Track cutters

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RailwayRobbo
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Track cutters

Postby RailwayRobbo » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:26 pm

Any of you guys out there used track cutters?
I've got a small length of track needs replacing but it's in a cutting ona curve.
Definitely won't get a saw in to cut it and a dremel is a bit of a tight squeeze as well.
So I thought about getting a pair of track cutters.
As always there's quite a few available for a range of prices.
Xuron seems to be a popular range of cutters with different models.
I wasvwodering f any of you guys would recommend a particular make?

Thanks Pete.

Buelligan
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Buelligan » Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:05 pm

I've got a pair of the Xuron cutters, they work well, leaving 1 side of the cut nice and clean and able to be used straight away, and the other slightly squashed and in need of a little filing. If it's just for a couple of cuts, you're welcome to borrow mine if you want.

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Mountain
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Mountain » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:13 pm

I have a pair of the versions when Xuron only did the one type. Very handy things. I also use my Minicraft drill with a carbodium cutting disc.
What I use for what purposes....
If I want quick cuts where accuracy is less important I use the cutting shears, but if I want accurate precision cuts I use the drill as it is a lot better for precise accuracy on things where I have already layed the track but I want to add an isolation section... Out comes the drill. (I will then build up Playdough on either side of the rail where the cut bit is and fill the gap in the rail with Sylmasta resin and remove thr Playdough and file the resin to match the rail profile. While PCB sleepered track is unlikely to cause the rails to touch where there is a gap (Unlike track with plastic sleepers which can shift) I make these resin "I.R.J.'s" just incase).
Last edited by Mountain on Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:24 pm

My vote is for the minicraft or expo drill with a thin slitting disc. It will cut in tight locations without the need for getting in there with a file afterwards. I have the choice of Proxxon or a Dremel but both need adequate space to handle them properly. I tend to use the Proxxon on the bench, I have the rotating vertical/horizontal stand and it's capable of milling or turning, wood, plastic and soft metals. The Dremel is far more rugged, I've used the Dremel on the track, it's a bit fierce and needs a block to steady the rails whilst cutting.
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Mountain
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Mountain » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:32 pm

Bufferstop wrote:My vote is for the minicraft or expo drill with a thin slitting disc. It will cut in tight locations without the need for getting in there with a file afterwards. I have the choice of Proxxon or a Dremel but both need adequate space to handle them properly. I tend to use the Proxxon on the bench, I have the rotating vertical/horizontal stand and it's capable of milling or turning, wood, plastic and soft metals. The Dremel is far more rugged, I've used the Dremel on the track, it's a bit fierce and needs a block to steady the rails whilst cutting.


I look for the slightly wider carbodium disks with a heavy duty Minicraft mandrell as the discs last longer. Anyone reading this ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION as those discs can fly off in all directions at warp speed when they break, and they do break often so keep spares!

heda
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Re: Track cutters

Postby heda » Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:43 pm

I use an imitation Dremmel with optional flexible drive so the only space limitation is the size of the disc.
Check out 'Rotary tool' on Amazon. they start at very low prices and are very useful.
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Kindling
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Kindling » Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:39 pm

For cutting out track that has already been laid, Xuron have a special vertical cutting track cutter (ref 2175M), and is perfect for the job. The standard Xuron cutter (2175B) will cut N gauge from above, but not 00 gauge.

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: Track cutters

Postby RailwayRobbo » Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:30 pm

As usual thanks guys for the responses and the very useful information.
I thought my drill was a Dremmel but turns out to be a Minicraft which must be well over 30 years old.
Mountain as usual you are a guy with a very wide knowledge and thanks again for sharing it.
Kindling thanks for the info on the vertical track cutters. I'll investigate those.
Heda, I'm going to look at some cordless mini drills. The problem with the Minicraft drill is the mains lead.
My sockets are above the backscene near the station end of the layout so if I'm working at the other end the lead is usually in the scenery. I've uprooted a few trees and telegraph poles over the years.
And thanks Bufferstop and Buelligen for your replies.

Pete

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Mountain
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Mountain » Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:43 pm

Method of cutting track to the exact length where two track pieces need to join but are coming from opposite directions (E.g. If one is making a passing loop when building the second track portion of the run round loop).
Make sure track from both directions is temporarily pinned down so rails are secure as avoids cutting disc breakages as sudden unplanned movement can put sideways pressure on the discs. I have on occasions where strength is needed used two discs on one mandrel secured together as one before I found out that I could get slightly thicker cabodium discs. I also found that beefier mandrels were available as seen in the photo (Notice thick mandrell shaft in my Minicraft drill). I had broken a few of the thinner mandrels before I found these!
As can be seen in the photo, both tracks are set right next to each other so they can be cut in pairs of rails to give a precise cut ready to join them. (Note the cut I had started to make on the left hand pair of rails). I wasn't worried about a lack of sleepers because I was replacing the sleepers with home cut PCB ones for my narrow gauge layout. If I was using 00, I would have a few more sleepers in there. On my narrow gauge, I used a lot of track offcuts and reclaimed track pieces as these were ideal for what I was doing.
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Bigmet
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:17 am

heda wrote:... optional flexible drive...

I wouldn't be without one of these. Cutting rails in situ is only the start of its applications. Much superior for 'dental work' such as excavating the interior cavities of loco bodies to make them fit on a different mechanism, or to create space for weight or a decoder.

As for eye protection, full face shields are my preference for any cutting/machining, casting, chemical splash; a good polycarbonate type that is comfortable to wear will last a lifetime and can be got for around £10 from the likes of RS components (UK). Money well spent the first time something unexpected whacks you in the face, in my case in the domestic/ hobby sphere some undetected ancient barbed wire while cutting back an overgrown hedge at our new home.

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Peterm
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Re: Track cutters

Postby Peterm » Sat Jun 25, 2022 12:30 am

Come on Bigmet. A few facial scars add character to a face. :wink:
Pete.

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Re: Track cutters

Postby Someone » Sat Jul 23, 2022 4:03 pm

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