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Simple home-made pointwork, for micro and small layouts

Points scratchbuilt DIY cheaply easily




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#1 JimRead

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 13:54

Once complete this thread will be incorporated into a PDF which will be available from me in exchange for a nice message, no advance orders please I will only forget.
 
This is not aimed at the modeller who is looking for absolute authenticity but for something that will work. In the case of O gauge for the cost of one point two complete micro layouts worth of track can be made.
 
There is also the immense satisfaction of making something yourself rather that the quick rush of the 'buy it now' and the let down after.
 
'Ere we go then, make your own radius. Multiply all dimensions by 0.57 for 00 Gauge.
 
A trammel made from one of Eileens bits of old cane
 
2jy3qu.jpg
A screw in one end and a pencil the other, in this case 28" apart. Drill another hole 32mm short of the 28" and use this for the lower curve
The pencil has been filed down to suit the hole with cheap rough belt sander refill.
Having got that first line make a mark 32mm from it (on the lower end of the drawing) and use that to get the smaller radius parallel to the larger one.
 
This drawing is complete, I start off with the two straight lines , and then lining up the trammel by eye square to the line I start making the curve, you will be able to tell as soon as you do it whether of not you are square to the line. An eraser is useful here. The frog will be where this curve crosses the lower line, 
 
[edit] I have had to alter this a few times I had made a mistake pointed out by Brian a few posts below this and I had forgotten how I made the curved lines parallel, When you just go and do things it can be quite difficult to recall the steps and that's what I like about these RMW forums :-)
 
 
More soon
 
The second of my posts about the actual construction can be found here, saves reading through all the digressions :-)

Edited by JimRead, 17 March 2018 - 09:38 .

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#2 roythebus

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 23:36

Rather than bodge the planning, download Templot, it is FREE, is accurate, and plans track in any scale/gauge, but takes a bit of time to learn.


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#3 teacupteacup

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 23:41

Rather than bodge the planning, download Templot, it is FREE, is accurate, and plans track in any scale/gauge, but takes a bit of time to learn.

 

Take my hat off to those who use Templot, its not for me though

 

I spent longer trying to design one point on Templot than it took to draw out and build 19 points by hand.  Life is far too short


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#4 Furness Wagon

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 23:52

I was lucky a kind person took pity on me and sent me templot file with the point I needed to build. It's easier to draw by hand or with a cad package.

It's about time someone produced a guide to build your own points. I for one will be watching progress as I have to build some 0-21 track work very shortly. All help very welcome here.
Marc

#5 brossard

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 00:10

You can print off basic turnout templates from Templot, just plug in some info on what you want.   I have had a lot of success with Trax2, select turnout and fill in some data boxes, voila, you're there.  I made a template for a curved three way a couple of weeks ago.  There was was some hand tweaking because it consisted of two curved turnouts overlaid, but the turnout got made.

 

Now, I'm waiting to see what Jim does next.

 

John



#6 martin_wynne

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 02:54

Hi Jim,

 

Will you be following up with a topic showing how to draw and build your own design of locomotives and rolling stock? It's a perfectly valid way of building a model railway, but many folks prefer to build models based on a real prototype.

 

This video shows you how to print an ordinary turnout template from Templot with a just a few clicks:  https://flashbackcon...kl1qfdzC5Az3HA2

 

The video shows you how to:

 

1. change to your required gauge and scale.

2. set the hand and size of a basic turnout.

3. set the outer radius (or a straight turnout if you prefer).

4. print the template.

 

Templot is free to use, and you could be printing a template like this within 5 minutes of downloading it. Just trim the pages to the red lines, stick them down and start track building:

 

  startup_em_a1.png

  startup_em_a2.png

 

regards,

 

Martin.


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#7 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:47

Building one's own track will never be that simple for gauges less than 12mm. The parts are just too small.



#8 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 09:57

Hello all 
 
May I say that there are many ways of doing the same thing and I hope this goes someway towards answering the above too many to answer one at a time.
 
If you are making a small or micro layout all you need is some paper a pencil and sufficient imagination to work out the movements in your head. If you can do that quickly then the layout will be dead boring to operate. If on the other hand you can't see an end to the movements then the layout will a joy to operate. 
 
Once that is done on odd bits of paper I do the below. And I would advise anyone to do the same, there is nothing worse that having a layout that you hate using,  I only did that once in the late 70's. Since then I have lost count of the amount of people I meet at shows who copy my trackplans.
 
For a small or micro layout Templot is pointless as this one very nearly was.
 
2vu0kk8.jpg
I bought a Dolls House ruler in twelths of inch using that it's very easy to made a scale drawing. I scaled up the drawing on the baseboard and was about 5mm out, why should I use something other.
When I made this my first micro I used the above criteria and 4 years later I am still finding new ways to operate it.
 
More later.

Edited by JimRead, 16 March 2018 - 11:40 .

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#9 Philou

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:59

@ Martin

 

This is excellent! The video tutorial has me given that impetus to want to try Templot again - at least I know that if I fail to make a point of my own there is now the fall-back position. Good stuff.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip


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#10 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:13

Hello Martin,

 

In answer to your comment about making locos and wagon.

 

333ikbn.jpg

The track is Code 100 rail glued to card sleepers and the points soldered to copper clad strips and I use 7mmNG track spikes for the light railway look that I like.

The loco is made from card and paper including its chassis

As are the wagons including the W Irons and the springs

The back scene is made from photographs and turned into low relief buildings.

 

I will gladly send you the PDF's I make in exchange for a nice message details of them can be seen here on my website

 

Cheers


Edited by JimRead, 16 March 2018 - 11:14 .

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#11 Jol Wilkinson

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:26

It's about time someone produced a guide to build your own points. I for one will be watching progress as I have to build some 0-21 track work very shortly. All help very welcome here.
Marc

It's always good to have someone tell others what to do.

 

IaIn Rice wrote a book about it, but no longer in print.

 

RightTrack produced a video showing how to do it by Norman Solomons. Also NLA.

 

There has been a very recent thread in on the Scalefour Society's Forum, open to anyone. 

 

https://www.scalefou....php?f=5&t=5727

 

These were all about 4mm trackwork, but the techniques are the same.

 

Martins Templot free software is excellent and the site is full of helpful guides and tips.

 

There may be other sources of information which an internet search will turn up.


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#12 brigo

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:48

 

Once complete this thread will be incorporated into a PDF which will be available from me in exchange for a nice message, no advance orders please I will only forget.
 
This is not aimed at the modeller who is looking for absolute authenticity but for something that will work. In the case of O gauge for the cost of one point two complete micro layouts worth of track can be made.
 
There is also the immense satisfaction of making something yourself rather that the quick rush of the 'buy it now' and the let down after.
 
'Ere we go then, make your own radius. Multiply all dimensions by 0.57 for 00 Gauge.
 
A trammel made from one of Eileens bits of old cane
 
vgljt5.jpg
A screw in one end and a pencil the other, in this case 28" apart
The pencil has been filed down to suit the hole with cheap rough belt sander refill.
The bit of card on the left has two holes in it 32mm apart, I use a large piece of card and hold it down with a chair leg (couldn't find it)
 
This drawing is complete, I start off with the two straight lines , and then lining up the trammel by eye square to the line I start making the curve, you will be able to tell as soon as you do it whether of not you are square to the line. An eraser is useful here. The frog will be where this curve crosses the lower line.
 
Move the trammel to the other hole and make another curve.
 
More soon

 

 

Unfortunately I see an error in the procedure here. By moving the centre for the trammel you will produce two curves of the same radius where as the curves should be different by the gauge (32mm). The centre should remain the same and the distance between screw and pencil changed.

 

Brian


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#13 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:53

Hello Jol,

 

Many thanks for your comment, one of the reasons that I'm doing this is because I explain how to at the shows I go to and send the interested ones a drawing, then see the same person at another show and sadly they have failed to make a point. A few have actually made some points and said how easy it actually is, for many of the people I talk to at shows they see it as a step too far.

 

If by doing this I encourage some people to have a go then I will be really happy and grateful to hear from them when they have. 

 

Some people once finding this thread and it's particular forum will realise that it is very easy and once they have made a point in the same way I do some will definitely begin to use Templot. 

 

Cheers


Edited by JimRead, 16 March 2018 - 11:53 .


#14 martin_wynne

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:59

There may be other sources of information

 

Hi Jol,

 

This thick A4 book by Geoff Jones is full of track building info:
106_121039_460000000.jpg

It's from the 2mm Association but includes a lot of information and ideas applicable to all scales.

 

See: http://www.2mm.org.u...book/index.html

 

cheers,

 

Martin.


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#15 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:12

Hello Brian,

 

Your quite right, altered the first post to suit.

 

Hello all,

 

It may be a good idea to put all the above source ideas into a 'sticky' at the top of the forum, it would save you all having to post the info in every thread.

 

Cheers


Edited by JimRead, 16 March 2018 - 12:29 .


#16 Poor Old Bruce

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:41

The hardest bit about point making is filing the blades and crossing nose components (and that's not exactly rocket science). The rest is done with gauges. Assuming ypou are using copper clad sleeper strip, with that many joints to make, you will soon learn how to solder as long as your iron is up to it and you clean and flux the mating parts.



#17 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:59

Hello Bruce,

 

I will come to that of course you are quite right and there is no need to solder everything, tacking a few major points is quite sufficient.

But, more on that later.

 

Cheers



#18 martin_wynne

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 13:00

Having got that first line make a mark 32mm from it

 

Hi Jim,

 

Many (most?) folks handbuilding track in 0 Gauge now use the 0-MF standard (31.5mm gauge, 1.5mm flangeways) instead of 32mm. This gives much improved running for modern 7mm wheels such a Slaters (and for the Hornby wheels shown in your video).

 

Fiddling about with trammels and pencils does seem unnecessary when you can print a proper prototypical template to any radius directly from Templot with just a few clicks. Your method shown does not produce a proper switch deflection. As drawn your switch blades will be unnecessarily thin and slender at the tip, and unlike the prototype. They will be so flexible that they will need to opened much further than the prototype in order to provide an adequate flangeway all along behind the open blade.

 

All this stuff has been covered over and over again here on RMweb and elsewhere over the years. It does seem retrograde to go back to such inferior methods when it is so easy to get a ready-to-use template which will work properly and look like a prototype turnout.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.


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#19 brossard

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 13:00

The most important thing is to get the common crossing tight.  I find the best way to assemble is to make the crossing off template using a crossing template taped to a piece of ply.  Solder the rails to copper clad strip, ensuring these are positioned between timbers and vee nose is on a timber.  Clean up and the sub assembly will drop into place on the main template.

 

P1010007-007.JPG

 

Something I recently learned is to put a set in the curved stock rail just in front of where the blade tip will go.  The set is at the black mark.

 

P1010003-005.JPG

 

Making blades is more tedious than anything else, especially if you're working in code 124.  I use a grinding wheel attachment on my Dremel to remove the bulk of material then coarse and fine files to complete.  The blade tip needs to be shaped.  This comes with practice.

 

My bibles on making track:

 

P1010003-004.JPG

 

Trax2 is very good I find and comes with a CD that enables you to breate and print templates.

 

John


Edited by brossard, 16 March 2018 - 13:01 .

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#20 BlackRat

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 13:33

Hi Jim,

Many (most?) folks handbuilding track in 0 Gauge now use the 0-MF standard (31.5mm gauge, 1.5mm flangeways) instead of 32mm. This gives much improved running for modern 7mm wheels such a Slaters (and for the Hornby wheels shown in your video).

Fiddling about with trammels and pencils does seem unnecessary when you can print a proper prototypical template to any radius directly from Templot with just a few clicks. Your method shown does not produce a proper switch deflection. As drawn your switch blades will be unnecessarily thin and slender at the tip, and unlike the prototype. They will be so flexible that they will need to opened much further than the prototype in order to provide an adequate flangeway all along behind the open blade.

All this stuff has been covered over and over again here on RMweb and elsewhere over the years. It does seem retrograde to go back to such inferior methods when it is so easy to get a ready-to-use template which will work properly and look like a prototype turnout.

cheers,

Martin.

Perhaps it's just me, but I must admit that's a little bit patronising isn't it?

Jim's methods are his, it works for him, and I guess he's rather happy with it reading from what he has done.

His second paragraph in his original post clearly states it's not aimed at the fastidious and his aims are quite clearly made.

Perhaps you missed this, the same as when you said many modellers prefer to work to a prototype, .....whereas some quite clearly don't.

Their choice may not be yours, but it IS their choice.

Edited by BlackRat, 16 March 2018 - 13:35 .

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#21 Marly51

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 14:13

This thread is great for a novice like me... I am enjoying working my way through the amazing range of techniques and research here on the forum. It can be overwhelming when you are starting out, but I like Jim's philosophy of giving it a go even if my track building may not go beyond a micro model.

Edited by Marly51, 16 March 2018 - 14:17 .

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#22 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 15:05

Hello all,
 
Many thanks for all your comments it's nice to see so many opinions. Mine are formed from my visits to shows where I talk to lots of people. I was at Wombourne last Saturday and heard one lady say to her husband, "If you made one of these you could keep it behind the sofa".
 
They came back after an hour or so and sat down, I always have two chairs in front of my layouts and my trestles are at wheelchair height. We talked to 1/2 an hour or so and hubby went away with my promise to email my PDF's to him.
 
He also asked about making points which is why I started this thread, I did send him the thread URL as well, no doubt he will have a smile when he reads it.
 
Going back to the shows I did my first one in 1979 with one loco and six wagons. My layout then was 12 ft long over the years I see that layouts are smaller and smaller. In 2002 Carl Arendt gave out his challenge of making a working layout in 4 sq ft or less regardless of scale. 
 
I took it up in 2013 after giving my then layout to Ilkeston MRC and made Moxley and got it ready for the 2014 show. It's the best layout I've ever made I can sit and operate it and chat to visitors as well, I don't have to go up and down it like a yo-yo to uncouple or operate a traverser and I can still drive 100 miles there and back feeling quite fresh.
 
Carl Arendt's site took off with 1,000's of posts to his monthly, eventually bi-monthly 'Scrapbooks' sadly Carl died and a German chap is slowly taking over the pages to make sure the archive remains.
 
And the interest in small and micro layouts continues to grow, why because people say to me even more than they used to, "I could make something like that!"
 
Cheers

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#23 martin_wynne

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 15:08

Perhaps it's just me, but I must admit that's a little bit patronising isn't it?

 

I don't think it's patronising to point out potential problems. Creating a switch as a tangential curve without a switch deflection does make it more difficult to build, and more likely to suffer problems with wrong gauge through the switch.

 

Jim isn't only saying "this is what I did". He is also suggesting others should do the same. And this being a forum, I think it is entirely reasonable to draw attention to any likely problems and discrepancies. There have been dozens of topics about building track, so if we are going to have another one it needs to represent forward progress rather than a backwards return to 1950s methods (unless that is specifically stated as its "retro" intention).

 

regards,

 

Martin.


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#24 brack

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 18:04

if I was to repeatedly post on Jim's loco thread telling him it was wrong to model in card or tell others about it because I'd made a lovely etched brass Y7 to S7 standards and it wasn't the 1950s you know, I suspect people would rightly assume I wasn't being very polite or respectful. I don't think that is anyone's intention, but there are those who do not wish to install and learn how to use templot and there are those who don't find the permanent way as fascinating as others - it's a broad church. Continually telling someone on his own thread that you perceive there be superior ways of doing things is likely to put him off sharing in future.

I say this as someone who has dabbled with templot before and seen some excellent work done with it. There is room in the hobby for both approaches.
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#25 JimRead

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 18:56

Hello Brack

 

Thanks for the comment you have hit the nail right on the head, model railways is a pastime to be enjoyed by everyone and at all levels, that is the joy of it.

 

Hello all

I hope this vid is going to embed here goes;

 

This is a little video of my Muckton layout, first is the 28" radius point and second the 34" radius Barry Slip
 
It shows what can be done in a very small space, everything you see I made myself.
They are such a delight to operate and also show that everyone no matter how small the space they have can make a working layout with a reason for being there.
 
The exploration of light railway history is a delight to read and brings up some of the most amazing tales. I find them far more entertaining and idiosyncratic than anything the main railway companies have to offer. The Selsey Tramway being one of my favourites.
 
With this layout I have created a run down and hardly used light railway terminus, if it can be called that grandiose name. At the shows I am able to recount tales of these railways to the amusement of visitors. Last Saturday at Wombourne the people from the Bishops Castle railway had a stand, it was lovely to swap tales of the railway, which incidentally ran in receivership for 70 years.
 
This micro caper is such great fun and that I think is what a pastime should be.
 
Cheers
 
Recorded at FHD 1920x1080 using a Panasonic Lumix GH1 with Mr L.Powell's 75Mbps GH1 Peak Reliability Patch at ISO1600. Edited in Cyberlink PD14 Ultra and rendered to H.264 MP4 1280x720p for loading to YT. YT has made a pretty good job of it despite the high ISO setting.
[edit] Not as good as I first thought after reading YT's instructions I rendered it again this time to a WMV and loaded it to YT, and though it's now a smaller file it looks a lot smoother.

Edited by JimRead, 17 March 2018 - 17:15 .

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