handlaying curves

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I need some advice on handlaying curves. When laying flextrack, my technique is to draw the radius that I want on the subroadbed, then lay the cork along the line so that the center of the cork is alligned with the line. Then I lay the flextrack and keep it centered over the cork.

    Now, I am handlaying for the first time. I have cork layed the same as I have always done. Now my question is how to glue down the ties straight, and how to lay the rails at the correct radius.

    My thought was this:
    make a curve template that would correspond to the inside radius of the ties. Then mark this radius on my roadbed, and glue the ties so that the ends line up with my line. I could then make a second curve template that would correspond to the radius of the inside rail, and then mark that radius on the tie. Once the location of the rail is marked, the rest becomes easy.

    Anyone have a better way? Making accurate templates seems a little intimidating.

  2. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Nah too complicated. You already have a center line if you follow center of the cork. I placed all my ties in straight jig but used a piece of masking tape about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Applied glue to the roadbed and then laid the ties on the roadbed while keeping them centered as best as possible. The thin tape allows you to "bend" the ties into a curve.

    What also works and I've also done is after placing the ties in the jig and taping them down is to cut the ties into groups of three or four tie each. Then lay down each section one at a time while following the curve. I actually preferred this method even though it takes a bit longer. Just because a 12" section of taped ties can be pretty cumbersome when trying to bend them into a curve.
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    We use the masking tape technique at the club as well. just use a 6" run and lay it down see how it looks and curves dry then with glue.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You could eyeball it, or use a drawing compass - simply set it to half the tie length, then drag the pointy-part along the centreline of the cork, making a reference mark along the edge with the pencilly-part. :rolleyes::p You could do this on both sides, too, if you wanted. ;):-D

  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    these are some good ideas!!

  6. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    In handlaying my own layout track as well as some on the club, I agree with Tetters, use the center line of the cork, my jig is only 6 inches long so with using masking tape I make up four or five sets of ties at a time. Put glue on the cork, enough for one set of ties, set the ties/tape down, put a small ruler over the ties beside the masking tape and pull tape off. Sight down and make any necessary adjustments then continue on. Works good for strait as well as curved track. Ron..
  7. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    As far as laying the rail, take a short piece, 4-5 inches long, of flex track. You now have the proper spacing of the rail to tie ratio on the flex track, place the end of the flex track over your ties and mark one of the rails only on your ties, I mark every fourth or fifth tie, depending on how far apart you want to spike it down. Now you have the correct placement of one rail on your ties, usually try to do the outside rail on curves. Spike this rail down, then eyeball it to see if it is right. Now with guages, use two to three, spike the other rail down, eyeballing it as you go to see if looks good, minor changes can be made as you go. Do a length and check it with the NMRA track guage, especially on curves, as well a rail car. Remember that real rail as well as on our layouts is not always perfectly strait. It looks good having a little wandering in it. Ron..
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I take a piece of flex track, spike it down with one edge on the centerline, and trace out the center line...I then move it 3/8" in one direction and repeat...and then move it 3/4" in the other direction and repeat (On3 is 3/4" gauge). Voila! An even curve on top of the roadbed which I glued to a centerline drawn with a makeshift compass. I use 28" radius.

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