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Experiments in Point Rodding (1)

Posted by Ian Smith , in Signalling 05 March 2015 · 807 views

2FS Point Rodding
Although I haven't as yet finished all of the track work on Modbury, the parts that are laid will need ballasting before too long. This in itself poses a few slight problems, like what to use for ballast? But one of the things that I want to install before I tackle the actual ballasting is the Point Rodding - Yes, I will be putting point rodding on my 2FS layout!!

A re-read of the appropriate section of the 2mm Association's publication "Track - How it works and how to model it" gave a potential solution, using various sections of metal strip with notches cut in the end and mounted upright in holes in the baseboard to represent the rodding stools. I also looked at Pete Wright's solution that he documented in the 2mm Magazine (Aug & Dec 1989 and Feb & Apr 1990) where he used N gauge rail with slots cut in the head for the stools. Neither of these solutions really appealed to me so I decided to devise my own method. I even drew up some stools in Sketchup with a view to getting them 3D printed, but ultimately decided that they would be far to fragile and could very likely be completely destroyed by over zealous track cleaning. Something soldered up is for me definitely the way forward.

A look at some drawings of GWR rodding stools (http://www.rmweb.co....g-stools/page-2 : Entry no 43) showed them to be around 7 1/2 inches high (including the top rollers), I decided that if I used 1mm square brass rod with a bit of wire on top for the roller that it would probably pass muster as a rodding stool.

First I needed a jig so that I could consistently cut slots in the square brass bar, so I used Geoff Jones' idea of a butt hinge :
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Loading this jig with a length of 1mm square bar, and a few minutes work with a razor saw gave me a few slots at one end of the bar :
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This end had a upturned V shape filed along it with a few wipes of a file, giving me the embryonic rodding stools :
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Some of the slots were continued through to part off the individual stools, these were then soldered to a length of point timbering PCB (held down with a cocktail stick while applying the iron) :
Attached Image

Once I have made hundreds of these little devils in various denominations of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bays I will begin the task of positioning them at scale 6' intervals in runs from the (as yet unmade) signal box to the various points and FPL's. The rodding itself will be phosphor bronze wire, and hopefully it will all look reasonably realistic when painted red :-)

Thanks for looking,
Ian
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Very interesting, Ian. I'm going to need some of these myself. Does the jig have some method of keeping the brass bar at the correct level and, indeed, level?

 

David

Very interesting, Ian. I'm going to need some of these myself. Does the jig have some method of keeping the brass bar at the correct level and, indeed, level?

 

David

David,

Yes, I have a piece of 0.020" nickel sheet sandwiched within the hinge (it can be seen in the screw holes of the hinge) that is in the form of a longitudinal support complete with an end-stop just past the right-most slot in the hinge (this end-stop is marginally to far away meaning that the end of the bar needs a few wipes of a file on removal).

Ian

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nick_bastable
Mar 05 2015 22:03

the thought of doing this would consign me to Bedlam I admire your efforts and will watch with interest and awe

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MinerChris
Mar 06 2015 02:47

Once I have made hundreds of these little devils in various denominations of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bays

... And then onto the point rodding for St Ruth? :scratchhead:

 

Chris.

... And then onto the point rodding for St Ruth? :scratchhead:

 

Chris.

Chris,

I don't know how we intend to add point rodding to St Ruth, my method will require ballasting to be added after all of the stools are in place.  Each stool will be on a little piece of crossing timber and the thought of excavating little patches of existing ballast to add them after the event is not one that I would want to do - the stools for square rodding (which would be more suitable for St. Ruth's time frame) need to be at 9' (18mm) centres, my own will be round rodding with a stool every 6' (12mm), so that's a lot of stools on even the smallest of layouts!!

 

When I've finished, I'll send you my jig :-)

 

Ian

What an ingenious solution to making the stools.  Those single bay ones must be really tiny!  

 

Dave

Ian,

Am I being a little thick here? Your jig has a piece of 0.5mm nickel in it so how does it hold a piece of 1mm square brass bar in the gap between the hinge plates?

David

Ian,

Am I being a little thick here? Your jig has a piece of 0.5mm nickel in it so how does it hold a piece of 1mm square brass bar in the gap between the hinge plates?

David

David,

Sorry, I probably didn't explain myself very well.  The 0.5mm spacer is really only there to support the 1mm brass while I tighten up the round headed bolts (with a hex driver), those bolts go through each side of the hinge and through the spacer too (I only open up the hinge just enough to allow the 1mm brass to slip between the hinge "cheeks", I seat it against the spacer with the end of a steel ruler before tightening up the bolts to hold it solid while I cut the slots).  I hope that explains it a bit better.

 

In reality I could have used something thicker to give a spacer closer to 1mm (but still slightly smaller than 1mm to ensure that when the bolts are tightened the brass bar is secure for slotting).  I also suspect that I could have seated the brass bar level with the top of the hinge and just started the sawing action at 45 degrees before levelling off.  The important thing really is the distance between the saw cuts (about 0.5mm centres).

 

 

What an ingenious solution to making the stools.  Those single bay ones must be really tiny!  

 

Dave

 

Dave,

Thankyou.  Yes the single bay ones are pretty small, as you can see from the ruler they are sitting on they are just a smidgen over 1mm wide.  As soon as I'd parted them off I set them in a puddle of solder paste and got them soldered up before I sneezed or something and lost them forever to the carpet monster.  I will also keep them all on the PCB timbering strip until I need them so that I minimise the chances of losing them :-)

 

Ian

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