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Ralf

Building my first C&L Crossing...

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

 

Second attempt - first attempt managed to vanish, suspect my fault but blaming my iPad.

 

So here I aim to chart my voyage from Armchair modeller to Hand Built track do-er... I suspect there'll be plenty of hic cups and snags along the way but I'm sure assistance and pointers will be forthcoming from you good people.

 

I have convinced myself this is my path rather than rtr, PCB or ply and rivet although as I am a great fan of Iain Rice and his work PCB is knawing at me - suspect my next crossing may be PCB.... 

 

So finally some action this evening, template secured down and sticky tape provided for the timbering up. Then a dilemma which way up does the rail go? Eventually I realise I can check it against the silver soldered crossing and thus deduce it's the meatier bit is the running surface. 

 

Next step is to cut the chairs from their sprue and pop into their piles.... More tomorrow as on Jury service atm so time is more available that usual.

 

Thanks 

Ralf 

 

 

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Edited by Ralf
I'd lost all the words!

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Posted (edited)

As I don't see rivets yet in the timbers or chairs on the rail you've laid down I'm assuming you haven't got to the point of fixing the rail yet, and that you're gluing the chairs rather than ply/rivets (or you would have done the rivets before sticking the sleepers down).

 

A few points to help on your way.

 

1. File the bottom web of rails to a point at one end - it makes it much easier to thread the chairs.

 

2. It's not really covered in C&L instructions, but there should be a little kink just at the left edge of the third sleeper - the beginning of where it says straight planing. This is to accommodate the chamfer of the switch rail- without it the switch rail won't fit snugly against the stock rail and you can get a tight spot on the straight road.

 

3. I see you have the pre-formed V, rather than the complete V + wing-rail assembly (the latter is a bit pricey!) -  solder a bit of scrap fret across the V in a couple of places so you can solder the wing rails to them - this will stop the flangeway from going out of Gauge and provide electrical bonding between the V and wing rails (be careful with the soldering iron though- it's easy to unsolder the preformed V!)

 

4. If you can get some, Exactoscale functional isolating fishplates are great - I think they're one of the best point making accessories- not only do they provide the necessary electrical isolation between crossing assembly and switch rails, but they keep the alignment too. Exactoscale bridge chairs are also handy as they fit the tight spaces around the crossing that you otherwise have to cut down the standard C&L chairs to make fit.

 

5. Keep some correctly gauged wagons to hand and run them through the points at each stage of the build - that way you can find tight spots and misalignment and correct them as you go.

 

Good luck with the jury service - I had to do it last year and spent the whole week in the jury waiting room. Got selected for the 16 3 times, but didn't make the final 12 for any case and didn't see any action- got a lot of reading done!

 

 

Disclaimer: I can't actually claim credit for these tips - they're just things I've picked up from various places and found helpful.

Edited by sharris
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Use very thin strips of double-sided tape or you'll pull the chairs off the sleepers when you try to remove it from the plan! also start by laying the crossing Vee first, line up everything else from there. Have a look ay Hayfield's very informative threads on here for a lot of useful tips. good luck.

 

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Ralph

 

Keep the chairs on the sprues, I find it easier to thread the chairs on to the rail when they are still on them.

 

I would fit the Vee first, then the stock rails, good advice about fitting some brass shim (I now buy 0.5 mm thick brass strip from Hobby Holidays) if using plastic timbers I have found the plastic chairs will hold the wing rails in place

 

Good luck

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20 hours ago, sharris said:

3. I see you have the pre-formed V, rather than the complete V + wing-rail assembly (the latter is a bit pricey!) -  solder a bit of scrap fret across the V in a couple of places so you can solder the wing rails to them - this will stop the flangeway from going out of Gauge and provide electrical bonding between the V and wing rails (be careful with the soldering iron though- it's easy to unsolder the preformed V!)

 

Thanks all for all of the tips, I did go for the whole preformed assembley as a newbie decided it'd be safest / easiest. 

 

Been having "fun" today with slicing open the chair tops but not through the bottoms and so wish not chopped all the chairs off last night before anyone had chance to warn me - they're a sod to handle aren't they. Then realised I've got no switch blades just 1 bit of un-milled and about 130mm long so have emailed Phil via the website. 

 

For sticky I've used folded back Magic Scotch tape it's fab low tac but isn't as flat / tight as I'd have liked. 

 

Any my tips on what sort of brush to apply Butanone with I know Phil said make sure it's natural / synthetic but I cannot remember which, presumably natural?

 

Thanks

Ralf image.jpeg.a535ff14a3f8af7613a4fca463a220d2.jpeg

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Having been used to using Templot, the sleeper spacing on the C&L template looks a bit closer than the prototype. But if you build the whole lot to that standard nobody will notice.

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1 hour ago, roythebus said:

Having been used to using Templot, the sleeper spacing on the C&L template looks a bit closer than the prototype. But if you build the whole lot to that standard nobody will notice.

 

Hi roy,

 

The C&L templates labelled 00 are actually H0 scale, i.e. 3.5mm/ft.

 

Templot 00 templates are 4mm/ft scale.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

 

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Roy

 

As for brushes to apply solvent I buy the Humbrol green handled pack of brushes and use the second smallest

 

I see you started with the straight stock rail first, before you do too much check that the  common crossing is bang on centre (otherwise you will have a lop sided turnout), if it is not remove the stock rail (easy on wood timbers) 

 

Please note the C&L common crossings have a 1 mm flangeway gap, you do have the correct 00SF gauges so its important that everything is gauged from the centre at the common crossing end of the turnout, the plan is a just a guide, the gauges set the positions of the check and stock rails.

 

Still looks very promising

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18 hours ago, roythebus said:

Having been used to using Templot, the sleeper spacing on the C&L template looks a bit closer than the prototype. But if you build the whole lot to that standard nobody will notice.

 

I'd have to look at a piece of C&L track to see if it's obvious or not, but one thing is, does the track look 'too heavy'?.  Because you're using the same sleepers (~3.3mm wide for most plain track and 4mm wide for point timbers in 4mm scale representing 10" and 12" wide sleepers) whether you use P4, EM or 00 templates (you can't use narrower or the chairs wouldn't fit), if you scale down the track and sleeper spacing, the ratio of sleeper:ballast will change (mark:space ratio in digital electronics terms). 

 

Normally sleepers are spaced on about 2'6" (10mm in 4mm scale) centres - admittedly point timbers might have a bit of adjustment to this spacing through the points but the idea will still hold.

 

Modelling with true sleeper spacing (e.g. C&L P4 templates), for points you'd have a mark:space ratio of 4:6 (4mm sleepers, 6mm gap over 10mm centres).

Modelling with H0 sleeper spacing (e.g. C&L 00 templates), for points you'd have a mark:space ratio of 4:4.7 (4mm sleepers, 4.7mm gap over 8.7mm centres).

EM templates have a slight, but probably imperceptible ratio change to 4:5.7. 

 

So, with H0 templates, your track is 46% sleeper and 54% ballast, while with P4 it is 40% sleeper, 60% ballast, and EM templates would give almost right 41% sleeper, 59% ballast. 

 

Has anyone noticed a heaviness of H0 templated track compared to the real thing? 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Ralf said:

 

 I did go for the whole preformed assembley as a newbie decided it'd be safest / easiest. 

 

 

 

Oh yes - now I've spotted it in the first picture under the pile of bits! 

 

I'm curious what the off-white sprue of chairs is - I've haven't seen that one before in a C&L point-chair set. 

 

 

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On 16/05/2019 at 18:14, sharris said:

 

Oh yes - now I've spotted it in the first picture under the pile of bits! 

 

I'm curious what the off-white sprue of chairs is - I've haven't seen that one before in a C&L point-chair set. 

 

 

I'd guess at some uncleaned lost wax brass ones. Shouldn't really be trying to build a 00SF (4F) turnout using an 00 (or H0 for that matter) template, the chairs and timbers  won't line up properly with the template. Much easier to use Templot to work from.

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On 16/05/2019 at 18:14, sharris said:

I'm curious what the off-white sprue of chairs is - I've haven't seen that one before in a C&L point-chair set. 

 

I'm curious too now... The only thing I can imagine is it was a usual C&L brown sprue with my LED worklight reflecting on it as it shows splodges of brown. 

 

Thread on hold awaiting dirt cheap Windows laptop to run Templot on (I know it can be done on a mac but it's a faff in my mind) then hopefully with some blades we can get cracking. Meanwhile reading up on what Rice and the 2mm Finescale people have to say about PCB track... 

 

Cheers

Ralf

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So attempt 2 with thanks to a Templot Template via Hayfield (comp issues my end, long story). I opted to start again from the common crossing, the sleepers are on the short side but never mind it's only a test piece and if it ever appears on a layout it'll be under industrial sludge! 

 

So here's the progress so far... Feedback, comments etc all very welcome...

 

 

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One thing I would have done differently (I'm assuming you've glued things down now)... 

 

re: The end of the wing rails where they would meet the switch rails - I would have measured and cut the ends to lie about in the centre of the gap between the sleepers (as that's where the fishplates would go) instead of letting them extend over the sleeper - I find it easier to offer up the part, cut and file to size rather than trying to cut track in-situ. You'll need a break here anyway as you need to electrically isolate the crossing assembly from the switch-rails. This is where I find the Exactoscale fishplates handy as they slip over the rail ends, line up the rails and provide isolation. 

 

Talking of fishplates: when sliding your chairs onto the rail work out beforehand where the fishplates are going to go, and make sure that the wooden keys either side of the fishplate position will face away from the fishplates. 

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Some good tips there from sharris.

 

Templot takes a bit of getting used to, I say that with about 12 years years experience trying to get used to it! but Matrtin provides good tech support and don't forget there's the Templot forum as well.

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14 hours ago, sharris said:

One thing I would have done differently (I'm assuming you've glued things down now)... 

 

re: The end of the wing rails where they would meet the switch rails - I would have measured and cut the ends to lie about in the centre of the gap between the sleepers (as that's where the fishplates would go) instead of letting them extend over the sleeper - I find it easier to offer up the part, cut and file to size rather than trying to cut track in-situ. You'll need a break here anyway as you need to electrically isolate the crossing assembly from the switch-rails. This is where I find the Exactoscale fishplates handy as they slip over the rail ends, line up the rails and provide isolation. 

 

Talking of fishplates: when sliding your chairs onto the rail work out beforehand where the fishplates are going to go, and make sure that the wooden keys either side of the fishplate position will face away from the fishplates. 

 

Certainly when starting to build turnouts its a sharp learning curve, focusing on some things whilst missing other things. Quite often unless you make mistakes yourself you never learn properly.

 

The good thing using ply timbers is that the bond between chair and timber can be broken very easily once the solvent has set. I have found (like others) when you know there is an error, usually you will always be unhappy with it and quite often in the excitement of getting something working quickly overrides the ability to think straight and correct an error . 

 

The most important thing is to take part, next is to improve what follows and do not give up

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9 hours ago, roythebus said:

Some good tips there from sharris.

 

Templot takes a bit of getting used to, I say that with about 12 years years experience trying to get used to it! but Matrtin provides good tech support and don't forget there's the Templot forum as well.

 

Agreed, but Templot is not the complete mystery that it used to be. It is worlds away from the system I used 6+ years ago and is so easy to produce quite complicated plans with just a few clicks of the mouse, who would have thought one could build in a few seconds an EM gauge slip with 10 clicks of the mouse in less time than it took me to write these few words !!!

 

In its basic for complicated its not

 

 

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Some wise words there Mr Hayfield.

 

Quote

The good thing using ply timbers is that the bond between chair and timber can be broken very easily once the solvent has set.

 

Having gone for the plastic sleeper method, in that case I find breaking the bond between chair and timber tends to result in the destruction of the chair and much swearing when things don't go smoothly! I seem to remember reading Iain Rice suggesting somewhere that TNT was a suitable disassembly tool for plastic-on-plastic construction. 

 

Having learned my lesson, for the double slip I'm doing now (and at least 4 times as many chances for me to cock things up as for a simple point), I decided not to rely on the chairs to locate the rail on the complicated bits, but I've superglued glued thin (~1/2mm) thick copper clad PCB landing pads to the plastic sleepers in important places so I can solder the rails and tweak them before adding chairs. As it's PCB rather than plain brass strip the fibreglass provides a heat barrier that stops the sleepers melting when they're being soldered. One of those things I wish I'd thought of before I started on the points! 

 

 

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Thanks for the input folks, wing rails trimmed and tidied up. 

 

Have also glued the toe toe end and  curved stick rail at both ends being happy with its alignment. Maybe I haven’t yet seen the pitfall but it felt like progress. Check rails have been cut and will be fitted and shaped next time. 

 

Then it’ll be switch blades time once either Phil has got back to me or I’ll been back to Marcway during their revised opening hours! 

 

Thanks

Ralf 

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Keep going, you know you'll enjoy it....

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Hi all, 

 

No news from Phil @ C&L re: missing points blades but have been successfully to Marcway and armed myself with lots of bits and bobs for adventures in PCB turnout manufacture but of course a quantity of rail too. So having read what Mr Rice has to say on the subject managed to produce two adequate looking point blades (adequate IMHO) and have mostly finished this turnout. Thank heavens though I invested in 3 Valorbe 6" files - bliss! I never knew that's how easy filing was supposed to be. 

 

Check rail bends were unexpectedly easy having cut too far through with the razor saw but never mind. 

 

The only issue I'm having is the roller gauge is tight between the common crossing and the wing rail when going straight ahead through the turnout - see later pictures which is where the roller sticks. I've only tried 2 random Bachmann wagon wheel sets - 1 fine, 1 won't go at all! Having played with my digital vernier it's more like 0.7mm flangeway rather than 1.0mm I think I was aiming at. BUT as it's C&L silver soldered one it pains me to alter it. Any thoughts anyone? 

 

For now I think I shall finish off the slides chairs, tidy up the check rails etc and most likely move on to a Marcway style turnout until I can somehow choose and determine a master wheelset / wagon to try with... 

 

 

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A flangeway at 0.7mm sounds like P4 to me?

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The design spec. for the inner flanges of the 16.2mm OO-sf Roller Track Gauge is 0.85mm (min) - 0.9mm (max).  So if the Gauge is binding then:

1. Either the track is under the 16.2mm gauge at that point, or

2. The crossing flangeway gap is under the required 1mm.

Do you have a 1mm shim/feeler gauge to check the crossing?

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2 hours ago, Ralf said:

Check rail bends were unexpectedly easy having cut too far through with the razor saw but never mind.

 

Hi Ralf,

 

No such cuts are needed. An ordinary bend in the rail is quite sufficient and more prototypical. It doesn't need to be a sharp bend.

 

Ditto the knuckle bends in the wing rails, where I have seen some modellers make cuts and very sharp bends. That actually makes running worse in the trailing direction.

 

Here's a simple idea which costs nothing and is a good way to make precise symmetrical bends in bullhead rail. It just needs a bit of practice to get good results first time:

 

2_041840_270000000.png

 

2_041828_140000000.png

 

Hopefully the diagrams are self-explanatory. Just two oddments of rail about an inch long laid side by side with a gap between. The smaller the gap, so the harder you need to press/hit, but the more precisely located will be the bend. Make sure the rail is exactly square across them before making the bend -- a sheet of graph paper underneath helps.

 

It's looking good, but a few pointers:

 

Looking at your photo I'm not sure I can see a proper set in the diverging stock rail -- omitting the essential set is a common beginner mistake. It makes fitting the switch blades to gauge very difficult. More about all that at:

 

http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=491&forum_id=1 

 

You have filed the switch blades flat on both sides. this makes the ends very flexible and they will need to open a very long way to give sufficient clearance for the wheel flanges all along behind them.

 

It's better to make the filed section shorter, and on the inside hold the file at an angle so that the foot of the rail remains intact, like this:

 

2_212140_560000000.png

 

This makes the blade end much stiffer, and not needing to open so far at the tip.

 

Also, you have probably realised that you have made the blades a bit too short, the end should be resting on the first slide chair (but not beyond it).

 

A strange mistake, because more often I see blades too long and hanging in fresh air beyond the first slide chair, as on the new Peco turnouts.


cheers,

Martin.

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Not much to add to Martin's post but I am curious as to the nature of the insulating fishplates(rail-joiners?) used on the common crossing turnout rails.

Having looked at the photo of the common crossing, something looks a bit wrong in that the gaps are not identical. What was the spec of the common crossing from C&L? As a quick check in the absence of a 1mm slip gauge you could try a piece of rail as it's only just under the 1mm (very  often about 0.91mm).

 

As far as I know C&L vees never have been what is commonly understood to be silver-soldered, I understood they employ a solder with only a slightly higher melting point than normal. 

 

As you look to be modelling track with 2 bolt chairs (GWR?), check out Modelu 2 bolt slide chairs and the Exactoscale common crossing chairs for a better representation of a slab and bracket chair for the nose.

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