Freerails Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Technical > What Track To Use ... Cheap HO Or Hand Laying ?

Freerails IS ACCEPTING new Members ... To join Freerails ... See how to Register as a Member in the 'Joining Freerails' Forum

What Track To Use ... Cheap HO Or Hand Laying ?
 Moderated by: . Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4   
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Wed Jul 17th, 2019 03:45 am
  PMQuoteReply
31st Post
Michael M
Registered


Joined: Thu Jan 26th, 2017
Location: San Bernardino, California USA
Posts: 1234
Status: 
Offline
Nothing wrong with the video. 

Pretty basic.


I looked at a number of videos and finally just dived in and started laying track. 

Along the way you'll find what works best for you.





____________________
Michael
-------
Nye, Inyo & Esmeralda Railroad
Back To Top

 Posted: Wed Jul 17th, 2019 03:46 pm
  PMQuoteReply
32nd Post
W C Greene
Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8145
Status: 
Online
Yep, the video is fine but you will find your own way.
Most of the stuff I see on "de net" or in mags
is about hand laying track on dioramas or little sections of track...not entire layouts.
Of course it takes time,
and by the time you are through with maybe 30 or 40 linear feet and a few switches,
you may develop other ways that suit your ways.
Just remember that if you learn from 20 hand-layers,
you will have heard maybe 35 different ways to do the same things.
You got it right, just jump in and "go for it"...
I would only advise having as many track gauges as you can buy,
in my case, I have about 15 of em and can find maybe 3 at any one time.
And of course an NMRA gauge, two is better.
WCG




____________________
It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Jul 18th, 2019 07:13 am
  PMQuoteReply
33rd Post
Traingeekboy
Registered


Joined: Sun Aug 28th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 462
Status: 
Offline
I finally found a decent web site on hand laying narrow gauge track.

https://www.dochemp.com/switch.html





____________________
Did I ever mention that I like trains?
Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 06:44 pm
  PMQuoteReply
34th Post
ebtnut
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jan 25th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 102
Status: 
Offline
It's partly about time, partly about patience, partly about priorities.

Back in the early days ('60's/early '70's) in HO you pretty much had a choice -
heavy, gross-looking sectional or flex Code 100 track and turnouts; or hand-laid.

Things got better as time rolled along -
Code 70 became available, in both standard and HOn3;
Right-O-Way started making scale rail in decent sizes for O and S,
and Atlas started making O flex.
Kemtron also snuck in some On3 flex (no turnouts, though).

For some, it's a matter of pride of craftsmanship in hand-laying,
for others it comes down to $$$ saved.

On my model O/On3 layout I hand-laid all of the exposed narrow gauge track,
but used Kemtron flex in the hidden areas to speed things along.
At the time, BK was still in business and I bought their No.6 point-frog units,
and extended the closure rails to adapt them to On3.
Stock rails are easy.
Frogs and points can be a pain.

The O scale is all Atlas flex with RoCo turnouts,
since the standard gauge is principally visible only at the interchange yard.

Were I to start all over again with a similar theme,
I would have to hand-lay the standard gauge.
Since I would move to P48,
for better compatibility between Standard and narrow.


Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Jul 23rd, 2019 01:33 am
  PMQuoteReply
35th Post
Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5237
Status: 
Offline
" I finally found a decent web site on hand laying narrow gauge track "


What ?  ???
That link ^^ goes to a backyard railroad, with huge 1:1 type WELDED STEEL track !  :doh:






- - - - - - -


There is plenty of GREAT handlaying track advice & methods described here on Freerails.  :)

Much of it has now been moved to here in the 'Technical' Forum, from various scattered places.  :shocked:

There is obviously much other GREAT handlaying track stuff, here in the individual scale Forums as well.  :2t:


- - - - - - -

What is hard to do, with ANY scratchbuilding project ...  :old dude:

... is to attempt it, without spending at least a couple of Cents on materials !!  :Crazy:



Rail, rail-joiners, insulated rail-joiners, spikes, PCB ties, wooden ties, tie-stain, HO ground-throws ...

... track gauges, NMRA gauge, soldering iron, solder & flux, Dremel & cutoff-wheels/brass-brushes ...
... ALL seem fairly ESSENTIAL to me.  :brill:


You might be able to do without the Dremel (just), but QUALITY files & saw are a MUST ...  :old dude:

... as for the general materials, there's no track without them & they aint a few Cents or free.  :f:



Without SOME investment in the VERY BASIC materials, you can't even try ANY methods. :us:



It's all very well watching videos ...  L:

... but why not just switch the soldering-iron ON ...  :thumb:

... & start HACKSAWING that (cheap) rail !  :P

(lots of components to acquire before then though)  :dt:



:mex:



Si.




____________________

' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Jul 23rd, 2019 03:07 am
  PMQuoteReply
36th Post
Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5237
Status: 
Offline
Just another few Cents worth from ol' shakey beard ...  :old dude:

(I'm saving the rest for buying materials)  ;)



One thing that has not been mentioned here at all, in relation to hand laid track ...

... is wiring it up & how to achieve consistent decent electrical performance.  L:



The reason being, that virtually everyone who Posts anything about hand laid track here at Freerails ...

:shocked:  :!:  ... DON'T WIRE UP ANY VOLTAGE TO THEIR LAYOUTS !  :!:  :shocked:



Unless you are just making an oval or pizza etc. ...  :P

... you will need to incorporate some kind of sensible electrical strategy into your tracks switches.

Without using at least a few suitably sized PCB ties, that is going to prove VERY tricky indeed.  :f:



Also on the subject of PCB ties ...  L:

... without them it's virtually impossible (?) to make the switches INSULATED throw-bar.

Again, most R.C. folk here, just use a bit of brass or rail & don't have to consider 'electricity' !  :!:

Of course the throw distance needs working out correctly for your 'HO ground-throw' ?

Bad news on those, they cost over a Buck $ a piece.  :P


The other essential thing, if you want your electrical pickup to work, is FLATNESS.  :old dude:

Rollercoaster track, with every tie different, can look amazingly like 1:1 industrial etc.

But doesn't keep most NMRA type HO wheelsets in contact with & on the track, without derailing.  :f:



Neither is it at all good for reliable electrical performance with ANY loco, especially 0-4-0s etc.  :shocked:

It is possibly surprising how very little you can deviate from FLAT, without causing MAJOR problems.

Both good quality materials ... & good quality tools ... Help to achieve this, without frustration.  :f:



:!:



Si.




____________________

' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
Back To Top

 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2019 04:48 am
  PMQuoteReply
37th Post
Michael M
Registered


Joined: Thu Jan 26th, 2017
Location: San Bernardino, California USA
Posts: 1234
Status: 
Offline
If you watch the movie Union Pacific (1939) there are some interesting track scenes in there.



____________________
Michael
-------
Nye, Inyo & Esmeralda Railroad
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Sep 8th, 2019 09:50 pm
  PMQuoteReply
38th Post
Rob V
Registered


Joined: Thu Nov 30th, 2017
Location: On My Computer
Posts: 48
Status: 
Offline
I didn't see a single soldering iron in the entire movie

Rob



Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Sep 9th, 2019 01:32 pm
  PMQuoteReply
39th Post
Tom Ward
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Nov 14th, 2017
Location: St Augustine, Florida USA
Posts: 464
Status: 
Offline
W C Greene wrote
Yep, maybe the flex vs hand for just track is about the same cost...
unless you cut your own ties from sheet stock and buy stock rail instead of scrounging it from flex track,
but it's them damn switches that will eat your lunch...literally!


Woodie posted that a year ago, so this is kind of late in the game.
 
But my experience with the cost of hand laid versus flex,
was that it's cheaper to do hand laid,
even adding in the cost of tools and fixtures.

I calculated my costs for track on the layout. 
With 227' of track and 44 turnouts, my cost for hand laid track is $980,
including tools, fixtures, materials, taxes and shipping. 

If I had used Micro Engineering flex track and turnouts,
it would have cost $1,680, not including tax and shipping.

Going into this, I chose to use hand-laid track,
because my theme for the layout is "scratch-built". 

Initially I didn't realize how expensive the track was,
much less how much dough I would save,
over using flex track and ready-made turnouts.
Yikes and yikes! 

Do-it-yourself and building from scratch may be more time consuming,
but it is way cheaper and way more rewarding.

I buy all my ties pre-cut from Fast Tracks which uses Mt Albert ties.

https://www.handlaidtrack.com/railroad-ties 

I sand all my ties to knock off the square edges and stain them in 500 piece batches. 
I think when they get buried only the top surface will show, more on the ends. 

I originally tried adding weathering to them,
but decided the effort wasn't worth the trouble.
 
This is in On30.

- Tom


Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Sep 9th, 2019 08:07 pm
  PMQuoteReply
40th Post
Tom Harbin
Registered
 

Joined: Sat Sep 1st, 2018
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 199
Status: 
Offline
Tom,

This is very useful information!
Thank you.

I still haven't hand-laid anything more than one #4 switch,
but it was enough to convince me.

I like the looks better, but that wasn't my deciding factor,
it was the ability to have any kind of track-work I could envision.

I also just enjoy the slow pace that laying track requires.

I'm not really big on build versus buy,
although doing it yourself is almost always less expensive than hiring it done.

I also find it satisfying, not for "bragging rights" since anybody can do it if they try,
but because it will look the way I want it to look,
versus someone else's idea of how it should look.

ME is good flex track and their switches, while fussy, are quite good also
(as long as you don't clean them from the trailing end)
but one switch geometry is pretty limiting and not very realistic.

Also as nice as their switches are they are clunky,
compared to a half way decent hand-laid switch.

My one #4 is butter compared to the MEs.

Tom


Back To Top


 Current time is 02:35 am
Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4   

Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Technical > What Track To Use ... Cheap HO Or Hand Laying ?
Top



UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems