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Hand Laid Switches - Tutorial
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 Posted: Mon Apr 29th, 2013 03:01 am
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Tramcar Trev
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I think the points are very well executed... As to the firearms discussion when I was a Sapper I was issued with a 9mm Browning. Sposed to be good for fighting in confined spaces, the only time I used it in anger the rounds bounced off the other guys black PJ's at 20'....



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2013 06:10 pm
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sciencemonster
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Are there any alternate methods for hinging the points?

I would appreciate a post about any other techniques out there. Most How-Tos seem to gloss over this or use prefab. Pics would be great!

Thanks,

Mark

Last edited on Fri May 24th, 2013 06:11 pm by sciencemonster

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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2013 02:52 am
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Herb Kephart
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Post #12, second sentence.

I guess that you could dream up a multitude more ways. but these two work for me.

The pivot screw  works very well, I have had switches that were laid 20 years previously that still worked 100%. The rail joiner way is quick and dirty, but will give trouble over time.

Herb



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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2013 10:23 am
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W C Greene
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I might suggest not worrying about hinged points. I have handlaid switches since I was about 13 and don't recall ever using hinged points. If you are building track with say, larger than code 100 rail, then the sheer stoutness of the rail would call for a hinged plan, but smaller rail can "bend" just fine without a hinge. Or if you want to model old time or logging/mining roads then stub switches might be a choice, outside of the moving stock rails, there are no hinges. My way isn't the "approved" way maybe but it gets the job done just fine.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue May 28th, 2013 01:43 am
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sciencemonster
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I'm working in O, with Code 148 - so bending the rails isn't an option.

I've built a crossover for practice and although the second switch came out way better than the first, I still didn't get to the point where I could have the two points cut off in such a neat symmetrical way that I could connect them.

I ended up drilling a hole through the bottom rail and soldering a post for the point to pivot on. I then embedded a corresponding tube for the pin to fit into in a block of wood and glued that down between the ties exactly where it needs to be.

Not pretty, but it seems to work.

You guys are right - it's really fun to build these by hand. I can't wait to try them out and see how they work!

Mark

As you can probably tell by the frog, I got it a lttle neater the second time around...



Last edited on Tue May 28th, 2013 03:32 pm by sciencemonster

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 Posted: Tue May 28th, 2013 03:16 am
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Herb Kephart
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One problem with doing it that way is that there is nothing preventing the frog end of the point from lifting up, which they will sometimes do when the first wheel  puts its weight on the sharp end of the point.

Doesn't cause derailments, but does look strange.


Herb



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 Posted: Tue May 28th, 2013 03:46 pm
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sciencemonster
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Good point - I hope that won't become an issue. I've used K & S copper for the pin and tube so it's a snug fit, and the pin is pretty long so it shouldn't pop out from leverage - but only testing will tell.

I guess I'll have to do some trespassing and see how the prototype works. If you don't hear back from me, you know where I'll be for the next 5 to ten years...

These are for single truck trolley cars and an 0-4-0 switcher (as soon as I build one...) on a 1 x 6 layout, so I don't have a lot of room to work with. I'm not even sure these turns won't be too tight to navigate. I've found that if I moved all my wife's stuff out, I could double or triple the size of the layout - but I'm not too optimistic that track plan will pan out at all.

Mark

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 Posted: Thu Jun 20th, 2013 04:54 am
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Kitbash0n30
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Y'all may motivate and inspire me to get over insecurity and try this after all. Some day.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 20th, 2013 04:57 am
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Kitbash0n30
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W C Greene wrote: ... then stub switches might be a choice, outside of the moving stock rails, there are no hinges. Something of great interest but unsure how to figure placement of rail ends.
Have notion to build to use same Caboose Industries sprung ground throw used with Atlas Code 100 truntouts.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 12th, 2013 09:14 am
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Cjcrescent
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W C Greene wrote:...I have handlaid switches since I was about 13 and don't recall ever using hinged points...

Woodie

Like Woodie says, I too have been handlaying track since an early age, in my case 12. I started by taking Atlas snap-track straights, removing the ties and building the turnouts from there.

I use a combination of hinged and non hinged points, with the # of the turnout determining which gets which. The sharper the turnout, with #5 being the tightest on my layout, I have found that if the rail isn't hinged, in some cases, the distortion from the bending will knock the curved rail out of gauge, over a period of time. While the rails bend easy with few spikes, you want to have enough to keep it in gauge, but have enough flex in the rail to be thrown by a hand throw. I will use everything in my arsenal to get this accomplished, and at times it does call for a rail joiner, but with a twist. The twist is taking a jewelers saw, and cutting a slot through the bottom of the joiner. This leaves the sides intact, and these joiners can then be soldered by their ends to the rail, providing a strong but very flexible hinge.

I will admit that I have 14 commercial turnouts on my layout. These are all on my lowest level of the layout, in the staging yards. There isn't much overhead room in these yards for repairing any turnout, as there is not enough room to get tools in to fix them.

Their use is OK by me, as when the layout is finished, they won't be seen.



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