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A few questions regarding track building

templot proxxon C&L Dropper wires 4-sf




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#1 MikeH_83

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 16:54

I have a couple of questions regarding track making before I start with my large ish layout in 4-SF and I hope someone could help answer a few of them?..

 

1) Does anyone use a Proxxon table saw to cut up plywood (3mm thick) for sleepers? Is it accurate enough?  I am a little worried about delamination too, But I did think it might be cheaper to buy some 3mm plywood sheets and make my own sleepers/timbers as I need alot and it would work out cheaper I think.

 

2) My points are on curves, ranging from 38" curve to like 50"odd,  Is it ok to use pre-assembled C&L crossings? as they are quite straight or the pre-made Vee's? Or would I need to custom build all that because they are on a curve?  (see pictures below)

 

3) I have started doing the whole "nudge timbers" in templot and I am wondering if anyone could just have a look to make sure I am doing it right?  I have only done the one's on the main running line and the station area..  I didn't touch any that support the important rails and vee's as I know that's abit of a no no!  (box file attached)

 

4) Are there any special chairs I should use for the check chairs for 4-sf? As C&L don't do one's with the 1mm gap

 

5 (bonus question) How do people go about hiding the dropper wires so that they remain hidden?  I'm going with plastic fully functional chairs

 

Many Thanks

Attached Thumbnails

  • point1.png
  • point2.png

Attached Files


Edited by MikeH_83, 05 December 2017 - 20:38 .




#2 Andy Hayter

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 17:06

I can only help with regards the use of a Proxxon.  I used this to cut sleepers to length - pre-cut strips from the EM society, which I then used to make finescale (but not P87) HO track.

 

No problem with splintering and the cuts were very accurate.  However the ply used was much thinner and I suspect the quality of cut will depend very much on the quality of your ply - some of which can be dreadful for fine work.


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#3 gordon s

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 17:33

Hi Mike, hopefully this may help.  I use copper clad rather than ply sleepers, but cut them on my Proxxon saw.  I made up a little template that is stuck on the saw table.  This makes it doddle to cut sleepers accurately.  Just align the end of the strip to length you need and cut away.  It took me all of 15 minutes to generate it in Excel.

 

DSCF8357.jpg

 

Just noticed I have the wrong guide on the saw and that might mislead you.  Of course you have to use the protractor guide and then line up the ply with the marks on the sheet.  The distance is measured from the saw blade on the left hand side.

 

I don't bother to nudge sleepers in Templot.  It takes a fair bit of time and to my mind all you are doing is replicating on paper what you will do anyway, so I just lay out the interlaced sleepers by eye as I build the pointwork.  It saves a lot of time and no one has said 'that's wrong'.....yet... ;)

 

One of the advantages of soldering with copper clad is that you can hide the power wires in the solder chair.  If I were doing chaired track, then I would lay the pointwork on top of the Tempot sheet and then drill a 1.5mm - 2mm hole down through the running lines on the Templot plan through the trackbed and solder the wire under the rail, pass the wires under the board and then glue the track down.

 

Can't help you on the other bits.  No doubt others will be along soon....


Edited by gordon s, 05 December 2017 - 17:36 .

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#4 Siberian Snooper

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 18:25

I drill a 0.4mm hole through the sleeper and tap a brass lace making through the hole and solder the rail to it and add a cosmetic chair to cover it up. I cut the chair through the jaws and trim off the bits where the rail would sit. Once ballasted and weathered you won't notice it.

PS. trim the point off the pin once you have finished, but leave around 12mm 1/2 inch to solder your feed wire to.

Edit for PS.

Edited by Siberian Snooper, 05 December 2017 - 18:28 .

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#5 MikeH_83

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 20:29

Thanks all so far for your comments,  I think I will go the Proxxon route then and buy some hopefully good quality plywood sheets and cut them up,  A little more time consuming but it gives me something to do while waiting for my C&L order to come through.  I like the template Gordon, I think I may have to do that too, It will save measuring up all the time :)  I will try your method of attaching the dropper wire to the rail, It sounds like it will hide things just nicely.  That's a good few questions off my list which helps alot.  So thanks to all that have responded so far :)



#6 roythebus

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 23:22

Way back when I was building the MRC's New Annington layout, I cut all the PCB s;eepers for that. I started using my trusty Unimat SL-2 with saw table, but then found a friendly local pcb supplier who let me use his power guillotine. I cut sheets of pcd to sleeper length, then cut them to sleeper width. Very quick and accurate.



#7 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 20:22

3mm thick for 4mm scale sounds a bit OTT. Normally you have choice of 1mm or 1.6mm,3mm is usually used in 7mm scale.

However if you really want 3mm, have a word with Intentio, they do 3mm 7mm scale, laser cut, might be cheaper than buying a Proxxon.

#8 MikeH_83

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 20:48

Thanks, Yes I think I got my numbers mixed up and I think it would be 1.6, basically the same thickness as the peco flexi track. I will check later.

Anyone have any feedback on the other questions? Especially the frog one on curved points as I'm not sure what I'm best off doing there..

Thanks all

#9 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 21:22

Thanks, Yes I think I got my numbers mixed up and I think it would be 1.6, basically the same thickness as the peco flexi track. I will check later.
Anyone have any feedback on the other questions? Especially the frog one on curved points as I'm not sure what I'm best off doing there..
Thanks all


Without looking at your boxfile, could do that tomorrow, difficult to say. Sometimes curviform is the way to go, just depends.

For 1.5mm \1.6mm, laser cut there are a couple of suggestions in my thread when I was looking for some myself. I will post the link to the thread tomorrow.
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#10 martin_wynne

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 21:30

2) My points are on curves, ranging from 38" curve to like 50"odd,  Is it ok to use pre-assembled C&L crossings? as they are quite straight or the pre-made Vee's? Or would I need to custom build all that because they are on a curve?  (see pictures below)

 

Hi Mike,

 

Strictly speaking having been assembled straight-over-straight they are not suitable for curved turnouts, but if the curve is gentle they can probably be faired into the ruling curve without problems. For sharper curves the crossings would need to be custom-assembled to match the template.

 

regards,

 

Martin.



#11 MikeH_83

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 21:51

Hi Mike,

 

Strictly speaking having been assembled straight-over-straight they are not suitable for curved turnouts, but if the curve is gentle they can probably be faired into the ruling curve without problems. For sharper curves the crossings would need to be custom-assembled to match the template.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

 

Ok thanks Martin,  Maybe some of the Vee's on their own might be a little bit more suitable then for the shallower curved points and I will have to try tackle making the rest on the curve which I don't believe there is a jig for?

 

Cheers,  Michael



#12 hayfield

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:51

I have a couple of questions regarding track making before I start with my large ish layout in 4-SF and I hope someone could help answer a few of them?..

 

1) Does anyone use a Proxxon table saw to cut up plywood (3mm thick) for sleepers? Is it accurate enough?  I am a little worried about delamination too, But I did think it might be cheaper to buy some 3mm plywood sheets and make my own sleepers/timbers as I need alot and it would work out cheaper I think.

 

2) My points are on curves, ranging from 38" curve to like 50"odd,  Is it ok to use pre-assembled C&L crossings? as they are quite straight or the pre-made Vee's? Or would I need to custom build all that because they are on a curve?  (see pictures below)

 

3) I have started doing the whole "nudge timbers" in templot and I am wondering if anyone could just have a look to make sure I am doing it right?  I have only done the one's on the main running line and the station area..  I didn't touch any that support the important rails and vee's as I know that's abit of a no no!  (box file attached)

 

4) Are there any special chairs I should use for the check chairs for 4-sf? As C&L don't do one's with the 1mm gap

 

5 (bonus question) How do people go about hiding the dropper wires so that they remain hidden?  I'm going with plastic fully functional chairs

 

Many Thanks

 

1 Personally speaking, unless you have a use for the Proxon other than cutting timbers I would buy them from C&L

 

2 You might be able to gently curve pre-made Vees, on the other hand buy either an EMGS or Scalefour Vee filing jig. Very simple to use. Watch the inside radi on curved turnouts

 

4  Use the Exactoscale 0.8 mm check chair cutting through one web and glueing the remaining half once the check rail is in situ (and in gauge)

 

5 Normal method of wire soldered under the rail, through a hold is fine, as when ballasted is hidden



#13 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:35

Hi,

I see you've already seen my thread on laser cut plywood strip. If you can't get them from C&L for whatever reason, you could try Tim Horn as suggested or the chap who actually supplies C&L (I can let you have his details if needed). Failing all else, how much might you be looking for? I might be able to help.

 

I'd warn against trying to make the droppers too invisible because in the event of a problem you might struggle to find them. If you really do want them invisible, leave a chair off and solder to the underside of the rail and put half chairs on to hide.

 

I've had a look at the boxfile (attached) and have changed some turnouts to curviform, which I think would be an improvement. I don't think Templot will let you make a crossover using curviform turnouts, even if it is a curved one, so I've left that alone.

Attached Files


Edited by Stephen Freeman, 07 December 2017 - 09:39 .


#14 MikeH_83

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 14:04

1 Personally speaking, unless you have a use for the Proxon other than cutting timbers I would buy them from C&L
 
2 You might be able to gently curve pre-made Vees, on the other hand buy either an EMGS or Scalefour Vee filing jig. Very simple to use. Watch the inside radi on curved turnouts
 
4  Use the Exactoscale 0.8 mm check chair cutting through one web and glueing the remaining half once the check rail is in situ (and in gauge)
 
5 Normal method of wire soldered under the rail, through a hold is fine, as when ballasted is hidden

  

Thanks, I will have a think if I really need a table saw then. I take it then that the vee part is pretty much always the same then on a straight/curved but it's just the bit after that and the rails all around it that's important. I will have a look and see which jig is best.. It'd be good to learn to make them tbh and alot cheaper. I will also get some of those check chairs.

Thanks

Hi,
I see you've already seen my thread on laser cut plywood strip. If you can't get them from C&L for whatever reason, you could try Tim Horn as suggested or the chap who actually supplies C&L (I can let you have his details if needed). Failing all else, how much might you be looking for? I might be able to help.
 
I'd warn against trying to make the droppers too invisible because in the event of a problem you might struggle to find them. If you really do want them invisible, leave a chair off and solder to the underside of the rail and put half chairs on to hide.
 
I've had a look at the boxfile (attached) and have changed some turnouts to curviform, which I think would be an improvement. I don't think Templot will let you make a crossover using curviform turnouts, even if it is a curved one, so I've left that alone.


Ah yeah I had forgot about one till you mentioned it last night. I could see how much Tim Horn could do them for but I don't know how many I need yet unless templot has a counter hidden somewhere lol. It'd be easier than the C&l ones though as I need the shorter length to help offset the 4-sf gauge.

Thanks for checking out the plan, I will have a look when I get home.

Cheers

#15 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 14:20

Hi,

 

I just buy the strip and cut to length, I do however have a venerable Shapercraft saw which speeds that process up though.

 

Templot will give you the length of a template and number of sleepers per length, so with a bit of work, it can be calculated. I did have it in mind that Martin had introduced such a counter etc to give an estimate of sleepers/timbering/rail needed but not sure how to find it now.


Edited by Stephen Freeman, 07 December 2017 - 14:28 .


#16 martin_wynne

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 14:49

I've had a look at the boxfile (attached) and have changed some turnouts to curviform, which I think would be an improvement. I don't think Templot will let you make a crossover using curviform turnouts, even if it is a curved one, so I've left that alone.

 

Hi Stephen,

 

You changed this B-8 turnout to a curviform crossing. There doesn't seem to be any need to do that, and in the process you have created a mis-match at the turnout-road exit:

 

mis_match.png

 

If you change the geometry of a turnout it is necessary to re-align any connected tracks.

 

No, crossovers (curved or straight) should not normally be constructed with curviform crossings. It results in a much more severe reverse curve at the centre, for no real gain. You can do it manually if you have reason to, but the make crossover tool doesn't allow it.

 

regards,

 

Martin.



#17 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 14:53

Hi Stephen,

 

You changed this B-8 turnout to a curviform crossing. There doesn't seem to be any need to do that, and in the process you have created a mis-match at the turnout-road exit:

 

attachicon.gifmis_match.png

 

If you change the geometry of a turnout it is necessary to re-align any connected tracks.

 

No, crossovers (curved or straight) should not normally be constructed with curviform crossings. It results in a much more severe reverse curve at the centre, for no real gain. You can do it manually if you have reason to, but the make crossover tool doesn't allow it.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

Sorry hadn't noticed the mismatch, also some of the track appeared to be to standard 16.5mm, I'll have another look at it.

 

Crossovers - that's what I thought.

 

Further boxfile attached

Attached Files


Edited by Stephen Freeman, 07 December 2017 - 15:05 .


#18 martin_wynne

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 15:31

Further boxfile attached

 

Stephen, it is still not matched. I really don't know why you wanted to change it to curviform in the first place?

 

regards,

 

Martin.



#19 martin_wynne

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 16:07

Ok thanks Martin,  Maybe some of the Vee's on their own might be a little bit more suitable then for the shallower curved points

 

Hi Mike,

 

Here is a diagram showing your curved C-10 turnout.

 

straight_crossing_match.png

 

On the prototype, between the knuckle at A and the end of the vee splice at B, the crossing is straight, unless specially manufactured otherwise. It is assembled with bolts and spacer blocks, and it is not physically possible to curve it.

 

Here the original curved template is shown in blue, and a dead-straight crossing is shown in red. I have faired it in to the ruling curve at A and B, as would be done on the prototype. Even allowing for the longer distance from A to B resulting from the wider 00 flangeways, and the much sharper than prototype model curves (50" radius here), you can see that the resulting discrepancy at the nose of the crossing is very slight. The opposite running rail at C follows the ruling curve.

 

On the prototype, any slight discrepancy resulting from inserting a straight crossing in a curved running rail would soon be eliminated by normal running-in wear. The difference with our models is that we tend to use very much sharper curves than the prototype, so that the discrepancy is greater, and our trains don't usually wear the track. But the tolerances in 00 and EM are such that it doesn't normally cause a problem, and we can simulate prototype wearing-in with a little fettling of the rails if necessary.

 

On the other hand, if a pre-assembled crossing has been fixed straight over a longer length than A to B, it would need to be re-worked so that the rails beyond A and B can be curved. It doesn't take much extra straight length for the discrepancy to increase significantly.

 

regards,

 

Martin.



#20 MikeH_83

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 16:35

Hi Mike,

 

Here is a diagram showing your curved C-10 turnout.

 

attachicon.gifstraight_crossing_match.png

 

On the prototype, between the knuckle at A and the end of the vee splice at B, the crossing is straight, unless specially manufactured otherwise. It is assembled with bolts and spacer blocks, and it is not physically possible to curve it.

 

Here the original curved template is shown in blue, and a dead-straight crossing is shown in red. I have faired it in to the ruling curve at A and B, as would be done on the prototype. Even allowing for the longer distance from A to B resulting from the wider 00 flangeways, and the much sharper than prototype model curves (50" radius here), you can see that the resulting discrepancy at the nose of the crossing is very slight. The opposite running rail at C follows the ruling curve.

 

On the prototype, any slight discrepancy resulting from inserting a straight crossing in a curved running rail would soon be eliminated by normal running-in wear. The difference with our models is that we tend to use very much sharper curves than the prototype, so that the discrepancy is greater, and our trains don't usually wear the track. But the tolerances in 00 and EM are such that it doesn't normally cause a problem, and we can simulate prototype wearing-in with a little fettling of the rails if necessary.

 

On the other hand, if a pre-assembled crossing has been fixed straight over a longer length than A to B, it would need to be re-worked so that the rails beyond A and B can be curved. It doesn't take much extra straight length for the discrepancy to increase significantly.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

 

Thanks Martin for that in depth explanation,  I understand it fully now and can easily see why the pre-made crossings wouldn't work.  The pre-made vee's might work if I can curve the rail easily enough beyond B to match the stock rails..  I might buy 1 to test it..  Or just try making them :)

 

Thanks very much.

 

Michael



#21 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 16:45

Stephen, it is still not matched. I really don't know why you wanted to change it to curviform in the first place?

 

regards,

 

Martin.

As far as I can see the one that isn't matched is a C10 at the bottom and I think Mike had already done that as a curviform. I felt the B8 at the top would be better as a curviform as the inside track is part of the main route.

Attached Files


Edited by Stephen Freeman, 07 December 2017 - 16:52 .

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#22 martin_wynne

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 17:11

I felt the B8 at the top would be better as a curviform as the inside track is part of the main route.

 

Hi Stephen,

 

It's a left-hand turnout, so the type of crossing makes no difference to the main route. This is the original design with regular crossing:

 

mike_b8_lh.png

 

It could be either, but I felt the regular crossing gave a better line into the goods shed/bay road.

 

Changing it to curviform has created an angular misalignment at the turnout road exit. All the templates leading from it therefore need to be re-located to restore the alignment, with the radius into the bay reduced a bit, like this:

 

mike_b8_cu.png

 

Not a great change, but the difference between a dog-leg misalignment and not. Obviously it is a matter for Mike, but the original design shown first above seems to be entirely satisfactory.

 

regards,

 

Martin.


Edited by martin_wynne, 07 December 2017 - 18:27 .

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#23 Junctionmad

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:17

I use the proxxon saw and cut my own 1.5 mm ply sleepers , I buy high quality ply online , in A4 sheet sizes , birch ply , BB/BB or better B/BB if possible

Works well, very cost effective

I use all functional plastic chairs and I solder the droppers to the underside of the rail between the sleepers , once ballasted , it's invisible

I see no reason to buy permade Vees , it's an easy and quick job to make them. You need to ring up some simple jigs. , I find the scalefour society filing jigs useful in that respect

Edited by Junctionmad, 08 December 2017 - 01:19 .

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#24 Stephen Freeman

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 15:01

I think you'd have to be cutting an awful lot of sleepers to justify a proxxon, fine, if you already have one or bought it for another reason. I buy the strips laser cut and then use my venerable shapercraft to cut to length, you can still get them sometimes on Ebay for about £15.00 to £20.00. I didn't buy the shapercraft all those years ago with a view to cutting sleepers to length though!



#25 MikeH_83

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 16:35

I reckon a Proxxon KS 230 would be around the £100 mark and the plywood sheets a few quid each for about an A4 size sheet, which would do a fair few sleepers.  But I do agree that it's probably not so cost effective unless I have other uses for it..  Is it any good for cutting up foamex?  Just thinking about building templates etc  hmm














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