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Daniel Asselin
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 My first post. I'm going out of my mind actually.  I was very much into hand laid tracks and turnouts. That was in my HO time 35 years ago.  Sooooo.... I bought all the needed equipment to begin again. My problem is I think I went overboard I'm trying to build a number 6 turnout in HOn3 using code 55 tracks.  Man those are small.  I'm having a hell of a time putting a fairly simple turnout together. I'm starting to wonder if I should have gone with code 70 rails.
I'm using an old method, a template, pc board, HOn3 gauge for proper spacing, spiking tools and soldering iron. I don't want to use the fast track templates. So any ideas. My main problem is holding the tracks firmly in place while soldering them. I'm open to any and all suggestions.
Dan

Chriss H
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I am doing the exact same thing, HOn3 with 55 code track, though I do have the Fast Tracks jig, so far I've been enjoying it, I am finding the stock rails are the toughest part, I've had every one so far just pop off after I think I'm done, the other solder joints hold great, something I"m doing obviously, and I'll keep at it until I figure it out, but the code 55 is pretty darn small.

I haven't tried without the Fast Tracks jigs yet, built plan on doing some other size turnouts down the road. I got some Railway Engineering Rollee gauges and gotta say they seem to really help.

Daniel Asselin
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 I have no issues with the soldering.  To make sure I have a solid weld I mark the rails with a felt marker where rail will be positioned on each PC tie, then I preheat the rail and PC ties and apply just a tiny dab of lead to rail and PC ties. But first I should say that I clean the ties and rails using a fine grain sand paper.  This part works fine. I will order some Railway Engineering Rollee gauges.

Thank You for the Advice

Dan

Si.
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H Dan :wave:



I handlaid some 9mm gauge back in the day.


I had 'Brit.' type code-70 'bullhead', still pretty small.


With the added disadvantage of no flat-bottom either. :f:



I used DIY made, turned-brass roller-gauges.


They had a fine-hole drilled through as well.


This enabled a pin to be pushed through into the soft-board benchwork.


They did help things a lot.



Keep up the good work Dan.


I think we always get better, and it gets easier on these kinda things.


Just finding 'the knack' I guess. ;)



:moose:



Si.



Got any pix. guys ?

W C Greene
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Code 55 is pretty miserable to work with but I have had success with using an old piece of asbestos about 6" square (don't know where to find it now...maybe Micro Mark) and build the frog, etc. on the board being held down with straight pins. I use a little Bernz-O-Matic butane torch, good flux, and solder and gently pass it over the parts which have a little flux and tiny piece of solder next to the area to be joined and it works without any hassle.
I showed this method in my Gila Tram mini layout thread but UNFORTUNATELY damned old Photobuck-it deleted all the pix and the thread is now useless. However, there is an article about this layout in NARROW GAUGE DOWN UNDER several years back (sorry also that I don't have the date) which shows some track laying.
Just have a steady hand and good tools and you will succeed.

Woodie

Herb Kephart
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And each one that you build will be better than the last.



Herb

Herb Kephart
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I would advise against the use of templates, or jigs, as they limit you to what ever angle (4,6, etc.) the template is. Tends to make a track plan look like it was done in snap-track, or the like. Learn to make switches fit the situation, just like the real guys do.



Herb

W C Greene
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Or...just build one of these! Custom made by Mr. Kephart hisself back in the ancient times and I still need to find a place for it!

As can be seen, this is set up for stub operation...goodness knows how much BS it would take to make it into a point type switch!

Woodie

Lee B
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Herb Kephart wrote: Learn to make switches fit the situation, just like the real guys do.










I always laugh when someone thinks something is easy for them, they think it must be equally simple for anyone else.
I wouldn't dream of attempting trackwork like this with hand-laid track. I use flex track and commercial turnouts. I know several people who hand-laid their own track (including one MMR who thinks he knows everything) and their track is, well, horrible. From seeing that, I would never even consider something like the track in this shot!

Si.
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Herbies rusty ol' iron ...

... is the Rolls Royce of rail laying.


I may not succeed myself ...

... but I damn sure should have a try !



:moose:



Si.

W C Greene
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Pardon me, but I hand lay my track and it not only works right but it looks fine also. No, it isn't easy for me but then it is the only way I know. I became interested in HOn3 before there was flex track & switches so you either built the track or did something else. All it takes is patience and a willingness to do the job.
A little story...many moons ago, I was at an NMRA convention and a gent was entering his N SCALE structures in the contest. He had very shaky hands and his wife had to fill out the forms. The fellow reached down into a box and brought out the most incredible scratch built N scale barn and windmill...and his hands were as steady as stone! He set the models down on the table and when he lifted his hands off, they began to shake again. This guy went on to win first in structures and a gold award...not because the judges were wanting to smooze him but because his models were BETTER than anyone elses' stuff! It was hard to believe. This man has gone on to win again and again, I won't reveal his name, but I am sure many here in Texas know who he is! So, what is "easy" for some may be nearly impossible for others...or so it is thought.
And yes, if I was into traction, I would consider such trackwork and I would be proud that I built such stuff and I would encourage others to try it also. All it really takes is a willingness to try, even if you fail the first time, try again...and again.

If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing anyway!
Woodie

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I knew a guy with shaky hands. He learned to time the brush strokes with the shakes and made the greatest historical figures I ever saw.
On the other hand, if you don't succeed at the first try, then parachuting is not for you.
Jose.

pipopak
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(including one MMR who thinks he knows everything) and their track is, well, horrible.
... unless he is modeling the Maumee RR. youtube it for fun...
Jose.

Daniel Asselin
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Hi guys, sorry to take so long in keeping up with the tread. Here is a small status of what I'm currently up to. I will post pictures when I have something not too shabby. I built my first turnout using a paper template, and code 55 rails. Also laid a few feet of track. I made all of the proper and expected mistakes, used a great deal of colorful swear words and being French Canadian I possess a great selection of those. In the end I succeeded. Not the best, but I will get better at it.

I made some important discoveries along the way, like at 66 I need a better dell magnifying glass, damn those spikes are tiny. Also I have to refine my soldering skills and equipment. I have no real issues with soldering I just need to refine my skill set, maybe I'm too finicky. I also ordered a few additional tools like Railway Engineering Rollee as suggested by Chris H.

So thank you for all the advice I needed it and will keep needing it.

Amicalement

Dan

pipopak
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used a great deal of colorful swear words and being French Canadian I possess a great selection of those

I can curse in 3 different regional Spanish dialects, English and some French. Can get really creative when I spill blood.
Jose.

Herb Kephart
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Hey--I didn't say it was easy, just wanted to show that if you keep practicing something, and put your heart into it, it will become easier after a long while. Built my first (VERY crude) HO switch in '48, because my allowance wasn't enough to buy an Atlas switch kit. Probably wouldn't take others anywhere that long.

Herb

Chriss H
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I think part of my issues so far have been the fact I'm using pre weathered rail, I just bought out the entire stock of code 55 from our local model shop (Discount Model Trains) in Addison, Texas. Plan on doing a bunch during my vacation trip right after the Narrow Gauge Convention in Denver, when I travel South to the border (almost) to spend some time with my Mom. Where she lives there is about nothing in the middle of nowhere, no internet either so I'm packing up a modeling box of supplies, tools and a few models to keep my self entertained.

W C Greene
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Howdy Chriss, did you have any luck with the turnouts? I have used that pre-weathered rail before and unless you really clean it before soldering, it resists the flux. Since I don't use track power, I don't have a problem with that however.
How are you doing down there? I have since moved east to Royse City, a nice laid-back place where nobody gets in a snit and folks always smile & wave!

Woodie

Daniel Asselin
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OK.. I just hit my first major let down. I purchased a 040 saddleback engine, beautiful little thing. Problem is the flanges on the drivers are too deep for my code 55 rails. I figure I have two options available, options one try and find drivers that have a shallow flange. Option tow move from code 55 to code 70. If someone has a better option, I'm open to look at it.

Does anyone know where to get such drivers?

Dan

Last edited on Sun Oct 8th, 2017 10:09 pm by Daniel Asselin

W C Greene
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Daniel, what scale is this locomotive and who manufactured it? I have 2 Bachmann On30 Porters-0-4-0 and 0-4-2 and they run fine on my code 55 rail. As for aftermarket drivers, I would need to know the above info. If this is an older HO AHM/Rivarossi 0-4-0, the driver flanges might give problems even on code 70 rail. Give me a bit more info and maybe I can help you.

Woodie

Daniel Asselin
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It is a Brass 040 Sadel Thank engine the maker is UNK. The scale is HOn3

W C Greene
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Daniel, it would be very hard for me to give you an answer on this. Can you supply a photo? The only saddle tank HOn3 loco that I am familiar with is the old Kemtron "Teakettle" and it was a kit. However, are you quite sure that it will not operate on code 55 rail? Even the old Kemtron loco could operate on the track. If all else fails, how about soldering the rail to printed circuit board ties (explained elsewhere in Freerails) or perhaps gluing the rail to wood ties with contact cement, epoxy, or maybe some ACC (super glue). If you will be hand laying this rail, Micro Engineering makes some super small spikes-"Micro spikes" which are very tiny indeed. I believe that Micro Engineering still makes HOn3 flex track in code 55, turnouts...I just don't know. Good luck, a photo would really be helpful.

Woodie

Daniel Asselin
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I'm having some issues loading pictures from photobucket.

Si.
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Hi Daniel :wave:



Yeah ... You and another few million of their customers !



Check it out here :-

PHOTOBUCKET.COM HOLD MILLIONS OF USERS & BILLIONS OF PHOTOS TO RANSOM !



L:



Si.

W C Greene
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Daniel, just send your photos here to the Freerails gallery. It is far better than any "photo host" BS and easier to post in a thread. Or just send the photos to the gallery and we can see them there.

Woodie

Si.
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Hi Daniel :wave:



As Woodie :cb: said, the Freerails 'Members Gallery' is the way to go with Posting pix. :thumb:

There's lots of info on how to use it, in the 'Photo Posting' Forum.

Very easy, once you've checked out the instructions.



The other method is to use the 'Attachment' Button, at the bottom of the Main Reply Window.



In both cases photos should be under 0.5 Megabytes in file size.

Most 'web-sized' 800x--- or 1024x--- pixel photos are less than this.



All the best.



:)



Si.

Daniel Asselin
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I followed your advice and tried glueing the rails in place.... This turned out better than expected, it turned out grate has a matter of fact. I also ordered some micro spikes.

On another subject I will be away for a few weeks. My wife and I are going to Cuba for a month. I will be leaving tomorrow morning on the 7AM flight. So, if you get no response from me you know why.

I would also like to mention what a very nice bunch of people you are.

Dan

Last edited on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 10:58 pm by Daniel Asselin


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