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Track join over hinged baseboard joint - help please!


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Hi all,

 

As the title says I am hoping someone can help me and my dad with an issue on our layout.

 

We have had to hinge a section of baseboard to allow for access to a water tank and need to figure out a way to make sure the track aligns properly at the join.

 

Fishplates are not a viable option as they would be difficult to fit/remove for my dad.

 

Currently the track is pinned into place and the boards have been built with an interlocking framework. Wiring is also sorted (BUS wire will be fed from the next board along)

 

Any advice/suggestions appreciated.20210427_181650.jpg.c28568f7a65d629de5010a06f8b13131.jpg20210427_181703.jpg.509d8f9633aa1058eaa6770613320747.jpg20210427_203659.jpg.22ca5a1e49d37875e34ce479b280cb86.jpg

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Posted (edited)

It may not provide you with a usable answer, but there is an account of how I tackled a similar problem on my layout.

 

 

 

There are many ways of solving this problem, and I doubt if it will be long before other suggestions are forthcoming.

Edited by Mick Bonwick
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Providing that you are not putting the hinges at 90 degrees to the track, a set of well positioned cabinet bolts was hould do the trick.

If, due to seasonal expansion this is not accurate enough you will need to solder the disrupted track to copper clad sleepers. If you get the ones intended for O gauge and leave them over long, solder sections of brass tube along side the rails and use u suitable nail to lock and locate.

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My approach to a lifting section is as follows:

 

1. Ensure that the track crossing the join is straight and ideally at 90 degrees to the join. Curves are very tricky to deal with and track not at 90 degrees also tends to give problems, so I don't recommend having either.

 

2. For horizontal alignment, I use metal cam dowels fitted to the underside of the edge timber on the edge of the lifting baseboard, which make a tight fit into holes drilled into a section of timber batten projecting from the underside of the fixed baseboard.

Here are some cam dowels (other suppliers are available):

 

https://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails-fixings/cam-dowels-locks/cat7280104

 

Whether you use the cam locks is up to you - I don't since the sheer weight of the lifting section keeps it in place for me, but if you do use them then you have to loosen them before lifting.

 

Two cam dowels - one on each side of the join - should be enough.

 

3. For vertical alignment, I have a single section of timber batten which goes underneath both sides of the join, under both the lifting baseboard and the fixed baseboard. Careful alignment of both baseboards onto this timber ensures that they are level and at the same height. Using the cam locks can help with the vertical alignment, although my view is that if you have to use the cam locks, then something is out of alignment and you should fix that first.

 

Clearly the track on each side of the join must be fixed in place. I use pins, but glue or other fixing methods should be fine.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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8 hours ago, alphonsus said:

Thanks, SamThomas, you've solved a problem for me!

Same here!

 

Ordered some wednesday, delivered yesterday (will update when they are fitted)

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On 17/05/2021 at 07:50, SamThomas said:

You could always use these (the prices vary depending on the stockist) ;

 

https://www.modeltech.uk/

This looks like a fantastic device. So simple, but why wasn't it thought of earlier? I also like the method used to attach power wires . . . . sure beats soldering wires directly to the rails. Looking forward to results of testing!

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On 17/05/2021 at 12:50, SamThomas said:

You could always use these (the prices vary depending on the stockist) ;

 

https://www.modeltech.uk/

 

I'm not very good with electrics so pls bear with me.  I'm not sure I fully understand how this works.

 

You have power to the fixed tracks either side of the lift-out section.  The lift-out section is unpowered, and there are no rail joiners across the joins.  So am I right in thinking the metal base is live, and a connection is made where the 2 sections butt join each other - but there's no short 'cos each side of the joiner has an electrical gap between the 2 live rails, and your normal track has plastic sleepers (or whatever) keeping them electically isolated?

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On 30/05/2021 at 21:08, davefromacrossthepond said:

This looks like a fantastic device. So simple, but why wasn't it thought of earlier?

It makes you wonder if a 'similar' device could be fashioned from those little childrens interlocking bricks. They are a good 'tight fit', but are designed to be separated on a frequent basis. Just glue / attach them to the baseboards either side of the joint. Might need some 'weathering' though:

81diXiRz-jS._AC_SL1500_.jpg.4208aaefcad52b89a14ea142addb4a7a.jpg

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31 minutes ago, ISW said:

It makes you wonder if a 'similar' device could be fashioned from those little childrens interlocking bricks. They are a good 'tight fit', but are designed to be separated on a frequent basis. Just glue / attach them to the baseboards either side of the joint. Might need some 'weathering' though:

 

 

Even the cheapest set of those blocks is about £8. The ProTrack Rail Aligner is £10.

 

I know it's tempting to "make your own", but sometimes buying the proper job is just, well, easier?

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18 hours ago, Metr0Land said:

 

I'm not very good with electrics so pls bear with me.  I'm not sure I fully understand how this works.

 

You have power to the fixed tracks either side of the lift-out section.  The lift-out section is unpowered, and there are no rail joiners across the joins.  So am I right in thinking the metal base is live, and a connection is made where the 2 sections butt join each other - but there's no short 'cos each side of the joiner has an electrical gap between the 2 live rails, and your normal track has plastic sleepers (or whatever) keeping them electically isolated?

 

Reading the User guide on their website, I'm seeing  no electrical connection incorporated in the joiner. You can add droppers to the aligner at either side of your join, but this is an alignment device and not an electrical connecting device.

 

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5 minutes ago, wirey33 said:

 

Even the cheapest set of those blocks is about £8. The ProTrack Rail Aligner is £10.

 

I know it's tempting to "make your own", but sometimes buying the proper job is just, well, easier?

Very true, but if you have a 'few' to do, then the £8 covers very many joints. And, of course, you might have some knocking around the house already ... It was just an idea that someone might find useful.

 

Ian

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On 27/04/2021 at 21:48, Mick Bonwick said:

It may not provide you with a usable answer, but there is an account of how I tackled a similar problem on my layout.

 

 

 

There are many ways of solving this problem, and I doubt if it will be long before other suggestions are forthcoming.

The link took me to page 1 of about 16, any more detail of which page / date please.

 

To be hionest I  have never thought of hinging a board from the wall that way, it looks a bit flimsy at the joint. 

If that is sundela you may need to add some strengthening where the aligners attach. It's vital the adjoining boards are flat in all planes, they don't need to be level but any kinks and it's derailment central.   Hopefully there is no significant temperature variation as llowing for expansion will be very challenging.

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58 minutes ago, DavidCBroad said:

The link took me to page 1 of about 16, any more detail of which page / date please.

 

If you click on the small square containing the arrow, in the top right-hand corner of the link panel, it takes you straight to the relevant page. The date that this topic started was May 21 2020, as shown top left in that same panel, and the page number is 6.

 

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On 02/06/2021 at 08:42, ISW said:

It makes you wonder if a 'similar' device could be fashioned from those little childrens interlocking bricks. They are a good 'tight fit', but are designed to be separated on a frequent basis. Just glue / attach them to the baseboards either side of the joint. Might need some 'weathering' though:

 

TBH, if I had to resort to that level of cheapness I'd find a much cheaper hobby.

 

Someone has spent the time developing a great little cost effective product that retails for £10 for 4 sets (can be found for less than RRP) so, IMHO being a small supplier should be supported, not undermined.

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On 17/05/2021 at 12:50, SamThomas said:

You could always use these (the prices vary depending on the stockist) ;

 

https://www.modeltech.uk/

Another thank you for alerting me to this product range, an order has been placed. I have just been reworking my lifting section, but it may well be done again when these arrive.

 

I  think I documented my original build in my Wylde thread (in sig), but I used the two part cabinet blocks, which have tapered mating faces, to provide some of the alignment.

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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Just ordered some of the aligners from Model tech. 8 pieces, 4 joints for a tenner. Not badly priced I reckon. Had to compromise for the HOn3 though.

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On 01/06/2021 at 14:34, Metr0Land said:

 

I'm not very good with electrics so pls bear with me.  I'm not sure I fully understand how this works.

 

You have power to the fixed tracks either side of the lift-out section.  The lift-out section is unpowered, and there are no rail joiners across the joins.  So am I right in thinking the metal base is live, and a connection is made where the 2 sections butt join each other - but there's no short 'cos each side of the joiner has an electrical gap between the 2 live rails, and your normal track has plastic sleepers (or whatever) keeping them electically isolated?

 

Looking at the pictures, I'm not 100% of your lift out arrangement,  however if your lift out is the bit that is hinged on the wall then run some wires from your fixed track, onto the movable board where the hinge is, and then re-attach to your track on the hinged section.

 

If you have a section that is completely removable (I.e, not hinged and comes out completely) then you will need 1 item to help with track alignment as shown by Sam Thomas, then some separate electrical connectors (plug and socket) that would need to be wired up and connected when the layout is in use, then unplugged when you need to move the board out of the way.

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1 hour ago, Satan's Goldfish said:

separate electrical connectors (plug and socket)

Yes, I have a lift-out section that can be removed completely, rather than just hinged. I use a plug and socket arrangement to carry the power for the tracks and simply disconnect them when I want to lift out the section and reconnect when I replace the section. Simple and reliable.

 

There are other possibilities e.g. using metal contacts that automatically bridge between the lift out section and the fixed section when the lift out section is in place. I just found that design a bit too fiddly for my liking.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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I use phono plus and sockets. Each one has a core and a screen lead, so offers both a + and - connection.

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

 

Just to update the aligners are now fitted and work beautifully. Tracks line up every time without any need for extra pressure/adjustment.

 

I have tried soldering the rails to a couple of the joiners on the inner edges (as instructions say) and the others on the outer edges to see if there is any difference and will report back if anything changes.

 

20210612_205724.jpg.967cecbffb70808722f9ff69f27d3b57.jpg20210612_205757.jpg.e91413938cacfd488b60047f6f14821b.jpg20210612_205807.jpg.727935ee31f9675285124956dac8ddae.jpg

20210612_205834.jpg.b880e0c707498cdef6acb6e2151ab5f6.jpg

I have also purchased and fitted some of the "power feeder" sleepers to test and have found they work brilliantly.

 

20210612_205855.jpg.082d279c01ab295c32b6eb4a53e1cf72.jpg

 

Both items are extremely easy to solder (even for someone like me who isn't too good at soldering!) and I'll probably be ordering more in the future.

Edited by K Hatton
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