Spavo's N Gauge Adventure..........

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
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Spavo
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Postby Spavo » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:15 pm

Actually I think it is postperson Paulina....she is a bit of a beast though sorry........

Pain in the ass my post, anything bigger than a stamp I get a yellow form, I then have to drive 30km to the post office and queue for a couple of hours and then collect my parcel....the good thing is that I always get my stuff and nothing goes missing, the bad news is that I get myself into a frenzy of excitement on the way trying to guess what the parcel could be and then it's a couple of buffers.....boo!

So hopefully tomorrow I will get some track through so I can have a fiddle....really looking forward to trying some track planning....

Cheers fella's,

Gav.
Watford FC For Me Since 1976

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Spavo
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Postby Spavo » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:52 pm

So the old flexitrack turned up today which is not much use without anything else but at least that is something......

Which reminds me, a little nagging question from the back of my brain....

How do you use flexitrack?

No seriously, never touched the stuff, let alone used it, is there an idiots guide somewhere that I can read before I go and ruin 20 quids worth....for what it's worth I will be using the Gaugemaster ballasted underlay, yes cheating I know but what the hell.....

Helpppp...........

Gav.
Watford FC For Me Since 1976

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FishBowlMan
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Postby FishBowlMan » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:24 pm

Hi Gav,

Here's what I tend to do:

First, turn the track over and cut off 2 sleeper's worth of the plastic from one end. Save the sleepers as you'll use those later.

Find a convenient starting point - preferably a straight section or by a set of points that you have temporarily tacked down.

Manouvere the track by bending it until you have the approximate outline of the curve that you want. If you hold the rails tight at one end, they should stay the same "length" when you bend the track. The other end may end up with 1 rail "longer" than the other depending on the curve you need. Don't worry about this.

Cut off a block of sleepers approximately 2 from the "shorter" end of the "uneven end". Again, don't throw these away.

Lay the track down on the surface. If you have some track fixed already, connect the new piece using fishplates as normal.

Using some track pins, you can fix the curve of the flexi by temporarily tacking pins outside the rails and between the sleepers so that the track is held in place. i.e. you are forming guide pins for the curve of the track without actually fixing the track itself, allowing you to easily move bits as you see fit. The pins can be bent out of the way - or hammered further into the board when you run stock over to test.

Follow this procedure, but manipulate the rails of the following pieces to the same "lengths" at the end to match the preceding pieces.

When you come to the end of the flexi, or you have formed a loop, or you wish to attach a set of points, lay and tack the track as before, and cut the rails square at the desired joining point using a junior hacksaw or a dremmel thingy etc.

Save any small offcuts or single rails that you may end up with, as these are surprisingly handy to have around.

When you're happy with the track, tack it down about every 150mm depending on the severity of the curve. You can now remove the "guide tacks".

Remember the sleepers that have been cut off? These can now be pushed under the joins between the lengths of track to fill in the gaps. You'll have to skim the little pointy bits that hold the rails first.


That's my method anyway. Hope it helps,

John.
There is no room inside a box.

mumbles
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Postby mumbles » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:48 pm

hi
i'm not sure of its different for n to 00 but i would leave all sleepers attached but cut the chairs off for the sleeper that will sit under the fishplates, thats for 00 though? may be a totally different kettle of fish for n
otherwise would do much the same
start at a point [pinned down]. attach flexi,sliding sleeper without chair under fishplate to same gap as other sleepers. bend track to positiion, tack in place but not push pins right in.
cut off excess sleepers from other end, to about level with end of rails[ if there are some, obviously with straights, or very slight curves there won't be]]. cut chairs off last sleeper, cut inner rail that protrudes, to level with outer rail. attach fishplates, pin down a bit, begin with next peice of track.
but that is how i do it for 00 as i said, john is a 'n' man so may be his way is more appropraite
michael

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FishBowlMan
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Postby FishBowlMan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:08 am

mumbles wrote:i'm not sure of its different for n to 00 but i would leave all sleepers attached but cut the chairs off for the sleeper that will sit under the fishplates, thats for 00 though? may be a totally different kettle of fish for n

I would imagine it is the same for N and OO, and to be honest, cutting the chairs off rather than the sleepers is probably a better way of doing it. It just depends if the fishplates can fit between the rails and the sleepers without pushing the rails up. I started doing it my way as I was joining peco flexi to Fleischmann set track and the peco fishplates weren't compatible with the fleischmann track and caused the problem mentioned.

If you're reasonably confident of your track plan, there's no reason why you can't cut the rails on each piece as you lay it, as Michael suggested. Leaving the rails intact means you still have a complete piece of flexi (minus the sleepers) if you want to remove and re-alter the curve. (Mine's been up and down so often each piece would be about a foot long if I cut the rail each time. :D ) However, if the end of one rail is much longer than the other, it can be difficult to maintain a smooth curve on the next piece of flexi as the "loose" rail tends to want to go straight.

One thing to watch for if you tack the track in place through the sleepers is that the clearence of some N gauge locos is very small. You may have to knock the pins in quite far to be able to test with a train. The track is quite sturdy though so you should be able to lift it without too much trouble. I usually slide a knife blade between the sleepers and baseboard and twist slightly to lift the track.

You will be fine when you have got the knack, and to be quite honest, I think Michael's method will give better results than mine, especially if you are unlikely to be removing and replacing your track.

Best of luck mate,

John.
There is no room inside a box.

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Infrontcat
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Postby Infrontcat » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:25 am

One thing I do differently is screw the track down while getting it 'just so' then tighten the screw to hold it steady. Then, push home the track pins once the alignment is to your liking. Just check for clearances by running the longest wheel-based stock you intend to run (Probably your longest carriage or diesel) and check clearance by running them over places where stock needs to be able to pass each other without fouling, e.g on a loop or double track curve.

Hope that helps mate. Incidentally, I'd really recommend a rotary tool with cutting discs. Much easier and quicker to cut rails. I got one for about £5, though dunno what your options would be out there.

Cheers matey

Tim
"Kashi-mashi, kashi-mashi..."

Moorcroft (St Anthonys)

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FishBowlMan
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Postby FishBowlMan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:34 am

Infrontcat wrote:Just check for clearances by running the longest wheel-based stock you intend to run (Probably your longest carriage or diesel) and check clearance by running them over places where stock needs to be able to pass each other without fouling, e.g on a loop or double track curve.

Don't know whether you were referring to this, Tim (its very late / early and I'm pulling an all-nighter for work so am very tired) but when I wrote clearance, I was meaning that the distance between the bottom of the chassis of the loco and the sleepers on some N gauge locos is only a couple of mm so you will need to bang the nails in a long way if you want to run a train to pick up any odd kinks / misaligned rails.

Eek - its half past 3. Best think about getting in the car soon so I can miss all the lovely traffic!
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Spavo
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Postby Spavo » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:11 am

Super smashing great guys....

So realistic, looks like I got my very own private team of p-way guys working through the night for me......

Seriously though that looks like brilliant advice thank you, doesn't sound too bad at all........he says before laying track that looks like a roller coaster.....

Thanks again John, Michael & Tim...hey that sounds like a 60's flower power band...weren't you guys on tour with the Mama's & The Papa's???

When some of the pointwork and the settrack arrives I can make a start, on the layout, everything on the bottom of the plan will be settrack for the loops and small sidings etc and all the outer loops and mainline I am going to use flexi so I can have nice long curves and smooth transitions between the straight parts and the corners....

Thanks again,

Gav.
Watford FC For Me Since 1976

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Philip.E.Thomas
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Postby Philip.E.Thomas » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:59 am

Infrontcat wrote:Hope that helps mate. Incidentally, I'd really recommend a rotary tool with cutting discs. Much easier and quicker to cut rails. I got one for about £5, though dunno what your options would be out there.

Cheers matey

Tim


Found that the Xuron cutters are superb for N gauge Tim, I realise they are twice the price of your rotary chap, but they are so damn good and there are no burrs or snags left on the rail after cutting also foundthem great for initially picking up and pushing in track pins, very handy if, like me, you don't have a full complement of operating fingers :roll:
Oooooh! I love my xurons :shock:
Phillip. E. Thomas was the first President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first real Railroad in the USA.

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mumbles
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Postby mumbles » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:09 am

i'm with phil on the xurons.. like a knife through hot butter
and martini
anytime anyplace anywhere!

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Spavo
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Postby Spavo » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:19 pm

Hi everyone, here we are again then another week gone by.......

So tough at work today, trying to get the gardens ready for the easter weekend, that sun, goddamit makes it hard work.........only kidding.

So Postperson Paulina (she really needs to sort that hairy wart out on her nose) finally made it my way today with enough track for me to start planning.....I was very happy with my stuff from ebay, the track was in good nick and it arrived pretty quick too.

So where were we....the old trackplan has been modified a little but not too much, I still want to be able to run either end to end through all the main lines or just a long circuit continuously.

I have marked out on the board now where all the raised sections are going to be and used some decent wood to make pillars....the gradient is somewhere around 1 in 28.........the trackbed on top of these pillars is going to be 4mm ply, nice stuff so should get a decent finish.

I have painted in the river bed, it's a bit blue but thats ok, I have used a thick run of glue to form edges, this will make it easier to do the varnish later, the dark smudge is a likely location of some type of outlet pipe or another from the factory that is going to be here, the fisheries ministry will be on the phone!
Image

So here are the shots of the track supports during construction, the curves on top of the pillars were only me being smug that I got the curviture correct......

The inner curve is going to be setrack 1st radius, the out curve is flexi, I have had it all measured out and tacked in place so the angle should be a nice smooth curve....

Image

Image

The inner rail in this shot is actually going to be the same gradient as the outer, I just started to gradient earlier to make it more interesting, the inner loop will peak at 8.5cm above baseboard, plus the 4mm ply plus the underlay so a nice height, the outer one peaks at 10.5cm as I would lurrrvvveee a viaduct but we'll see...
Image

This shot shows where I have left the gap for the bridges, 2 of them crossing the other rail separately and at different heights again to look different and somehow more interesting....
Image

The area on the left is where the small station will be, plus a couple of sidings for oil tanks etc, it is all setrack and will feed nicely off the flexi laid mainline, looks ok and all seems to fit ok....
Image

This is a little naughty piece of extra board I added as I really wanted a coal yard of some description, I will use flexi into the area and then used Y and medium points for some long sidings, obviously there is another track to go around the outside at this end, this will be 2nd radius or bigger if I can squeeze it in...
Image

So I think that's pretty much it, tomorrow will involve cutting the ply and starting to lay it on the pillars, all the supports will be hidden anyway so thats ok, except the ones in the canal and I will hide these too as bridge supports or something like that....

More news tomorrow guys....

Cheers,

Gav.
Last edited by Spavo on Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Watford FC For Me Since 1976

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Infrontcat
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Postby Infrontcat » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:24 pm

Cheers fella, glad you got some stuff to do. Otherwise you'd end up having to do something like have nookie or go to a lap-top dancing club and pretend you were enjoying it when, of course, all you'd be thinking about would be your track...

It's terrible being stuck out there. You haven't even got any rain to complain about. Sounds like hell to me!

Tim
"Kashi-mashi, kashi-mashi..."

Moorcroft (St Anthonys)

mumbles
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Postby mumbles » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:47 pm

wow, looks really good, seems like a really interesting track plan too :wink:
will a have a extra keen eye on how this develops
michael

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Spavo
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Postby Spavo » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:55 pm

Thanks Tim........if only that were true.........thinking about track it is for me then......

Michael, glad you like the track plan.........look familiar to you at all? lol!

Cheers guys,

More stuff tomorrow then hopefully..

Gav.
Watford FC For Me Since 1976

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sanctuary
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Postby sanctuary » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:26 pm

I have a feeling at the rate your working, this is going to mean I'll have to do a virtual exhibitions titled Spavo builds a layout in 2 minutes :lol:

Keep up the good work and keep the pictures coming of each stage.

Unlike some personal layout threads every time you have an update it is an update with something to see.

Well done Gav
Tight Lines Aidan

Linka to Pawford Layout


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