Hand Laid code 55 Turnouts

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by steve.i456, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. steve.i456

    steve.i456 New Member

    I've been watching a guy on you tube name Evertt ( http://modelrr.oakviewresources.com/ ) who has about 60 videos showing how he makes his. (I've only watched about the first 10 or so, so far.)

    If you have made you own, do you think you saved any real money? I mean over the long haul. One to One turnout, I can't see going through the process. But lets say you want/need 20 or more turnouts. Since I'm still in the armchair, errr design phase, I am thinking of going this route so I can at least feel like I'm doing something progressive.

    If I do go this route, I'm thinking of going with #8 turnouts as a compromise between #6's and #10's. That is if I go with the Fast Tracks jig. If I use Evertt's. or anothers, method then maybe I will use anything from # 7's on up.
  2. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

    Depends on your skill level and what you think your time is worth.

    I use Atlas code 55 track for my n-scale layout and find it to be very good and the price is good compared to Peco.

    My layout is in storage until I find a house so I am in the same position as you, I spend my free time installing body mounted couplers on my rolling stock and constructing buildings which I need quite a few of.

    Just my thoughts on the subject.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    There are many methods and madness in the world of handlaid track. Fast Tracks is just one of them - and probably the most expensive way to hand lay track. In return, you get fabulous videos, instructions, jigs and tools, and general hand holding to guide you through laying your first (and beyond) turnout.

    Handlaid turnouts do not require Fast Tracks jigs, tools, and instructions. Plenty of modelers (including ham-fisted me) learned before Fast Tracks existed. That said, Fast Tracks jigs and tools make the process easier, and the instructions really help the first couple of times. The intimidation factor of handlaid track is removed by Fast Tracks.

    Without Fast Tracks tools and jigs, the rail, ties, spikes and/or glue, solder, etc., amounts to about $3-$4 per turnout. With Fast Tracks, you generally break even with commercial turnouts on about the 5th or 6th one of the same size. But the handlaid turnout will look and perform better than any of the commercial variety. It performs better because you take the time to make it right during construction.

    My personal preference is to build the turnouts directly on the layout rather than at the bench. I don't worry about frog #s; I simply draw the lines on the roadbed keeping in mind my minimum radius and build the turnout. This gives a very nice "flow to my track because the turnout is an integral part of the curve or straight of the track.

    Because Fast Tracks is built at the bench instead, the flow is lost. In reality, you are building a manufactured turnout yourself for later installation into the layout. There are advantages to building at the bench instead of the layout, depending on your bench and layout lighting and working space.

    Timewise, I typically take two 2 hour evenings to hand lay a turnout.

    The 1st night is laying out the rail locations, glue the ties and ballast, and soldering feeders to and painting the rail. The slot is cut in the roadbed for the throwbar, and anything like under the track uncoupling magnets installed (before the ties are glued).

    The 2nd night is sanding and restaining the ties, building the actual turnout (cutting, filing, spiking, and soldering the rail), installing the throw mechanism, and wiring the frog and turnout.

    my thoughts, your choices
  4. steve.i456

    steve.i456 New Member

    Thanks for the input guys. I'm still weighing the options. I think in the long run I may be able to save a lot of money, at the cost of a few hours, if I can make usable turnouts. I'm thinking about trying to build a dummy turnout by using some code 80 rail (from some atlas track I have) and using balsa wood for the turn outs. Then it costs me nothing but time.

Share This Page