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Author Topic: Nick has a go at building track  (Read 306 times)

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Online njee20

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Nick has a go at building track
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:15:41 PM »
I've always liked the idea of handbuilt track, not so much for prototypical sleeper spacing or reduced rail section (they're nice to haves) but for nice sweeping pointwork. Peco points, even large radius, are quite abrupt, not available with concrete bearers (I model present day) and obviously very straight, whilst most real pointwork has a slight curve, I know you can hack Peco ones apart, but it's a bodge. Not to mention the hinged switch blades and propensity for losing entire locos down the gap at the frog.

I quite fancy handbuilding track for my next layout, probably with code 40 rail, using either Finetrax or Easitrac plain line with handbuilt points (I'd definitely look at Finetrax points in some places if Wayne's doing flat bottom concrete bearer points by then).

The 'next layout' requires a house move, which has been on the cards for a while, but hasn't actually happened yet, so thought I'd maybe get some practice in on my current layout (which has been in a state of flux pending the aforementioned house move!).

I took a top down photo of a part of my layout on a gradual curve, with the idea of removing a section of the Peco code 55 and replacing with a crossover.

I uploaded the photo into Templot (which is an awesome bit of software) and have overlaid a crossover over it:

Templot by njee20, on Flickr

I printed the template out, which gives this:

Untitled by njee20, on Flickr

For reference the point in the sidings at the very bottom and the one of the top running line are both Peco large radius, so this is quite a bit longer. It's a C10, which is still very short by modern standards, but whilst I'd love to do an F40 I don't have that much space - a crossover would be something like 1.5m in N.

I've now mounted it on a spare piece of ply I had hanging about, using double sided tape onto a piece of 1mm card, and it looks like this:

Untitled by njee20, on Flickr

Now... as if building track wasn't hard enough (I'm assured it isn't that difficult) I'm making it worse for myself because I want it to match up with Peco code 55. I'm using Micro Engineering code 55 rail (which is real code 55, not sunken code 80), hence the card to pack it out. The rail head looks very similar, if anything Peco is slightly smaller. I'm also using flat bottom rail, which means extra filing in various places to remove the foot of the rail. I've also found gauges in N gauge quite hard to come by, so we'll see how that goes. I'm using a flangeway of 0.85mm, but I'm hopeful that no modification will be needed (aside from maybe checking back-to-backs) on my stock, which is the primary reason for not going for 2mm FS. I also couldn't find filing jigs that would work nicely with FB code 55 rail (without buying exorbitant ones from the US), so I'm fully expecting this to be total junk at the end, but hopefully I'll learn something, most likely that Peco track is just the easier solution!

I joined the 2mm scale association to get my hands on some PCB sleepers, both plain concrete and longer bearers for the actual points.

So... now I need to stick some sleepers down, do some filing and some soldering and see what happens. I would categorise myself as "enthusiastic amateur" when it comes to all things modelling, the fact I've bothered to start a thread means I may actually get around to doing some work on it, but pace is unlikely to be overly quick, if anyone is remotely interested, you deserve some sort of award just for reading this far!

Cheers,
Nick


Offline kirky

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 06:49:57 PM »
Good on yer Nick - I'm following with interest.
I agree wholeheartedly in your reasoning for pursuing hand built track and I concur that my next layout will be built using finetrax. (I have a small shunting thing which is my practice layout in the process of being built using finetrax)
I also agree that the only reason for not going 2 mil is the ridiculous amount of stock I've collected. I also recently re joined the 2 mil society for the very same reason as yourself - just to get my hands on their kit - I'm particularly interested in the brass half sleepers and chairs which can be used as dropper points.
And finally, IMHO, the track work of well built hand built track just looks so much better.

Good luck to you mate.

Cheers
Kirky
Northallerton is in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at the EPSOM & EWELL MODEL RAILWAY CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION
on Saturday 27th April 2019
and Sunday 28th April 2019 at the
North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT)
Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS.



Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Online njee20

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 04:11:00 PM »
I done a thing! Don't scroll down if you're easily offended by woeful soldering. Unusually for me I've actually progressed something, rather than the usual "start it and don't come back to it for 5 years" tack.

PCB sleepers all stuck in place (just using double sided tape), I'd seen lots of advice for and against tape, PVA, Pritt Stick etc etc, but that seemed the least messy and quickest way to do it. I was pleasantly surprised how easy PCB strip was to cut, having read stories about using guillotines and what not, I just used some side cutters. Perhaps not the neatest, but perfectly adequate for a test piece IMO.

Untitled by njee20, on Flickr

Then, after some terrible soldering, I have a point... I have (and thoroughly recommend) the 2mm SA's book "Track - How it works and how to model it", which offers two different ways to assemble a point, I started with the straight(er) stock rail, then the common crossing, then the wing rail, curved switch rail, curved stock rail, wing rail, straight switch rail.

Untitled by njee20, on Flickr

It didn't actually take all that long. I've pushed a wagon and a coach through it, it doesn't derail, so I'll take that! I found the switch rails very flexy, I've soldering them to a few more sleepers to shorten the length of flex, but I don't know how you'd ever get code 40 ones to have enough rigidity to not widen under the weight of a loco. More research required!

I started with a slight kink in the first stock rail I laid, which is then obviously carried on through the entire point, which is a lesson in itself - it's perhaps unsurprising that a small 'mistake' early on is only magnified. It's not that bad, but it's definitely a bit wobbly just above the tie bar!

Untitled by njee20, on Flickr

Generally really surprised with it though, I expected to totally be scrapping the first couple of efforts, but I'm not sure it's that far off. I've knocked one of the wing rails, so it's slightly out of line with the switch rail, which I'll try and tweak.

My rudimentary tie bar seems surprisingly robust, I thought there'd be so little material on the switch blades that it would be very fragile, but that doesn't seem the case. I'd not want to use solenoids on it, but generally pretty chuffed.

Will be making the adjustments to the wing rails, adding check rails etc, then laying the second point in the crossover and then trying it out a bit more.

Offline robert shrives

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2019, 04:56:07 PM »
looking good.

I can recommend solder balls - no not being rude but you can buy tubs of little solder balls 1mm in diameter  they make for a samesize chair lookalike when soldering.

Robert 

Online njee20

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 05:06:52 PM »
Thanks, I’ve seen them recommended before, and shall invest accordingly. I went with “robust” on this certainly!

Offline Bealman

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 07:53:44 PM »
Very impressive first attempt. I too am a great fan of scratchbuilt pointwork for all the reasons outlined, but consider it beyond my skill and patience level.

Is the rail nickel silver? Probably the lighting, but it almost looks like brass in some of the photos.

Great work!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online njee20

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 08:21:05 PM »
Thanks George, yep, nickel silver, probably just the cold lights in the garage. No idea on availablioity of parts ‘down there’, but I heartily recommend giving it a go, whilst my efforts are not particularly good, it was easier then I anticipated!

Offline kirky

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 08:29:21 PM »
Really good stuff Nick.
Ive just bought the 2 mil society Track book too. Looks really usefu;.

Cheers
Kirky
Northallerton is in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at the EPSOM & EWELL MODEL RAILWAY CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION
on Saturday 27th April 2019
and Sunday 28th April 2019 at the
North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT)
Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS.



Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline robert shrives

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 08:39:16 PM »
I can also recommend the 2mmFS track book  all in it is useful in all scales and well laid out and very readable.


http://www.2mm.org.uk/index.shtml
 hopefully link to 2mm org - go to products and look for samples

Robert

   
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 08:46:33 PM by robert shrives »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Nick has a go at building track
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 09:40:57 PM »
Well done, Nick. All power to your soldering arm!

 

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