straight and a point to avoid that little loco nod of the head as it meets a point at a slight skew. And best of all curved Tracksettas overlapped over two pieces to be joined will hold the rails secure so you can put a fine felt tip pen mark on both rails where they are to be cut so you can lift them free to be cut in a more comfortable position with your weapon of choice - be it Xuron, razor saw or Dremel.

Tracksettas are very versatile tools.

UrbanHermit
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:18 am
Location: Back of beyond, South Wales (Isn't it?)

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby UrbanHermit » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:02 am

Points taken, ParkeNd. But for ensuring things are straight, I have a metre-long steel rule that does a pretty good job (on a whole length of flexitrack in one go, yet). For shorter lengths, the straight edge on my set-square does it.

And you do need such things with Code 75 OO track. The down side of it being so easy to bend into nice flowing curves is that it'll sometimes bend when you don't mean it to. Like when you pick a piece up...

But as you say, each to his own. I wouldn't want to force my methods on anyone else.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

Sc0tty
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:46 pm

Many thanks everyone for all your extremely helpful posts.

Having recently bought the latest bachmann graham farish catalogoue, and a peco N gauge track book, a lot of my previous concerns have gone. I really do like the realisitic layouts one can achieve on a small board with this N scale. I am planning to build a simple layout on a 9mm ply sheet of about 6ft x 2ft, or ideally 6ft x 2.5 or 3 ft. I am not going to go track mad, as I want to have some metcalfe buildings, and my theme will be freight from the 70s or 80s era, along with a very small branchline station and small platform (no more than 2 or 3 coach lengths.)

I think I will buy a single piece of code 55 flextrack, some fishplates, and a cutting tool and just spend some time bending and cutting track, to get used to the process. Can anyone recommend the model name and number for a N gauge track cutter that can be used in the vertical position? (so that track can be cut in situ)

I am still not sure whether to purchase the concrete sleepers option or go for just black sleepers. Any thoughts please chaps?

I am a long way off even building the base board, as I want to practice with the track, and then take time choosing my layout before I build the base. My attitude is this, there is no rush, and I want to enjoy all the slow steps on the way to building my small layout ! :D :)

James

Ex-Pat
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:40 pm

Sc0tty wrote:Many thanks everyone for all your extremely helpful posts.



I think I will buy a single piece of code 55 flextrack, some fishplates, and a cutting tool and just spend some time bending and cutting track, to get used to the process. Can anyone recommend the model name and number for a N gauge track cutter that can be used in the vertical position? (so that track can be cut in situ)



James


The generally acknowledged leaders in the field of track cutters are the American Xuron cutters, see their home page:

http://xuron.com/index.php/main/consumer_products/3/13

All good UK model shops stock them and if you go to a decent exhibition there should be one or two traders there with them.

Suggest you Search Yahoo or similar - I wouldn't worry too much about the precise model number - I think any Xuron track cutters should cope with N and 00.

Good Luck

Sc0tty
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:43 pm

Thanks Pat. Here are the generic type, but I am sure that there a 2 modes of cutting. One type is for cutting rails from above, and another type is to cut the rails from the side.

I want to be able to cut the track only from above !!

http://www.ehattons.com/8614/Gaugemaste ... etail.aspx

Ex-Pat
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:58 pm

I'm actually Mike, but an Ex-Patriot!

With my Xuron cutters I can cut both ways - either top to bottom or outside to inside of the rail - you should find that is the case with all Xuron cutters.

The only thing to learn is that you only get a smooth cut on the rail by using it a certain way (flatter side of cutter to the end of the rail that you are going to keep/lay). The "scrap" piece of rail will not be square - just practice at first - you can really cut off very small lengths so you will not waste much practicing.

Sc0tty
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Thanks Mike, sorry about the 'Pat'' !! :D

ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:22 pm

Sc0tty wrote:----------------------------------- of about 6ft x 2ft, or ideally 6ft x 2.5 or 3 ft.------------------------


Cutting the track with Xuron PXU2175B cutters (cut N gauge top to bottom) is easy and you needn't worry about it - fitting N gauge fishplates is probably going to need a bit more practice but you will manage.


I show two photos below. My N gauge layout is 6ft 6 ins by 2 ft 4 ins and I wished it had been 2 ft 6 ins wide. An inch is a long way in N and to fit a platform between a 12" radius curve and the platform edge and still have a smidgeon left for a tiny bit of scenery 2 ft 6 ins would have been easier - I had to add about 3/4" of balsa strip in a couple of places. A twin track of 12" radius with 10.5 " radius inside it wouldn't fit easily on a 2 ft board. But 6 ft length is fine in N.

This is the track laid on 2ft 4 in wide board.

Image

And this is the same thing with scenery to give you an idea of what will fit.

Image

Sc0tty
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Sc0tty » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:47 pm

INCREDIBLE !!!!!!!!!!!!! That is one superb layout Parkend. There is just so much more scope for realistic train running and ops with N scale. May I ask how you secured your track to the board? Did you mark the track layout with a pencil and then glue the track to the board? Did you use the peco fishplates with the dropper wires pre-soldered or did you do your own dropwires to a main electrical bus under the board?


James

ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:29 pm

Sc0tty wrote:--------------------------- May I ask how you secured your track to the board? Did you mark the track layout with a pencil and then glue the track to the board? Did you use the peco fishplates with the dropper wires pre-soldered or did you do your own dropwires to a main electrical bus under the board?


James


Yes I marked out the track centres with a pencil and rubber and used full size downloadable Peco points templates to make sure everything fitted. The cork is glued to the board with Copydex and the track is pinned with Peco N gauge track pins driven through the sleepers at about 6 inch intervals (closer on bends) via holes drilled with an Archimedes drill - no track glueing for me. The power feeds are soldered to the sides of the rails before I pinned the track down - not as scary as I thought it would be and far easier than soldering to the underside of the rail - you can tin the side of a rail and then tin and solder about 10mm of wire and with the rail propped on its side between the jaws of a pair of pliers you still have enough hands free to do the job with the tinned section of wire bent to an L shape.

b308
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:12 am

Sc0tty wrote:Thanks Pat. Here are the generic type, but I am sure that there a 2 modes of cutting. One type is for cutting rails from above, and another type is to cut the rails from the side.


You are right, there are two types. The "normal" one gives a clean cut on one side but not the other. That vertical one says it give a clean cut both sides. I just got mine off ebay and will try it later this morning. It was £15.99 incl post. I notice Hattons is £15 but no mention of post costs...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221668001119? ... EBIDX%3AIT

ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby ParkeNd » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:25 am

This is an N gauge query from the OP. Since the cut will need to be stroked a couple of times with a file so the rail joiner will fit I am struggling to see the advantage of cutting N gauge rail with a side to side squeezing motion. Isn't marking the position of the cut with a fine felt tipped pen and then picking the rail up to cut it, file it, and fight the joiner on without leaning over the board easier in the long run?

Still - everyone to their own. There isn't a standard method of track laying for sure.

Ex-Pat
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby Ex-Pat » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:47 am

"In situ" to me means that the track has already been laid, and in which case If circumstances (can't think of many though!) dictated I had to cut it, then I would use a slitting disc or a razor saw.

b308
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:55 am

Just tried it, it gives exactly the same cut as the standard one but for track "in situ" it would be a lot easier than the alternative of a cutting disc. I wish I'd have had it a month ago. If you are cutting track before laying then stick with the other but if you change your mind and the track is already laid then it's worth the investment as it's a lot better than a cutting disc.

UrbanHermit
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:18 am
Location: Back of beyond, South Wales (Isn't it?)

Re: N gauge peco code 55 question (newbie warning!)

Postby UrbanHermit » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:55 am

I've never found it necessary to file track cut with a Xuron to get the joiners on. That's supposed to be one of their plus points. The only time I've ever had to file was when threading cut rails through the chairs on a Peco inspection pit.

Again, each to his own, but personally I find it handier to cut the track right there on the board (even though it's not permanently laid yet) where I can see how it's going to fit as I cut.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)


Return to “Track/Layout Design”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest