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Zero Cost Frog Assembly Jig
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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 06:33 pm
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Salada
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A versatile, quick & easy to make crossing V (frog) assembly jig.

1) Glue a straight thin piece of wood to a wood base.
2) Using a short bit of rail as a spacing guide, glue a 2nd strip of wood tight alongside.
3) Screw a 3rd strip of wood so it can be swivelled to the correct frog angle then locked.

The photos will make this rather more understandable.


The assembled jig:





The burnt area is where the two rail V point is soldered together onto a thin scrap of brass that fits into a slight depression cut into the jig base plate. To fit into the jig one of the crossing rails (either the point rail or the splice rail) obviously must be straight. The curved crossing V was made in the jig & then bent afterwards.

The second screw hole, to the right of the screw, allows the swinging strip to be re-positioned to cope with very obtuse angles such as K crossings (diamonds).

The faint pencil lines give automatic alignment for commonly used crossing angles.


The two glued wood strips are bevelled on their lower edge to fit the foot of the rail & hold the rail exactly vertical. See vertical elevation drawing below :





The two glued strips must be held tight against the rail profile whilst glueing to ensure a tight, vertical fit to the rail.

To use the jig, first prepare the rail ends by filing etc. Slide one rail into the guide slot, swing & lock the swivelling strip to the correct angle and hold the 2nd rail in place by thumb & something heat resistant. See photo below :






Flux the job up & apply heat + solder, job done.

Total cost nil, jig assembly time about 10-15 minutes. Simple. like it's designer.

                                     -----------ooooo----------


This jig was about the only fancy tool used to build the following switch-work :  





The wheel-set is my one & only track gauge !

I believe the Herb-O-Frog (TM) switch building manual suggests starting with the curved stock rail but then he is also a member of the "drive on the wrong side of the road" Club. My preference is usually to start from the straight stock rail, if there is one.

As I had to fit FIVE V's into only a few inches I freehanded the working drawing by drawing along a thin flexible lath that automatically makes a flowing curve. The frog units were then positioned as in the next photo :





I had to include the beer mat as a rare example of a steam loco illustration. You can also hear the BNSF's rolling through from the bar and, if you step outside**, you can see them. **( this being the U.S. you have to leave your beer inside, how weird). I can thoroughly recommend the Beaver Street real ale (craft ale) brewery.

The photo above shows a thin wood lath held to the closure rail by a bulldog clip so as to establish the correct, flowed, position for the frog prior to final soldering down. Each frog had to be correctly located not to a stock rail but to the next frog !.


Finally, two photos of the finished job :









The very short switch "toes" and severe departure angles are typical of UK colliery track, as is the dirty ash, muck etc. "ballast".
Only 0-4-0 locos & SWB wagons allowed !!

You may notice that there are 5 V's but only 3 polarity change wires (yellow/green). This is because 4 of the frogs are built & wired as electrical pairs to simplify route switching.

My preference is to build complex trackwork 'on the bench' rather than in situ on the baseboard - I ain't that brave.

All photos by Salada.

Regards,                  Michael 






  

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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 06:40 pm
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Salada
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The strange gobbledegook at the end of my post ain't 'nowt to do with me !

Admin !!!

Regards,              Michael

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 Posted: Fri May 1st, 2015 06:50 pm
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Bob D
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Michael, your timing is perfect. I've been thinking about trying my hand at a turnout or 2.

Bob D.



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 Posted: Sat May 2nd, 2015 03:34 am
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Thayer
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That is a lovely bit of track work!! I'm tempted to try something like that myself.

Thayer

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 Posted: Sat May 2nd, 2015 04:45 pm
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Shoulders
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Hi Michael

That some piece of scratch built point work you done there, looks fantastic. As good as you track laying looks did you need to compensate your wagons for them prototype angles?

Cheers Dan



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 Posted: Sun May 3rd, 2015 09:42 am
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Salada
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Hello Dan, thanks for your kind comments.

With colliery trackwork like this it is probably essential to have some form of wagon suspension. After experimenting over the years I do not like "classical"  3 - point "compensation". My wagons (all scratch built) have my own design of fully independent suspension on each axle, just like the real thing.

Regards,             Michael 

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 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2017 02:20 pm
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Si.
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Arh Har !! :)



Found in the jungle ...

... Sals. frog fun fread. ;)



I thought it was only Herb who liked such funky 4-ways ! :shocked:

REALLY NICE switch-building Sal. !!



:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:



Si.



Was lookin' at that switch, tryin' to figure out the wiring for it ...

... looks like you've got some pre-installed wires in there.




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 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2017 10:42 pm
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Salada
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Thanks Si.

2 way, 3 way, 4 way, ??? FIVE way ??.  Whatever your thing is ! (I'm talking trackwork here, nuthin' else ......).
 
 The crossing 'V' polarity wires were laid in before ballasting. There is only one common return wire that loops in/out from each switch. Tested &....... WORKS !.

I'm currently stuck in On30 mode & until that benchwork is done I'm not sure where the SG British O gauge baseboards can be fitted in. I tried a Texan Type negotiation (a la Woodie) with Madame but the living room suggestion was kinda rejected - hopefully I can remove the bandages soon. Of course there is NO O Gauge track plan, as usual, just bits of random trackwork that might fit in somewhere.

Buenos tardes,      Michael

Last edited on Thu Oct 26th, 2017 11:08 pm by Salada

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 Posted: Fri Oct 27th, 2017 03:02 am
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W C Greene
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Michael, the living room layout was great...but I HAD to keep any "mess" hidden (very hard for me to do). The garage in my new abode is far, far better since I can keep it ANY way I want, but try to keep things "civil". Unlike many garages, this one has a window and "French" double doors to the outside and of course a double overhead door with mechanized opener. The room is also finished inside, like any other room in the house, since this home was once a "model home" to show what the builder offered. The garage was outfitted as an office and has wall plugs, insulation, and a smooth LEVEL concrete floor. When I first saw this place, I knew that I had to get it above all others due to the garage!
What has this to do with zero cost frog assembly? Well, my frogs probably cost about .50 cents (US) so they are not free but made with loving care.

Hasta la vista.........Woodie



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