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Bob D
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I've "kind of" made the decision to redo my layout and go 2-rail while I'm at it.

But first, I want to learn how to make a turnout/switch.  I want to see if I can make one before I go to all the expense of dismantling the current layout and spending anymore than I have to.  If this is a dismal failure I'll stick with what I have.

I'm going to be using Micro-Engineering code 148 NS track and Right-O-Way turnout components.  I was going to build #5 turnouts but ROW doesn't make them, but they do make #6 turnouts and I think I can't fit those in without any problems.

I don't want to build them in place, I'd rather build at the workbench and once completed place them on the layout.

Surely someone here has built turnouts, so what advice can you give me?

Being I run BPRC I don't really need to worry about wiring, polarity, etc.  I plan on keeping (for now) the ho-rail wheels on all my rolling stock as they run fine on the code 148 track.

BobD

Helmut
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here's a comprehensive how-to: Try it
You have to have the Adobereader Plugin installed, as it downloads a pdf.

Last edited on Fri Jan 13th, 2017 01:31 pm by Helmut

Cor V
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don't know if you know this one:  http://www.handlaidtrack.com/they sell a lot off stuf for doing it yourself , and a malleven if you are buing nothing, you can download a template for building your turnout
Cor

W C Greene
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There are tips on handlaying track right here on Freerails. Herb has posted some very useful info, I use his methods & they work every time. BTW, his info is about O scale.

Woodie

Helmut
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Using the forum's search function pays off at times

Robert Comerford
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That is a big decision Bob but you may well look back on it as a good one.
Can I suggest even though you use BPRC you build them for 2-rail use (isolated frog). That way you keep the track power option if ever needed.
I normally build turnouts using pc board ties in the essential places and glue the rest which are wood using pliobond (a heat setting glue). I don't add the wood ties until I have the point working properly.
I have built all my points on the bench. With code 148 rail you can probably spike the cosmetic wood ties rather than glue if you want. I didn't have that option as I was using code 100 rail at the time.
The Fasttracks templates have a number 5. I have some points built using those printouts as a basis.

You will have to invent your own standards if you plan to run those 3-rail wheels through the points. Will 3-rail wheels go through a ROW frog?
......................................

Now to play devils advocate.... can I strongly suggest if you go 2-rail you leave those 3-rail standards behind. There is a long history of people going with mixed standards for convenience or initial cost savings and coming to regret that decision.

2-rail and NMRA standards go hand in hand in North America. I built lots of HO points just using the NMRA gauge and have built a couple of O gauge ones the same way before deciding on the GOG standards which are defacto for 7mm modelling.

Oh,and my first points weren't perfect but they got better as I went along.

When it comes to plain track there is little to be saved hand laying it over my way but perhaps things are different over there.

Regards
BobC

Reg H
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I wrote a "how to" on the techniques I use.  The how to is for an On30 turnout, but the principals are the same.  I have built standard gauge O turnouts using the techniques.
I will find the series for you.
Or, you could log onto Ed Traxlers web site (google Ed Traxler and it will come up).  He preserved my series on his web site.
Hand laying track is fun.
Reg

Reg H
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My tutorial is in Model Building Aids.
Reg

Bob D
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Thanks everyone!!! I have a lot to learn.

I'll have to check the #6 frog ROW (thanks again Jay Criswell) sent me to see how the hi-rail wheels act. May have to make my own frog (but it sure would be nice to use the ROW ones).

BobD.

Bob D
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Yep, the ROW frog won't work on the hi-rail wheels. I'll just have to make it I guess!

BobD

Robert Comerford
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I have built my own gauges when needed so it is possible Bob. I did that in S scale and in O before getting some commercial ones from the UK.

If you have one of the converted toy market points that your trains run through the best then you can use that as the starting point. The good thing about soldered construction is the ability to move things around until you have got it right. Could be very handy when inventing your own standards.

The important dimensions are the flangeway gap and the check gauge. You need to copy those dimensions. The flangeway should just wide enough for your wheels to pass through without dropping into the gap and the check gauge is a last ditch means of preventing your wheels from hitting the nose of the frog.
A vernier calliper is very useful for determining these dimensions.
I made feeler gauges out of suitable pieces of metal to insert between the crossing V and closure rails to set the gap. If you have an old set of feeler gauges lying in a tool box they might come in handy.
I made my check gauge from some thin steel sheet. I made it slightly under size and filed out the final size using my callipers to check progress.
I made my own track gauges out of scraps of wood to hold the rails to gauge while soldering . Just two saw cuts to the right width and deep enough to hold the rails. Saved a lot of burnt fingers. It is possible to make roller gauges for this purpose on a lathe out of some round metal or hardwood too.

To make the crossing v to a set angle I use a piece of wood with two cuts in it at the angle required e.g. 1:5.
I insert the rail upside down, having filed the ends close to the required shape and solder them together.

There are plenty of methods that are used but those are the basic ones I have used. Fasttracks have some very handy filing jigs. I had a loan of one once and they really make things easier.

regards
BobC

Bob D
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Thanks Bob!

I ordered a spike tool so while I'm waiting on it to arrive I cut a piece of rubber mat I'm using as the roadbed and glued a #6 template and ties to it. Also made a jig for soldering the frogs.

I would get those Fasttracks jigs but just don't feel like spending the $$$, well see how this "cheap man's turnouts" come out LOL!

BobD

Reg H
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Bob D wrote: Thanks Bob!

I ordered a spike tool so while I'm waiting on it to arrive I cut a piece of rubber mat I'm using as the roadbed and glued a #6 template and ties to it. Also made a jig for soldering the frogs.

I would get those Fasttracks jigs but just don't feel like spending the $$$, well see how this "cheap man's turnouts" come out LOL!

BobD

I've had quite a few spiking tools over the years.  The best?  A small pair of side cutters.  
Reg

Robert Comerford
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I should have mentioned I made my own spiking tool by cutting a groove in a pair of pliers with a cutting disc in my mini drill. Many times I have used an unmodified pair with as much success.
cheers
BobC

Bob D
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The spike pliers work fine, but I've found even with it I have to hold it steady so the direction of travel doesn't change, otherwise it's another bent spike.

So far I've made 1 right hand and 1 left hand turnout!!! On the RHT I used a commercial ($12) frog, on the LHT I "rolled" my own.

For now, I'm still using mainly hi-rail wheels on my engines, passenger, and freight cars. Some of the hi-rail wheels hit on the bottom of the commercial frog, making the frog eliminated the problem.

I may put all 2-rail wheels on my cars, but keep the engines hi-rail due to cost of replacing the wheels.

BobD

Reg H
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Try side cutters.  Just enough squeeze to hold the spike.  
Reg

Reg H
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Also:
Congratulations on getting two done.  
And we want photos!!!
Reg

Bob D
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Here ya go Reg.

So far I've built a #6 left hand and a #6 right hand turnout using parts from Right-O-Way and new owner Jay Criswell:

RIGHT-O-WAY

Jay's been very helpful in all this, he took the line over from Lou Cross.

Here's the turnouts:







On the RH I used a frog that Jay sent me.  It's very nice but since I'm still using hi-rail wheels (which hit the bottom of the frog) on my engines and rolling stock I thought I'd try making my own.

On the LH I made the frog from pieces of code 148 rail, I just had to watch where I put the spikes so the wheels wouldn't hit.

I'll probably replace the hi-rail wheels on my rolling stock with 2-rail wheels, but leave the engines alone.

So far both hi-rail and 2-rail wheels seem to be doing OK.

I mounted them on pieces of 3/8" thick rubber anti-fatigue matting, which I also use for main roadbed.  I glued a template on top of the mat then glue the ties to it, then spiked the rails.  Once I put them in place and throw some ballast/ground cover on it'll all be covered up.

I'm using the rubber mat on my present layout.  It did make it quieter, until I put down ballast which brought the sound up again.  It comes in a roll and cuts easily with a box cutter and can be beveled on the bandsaw.  When I did my present layout I figured it out to be cheaper than the cork a lot of folks use.

BobD

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Bob:
Those look REALLY good!!!  I like the look of your handmade frog better than the commercial product.  

You might want to flow a little ACC around the frog and the guard rails to make sure they stay in place, though you have things pretty well spiked down.
Did you say this was your first attempt at turnouts?  They sure look a lot better than my first attempts.

Reg

Robert Comerford
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Well done Bob. Goodonya mate!
You are probably now thinking why did I not try this before. :>)

I second the superglue around the frog area once all is working right and in place.

Before having a wholesale swap-out of your existing rolling stock wheels it might pay to get couple of axles and see how they go running through your points. The closer to scale wheels will have a much thinner tyre and might fall into the frog gap. Not an issue when being pulled at speed ,but being pushed slowly backwards is when that drop can become a cause for derailment. That said, the idea to just replace the rolling stock wheels gets you that step closer to scale with a lot less pain. Steamers can be a time and money exercise although diesels might be not too bad with replacements from NWSL.

I'm with Reg, they look better than my first attempts to.

regards
BobC

Bob D
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Thanks guys, I was giving super glue some thought.

BobC, I've been testing 2-rail trucks/wheels and even converted one of my gondolas to 2-rail, so far it works. The 2nd turnout actually works better than the first so I'm hoping as I continue each one will get better than the last.

I spiked the points starting 6" from the pointy end, I think I could go closer, but it's working for now and the rail is bending easy enough using the Caboose Industries ground throws.

BobD

Robert Comerford
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If your dimensions through the frog area work for both wheel profiles you are set Bob.
It is often a slippery slope...you improve one aspect and other aspects suddenly seem to need improving to match :>)
cheers
BobC

Bob D
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Robert Comerford wrote: If your dimensions through the frog area work for both wheel profiles you are set Bob.
It is often a slippery slope...you improve one aspect and other aspects suddenly seem to need improving to match :>;)
cheers
BobC

I hear ya!!!

I don't mind replacing the 3-rail wheels on my rolling stock with 2-rail, but replacing the drivers on my engines would be a lot-o-$$$.  Of course I might hit the lottery (if I played) so I'll never say never ;)

Robert Comerford
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So how is the point production going Bob?
regards
BobC

Reg H
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Bob D wrote: Robert Comerford wrote: If your dimensions through the frog area work for both wheel profiles you are set Bob.
It is often a slippery slope...you improve one aspect and other aspects suddenly seem to need improving to match :>;)
cheers
BobC

I hear ya!!!

I don't mind replacing the 3-rail wheels on my rolling stock with 2-rail, but replacing the drivers on my engines would be a lot-o-$$$.  Of course I might hit the lottery (if I played) so I'll never say never ;)

Bob:
I once took an AHM O-Scale kit locomotive (actually, two of them), flopped them on their backsides, applied power, and carved down the flanges with a file. I had to be a bit careful because those drivers had plastic centers and I had to take care not to get the tires too hot.
I think I may still have one of those locos in a box somewhere.  The other, an 0-8-0, got sold along with all my other standard gauge stuff.
It is not EXACTLY an approach I would recommend.  
However, it seems to me that the drivers could be chucked in a lathe, with a suitable fixture so they don't need to be dismounted from the axles, and turned down.  You just need to find a reliable machinest who would it for the love of the hobby.
Reg

Bob D
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BobC,

I'm on my 6th turnout. Had a bit of a slowdown due to passing a 10mmx6mm kidney stone while working at the golf course a few weeks back! No pain or blood, must have formed in my bladder, if it had formed in the kidney I would have been on the floor. The next weekend I passed 2 more but they were 1/3 the size of the big one. I took a photo of the big one and sent it to my urologist. His office called a couple of days later and wanted me to come in. When I showed him the stone he shook his head and said "You PASSED this?" It looked like grains of sand glued together.

I had a time with the 5th turnout, just didn't go right. When I finished it it appeared to be good but last night I picked it up and there's a 1/4" bend in the stock rails (maybe I should use it on a curve?!?!?!). So actually I'm on my 5th one as I need to redo the one with the bend.

The first 3 I did using some old pieces of rubber anti-fatigue matting, no problem. The next couple I used some new matting and it's much softer than the old stuff, when I put a spike in I have to put a piece of wood underneath to keep the other spikes from popping up. Maybe I need to let it sit outside and "cure" before I use anymore of it.

Reg, Joe Foehrkolb offers machining of the drivers, but for now I'm going to leave them alone. Not sure if I want to spend the $$$ on something that seems to be working, although they would look better than the pizza-cutters they are now.

BobD

Robert Comerford
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That sounds like a big ouch Bob! Unfortunately there are some nice things one needs to give up to reduce stone formation:>)

I did make use of a rubber type mat years ago for underlay. Sold for camping use.
I seem to remember it would sometimes deform and not return exactly to shape. I went back to using cork. As you say it might need to harden first to hold the spikes securely.

I've not had much experience with spiking track except as a detailing thing. My scratchbuilt track has been soldered or glued as the primary means of construction.

Expect the odd failure Bob, I know I do :>)

In an ideal world one would discard the 3-rail stuff and buy in 2-rail equipment. You have achieved a big improvement in the look of your railway by removing that ugly centre rail at minimal expense.
cheers
BobC

Bob D
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Bob,
Built #6 today, all was straight as an arrow.

I tried something different on #5, won't do that again!

One of the old hands told me he started by putting the frog points down 1st. I've been putting the long straight stock rail down 1st, so i thought I'd try his method...total failure.

#6 got the long stock rail 1st and built the rest measuring off that.

Now to redo #5.

The urologist had put me on 3 meds to keep from getting kidney stones almost 4 years ago. I've passed a few, but none of them have been big (my largest was the size of a marble, maybe 10 mm diameter and had to be lasered out). The ones (except for this last 10x6mm) lately have been small and passed easily.

They will make a grown man cry.

BobD

Reg H
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Bob:
Every now and then I turn out a stinker. Usually can't figure out why. 
It really stinks when I don't realize the turnout is a stinker until I have it spiked in place and try and run a piece of equipment through it.
I build mine up on the bench and start with the frog points. I would probably do it your way if I were laying them in place.  In fact, come to think of it, I have done it that way in the far and distant past.
Reg

Bob D
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Reg,

I took a look at turnout #5 and it looks like I need to relocate 2 pieces of rail to get the bend out, the rest seems to be good, go figure.

I'll check the others with my gauge just to make sure they're good.

I have a new layout plan in the works, I may build part of it to test the turnouts before I tear down the old layout in the other part of the room.

BobD

Bob D
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Finished #6 and fixed #5!!!

My plan needs 6 turnouts to complete the main loop, so that part is done. Next is to acquire some lumber and start building the new layout.

But I'm giving myself a break from that right now and working on an old Walthers passenger coach kit I got a few months back, shouldn't be long before I'm back on the layout!!!

BobD

Reg H
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As a side note, my sympathies on the kidney stones.  I have had two small ones.  It definitely expands one's pain scale.
I haven't had much time to work on my layout lately.  I am in On30 and lurk on this forum because Si assigned me as the moderator due to On30 at least being 1/4" scale.
But I spent a good deal of time years ago in standard gauge.
In fact, your mentioning a passenger car needing attention, I have a LaBelle wood combine that I barely got started decades ago.  It would be a nice display model if I got it completed.
I need to find trucks, though.
Reg

Bob D
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Reg,

I bought a pair of MTH trucks to go under this car, part number is:

MTH 20-89014 2-Rail Heavyweight Passenger Car 6-Wheel Truck Set (2)

Around $30 I believe.

BobD

Reg H
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I hadn't thought of checking out MTH.  I used to use Kemtron.  Long gone now.
I would need two axle trucks, early 20th century vintage.
I will check them out.
Reg

Bob D
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Good luck Reg!

You may want to visit the Train Model Journal forum, there's a bunch of old hands there that may have what you're looking for.

BobD

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Bob D wrote: Good luck Reg!

You may want to visit the Train Model Journal forum, there's a bunch of old hands there that may have what you're looking for.

BobD

Thanks, Bob.  Conversely, I may have to visit a psychiatrist to try and figure out why on earth I launched on a kitchen remodel.
Which is why I haven't commented much lately.  Just no modeling activity going on a-tall.
Reg

Bob D
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Reg H wrote: Bob D wrote: Good luck Reg!

You may want to visit the Train Model Journal forum, there's a bunch of old hands there that may have what you're looking for.

BobD

Thanks, Bob.  Conversely, I may have to visit a psychiatrist to try and figure out why on earth I launched on a kitchen remodel.
Which is why I haven't commented much lately.  Just no modeling activity going on a-tall.
Reg

I was going to do the same thing, but my daughter and family are coming home from Sicily in a couple of weeks and will be staying with me until they find a house.  Felt like it wouldn't be a good time to have the place torn up with 3 extra people in the house!

I'm giving the turnouts a rest and started on an old Walthers coach kit, one of several projects I have had for the past few months.

Here's a photo of the real car:



BobD

Last edited on Tue Mar 28th, 2017 10:23 am by Bob D

Reg H
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Bob:
Yes, you need projects to age just a bit.  Time to give the turnouts a rest. :)

Believe me, you don't want to tear up your kitchen at any time, but with house guests...I can't even imagine.

My advice on a kitchen remodel is to add a couple of months rent on an apartment to the cost of the project.  There is only so much one can do with the grill, microwave and crockpot. We have spent a lot of money eating out. And washing dishes in the bath tub gets old very rapidly, like after just once.

I am inspired to restart work on my label combine. But only after my shop is re-habilitated. Which won't happen until after the kitchen is finished.

Reg

Bob D
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Reg,

1st good thing is I paid my house off in January!!!

2nd good thing is I have an old house (1943) with a small kitchen, maybe 8x12. Heck, my O-scale layout's bigger than that!

It'll still cost, but not as much, unless I decide to knock out a wall and make it bigger.

Also plan on tearing out an old chimney and putting down new carpet.

If my daughter gets a big house maybe I can live with her while they gut my kitchen. I could also get some old cloth wiring pulled out but that would mean redoing the drywall.

BobD

Robert Comerford
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Houses still with cloth covered wire?? That's a project needs doing!
However good to hear you have got rid of your mortgage Bob.
I had old wiring in my house when I bought it but had it all replaced as soon as I could. They just pulled the new wiring through with the old wiring on most cases.
Look forward to seeing more when you can get to it. I'm busy doing repairs to the platforms at the moment as well as getting the electrics done on the HO indoors. The sooner I can ignore the underside of the layout the better. :>)

cheers
BobC

Bob D
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BobC,

I think the only cloth covered stuff is between the ceiling and the 2nd floor. I need to rip out the old drywall in the kitchen anyway, including ceiling, and I hope I can remedy the issue then.

As far as the Walthers coach goes, I plan on doing the one in the photo above or one in the same series that's Pullman Green. The grey (or is that gray?) cars were painted that way so they could run in the streamlined trains (camouflage I guess), the regular trains got the Pullman Green treatment. I plan on running in with one of my passenger steamers, so right now I feel the green is the way to go.

Good luck on your electric project. If I ever run my HO again I'll have to do the same, or make a bunch of conversions to BPRC!

BobD

Robert Comerford
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We had some 50's era plywood railmotors painted in grey towards the end of their lives to supposedly match the mainly stainless steel outer peri-urban fleets. I doubt whether anyone was fooled by the colour change. :>)

Green sounds good to me!

Been told to expect 8-10" rain dumps today right down to my area so not much planned for outside today.

The good thing inside is once the wiring is done there is little required in the line of maintenance. Even if I ran BPRC, there is still the wiring for accessories to be considered so another pair of wires for track power isn't a big deal.
I use a little powdered graphite on the track and running reliability is almost perfect. Experience tells me I would have little if anything to gain with BPRC in that situation. My use of it years ago was to provide for two or three operators on my shelf layouts without resorting to throwing section switches. This was when command control systems weren't what they are now. If I was running HO outdoors that would be a different matter however, diesel lashups with BPRC would be how it would be done.
regards
BobC

Bob D
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That's a lot of rain, stay dry my friend!

BobD

Tony M
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Hi Bob D, WOW nice build indeed, you are saying the points are fog , could you build them as a insulfrog  what all my points  and cross overs are, looking into bulding my own as well save money some where, getting too dear to buy now.
The other big questionis did you make up a jig, some brands you buy their jigs wil lhave to make quite a few to get your moneys worth, my layout has quite a points on it and cross overs still planned.
Peco large radius points aren't all that crash hot the second radous is 30inches needs to be 3feet large radius of the point isn't fully curved 5feet, I want to have a go at building a better curved point, you can buy them but quite dear to buy.
Be great to get some advice there, looks so easy when watching a video.
Tony from SE/QLD down under 

Bob D
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Tony, just saw this.
It has been 4 months since building a turnout, my daughter/family had been staying with me since their return from Sicily (they're moving into their new house next week!)
I built the turnouts without insulated parts because I'm only running PBRC.  I built the frogs in place using pieces of rail cut and trimmed to fit, then soldered.  The commercial frogs were too shallow (because I'm still using hi-Rail wheels).
With me using hi-rail wheels I don't know how useful anything I've done will be of help to anyone else.
So far I've built 3 LH and 3 RH turnouts with about a dozen or so yet to do.  They all worked well on the short test track I used, but the big test will be when they go on the permanent layout I plan on building.

Tony M
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Morning Bob D, be looking forwad to see your progress pics on your layout build and progress on the point building, I bought my last two points today the rest I will build, thinking of if it is worth it buy a jig to make the points . Points even over here are getting dear in HO scale one costing $32 Peco, have  to save money some where and have heaps of track off cuts, will build a small one first, from what I have seen in videos you cut the track before and after the frog.

I have an old Hornby 0 scale clock work tank loco 0-4-0, plan to leave the clock working in and add a coach to it, battery powering the bogie stil  have the old track but plan to buy new brass track, loco is 57 years old and still run ok for an old loco.

Tony from cool down under

Bob D
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Tony,57 years old, I think my oldest engines (Williams) were built in the mid 1990s!
I looked at commercial jigs but for the price I didn't pull the trigger.
As far as how to build a turnout, I lay the long piece of straight rail first (once I cut metal away for clearance for the points), then go from there.
I'm sure there is a preferred way or sequence in laying each piece of rail, but I don't know what it is.
With 4 months since my last build I may have to relearn how to do it again.

W C Greene
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Tony,Bob, all I can advise is a Moto-Tool with cutoff wheel, a good soldering iron & solder/flux, some needle files, pair of pliers, and determination. The "first cut" is the hardest, maybe use some of that old brass rail until you get the hang of it. If there are 40 guys out there making their own switches, there will be 46 ways to do the job!

Woodie

Tony M
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Hi Bob D and Woodie, yeah I wan to give that loc a new lease of life and get involled in the garden railway guys of my train club something different.

Yes the first piece to the point be the hardest having to work out where the file away for the rail the one  joins up with  the straight or curved piece, I am thinking of lashin gout and buying a jig that gives the right angle for each piece to be filled hope I can get the jig over here.

Woodie a question I just had a big update to win10 and it knocked out spell check my wife went through all the setting in win 10 and they are on for spell check is it in the setting of the forum to turn spell check back on, I miss it L: . as you will see I left a few errors.

Agree with you Bob those commerical jigs are too dear you need to be buiklding a lot of points to get your money back, not just one jig you need others for curved track, I will copy from a Peck point and make my own jig same with curved points Peco bring out a large radius point but the inner radius needs to be larger and outer radius isn't a true radius very hard to to line up on curves.

So many different ideas how othr modellers buid their own points, it is getting started.

Tony from cold down under we we drpeed down to minus get this 24 degrees today and saturday 29 degrees.



W C Greene
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Howdy Tony, as for spell check, I don't use that. I use too many ain't, gonna, whatzit, etc. and would have to be "reminded" of my transgressions. Besides, I look at spell check as a sort of censorship, but then that's just me.

Woodie

PS-just keep grinding and filing rail. I used one of those expensive "jigs" and after an hour of trying to get things made to suit it, I gave up and went back to using no jigs and building a switch in less than an hour.


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