Hand-laying turnouts

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by iis612, May 7, 2008.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I am wondering, can I use rail from flextrack to produce turnouts? I have some sections of flextrack with perfect rail, but the ties are damaged.
    Also, does anyone know where I can get the PC board (is that the correct term??), and could I use balsa for the ties?

  2. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Hi Matt,

    Rail is rail is rail... The stuff that you pull off of flex track is fine...

    Here's a couple of links for Hand Laid Turnouts.

    Laurie Green's HAND LAID TURNOUTS

    Railway Engineering "Sn3 Handlaying track The basic turnout techniques"

    You can get kits, tools, templates, jigs PC-ties and tutorials from Fast Tracks.

    Watch the videos!

    There's a thread here on the Gauge:

    Hand Laid Turnout Videos

    It is a detailed series starting with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, etc...

    I recommend Mount Albert Scale Lumber for sugar pine ties.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    you can get the pc board at radio shack if you want to cut your own.

  4. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Matt: I used balsa for ties for my first bits of hand laying because it was what the hobby shop sold in stripwood. Never again. It's not solid enough -- spikes split it and if you slip off the spike when you push it in, there's a permanent dent in the tie.
    Look for basswood, but any non-balsa should work.
  6. MidnightRR

    MidnightRR Member

    Matt, I use both basswood (NOT balsa--there's a big difference) from craft stores (Michael's, Hobby Lobby) and, because I work in On30, I also use wooden coffee stirrers, which is a LOT cheaper.

    And, yes, you can strip the rail out of old flextrack and use that. I'm doing just that.

    PCB ties are available at hobby shops that stock handlaying supplies, or you can find them online (just Google it). You can make your own, but given what they cost and how few I've really needed, I haven't bothered with this.
  7. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Hi Matt,

    I recommend Mount Albert Scale Lumber for sugar pine ties.

    Although PC ties help, you don't really need them. :eek:

    Here are some pictures of my Hand Laid Turnouts in On30...

    Look Mom, no PC Ties! sign1 sign1

    To throw the points, I soldered tabs of 0.010 tin to them. I drilled holes in the tabs and put screws through the tabs and into throw-bars made of Styrene.

    The points are thrown with piano wire from the throw bar to a SPDT toggle switch which also controls the polarity of the frog.

    The frogs are "Filled and Filed".

    Attached Files:

  8. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Is the tin more secure than the PCB? I have heard that the PCB will break the solder joint easily.
  9. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, the solder joint can break between the points and the throw-bar.

    Since pictures are worth 1k's of words, here's a couple of diagrams that I drew, along with the DCC wiring diagram from Proto87...

    Attached Files:

  10. iis612

    iis612 Member

    thanks for the info Tin Goat
    It will come in very handy. I am going to start my first turnout in a few minutes.

  11. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

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