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Another day, another question.

When building points with bullhead rail, easitrack plastic sleeper strip and chairs, is it possible to put the fitting of the check rails first in the build sequence, rather than last? The idea is to get round the need to bend one end of the check rail when it is in position and only 0.5mm from the stock rail, necessitating modifying a cheapo set of pliers and risk damaging the delicate chairs.

 

My logic is that the plastic chairs set the check rail gap anyway, so fitting the check rails last doesn't allow any chance of alteration and the important relationship is between the crossing and each stock rail done earlier.  My idea would be to thread the chairs on to the check rail first, then bend the check rail ends, then thread the stock rail and all its chairs, then align and glue the stock rail and chairs to the sleepers and build the rest of the turnout from there.

 

Does this make any sense at all? Is there something important that I've not considered? Should I just stop overthinking and follow the instructions and get something built?

 

Mim

 

If you are using the checkrail chairs (I'm afraid I don't) and threading all the other chairs on the stock rail before laying it  I can't see any real problem with doing it the way you propose as the end result will be the same as you suggest and it would certainly allow you to bend the checkrail to shape more easily before adding the stockrail. I use separate chairs for the checkrail to allow a modicum of adjustmend and they get laid after the crossing and stockrail, but this involves more chair triming and other fudges and is a technique developed from track building in other scales/gauges, where often checkrail chairs are either not made, or not to the standards you need.

 

Izzy

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I've always soldered crankpins in. I make a small countersink on the rear of the wheel, flux and touch it with a hot, tinned iron. Never had a problem, either with damaging the wheel or crankpins coming loose.

 

Likewise with valve gear, I always solder, I've never been a fan of hitting something to fix it!

 

Jerry

Can I ask which flux you use for this.   I had some issues with the solder not flowing into the joint well enough with the Fluxlite solder paste I use for my soldering - should I be using phosphoric acid liquid flux perhaps for better flow?  Do you try to get the solder to run to the front of the wheel around the crank pin.  Also how do you hold them in place so they don't move during soldering? 

 

thanks   Guy

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Can I ask which flux you use for this.   I had some issues with the solder not flowing into the joint well enough with the Fluxlite solder paste I use for my soldering - should I be using phosphoric acid liquid flux perhaps for better flow?  Do you try to get the solder to run to the front of the wheel around the crank pin.  Also how do you hold them in place so they don't move during soldering? 

 

thanks   Guy

Hi Guy,

I use phosphoric acid flux which seems to work fine. As I said I make a small countersink by twiddling a drill bit in my fingers first. This gives somewhere for the solder to go resulting in a good strong joint whilst still allowing the joint to be filed back flush with the rear of the wheel without filing all the solder away!

To hold I simply pop the crankpins in , turn it up so the rear of the wheel is facing me and gently press down on the bench to hold the crankpins tight to the wheel. With care the shouldered crankpins wil hold everything square.

The solder may well flash through to the front but it's not crucial so long as the countersink fills with solder. The trick is a hot iron with a descent size bit on it. The mistake I see time and again with soldering is that just because it's 2mm people think they need a piddly little pointy bit . Use the biggest bit you can that will do the job, you want plenty of heat and in and out quick. The little pointy bits have their place but rarely I find in normal construction work.

 

Jerry

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I've always soldered crankpins in. I make a small countersink on the rear of the wheel, flux and touch it with a hot, tinned iron. 

 

Me too. Is the 1995 article still applicable to current production?

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Me too. Is the 1995 article still applicable to current production?

 

A fair chance that the article was in the period of white-metal centred wheels.  With those, soldering would have to be extremely skilled to not damage/destroy the wheel. 

 

Of course it still works with brass centred wheels, as does soldering as an alternative..  Too much heat into the brass centred wheels will destroy the retaining compound which holds the tyre onto the wheel, but that's probably blow-torch soldering, or powerful electric soldering iron for a minute or more, or a RSU turned up to 11. 

 

 

 

- Nigel

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The trick is a hot iron with a descent size bit on it. The mistake I see time and again with soldering is that just because it's 2mm people think they need a piddly little pointy bit . Use the biggest bit you can that will do the job, you want plenty of heat and in and out quick. The little pointy bits have their place but rarely I find in normal construction work.

I couldn't agree more with Jerry here.  As I pointed out in another post (can't remember which thread it was in) what you are doing when soldering is creating an alloy between the solder and the surface of each of the two pieces of metal you are joining.  To do that, the metal needs to reach at least the melting point of the solder.  I use an iron with a 2mm wide chisel bit, running at 300°C with Carrs 188 solder paint. Using this technique, it should be possible to solder crankpins to white metal wheels without destroying them, provided you don't dwell too long.  You might melt a small area around the crankpin, but that shouldn't be catastrophic.  One way to protect things would be to embed the wheel in a big wad of wet tissue or cotton wool with only the area at the back of the crankpin exposed and just touch with the corner of the bit. 

 

I do have a couple of pointy bits, but I only use one of them if trying to get into a tight location or soldering wires to decoders.

 

Jim

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Hi Guy,

I use phosphoric acid flux which seems to work fine. As I said I make a small countersink by twiddling a drill bit in my fingers first. This gives somewhere for the solder to go resulting in a good strong joint whilst still allowing the joint to be filed back flush with the rear of the wheel without filing all the solder away!

To hold I simply pop the crankpins in , turn it up so the rear of the wheel is facing me and gently press down on the bench to hold the crankpins tight to the wheel. With care the shouldered crankpins wil hold everything square.

The solder may well flash through to the front but it's not crucial so long as the countersink fills with solder. The trick is a hot iron with a descent size bit on it. The mistake I see time and again with soldering is that just because it's 2mm people think they need a piddly little pointy bit . Use the biggest bit you can that will do the job, you want plenty of heat and in and out quick. The little pointy bits have their place but rarely I find in normal construction work.

 

Jerry

 

 Hi Jerry et al,

 

Thanks for the tips.  In the words of Columbo... just one more thing.   I have been using Multicore 0.5mm or 0.7mm diameter solder for most tasks with frys flux if better flow is required.   Is using multicore ok with phosphoric acid flux or should I be using solid solder - if so do you have any recommendations?

 

Guy

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Does anybody have a good method please for fixing Easitrac/Finetrax down precisely but temporarily? PVA is too permanent, double sided tape has too much grab and trackpins don't work well on MDF/ply baseboards.

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Does anybody have a good method please for fixing Easitrac/Finetrax down precisely but temporarily? PVA is too permanent, double sided tape has too much grab and trackpins don't work well on MDF/ply baseboards.

 

I don't use Easitrac, but have you considered putting small pieces of double sided tape at intervals, say 6-12"?  Alternatively get some long pins and bend them to a right angled Z shape (a H without one leg and the opposite upright from the cross bar) that can be inserted into pre-drilled holes alongside the rail?

 

Ian

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Does anybody have a good method please for fixing Easitrac/Finetrax down precisely but temporarily? PVA is too permanent, double sided tape has too much grab and trackpins don't work well on MDF/ply baseboards.

Copydex?

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Does anybody have a good method please for fixing Easitrac/Finetrax down precisely but temporarily? PVA is too permanent, double sided tape has too much grab and trackpins don't work well on MDF/ply baseboards.

A few wee dabs of Prit-stic?

 

Jim

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The strength of double sided tape can be reduced by squeezing/touching the surface with your fingers before applying. Alternatively, white spirit can be used to soften the tape's adhesive when you are ready to pull up the track.

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Does anyone know of a supplier or other source of copper tungsten sheet for adding wieght to a loco?

 

Roger

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Does anyone know of a supplier or other source of copper tungsten sheet for adding wieght to a loco?

 

Roger

 

Roger,

 

Never used Tungsten for weight, but I am aware that anglers use it.  A quick search on t'internet gives this : http://www.troutcatchers.co.uk/lead-tungsten-c102x2679498

 

I have never used this company, so have no idea what sort of service they might give.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Ian 

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On non-scenic areas like fiddle yards. If building track with copper clad sleepers (bullhead rail), how far apart can you comfortably space the sleepers without risking the gauge wandering too far away between sleepers? This will be straight track across a traverser.

 

Mim

Edited by Mim

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Roger,

 

Never used Tungsten for weight, but I am aware that anglers use it.  A quick search on t'internet gives this : http://www.troutcatchers.co.uk/lead-tungsten-c102x2679498

 

I have never used this company, so have no idea what sort of service they might give.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Ian 

 

Thank you for the suggestion.  Unfortunately the product they sell is some form of cloth presumably loaded with tungsten powder. I measured the density and it was about 5.3 gm/cc about half that of lead and about 3/8ths of pure tungsten.

 

Regards Roger

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Does anyone know of a supplier or other source of copper tungsten sheet for adding wieght to a loco?

 

Roger

Some lead flashing, as used in roof gullies is still actually made from lead. If you know a builder they could supply a small piece of sheet that would last a lifetime! Off Ebay, 1m x 100mm x 1.32mm for £16.75 delivered is the cheapest and smallest quantity I saw at a quick glance. Solid lead is hard to beat for density at minimum cost and easy to shape.

 

Mim

Edited by Mim

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At the risk of being flamed for asking something that's been asked a dozen times before, can anyone point me in the direction of appropriate and up-to-date advice regarding suitable magnets for DG couplers?

 

I'm currently taking my first tentative steps and have assembled a small test rig with a couple of neodymium magnets and couplers on a couple of surplus Peco underframes but I can't seem to get the location of  the magnet right. It's on a bit of 6mm MDF and recessing one into the underside seems to be a bit hit-and-miss, whereas one positioned directly below the sleepers is far too powerful. Am I better off using electromagnets and winding the power down until it's just enough? Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Thanks for the tips.  In the words of Columbo... just one more thing.   I have been using Multicore 0.5mm or 0.7mm diameter solder for most tasks with frys flux if better flow is required.   Is using multicore ok with phosphoric acid flux or should I be using solid solder - if so do you have any recommendations?

Guy, no-one seems to have answered your question and as I said above I use 188 solder paint for trackwork and etched kits.  I see no reason why there should be any problem using multicore and flux - your essentially using a double dose of two different fluxes.  The only time I use solid solder is if I want to create a good filet for strength in a joint, or have a small gap I want to fill e.g. to hide where the end of a tab shows through a slot in a component and then I either use Fuxite or I've already used the solder paint to fix the parts in the first place..

 

Jim

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Does anyone know of a supplier or other source of copper tungsten sheet for adding wieght to a loco?

 

Roger

 

If you fancy a trip to Rail-ex taunton next weekend 21/22nd I can give you enough lead for a shedfull of locos free having removed some from some outbuilding roofs yesterday.

Don

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If you fancy a trip to Rail-ex taunton next weekend 21/22nd I can give you enough lead for a shedfull of locos free having removed some from some outbuilding roofs yesterday.

Don

 

Thanks for the offer Don but I have a lifetime supply of new lead offcuts from some roof repairs. However I asked about copper tungsten as I am struggling to add enough weight.

 

Regards Roger

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On non-scenic areas like fiddle yards. If building track with copper clad sleepers (bullhead rail), how far apart can you comfortably space the sleepers without risking the gauge wandering too far away between sleepers? This will be straight track across a traverser.

 

Mim

 

I don't know exactly, but one tip if you want is to use heavier gauge rail. I built a 2mm fiddle yard once with 4mm bullhead rail and it needed only a tiny number of sleepers.

 

Chris

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 Hi Jerry et al,

 

Thanks for the tips.  In the words of Columbo... just one more thing.   I have been using Multicore 0.5mm or 0.7mm diameter solder for most tasks with frys flux if better flow is required.   Is using multicore ok with phosphoric acid flux or should I be using solid solder - if so do you have any recommendations?

 

Guy

 

I have used the multicore + phosphoric flux combo without problem. The only downside is the build up of rosin crud on the tip which thus needs frequent cleaning.

 

On non-scenic areas like fiddle yards. If building track with copper clad sleepers (bullhead rail), how far apart can you comfortably space the sleepers without risking the gauge wandering too far away between sleepers? This will be straight track across a traverser.

 

Mim

 

Leaving out every other sleeper is about the limit I have found to keep adequate strength against knocks etc - don't ask!

 

At the risk of being flamed for asking something that's been asked a dozen times before, can anyone point me in the direction of appropriate and up-to-date advice regarding suitable magnets for DG couplers?

 

I'm currently taking my first tentative steps and have assembled a small test rig with a couple of neodymium magnets and couplers on a couple of surplus Peco underframes but I can't seem to get the location of  the magnet right. It's on a bit of 6mm MDF and recessing one into the underside seems to be a bit hit-and-miss, whereas one positioned directly below the sleepers is far too powerful. Am I better off using electromagnets and winding the power down until it's just enough? Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Permanent magnets need to be raised/lowered away from the un-coupling position so they act like electro-magnets . In the past I have used 1/4"/6mm ones sliding up/down in K&S tube, and worked by servos, an idea gleaned from Stuart Bailey. I think if I remember correctly that Ian Morgan uses a similar arrangement with the magnets on hinged flaps.

 

Here are acouple of shots of my arrangement. Lowered and raised. The magnets sit just under the sleepers with a thin layer of paper between- to hide them and allow for ballasting. All very crude as usual for me, but it works, which is all that is needed.

 

post-12706-0-18538100-1508140194.jpg

 

post-12706-0-91628300-1508140204.jpg

 

This particular one is for two magnets on adjacent tracks. I have arranged up to four across a baseboard - saves on servos.

 

hope it might give you some ideas

 

Izzy

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Roger,

 

Never used Tungsten for weight, but I am aware that anglers use it.  A quick search on t'internet gives this : http://www.troutcatchers.co.uk/lead-tungsten-c102x2679498

 

I have never used this company, so have no idea what sort of service they might give.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Ian 

 

I bought some tungsten from them a little while ago now and everything was fine. I also bought some copper tungsten granules on ebay, but they don't appear to be available at the moment.

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Here is my arrangement under Freshwater. This one covers 3 parallel tracks. I drilled very small holes between the tracks so I could see where the magnets needed to go. The baseboard is something like 3mm MDF.

 

The servo arm rotates so it changes the axis of the magnets rather than just lowering them. The magnets need to move quite a long way away to ensure they do not cause unwanted uncoupling. In fact, I have since modified them so they rotate to nearly 90 degrees now. I have also replaced the Merg Servo4 modules with Merg CBus and CANSERVO8 modules, but that is another story.

 

I am sure these magnets would work through much thicker baseboards.

 

post-11458-0-98726700-1508142062_thumb.jpg

post-11458-0-88970900-1508142082_thumb.jpg

post-11458-0-96969100-1508142084_thumb.jpg

 

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