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Scratching an itch - contemporary pointwork in N





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#1 njee20

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 15:16

Like many of us I'm perpetually planning my next layout, mainly as I have so little time to actually do anything on my present layout, I can vicariously enjoy modelling through planning!

I've always been tempted by handbuilt track, the main thing that appeals to me is the improved point geometry and layout. I model present day UK in N gauge, and have a fairly large space to play with on this hypothetical layout.

 

2FS is never going to happen, I have far too much stock, and I buy and sell too much to want to re-wheel everything.

 

I've played with Templot fairly extensively, which is wonderfully satisfying, and got to a point (no pun intended) where I could print out a template and have a go. Given that what I'd ultimately want would be nice long (300mm+) turnouts built to N gauge standards, either using code 55 rail to match Peco's "code 55" plain track or code 40 and using Easitrac flex my question is whether that's madness for an entry into handbuilding? I'd almost certainly have a go at a 'normal' sized turnout first (ie just a FB B7 or something) to practice techniques, but is there anything inherently harder about building to N gauge standards, as opposed to EM/P4/2FS, and are larger points harder than smaller ones, or vice versa?

 

Being as it's a modern layout I'd not be doing anything more complex than a standard crossover; no slips, diamonds, scissors, three way points etc. I'm leaning towards code 55 with Peco track, as (at risk of committing heresy) the appeal to me is not in the finer rail section and correct sleeper spacing so much as the improved geometry.





#2 red death

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 15:41

There's no denying that code 40 Finetrax or Easitrac looks a lot better than Peco.  A combination of the finesse of the rail, but mostly the better sleeper spacing and the right type of rail.  For FB track the geometry and size of the points is very different to BH - IIRC B7 is a BH point.  FB points are things like AV7/8/9.25 and BV8/9.25 etc and IIRC they are still considered short low speed points for FB.

 

If it were my decision then handbuilt (perhaps using Fast Tracks tools) would be my choice (or lobby Wayne to produce FB points in Finetrax!).

 

Cheers, Mike



#3 njee20

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 15:51

You're quite correct Mike, was more meaning that I was intending to 'cut my teeth' on a nice simple point, as I've never so much soldered a single PCB sleeper in my life, before jumping into an HV 47.75, which I think is about 50cm long in N!

 

I'm unsure if things like the longer switch rails associated with larger turnouts makes things far more complex, or not. If so then it'd probably be madness to start with something like that, rather than a nice simple BLT using short BH points.

 

You also get much more gentle frog angles, 1:12+ for which cutting guides don't seem to be as readily available. Although making one doesn't look overly onerous.

If Wayne did modern FB points then he'd probably have a customer in me, to be honest even if he did something as a halfway house using concrete bearers even if not half a metre long would be a significant improvement over Peco.


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#4 Ian Smeeton

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 19:55

I had built nothing in the way of Points & crossings before I got under way on my Paisley St James 2mm FS project.

 

The first few ended up as scrap. However I learnt a lot on the way.

 

I have just finished a Diamond Crossing, Single Slip and Scissors, using code 40 BH rail. Not sure I would fancy doing it in FB. 16 B6 turnouts have been built for the fiddle yard.

 

I have found it to be very therapeutic in the dark winter evenings.

 

My latest buold is here: http://www.rmweb.co....s-diamonds-etc/, and apart from my efforts, is well peppered with good advice.

 

At the last 2mm Assoc. annual do, last year, someone was building a layout which used something like F20 turnouts in FB. A search of the 2mm association site might give more details. They looked fantastic. The wife's comment was "They are much neater than yours!", and they certainly were.

 

More power to your elbow.

 

Best Regards

 

Ian


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#5 njee20

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 19:59

Have been reading your threads Ian, and they’re looking good!

My feeling is that diamonds, scissors, slips etc are far more complex than ‘normal’ pointwork, I just fear that really large points may be tougher. But I’m not sure why. Really I should just try!

#6 Ian Smeeton

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 20:32

Go for it. Flat bottom is harder than bullhead because of the 'foot' of the rail.

 

However, the ones I saw at Bournmoor last year looked stunning. Put my feeble efforts to shame.

 

The 2mm FS Association produced a booik, 'Track & how to build it', which covers most of the techniques and tricks.

 

Apart from that, the cost of the parts is quite low. I have no compunction about scrapping something which I feel is not right. At about £2 -£3 per point, excluding time, of course, it will not break the bank.

 

Now there is an admission from a tight Scotsman.

 

Regards

 

Ian


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#7 Campaman

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 15:16

Having built a few turnouts and crossovers now I would say building a longer one is no different than a shorter one, the rails are just longer, the longer ones may be slightly easier in a way as the angles are less so easier to line things up.


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#8 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 15:43

The building of the turnouts should be much the same, whatever the length. The only likely area of difficulty is at the crossing. Without using finer standards, there is more likelihood of wheels dropping into the crossing.


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#9 njee20

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 16:11

I did wonder if the smaller angles simplified things, interesting point about standard wheels dropping into the crossing, if built well (and I realise that's quite a large if) I'm assuming you could expect better running than on Peco turnouts?

Looking like I may have to take the plunge and buy some bits, even if any output then gets shelved for years before I actually build a layout!



#10 martin_wynne

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 16:41

Hi,

 

If you use wheels narrower than the track standard requires, they will drop into crossings (frogs) at any angle. But the effect will be much worse at longer angles.

 

If you use the correct wheels for the track standard, they won't drop into crossings at any angle.

 

For standard N-gauge with flangeway gaps of 0.85mm, the minimum wheel width for good running is 1.75mm.

 

If you use wheels at least that wide, on long crossings built with flangeways no wider than 0.85mm, they will run fine with no drop.

 

regards,

 

Martin.


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#11 2mm Andy

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 17:41

 

 

At the last 2mm Assoc. annual do, last year, someone was building a layout which used something like F20 turnouts in FB. A search of the 2mm association site might give more details. They looked fantastic. The wife's comment was "They are much neater than yours!", and they certainly were.

 

 

That would be Andrew Gibson's 'Swinton' layout;

 

http://swinton2mm.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The F20 turnout is described here;

 

http://swinton2mm.bl...20-turnout.html

 

Andy


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#12 njee20

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 20:11

If you use wheels narrower than the track standard requires, they will drop into crossings (frogs) at any angle. But the effect will be much worse at longer angles.

 

If you use the correct wheels for the track standard, they won't drop into crossings at any angle.

 

For standard N-gauge with flangeway gaps of 0.85mm, the minimum wheel width for good running is 1.75mm.

 

 

Thanks Martin, have got flangeways set to 0.85mm in Templot, I don't suppose you know if recent N gauge stock generally has wheels >1.75mm...? Obviously the purpose of the activity is to avoid re-wheeling stuff if at all possible!

 

That would be Andrew Gibson's 'Swinton' layout;

 

http://swinton2mm.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The F20 turnout is described here;

 

http://swinton2mm.bl...20-turnout.html

 

Very interesting, thanks Andy. It looks good, the F20 crossover looks excellent, that's the sort of thing I'd like to do!

 

This is all leading toward having to just buy some stuff and have a go. Then shelving that for years before I actually build the layout! Judging by past posts code 40 roller gauges for N gauge are fairly hard to come by!

 

Cheers,

Nick



#13 paulontheball

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 13:41

I went down this road using code 40 rail mounted onto copper clad sleeps for my Little Salkeld exhibtion layout which is nearing completion.

Having just got back into the hobby after a break of 25 years, so a long time since I had previously scratchbuilt track work (and that was 4mm scale), I decided to approach Keith Armes who provides a point building service. Keith did a stunning job and the points have been combined with FiNetrax tracks elsewhere.

If you have the time I would encourage going down the same route (either by approaching Keith or having a go yourself) but do appreciate other factors like time, budget and number of points all drive the decision. Like you I'm planning my next layout and that will be an EM gauge shunting layout - I'm planning to have a go at building that trackwork myself.

Keith's contact details are on the 2mm society website by the way.

Good luck on whichever route you take!

Like many of us I'm perpetually planning my next layout, mainly as I have so little time to actually do anything on my present layout, I can vicariously enjoy modelling through planning!

I've always been tempted by handbuilt track, the main thing that appeals to me is the improved point geometry and layout. I model present day UK in N gauge, and have a fairly large space to play with on this hypothetical layout.
 
2FS is never going to happen, I have far too much stock, and I buy and sell too much to want to re-wheel everything.
 
I've played with Templot fairly extensively, which is wonderfully satisfying, and got to a point (no pun intended) where I could print out a template and have a go. Given that what I'd ultimately want would be nice long (300mm+) turnouts built to N gauge standards, either using code 55 rail to match Peco's "code 55" plain track or code 40 and using Easitrac flex my question is whether that's madness for an entry into handbuilding? I'd almost certainly have a go at a 'normal' sized turnout first (ie just a FB B7 or something) to practice techniques, but is there anything inherently harder about building to N gauge standards, as opposed to EM/P4/2FS, and are larger points harder than smaller ones, or vice versa?
 
Being as it's a modern layout I'd not be doing anything more complex than a standard crossover; no slips, diamonds, scissors, three way points etc. I'm leaning towards code 55 with Peco track, as (at risk of committing heresy) the appeal to me is not in the finer rail section and correct sleeper spacing so much as the improved geometry.

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#14 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 14:24

I went down this road using code 40 rail mounted onto copper clad sleeps for my Little Salkeld exhibtion layout which is nearing completion.

Having just got back into the hobby after a break of 25 years, so a long time since I had previously scratchbuilt track work (and that was 4mm scale), I decided to approach Keith Armes who provides a point building service. Keith did a stunning job and the points have been combined with FiNetrax tracks elsewhere.

If you have the time I would encourage going down the same route (either by approaching Keith or having a go yourself) but do appreciate other factors like time, budget and number of points all drive the decision. Like you I'm planning my next layout and that will be an EM gauge shunting layout - I'm planning to have a go at building that trackwork myself.

Keith's contact details are on the 2mm society website by the way.

Good luck on whichever route you take!
 

What a superb looking layout.



#15 Ben A

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 14:45


Wow - that looks fabulous.

Thanks for posting.

Cheers

Ben A.

#16 paulontheball

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 14:42

Thanks for the comments!

I've had a request for Keith's details, so here is a link that should provide the info needed by folks:

http://www.2mm.org.u...rmes/index.html

Regards

Paul

Wow - that looks fabulous.
Thanks for posting.
Cheers
Ben A.


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#17 njee20

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 14:57

Mmm, that does look very good! The Finetrax is a great product if you're wanting bullhead track, I always keep abreast of Wayne's progress on the NGF.

Still mulling it over (as I will likely continue to do so for some weeks/months/years!), but leaning toward code 55 rail on copper clad. Won't look as fine as Finetrax/Easitrac, but would mean I could use Peco plain track, and peco points in sidings etc, as I don't really mind them there and it would have a significant time advantage. Code 55 9mm roller gauges look to be easier to come by too, most of the code 40 ones seem to be for finescale.

 

On looking more closely at my chosen location there are actually two double slips too, to my surprise, which again, I'm disinclined to try and handbuild due to my proliferation of thumbs!



#18 Chris GH

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 18:00

I got my code 40 9mm gauges from an American Company called Railway Engineering they are based in Arizona (I think). It cos me about $30.00 including shipping to the UK for 4. They appear to be made of some sort of plastic but do not include provision for the spacing of check rails i.e. there is no additional slot for the check rails but the narrowest centre section is about 7 mm which would , if you butt the check rail up to the inside edge give a checkrail gap of about 1 mm.
Check out the website www.railwayeng.com
Regards chris

#19 njee20

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 18:11

That’s helpful Chris, thanks. Unsurprisingly I’ve made no further progress, admittedly in part because I’ve not moved house yet!

#20 Ian Smeeton

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 22:24

I built some of my points on pieces of scrap timber before transferring to the layout.

 

It was quite nice being able to sit inside on a cold dark winters night and to get on with them. Sometimes onley 20 minutes or so at a a time was enough to make progress.

 

Source some rails & copper clad and give it a go.

 

I think that I would be inclined to use solder paste rather than wire or balls as the pandrol clips & base plates will be all but invisible in 2mm (N)

 

Regards

 

Ian


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