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Simple P4 turnout construction (works for EM and 00 gauges as well)





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#1 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 15:14

A lot has been written and said about building turnouts and crossings and despite many saying to the contrary, the myth that building turnouts is both difficult and expensive still exists. Whilst I will be building a P4 turnout most of the methods used can be applied to either EM or 00 gauges

 

Buying kits can be expensive, however by buying the components separately reduces the cost dramatically. Other than a few gauges ( these need not be expensive) most will have the basic tools required

 

1.JPG

 

Yon can just start off with a simple plan, some timbers and 2 basic chair types, I will also be using a few additional chair types just to add extra detail

 

2.JPG

 

In addition to a soldering iron, these are the basic tools surrounding various gauges

 

3.jpg

 

The gauges from left to right

1) a set of inexpensive Exactoscale standard gauges, they also do a set for gauge widening

2) two standard roller gauges

3) two check rail gauges

4) 3 point gauge

 

Not in the photo should be a wing rail gauge which is a simple flat bar. Most of these are reasonable in price, but with a digital calliper and a piece of scrap metal you could make your own

 

  


Edited by hayfield, 18 July 2016 - 07:46 .

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#2 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 16:00

The first thing to do is make the Vee, those with deep pockets and buy them skip this part, though they are very simple to file up and cost pence in materials

 

4.JPG

 

I make a simple jig with 2 pieces of ali on a board at the correct angle(see at the bottom) and file both pieces of rail to the correct angle, then using the jig solder together

 

Those with even deeper pockets and buy the common crossings skip this page altogether

 

5.JPG

 

I have soldered 2 pieces of 0.5 mm copperclad (shim will do) to the Vee and made up roughs of the wing/closer rail

 

6.JPG

 

Using a wing rail jig (a flat bar) solder the first wing/closer rail to the vee and add another piece of copperclad/shim where the knuckle sleeper is

 

7.JPG

 

Solder the second wing/closer rail in place

 

8.jpg

 

Cut off the surplus copperclad/shim flush to the rail sides

 

9.jpg

 

Reverse of the common crossing showing the finished unit

 

337.JPG

 

This is my simple jig, ali strip from B&Q, one piece screwed at both ends, the other at the fulcrum. Just cut a wedge of card to the correct angle, slide in place and tighten the screw. Acts as both a filing and soldering jig, simple to make and costs pennies


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#3 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 16:10

A slight digression from the build, but this may be a simpler way to build a common crossing for the inexperienced builder.

 

I soldered the Vee in place, then each stock rail before fitting the wing/closer rails

 

points225.jpeg

 

Simply replace 3 plastic sleepers with copperclad ones

 

points226.jpeg

 

Solder the Vee then each wing/closer rail to the sleepers using either thin copperclad strip or shim to lift the rail off the sleeper (so chairs can be fitted and the timbers stay level with the plastic ones

 

points227.jpeg

 

Then grind the surplus copperclad strip/shim level with the rail sides so chairs can be stuck to the sides


Edited by hayfield, 11 July 2016 - 16:12 .

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#4 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 17:03

Part 4  Timbers (sleepers)

 

To my mind ply timbers and sleepers do look best (and much cheaper) but plastic timbers offer the most strength. My preferred timbers are the Exactoscale timbers, they are 1.6 mm thick like the C&L thick ones and do not curl up as the thin C&L timbers tend to when the solvent dries. In addition the longer timbers are much longer than C&L ones and you get more, so you can make about 2.5 turnouts per pack

 

10.JPG

 

For some reason the shortest timbers are 36 mm so even in EM and P4 you have to cut 34 mm ones from longer length

 

I stick a plan to a small building board, then stick a piece of tracing paper over the plan

 

11.JPG ]

 

I have some double sided tape, I cut 3" strips then cut them into 3 mm strips length ways and put them both sides of the turnouts to hold the timbers in place, I don't use the whole strip each side as this would be too strong when removing the tracing paper from the turnout, you can see I am half way through putting them in place

 

It is so much easier to build the turnouts on a small building board as you can easily rotate it and build in comfort on your work bench


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#5 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 17:48

Next up is fitting the common crossing, until Exactoscale came on to the market it was the norm to use standard chairs cut in half where appropriate, and some still use this method

 

12.JPG

 

These are the Exactoscale common crossing chairs, the sprue's contain one set of each of the following 1-5,6,7,8 & 10

The main difference is the A chair which is quite distinctive in shape, also there are the central parts of the block chairs. Look at the top sprue and you can see the central parts of the block chairs, The A chairs (slab and bracket) are also noticable

 

These chairs (and the other special chairs) were designed for the Exactoscale P4 turnout kits, but can be used also for EM and 00 gauges as is or with minimal alteration, with the exception of slide chairs and check rail chairs

 

16.JPG

 

Exactoscale instructions showing which chairs go where

 

13.JPG

 

The common crossing in place, the Vee rails are longer than normal as the Vee has a slight curve, and the additional length alow me to put in the gentle curve, the excess rail will be cut to length later

 

17.jpg

 

A closer view and from left to right

Standard chairs

Bridge chairs

Block (X) chair

Crossing nose chair (A)

Crossing chair (B)

Block Chair ©

Bridge chairs

Standard chairs

 

Now some may think this is quite obsessive, and my seem unnecessary especially if only building a few turnouts. At £4.50 for 5 turnouts I think they are worth the money and save chopping up normal chairs 


Edited by hayfield, 11 July 2016 - 17:50 .

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#6 Ian Smeeton

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 19:51

Cracking step by step there Hayfield.

 

I suppose that the same principles apply to most scales/gauges?

 

Would you do anything different for 2mm Finescale, for example?

 

Regards

 

Ian

 

PS this, and a few other 'step by step' demonstrations should really be pinned somewhere (minus the interjections from knumpties like me).

 

Perhaps a forum 'Masterclass' area is needed.


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#7 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 20:26

Ian

 

2 mm finescale for me is a whole new ball game, it's so small !!  Hats off to those who use it.

 

It is very similar in build from what I have seen, though I do not remember seeing any special chairs and I guess the detail of things like the central parts of block chairs would be too small to be seen by most. I guess the principal is much the same though 


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#8 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 21:16

I think that before I go any further I should explain the lettering on the Exactoscale chair plans, If you look closer you will see S1, P, PL & L1

 

30.jpg

 

Here are the instructions for a B switch with the letters and numbers by their respective chair positions. The numbers above and below is the chair / chair part on the sprue. Single number being a whole chair, two numbers 2 parts, three numbers 3 parts

 

S1 is the standard 3 bolt chair, if you are using either GWR 2 bolt, MR 4 bolt or LSWR 3 bolt these will be in the same position

 

P is the standard slide chair

 

PL are the switch special chairs, though each one is slightly different

 

L1 is the bridge chair which is used when 2 standard chairs will not sit next to each other

 

M1 are the small chairs (but are only used in the Exactoscale slip kits)

 

The other thing to remember is these parts are designed for use with the Exactoscale P4 kits, owing to the way the kits are constructed some bits are missing where one rail joins another. For example the centre parts of the X chair (its a block chair) is missing as there is a bar connecting the two rails together. The same is for chair position PL2 in the additional switch chairs, I will show the work around. Having said this most of the chair parts become functional even in EM and 00 gauges


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#9 hayfield

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 21:29

Before I show the fitting of the stock rails it may be less confusing if I show the following chairs

 

28.JPG

 

On the left are the smaller bridge chairs, on the right the check rail chairs, which in P4 are fully functional

 

27.JPG

 

These are the instructions for the 3 sizes of switch, The A switch has 5 slide chairs and 4 additional switch chairs

The B switch has 6 slide chairs and 4 additional switch chairs

The C switch has 7 slide chairs and 5 additional switch chairs

 

In brackets are the number sequence for each of the right hand switches

 

The pack below contains enough parts for a left and a right hand switch, can either be the same or different sizes

 

29.JPG

 

The additional switch sprues. The left hand sprue at the top has the PL1 chairs , the rest being outer chairs.

The  right hand sprue has the middle parts of the block chairs from 3rd from the top to 8th from the top, below them are the inside parts of the chairs


Edited by hayfield, 11 July 2016 - 21:32 .

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#10 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:04

The real difficult part has now been done, the rest is more like building an Airfix kit. If you bought a common crossing its all been very easy

 

Normally I fit the Vee fully in place before I do anything else, the reason behind this is that when I built one of my first turnouts many years ago I followed the SMP instructions and fitted the straight stock rail first, I was slightly out (or the plan was slightly under gauge) so when it came to fit the Vee it was off centre. With few exceptions now I fit the Vee first. With this turnout as its slightly curved I have not stuck the last 2 sets of chairs as these will be stuck to the timbers after gauging from the stock rails (this is the reason for keeping the Vee rails extra long)

 

14.JPG

 

All the full chairs have been slid on the rail after cutting a slot in the rail between the 12th & 13th sleeper then soldering etched fishplates under it. This is to represent the rail join on the prototype. In the Exactoscale kits they have 2 separate rails and use functional fishplates

 

Those with keen eyes will notice the check rail is in place using the check rail chairs, at the other end only 1 slide chair which is the 1PL from the additional slide chair pack, The 2PL chair is not supplied in the pack, I make one up by using a standard chair and trim off the inside bolt detail and fit a slide plate from a slide chair. Also there is a timber missing, this will be fitted last and will act as the tiebar

 

15.JPG

 

There are 4 gauges holding the stock rail in place whilst it sets, the first is an Exactoscale roller gauge. The next 2 are the important ones the check rail gauges, in P4, EM and 00SF it is vitally important to get this correct for the crossing to work correctly. The last gauge is a standard roller gauge. As this has a curved stock rail the rest of the chairs are fitted by eye. If straight I stick the 1st chair next, when set I use a steel straight edge between the 1st chair and the crossing to line everything up

 

18.JPG  

 

I fit the chairs on the curved stock rail, gauge the crossing as before, then glue the standard chairs up to the black arrow by eye (the rest will be stuck down later after fitting the switch rails. On the first stock rail I have now fitted 5 slide chairs and two of the three parts of the block chairs

 

31.jpg

 

5 slide chairs first, then the 1PL chair, the next chair (position 2PL) is a standard chair with the bolt detail removed, then on the right the outer (not visible ) and middle part of the block chairs. Sorry about the quality but enlarging a photo too much

 

32.jpg

 

A closer view of the 1Pl to 4PL chairs, with the slide part of the 2PL chair to be fitted


Edited by hayfield, 12 July 2016 - 06:22 .

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#11 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:20

Fitting the straight(ish) stock rail

 

21.JPG

 

Simply slide on the chairs and using a plastic fishplate attach the switch rail to the common crossing and start sticking the chairs to the timbers using gauges. You can see the block chair detail much clearer in this photo

 

20.JPG

 

making sure the chairs on the stock rail are out of the way stick the rest of the chairs again using gauges. And fit the inside part of the block chairs on the switch rail

 

22.jpg

 

Now fit the block chair centre parts (this is why we have not stuck the rest of the curved stock rail). A good view of the additional switch chairs



#12 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 06:36

FISHPLATES

 

I skipped over the fishplates, so here is a quick description for those who are unaware of these

 

33.JPG

 

These are quite flimsy as they are but strong enough to hold the parts together whilst the solvent/glue drys

 

34.JPG

 

Far better looking than rail joiners, they are also available in cast metal

 

35.JPG

 

The second function they have is to electrically isolate the rails

 

36.JPG

 

A view of the etched brass fishplates in place, there should be some on the switch rails but I want to keep them flexible 



#13 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:56

We are on the home straight so to speak, even if you are not using the special chairs its best to fit the straight switch rail before fitting the second half of the curved stockrail. Which I forgot to add another important point, just before the 3rd timber on the left there is a red line on Templot plans. This is called the set where you MUST put a slight bend in the rail

 

23.jpg

 

Pre-curved switch rail roughly to shape, but to a slightly larger radius than needed, as you need a but of tension holding the switch rail to the stock rail. After putting the chairs on and using a plastic fishplate to join the curved switch rail to the common crossing, stick the chairs down using gauges from the curved stock rail up to the arrow (which is now highlighed in green)

 

You will now see the switch rail should nicely fit against the block chair centres and hopefully against the stock rail. Now glue the remainder of the chairs on the switch rail and add the two inner chair halves for the block chairs

 

24.jpg

 

Using gauges stick the remaining chairs on the stock rail using gauges.

 

25.jpg

 

and fit the outer halves of the 2 block chairs (this should be automatically in gauge) As you can see the first two chairs are stuck in place and must be left to set completely before commencing the next stage

 

26.jpg

 

The five slide chairs are superglued to the rail, then using a block gauge (or roller gauge with a flat filed into the outer ring) where (on Templot) there is a red line and called "stock gauge" glue the slide chairs in place so the stock rail touches the switch rail 

 

The two things left to do is to fit bonding wires between the adjoining stock and switch rails for electrical conductivity. Then fit the copperclad sleeper with cast slide chairs to make an invisible tiebar, trouble is I bought 2 packs of chairs and cannot find them. Replacements were ordered yesterday afternoon

 

As you can see, other than the common crossing the rest of the build is so simple its not much more work than making a plastic wagon. If building in either EM or 00 gauges there is a small work around for the check rails and you use the 4 mm slide chairs not the P4 ones

 

As for cost, its much cheaper making a few than one, but then if you are only making one don't buy all the special chairs, or recoup the funds by selling the surplus on eBay. If not buying either the Vee, or common crossing or even switch blades for that matter, the cost of parts will be between £15 & £18 no matter which gauge chosen. If you are not using the special chairs even cheaper

 

OK you will need a set of gauges, though at a push you could use a digital caliper for some or all of the tasks

 

A word of warning about the gauges, the chairs hold the rail at a 1-20 cant. The rail head needs to rotate in the gauge, if the gauge is either too tight and or too deep the rail will be held upright. This is fine for copperclad construction, but with the plastic chairs they will relax back into shape thus narrowing the gauge

 

With ply timbers providing you use an appropriate solvent (C&L suggest Butanone) the bond is quite strong providing you do not go around smashing the rails. Use a stain to colour the timbers, if painting or dying them do it after building the turnout as the finish could affect the ability of the solvent to do its job

 

Please feel free to ask any questions either via the post or send a PM

 



#14 Godders

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 08:47

Hi Hayfield,

 

I would like to try your method but I am having difficulty in finding the C&L components, that you have specified. So far I have the following on my list but the C&L product codes would be extremely helpful;

 

Strip for scale 12in turnout timbers (laser cut) - 300mm long x 1.5mm deep (50)  E4SL 302C  * I hope these are ply.

4mm scale chairs - 1:5 6 7 8 and 10 Common crossings (1 set)                            E4CH 502A

 

BTW Thank you for your guidance in these matters, I hope to be another convert to hand built track, I'm only 72 so there's time yet.

 

 cheers

 

Godders


Edited by Godders, 12 July 2016 - 08:48 .


#15 The Fatadder

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:36

Interesting to read before I start building again, particularly as in the past I always bought in the Vee / wing rails ready made and can't justify it on Brent given the large number of points to build.
I do have one question, what should be used for check rail chairs in OO?

#16 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:15

Hi Hayfield,

 

I would like to try your method but I am having difficulty in finding the C&L components, that you have specified. So far I have the following on my list but the C&L product codes would be extremely helpful;

 

Strip for scale 12in turnout timbers (laser cut) - 300mm long x 1.5mm deep (50)  E4SL 302C  * I hope these are ply.

4mm scale chairs - 1:5 6 7 8 and 10 Common crossings (1 set)                            E4CH 502A

 

BTW Thank you for your guidance in these matters, I hope to be another convert to hand built track, I'm only 72 so there's time yet.

 

 cheers

 

Godders

 

 

Godders

 

Ply 12" turnout timbers 1.5 mm thick are E4SL 302C

Exactoscale Bridge chairs E4CH 201S

Exactoscale slide chairs P4 E4CH 402A  EM/00 E4CH 301A

Exactoscale common crossing chairs E4CH 502A

Exactoscale Switch chairs E4CH 501A

Exactoscale check chairs  P4 0.64 mm E4CH 302A  EM/00 0.8 mm E4CH 403A

Exactosale plastic fishplates E4XX FP01

0.5 MM Copperclad Strip 4ZC 101A

 

I think by trying to make it easier to find the latest revamp has made it harder



#17 hayfield

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:44

Interesting to read before I start building again, particularly as in the past I always bought in the Vee / wing rails ready made and can't justify it on Brent given the large number of points to build.
I do have one question, what should be used for check rail chairs in OO?

 

Rich

 

Vees and common crossings are time intensive to make, as I guess in low volumes they are hand made. But in components a few pence

 

I now use the Scalefour Society Vee filing jig which speeds up production and is very accurate, prior to that I became very proficient in filling free hand and using a simple home made jig which doubles up for both filing the correct angle and holding the rails whilst soldering. Again you can make a simple jig from scrap to hold both the Vee and wing rail whilst soldering.

 

214.JPG

 

The photo here shows how C&L do it with their 00 gauge turnouts, in EM and 00SF gauges I use a Check rail chair with one outside part cut off (see below for check rails) and the central block chair part not only holds the rail in place but blocks the gap

 

However for both EM and 00 gauges there is no need to solder up the wing/closer rails to the vee as you can use a combination of both the common crossing chairs/cut up standard chairs and 1 (half) set of 0.8mm check rail chairs. I have made both an 00SF & an EM turnout this way and C&L use a similar method for the 00 gauge ones they sell. So a simple bit of filing up the Vee and 45p worth of check chairs

 

As for check rail chairs in EM and 00SF I use the 0.8 mm chairs as described earlier in the thread

 

20140713_133049_resized.jpg

 

3 chairs on the check rail, 2 on the stock rail, cut off the unused part of the chair

 

20140713_135308_resized.jpg

 

Slide check rail to the stock rail, glue the chairs and the cut off half chairs. Still works with 00 universal but a bit of a gap if you look hard enough

 

Go to my work bench  http://www.rmweb.co....rkbench/page-24

 

page 24 (too much waffle to read it all)  post 578 & 583 has fuller descriptions  


Edited by hayfield, 12 July 2016 - 11:52 .

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#18 Godders

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 23:15

Godders

 

Ply 12" turnout timbers 1.5 mm thick are E4SL 302C

Exactoscale Bridge chairs E4CH 201S

Exactoscale slide chairs P4 E4CH 402A  EM/00 E4CH 301A

Exactoscale common crossing chairs E4CH 502A

Exactoscale Switch chairs E4CH 501A

Exactoscale check chairs  P4 0.64 mm E4CH 302A  EM/00 0.8 mm E4CH 403A

Exactosale plastic fishplates E4XX FP01

0.5 MM Copperclad Strip 4ZC 101A

 

I think by trying to make it easier to find the latest revamp has made it harder

Thank you very much



#19 hayfield

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 08:45

42.jpg

 

The turnout nearly finished, the sleeper tiebar system is in place just need to clean up the filler hiding the isolation gap and I need to fit the electrical bonding wires from the stock rail to the switch rail

 

40.JPG

 

In the left is the brass sprue with 10 slide chairs, carefully remove the chairs and clean ip the pip which joins the chair to the sprue.

Next is to clean up the chair to make the soldering easier, then cut the chair parts in two and clean up the cut with a file

 

41.JPG

 

The chair base plates are soldered to a copperclad sleeper, make sure you cut an electrical isolation gap in the sleeper

Solder the switch blades to the slide chair base plates

Solder the outside chair parts to the RAIL SIDES

 

Not done yet, get some 1 mm plastic rod and cut two cosmetic tiebars


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#20 hayfield

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 16:09

The final part of the build is to ensure electrical continuity of the switch blades

 

46.JPG

 

A wire both sides is soldered to the stock and switch rails, I use a piece of brass and I guess you could leave a tail on for a dropper wire


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#21 Kelly

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 21:40

Thanks for posting such a helpful and informative post on this :) will come in useful when I get around to attempting P4 pointwork soon.



#22 hayfield

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 08:11

Two things I do to aid building turnouts

 

51.JPG

 

The first thing is a simple method of keeping the sleepers in line, just tape a ruler in place and the ends will be perfectly in line

 

The second is a simple sleeper/timber cutting jig. A small piece of board off cut and a strip of wood which is glued in place. Using a square cut a slit with a razer saw. I use a piece of thick plasticard as a stop. A clamp is used to hold both the stop in place and the jig to the bench, so both hands are free to cut the timbers in the required numbers all to the same length

 

Just as an aside, I have built 2 x 31 timbered turnouts (B 7's) from the Exactoscale turnout timbering pack and have enough timbers left for another 15 timbers. The Exactoscale pack is far more economical than its C&L equivalent. The exact number of timbers used per turnout and crossing will vary according to both size of turnout and crossings use more longer timbers. In addition the longest Exactoscale timbers are much longer than the C&L ones


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#23 Flymo748

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 06:43

Part 4  Timbers (sleepers)

 

To my mind ply timbers and sleepers do look best (and much cheaper) but plastic timbers offer the most strength. My preferred timbers are the Exactoscale timbers, they are 1.6 mm thick like the C&L thick ones and do not curl up as the thin C&L timbers tend to when the solvent dries. In addition the longer timbers are much longer than C&L ones and you get more, so you can make about 2.5 turnouts per pack

 

attachicon.gif10.JPG

 

For some reason the shortest timbers are 36 mm so even in EM and P4 you have to cut 34 mm ones from longer length

 

 

Hi John,

 

That depends if you are a pre-Grouping modeller or not :-)

 

The 36mm sleepers are ideal for the 9'0" length of plain track sleepers that was generally used before the First World War.  After that, with a view to economising on timber usage, the length was generally reduced to 8'6".

 

Questions are asked on this from time to time on the Scalefour Society Forum.  You'll find a much more comprehensive discussion of what I've just said here: http://www.scalefour...r length#p44931

 

HTH

Paul Willis

Scalefour Society Deputy Chairman

 

PS - an excellent tutorial topic, and I hope that it encourages many more people into building finescale, customised, track whether that is in P4, EM, OOFS or whatever.  Thank you for putting it out there.

 

[edited to add PS]


Edited by Flymo748, 20 July 2016 - 06:46 .


#24 martin_wynne

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:30

The 36mm sleepers are ideal for the 9'0" length of plain track sleepers that was generally used before the First World War.  After that, with a view to economising on timber usage, the length was generally reduced to 8'6".

 

Hi Paul,

 

Although the saving in timber (and ballast) costs no doubt played its part, the primary reason for the reduction to 8ft-6in sleepers was the arrival of prefabricated track panels. With 8ft-6in sleepers these could be transported within the loading gauge. Panels with 9ft sleepers needed to be moved as an out-of-gauge load, with all the extra inconvenience that caused.

 

regards,

 

Martin.



#25 hayfield

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:33

Paul

 

Thank you very much for the information and especially the link to the Forum. My comment abut sleeper length was aimed more at the fact that these timbers were produced for all gauges and I was surprised that there were no 32 mm timbers for those who model in 00 (8'6" length) and 34 mm for both EM (8'6" length) and 00 (9' length). Still it is not too hard for most to cut a few timbers to length

 

As I am migrating to EM gauge I must join one of the society's, and find a new local club. However my work commitments (working evenings) for the next 18 months may reduce my options.









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