Laying N gauge track

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
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klaatu
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby klaatu » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:56 am

midlandsmodeller wrote:Track cutters do seem like the way to go, bit expensive but if they do the job well.

I've got a Xuron cutter too, works superbly. I also have a couple of razor saws as an alternative; they also work very well.

Steve
Just playing trains - not a "proper modeller"

midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:36 am

Do point motors come with the screws? or will I have to find them separatley somewhere else?

Adam

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Jack Middleton
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby Jack Middleton » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:38 am

You need to add screws yourself, I used some nuts and bolts with a counter sunk head and then drilled a counter sunk hole into the baseboard to accommodate the head of the bolt.

midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:40 am

I get you.
Are those track cutters suitable for N gauge as well as 00 gauge?

Adam

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0121modeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby 0121modeller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:30 pm

I've a pair of Xuron cutters, they're well worth the cost at around £10, I'm on my second pair, & they've both served me well.
You can cut both 00 & N gauge track with Xuron cutters, but they recommend you cut 00 rail top to bottom , & cut N gauge rail side to side , (for best results)

I use a razor saw as to cut railtack too, best to use a scrap piece of flat planed 3"x1" wood to protect your work top (from sawcuts as it saws through plastic sleepers), also, using your other hand, place a firm hold on the length of track you need to fit that you are sawing, otherwise rails may work loose & unseat themselves whilst sawing (leave a CM gap as to clear your fingers holding it steady whilst you saw).

I've rarely used a dremel & cutting disc as I dont trust the steadyness of my hands, but I'd strongly advise using the re-enforced cutter discs available, as there is less danger of them shattering & the bits flying off in your face.

In all cases, have a small file at the ready, as to finish off & tidy the cut rail from knurl & burr (especially from rails cut by a Xuron cutter) as you'll need the fishplates to slide on without a problem.

Dave.
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klaatu
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby klaatu » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:33 pm

0121modeller wrote:also, using your other hand, place a firm hold on the length of track you need to fit that you are sawing, otherwise rails may work loose & unseat themselves whilst sawing (leave a CM gap as to clear your fingers holding it steady whilst you saw).

I've cut a couple of grooves (9mm apart) into a small piece of wood, and use this to hold the track while I saw it - it can also act as a guide for the saw.

Steve
Just playing trains - not a "proper modeller"

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0121modeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby 0121modeller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:24 pm

klaatu wrote:
0121modeller wrote:also, using your other hand, place a firm hold on the length of track you need to fit that you are sawing, otherwise rails may work loose & unseat themselves whilst sawing (leave a CM gap as to clear your fingers holding it steady whilst you saw).

I've cut a couple of grooves (9mm apart) into a small piece of wood, and use this to hold the track while I saw it - it can also act as a guide for the saw.

Steve


That's a great idea Steve, In the long run it would certainly be worth taking the short time to make some sort of jig to aid frequent track cutting tasks easier :)

Dave.
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
Scratchbuilt & kit built grappler claw cranes ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36342

midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:46 pm

Has anyone ever had a layout that's split into sections? My baseboard is cut into three, so Im wondering how's best to joint the tracks over the gaps?

I'd like to keep each section separate in case I move house.

Would it be adequate to simply line up the tracks on either side of the gap?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:41 pm

Cutting track with a razor saw (or filing to clean up ends cut with nippers) - as has been suggested a block of wood to lift the track above the board surface, then cut a block of wood about 3-4cm square, then use a wood saw to cut two grooves across one surface just wide enough and far enough apart to sit firmly over the rails. the when you hold down the track with it you aren't sawing or filing against the rail fixings. Tip colour the rail surface with a felt tip pen, rub the block along the rail and it will leave cutting guide lines on the surface of the wood. Someone used to flog a ready made one but I haven't seen it for a while.

Rails across baseboard joints. - ignore the joints when you lay the track. Then screw in a thin brass screw against the outside of each rail either side of the joint. That's 4 in all. Screw them down until the shank is in contact with the rail and the head is proud. Solder them to the rails, the using a slitting disk in a Dremel or Expo tool cut through the rails and cut the heads of the screws off at an angle sloping away from the rail surface. If you can feel the edge of the screw above the rail a touch with the face of the disc or a file to bring it down level. Put a dab of whatever rail colour you use just to make them less noticeable.
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midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:01 pm

Thanks for that John. Seems simpler now

Adam

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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:03 pm

I learnt something today..... I never knew that peco point motors, clipped into peco points! :o

This has threw a spanner in the works as now theres another option to the plan in my head.

Has anybody ever fitted motors by cutting a hole in the baseboard and fitting the point motor that way?

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0121modeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby 0121modeller » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:19 pm

I prefer to temparary postition & loosely join all concerned track & turnouts firstly, then I'll cut a rectangluar hole for turnout with an attatched motor to drop down.

As you're modelling N gauge you have to decide which PL10 motor frame prongs/lugs you wish to afix to turnout & then cut or bend other unused motorframe prongs/lugs off / out of the way so they'll not protude.

The choice of LH side or RH side depends on what else you have next to motor (another point/turnout motor very near for example 2 turnouts adjoining side-by-side double tracks, therefore you dont want the access / installation to be restricted with 2 motors situated too close together.

For me, fitting 00 point motors is less of a problem as motor is centrally mounted to turnout using the outermost motorframe prongs/lugs.
With regards the N gauge projects I've done in the past I've used the same basic methods as the photo's of my 00 project portray, all area's of track & turnouts mounted on the grey sundeala are sub-divided for ease of removal, & connect like a jigsaw puzzle , these are all descretely fixed down with either small screws or M5 bolts & wingnuts, on to the 9mm plywood "foundation" board fixed to the 3"x1" 4ft x 2ft mainframe baseboards. (everything can be removed for maintenance, wiring up, & even baseboard rebuilding, & the M5 bolts allow slight sidewards & height alignment rectification between adjoining baseboards etc)

As for the unsightly large hole, place thin cardboard equal to size & position of baseboard rectangular hole & lightly glue to this underside turnout allow a small 6mm hole in cardboard for motor pin movement
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Dave.
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
Scratchbuilt & kit built grappler claw cranes ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36342

midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:35 pm

Thanks for that Dave. Thats a clever idea to split track into several pieces.

Do you think it would be easy to remove the point motor if it ever burnt out? If it was fitted this way and as long as I kept the prongs glue/balast free.

I was also considering cutting a gap thats only half the size of the point motor (length wise) and fit it from below. Id then screw the one set of prongs to the board, and the other set will be secured to the point. So if I ever did need to remove it, I could unscrew one side and hopefully slide the other side out of the point.

What I like about this method of fitting, is that the motor will be perfectly lined up.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:41 pm

Hi Adam, I've done it both ways in the past and TBH the holes you need to cut in 00 can start to run into each other in complex formations. It's likely to be even worse in N as half of the point motor sticks out to one side of the points. Clipped to the point is easy for setting up, but fastened under the board is a neater job.

John W
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midlandsmodeller
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Re: Laying N gauge track

Postby midlandsmodeller » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:47 pm

I see what you mean John. I can think of a couple of places where that might happen. Easy set up is tempting, but I don't want visible holes under the track. But at the same time I don't want to be spending huge amounts of time lining up motors. Guess I'll experiment.

Adam


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