Hand made Points

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Odd Socks
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

Hand made Points

Postby Odd Socks » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:22 pm

Hi,

I thought that I would share my experiences of building my own points.

When I was thinking of building my first N gauge layout I realised that I was going to be limited for space. I decided that with the use of hand made points I would be able to fit point work into smaller spaces.

This is how I build mine, there are a number of systems that you can buy to make points but I am to tight to get any of those. I got my inspiration from a book called "Model railways on a budget" by Cyril J. Freezer, some of his suggestions are a bit out of date but it gave me some ideas on how to proceed.

The first thing that I do is to create a plan of the center lines for the point on "Auto cad". I am sure that most CAD packages could be used it just happens that I used this one at work and got the hang of it.

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Then I create the rails using an offset command.

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All that is required after that is to place the sleepers.

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With the plan printed out full size and stuck to a board to work on I apply double sided tape along the center lines then place and trim the sleepers.

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I then usually start with the longest and straightest rail. I offer it up, cut it roughly to length, and mark where any joggles should be.

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A joggle is the recess in the stock rail where the point blade rests. Some people will bend the rail in a Z to create this, I decided that it was a lot easier to use a file.

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Once the rail is done I tack it in place with the soldering iron.

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I then do the same with the second rail, using the wooden gauges to ensure that rails are the correct spacing where they join.

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With the two stock rails in place I then work on the frog. Again I start with the straightest longest rail. File the end to a point, where the frog will be created. Don't worry to much about the angle, the second rail can be adjusted to fit and the important thing is that it meets as a point.

Use the two gauge blocks to get the frog point in the correct place, tack the frog using the soldering iron.

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Create the second rail of the frog, offering it up to check how it fits. When soldering it in place use the gauges and I have found that the best way to solder it in place is to apply the iron to the top of the rail and feed the solder in to the open V of the frog. This does leave some solder on the top of the rail but gentle filing will remove this.

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At this point I like to run a waggon along the tracks that I can. I try to use the wagon with the worst plastic wheels that I can, because if this fits all the others will.

The next thing to work on is the blades. I usually start with the wing rails, bending them to shape. Where the blade and wing rail meet I usually saw the sides of the rail a bit to ensure a tight bend.

Once this is done I offer this up to the plan and cut the blade a little bit long.

Now this is the tedious bit as you need to file the blade to get it to have as long a taper as possible and to end up as thin as possible. The thinner the better your point will work, usually when I have finished this bit I can cut paper with the "Blade" rail.

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Offer the blade and wing rail up to the point. If when the blade is set into the joggle the rail does not line up with the frog file a bit of the end of the blade to get it the right length. Once it is the right length solder the wing rail and a minimum of two sleeper away from the frog, this is to allow for the rail to be cut for isolation while still holding the blade in place. On the shorter points I usually file the sides of the blade down near the frog to allow the blade to flex more easily.

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Again I run the waggon over the point to check the clearances.

Next add the check rails and ensure that the waggon fits still.

Also using a needle file I cut the copper on the sleepers to isolate the rails from each other and a jeweler's saw to cut the rail for isolation.

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The tie bar is than added by spacing one of the blades away from the stock rail using something heat resistant and soldering this rail to the tie bar, then do the same for the other side ensuring the first rail is snug to the stock rail.

This point was for a hidden part of the track and has the same radius as a set track point but is electrofrog and has closer tolerances.

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Once the point is finished I use a black marker pen to colour the sleepers as it easy to apply and is a very thin coating.

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This is one that will be visible on the layout. One of the great things of building your own points is that you can make almost any thing you want. I have found that with a bit of patience you can do complex points.

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Tim

==============================================================
My layout on Personal layouts, Growing slowly.

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Odd Socks
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

Postby Odd Socks » Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:44 am

Hi,

To tell the truth it is just the same draw the lines and follow them, just a few more lines :wink:
Tim



==============================================================

My layout on Personal layouts, Growing slowly.

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pete12345
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Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Postby pete12345 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:08 am

Is there any kind of hinge in the blade rail or do they just flex? Do you have to use a switch to change the polarity or can you rely on the blade contact?

cheers

Pete
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

edwardholmes91
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:57 pm
Location: Stone, Staffordhshire, England
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Postby edwardholmes91 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:15 am

Wow! That is brilliant I love the complicated point that you show at the end of the article! Absolutely stunning. Congratulations to you! :shock:

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leopard
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Postby leopard » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:27 am

blade contact won't work, the pcb sleepers will short them out if you try it, some sort of switch is required. but you can make one as part of the point (I'll post some picks at some point of the crossover I've done). but you can also use an aux switch on a point motor.

there is no hinge in the switch rails, they just flex. you could make a simple hinge by using fishplate, it works well with Bulk Head rail cus that flexs well, flat bottomed rail would be fine if you filed the bottom to make it thinner.

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Odd Socks
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

Postby Odd Socks » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:57 am

Hi,

Spot on on all that Dale.

I use flat bottomed rail and file it to give it extra flex but this is only normaly needed on the shorter blades.

To switch the polarity of the frogs I use an aux switch on the point motors that I use. I use the Seep PM4 point motors as these have switches built in and they also have a spring to hold them in position. Cost wise they are about the same price as a straight Peco Motor.

Thanks for the coments, the complicated juinction was my inital design for my main station. I have now changed how I am doing this but it was fun to build and a great learning experiance.
Tim



==============================================================

My layout on Personal layouts, Growing slowly.

santene
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: middlesbrough

Postby santene » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:43 am

where do you get the rails? and sleeper matieriel
proud modeller jake also known as Duke Jake the Bewildered of Mousehole by Sea :D

anyone got n gauge track i can buy

taddies2
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 9:24 pm

Re: Hand made Points

Postby taddies2 » Tue May 27, 2008 10:12 pm

to santene. I have been trying to get this info to.at the moment I think that marcway of Sheffield have taken over SMP which may be what we are looking for but there websight sucks and is being redone,an e-mail to them got the answer to phone them.they are shut whenI get home so can-not tell you more If you find out let me know

theustrainman
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:33 am

Re: Hand made Points

Postby theustrainman » Wed May 20, 2015 1:00 pm

You forgot to mention that the solder flux needs to be washed off before colouring the sleepers (ties) it causes the copper to go green and reacts with paint and marker colouring if you don't.

b308
Posts: 4761
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: Hand made Points

Postby b308 » Thu May 21, 2015 8:33 am

Very nice Tim, I have to try doing some in 6.5mm gauge at some point (!) because I'm none to keen on the Marklin points for narrow gauge track!


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