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hayfield

Copperclad Turnout Construction

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A few people found my work bench on point building helpfull, so I thought I would take a few photos of my methods. I try and keep things simple and whilst I have admiration for those who bend and fileup the V's as per prototype etc, that going to far for my models. All the methods I use are copied from others.

 

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I stick(spray mount) my templates on a small building board, I can spin it around so the joints to be soldered are in front of me. I have used rear side of a surplus interlocking flooring board and I have several in different sizes up to 4' long. But any flat board will do. This also shown the basic tools that are needed

 

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I then use spray mount on the template, so I can stick the sleepers to it, I use a straight edge to keep the sleepers in a straight line. I then measure and cut the sleepers with wire cutters and square up the ends with a few strokes from a file.

 

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I tack the straight stock rain in place using a straight edge to keep it all in line. I tack the rail to the end sleepers first, then the centre one then put 2 further tacks in each half, this should be enough to keep all the length straight. I then solder the temaining joints.

 

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I file the V's on an off cut of 2x1 by eye, to start with it may take a few minuets. Once you are use to it it takes a few seconds. Put both pieces on the plan to see if the angles are correct, if not just file a bit more off.

 

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Using track gauges solder the first V rail in place. When happy I then solder the second by eye.

 

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I now fit the second stock rail in place, you need to put a slight bend in the rail (its called a set) where the switch rail will close against it ( bottom right) useing a pair of pliers. I start from the toe end using gauges to set the rail from the V. I then make about 3 tack jounts between the V and switch start, to hold the rail in place along the curve, again using the template as a guide. I then solder the heal part of the rail in place using gauges. When I am happy after checking all is in line I solder the remaing joints.

 

By building on a small board, you can turn it around to make working on it easier, you can also pick it up and look at it from all angles. As you can see the turnout is coming along quickly without too much effort, no specialist tools other than 2 roller gauges, and its not taken very long.

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I have shown the three items I use to set the first switch & wing rail, Steel rule, 2 roller gauges and a wing rail gauge (1.25mm piece of Ali). I file the switch blade up the same way as the V's, but at a shallower angle and both sides

 

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I make the rail slightly too big, once I am happy that I have the bend in the frog in the correct place I mark and cut both ends. Tack the rail in place, test if all OK solder the rest of the Joins. Test with a 4 wheel wagon and adjust if necessary.

 

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Repeat the process for the other switch rail then fit the check rails

 

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Remove the turnout from the board, using a slitting disc make isolation cuts in the check rails and put isolation cuts in the sleepers in the appropriate places.

 

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Finally test, wire up to a transformer put a loco on it and check that it works fine, if not look at the isolation to see that they all have been done correctly.

 

I hope this may help those who want to test the water and build their own

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I have just changed the tiebar arrangement, as per Normon Solomon's article in Model Railway Journal. This photo is of a poor quality but shows the components.

 

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I cut a piece co copperclad a bit thinner than the sleepers, and 2 Peco track pins.

 

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According to Norman drill 2 holes 13.25mm appart for 00 and 15.5mm for P4 & EM, I drilled the holes with a 0.56mm bit. Take off the blackening with emery paper or nedel file. Push them through the holes and bend 90' slowly as not to break the pins. Then cut to about 5mm long. I have removed the copperclad from around the holes, if you are useing double sided strip do not forget to make an isolation break in the rear of the tiebar

 

 

Slide a bit of thin paper under the rail and pin to stop you soldering the rail and pin to the sleeper and solder the pins to the switch blades.

 

Once I know from which point on the tiebar I will drive the point. I will solder a shim of brass to it and drill the hole for the operating wire, to reinforce a potential week spot.

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Using this method saves any stress on the solder joints, which you get if soldering straight to the tie bar.

 

Khris

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I assume these points are for a fiddle yard but if you mount the copperclad vertically you can use it on a scenic layout where it gives a sturdy tie-bar and looks something like a real one (of the later bar type anyway). 15.5mm seems a bit narrow for P4 although i'd have to check the correct opening. Edit: something more like 16.2mm should do the aim being to get your checkrail opening at the end of the planing where the gap is narrowest GWR Switch crossing book suggests 4" at the toe anyway.

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I assume these points are for a fiddle yard but if you mount the copperclad vertically you can use it on a scenic layout where it gives a sturdy tie-bar and looks something like a real one (of the later bar type anyway). 15.5mm seems a bit narrow for P4 although i'd have to check the correct opening. Edit: something more like 16.2mm should do the aim being to get your checkrail opening at the end of the planing where the gap is narrowest GWR Switch crossing book suggests 4" at the toe anyway.

 

 

Craig

 

Unless you use the thin wire or etched type tiebars (Exactoscale?) most systems are a compromise (even RTR). This turnout is for the scenic section, and before you ask I will not be putting on cosmetic chairs. It is for an engine shed shelf type layout, so the ballast / ash will be quite high and I intend to paint to reflect there is quite alot of ash and muck about. I have built turnouts with chaired track, but in this instance I opted for simple construction methods, and hopefully shown that building turnouts this way is not difficult, does not need many tools and does not have to cost much.

 

The hole size is from Norman's article and in 00 they work fine. As the wire is soldered to the turnout blades the gaps are a bit smaller than the width of the holes implies.

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Just to say thanks for posting that photo-tutorial hayfield. I've bookmarked it for future reference and I'm sure others will benefit too :)

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Using this method saves any stress on the solder joints, which you get if soldering straight to the tie bar.

 

Khris

 

Khris

 

I have never had too much of a problem with the tiebars failing providing they have a good fillet of solder, it may be that I tend to use larger size turnouts and in this case the switch rails are not soldered to the first 11 sleepers, this keeps the blades quite springy. However you are right about this method haveing less strain on the solder joint as each blade can swivel as the switch is thrown.

 

 

Just to say thanks for posting that photo-tutorial hayfield. I've bookmarked it for future reference and I'm sure others will benefit too :)

 

I will finish off the turnout over the next few days. I have four more turnouts to build, 2 of which will be a crossover, I use a slightly different build sequence for these, so I will take some photos when I build them. First I must do more work on the engine shed building, so I can line up the tracks.

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Craig

 

Unless you use the thin wire or etched type tiebars (Exactoscale?) most systems are a compromise (even RTR). This turnout is for the scenic section, and before you ask I will not be putting on cosmetic chairs.

Masokits or Ambis make etched tie-bars with copper clad while Colin Craig has been working on a new design for his FB pointwork. If bullhead rail is soldered directly to copper clad you cannot fit cosmetic 1/2 chairs correctly anyway. I look forward to seeing the point in situ.

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I have never had too much of a problem with the tiebars failing providing they have a good fillet of solder, it may be that I tend to use larger size turnouts and in this case the switch rails are not soldered to the first 11 sleepers, this keeps the blades quite springy.

 

I can attest to this, as Hayfield built all the turnouts for my layout. Haven't had a problem with failing tiebars.

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I solder a small brass tab under the point with a small hole inside the gauge. I then drill and tap two holes in the throwbar for 00-90 and screw the points to the throwbar. That provides the hinge and allows either the point or throwbar to be removed and replaced if something breaks.

 

I also noticed that every tie was PC board. I have also seen using every 4th or 5th tie PC and the other ties wood.

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I solder a small brass tab under the point with a small hole inside the gauge. I then drill and tap two holes in the throwbar for 00-90 and screw the points to the throwbar. That provides the hinge and allows either the point or throwbar to be removed and replaced if something breaks.

 

I also noticed that every tie was PC board. I have also seen using every 4th or 5th tie PC and the other ties wood.

 

I have mixed PCB and plastic sleepers, never wood and PCB. I cannot see a problem providing that they are the same size and apperance (some PCB sleeper strip does not have a square edge)

 

I have used wooden sleepers on 0-16.5 and have been pleased with the results, this is a photo of my test piece, I used C&L chairs with SMP rail

 

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I have tried 3 new to me methods

1 Double sided tape to stick sleepers and ballast to the cork

2 Wooden coffee stirers stained with wood dye used for sleepers

3 Stuck the chairs to the sleepers with epoxy glue.

 

Ballast did not stick to the tape 100% (might be the dust in the bag), the dust did tone down the sleepers. The odd chair moved before the epoxy set. Still not a bad test and a few points learned.

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Many thanks for a very informative step by step guide in plain simple terms with some very useful tips. I will keep this guide for my forthcoming attempts at point construction.

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I have been asked to build an EM gauge single slip, as the process is similar to that needed for 00 or other gauges I thought I would take a few photos of the sequence I use in building them.

 

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My usual set up on a small board which can be turned around during the building process. I use spray mount to fix the plan to the board then I spray the plan with spray mount to stick the sleepers to the plan.

 

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Soldering the V's in place is the start and the only part in the build where gauges are not used. I have left the rails ends longer than normal so they can be cut to size to match the location they will be fitted into.

 

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A steel rule as well as gauges are used to fit the first stock rail

 

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This stock rail has to be curved in the centre and straight at the ends, a set point (bend) is put in at each end where the switch rail touches the stock rail. This not only creats the space for the switch rail against the stock rail but also allows the transition from straight to curve. Gauges are used for the straight sections but the curved section needs to be fitted by eye.

 

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Not very clear due to my lact of photographic skills but the first swich rail is fitted. I like to work from out to in.

 

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The first of the 4 centre rails are fitted. You can see the 2 roller gauges but owing to the angle the wing rail gauges are not realy visable at each end of the rail. Once 2 are in I then use a 4 wheeled van to check clearences etc. Check as you go along, its quicker in the long run

 

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Again poor photography, all 4 centre rails have been fitted and the centre check rail has been soldered in the centre diamond.

 

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The second switch rail has been fitted. When building to fine scale the check rails are set using a check rail gauge, when building in 00 either the roller gauge or if you have one a wing rail gauge can be used.

 

The next steps will be to use a cutting disk for the isolation slits, then the tiebars will be fitted and the turnout tested for shorts and clearences etc.

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I thought I would add a couple of extra photos, one showing the wing rail gauges which were not too clear in the earlier photo.

 

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This view shows the wing rail gauges, in EM they are 1mm thick for 00 you will need 1.5mm ones. They are very simple to make, just get a steel or brass bar 1.5mm thick mine are 50mm long by 10mm wide, for 00 I have one of SMP's old track gauges which are 1.5mm thick and 16.5 wide (not a very good track gauge but a great wing/check rail gauge)

 

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A shot showing how I test the turnouts, much easier on the work bench. And a few few leads with mini crock clips on sort out the electrics. The loco is an old K's Pannier with the old brass chassis widened with plasticard (spacers) and Romford wheels with EM axles, simple conversion and it works.

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Thanks for your photos on making copperclad turnouts very helpful

 

I have just made the decision to move to Em Gauge and have been making up turnouts i have invested in some track making jigs from the EM society and they make fabricating the crossings vees easy.

 

I have also been experimenting with flat bottom track and have made some test pieces with the components supplied by Colin Craig these have come out well

 

Still working on a test turnout using flat bottom rail

 

Many Thanks

 

Gary

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Just a little tip for all novice point builders, make sure you put in any power droppers well away from the tie bar area, so when you get round to installing remote actuation you have plenty of room to work in. Ask me how I know! :)

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As with everything pratice makes perfect, however complacency leads to mistakes.

 

I have just finished an A5 and for a change I made up all the rails before I started to solder it up. However the build sequence stayed the same.

 

Please feel free to add any pictures or tips you have to share with others.

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I am in the middle of building some curved turnouts for a customer and thought I would download a couple of pictures and list a few notes where my build method alters from a straight turnout.

 

The first thing is the extra length curved turnouts take, my customer wanted then at 72" and 48" radii, and they are to EM gauge

 

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With curved turnouts I start with the V and I have made the turnout 2 sleepers longer than the template so I can keep the radii going after the tip of the V to the respective radii (48" & 72") I then fit the outside stock rail useing gauges at the V end then by eye checking from all angles that I have kept to the required radius

 

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This picture shows the gauges I use, as the tollerances are quite fine in EM you have to use 3 point gauges on the curved sections to widen the gauge slightly, and the check rails have to be set with a check rail gauge from the V so the check rail coinsides with the wheels back to back measurements (gauge has been widened on EM curves) this is not needed in 00 as the tollerances are not so fine. You will also see the small flat bars which are wing rail gauges, roller gauges and a Peco flat gauge which comes in handy when roller gauges have trouble arround the V area. As you can see no other special tools used.

 

The other requirement is that on the inside stock rail where the switch blade will touch (3rd sleeper from the left)it you will have to put a slight bend in the rail (this is called a set point) this allows the chech rail to sit flush against the stock rain, if this is not done the gauge would be reduced

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where do you get the paper drawings from? I bought some components ( copper clad etc) from Warley last year, but haven't managed to get going without the layout sheets.

 

 

I use a computer program called Templot, if you are interested in trackwork its well worth the investment.

 

I started off with a SMP kit the new owners sell the plans http://www.smpscaleway.com/. I also have used C&L templates which are also very good http://www.finescale.org.uk/

 

Peco do downloads of their 00 track for planning, or you could photocopy a rtr turnout and use the photocopy as a plan, OK for praticeing your building skills. I have done this for a 7mm turnout and a SM32 one. I ever photocopies a small radius rtr turnout and built a 3rail turnout for fun

 

This American site has free downloads (H0 scale in 4mm) http://www.handlaidtrack.com/index-2.php

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where do you get the paper drawings from? I bought some components ( copper clad etc) from Warley last year, but haven't managed to get going without the layout sheets.

It looks like a Templot template printed out, Templot being a track design program if you haven't heard of it. C+L do drawings for EM/00 but obviously these are more difficult to curve unless you know the correct rules.

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where do you get the paper drawings from? I bought some components ( copper clad etc) from Warley last year, but haven't managed to get going without the layout sheets.

 

What make did you buy?

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Is that flat Bottom rail you are using to make this turnout

 

Yours

 

Gary

 

Gary

 

In this instance no its code 75 bullhead, I use Peco code 82 flatbottom for 0n-16.5 and its fine for this type of construction. I have used both flatbotton and bullhead in code 100, but the build methods may differ slightly.

 

Code82 is still quite flexiable so the only additional work is to file back the bottom of the stock rails on the inside where the check rails touch. I also leave the bottom bullhead web un-filed (the side which does not touch the stock rail)on the switch rails to give a better solder joint to the tiebar.

 

The stiffness of code 100 can be a problem on short/small radius turnouts. If you look at RTR turnouts they use a flexible joint.

 

John

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