Is drilling from beneath wise?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    I want to get rid of my atlas turnout machines. in most cases, i feel a push rod thingy would work on areas where manual switching is ideal. for remote control, any brand of swtich machine will probably be fine. My question is:

    some parts of my layout already have ballast. would it be unwise to drill up to atleast the cork road bed (from which i can just cut with a hobby knife) from below? Isn't there a tool out there that stops you once you've drilled a certain distance?

    I would prefered to avoid yanking the track up as much as possible.

    thanks for your suggestions!

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    If you're going to cut the roadbed from above, once it is removed, just drill from the top down...(I presume you're doing the cutting and drilling on the side of the tracks, not the center.)
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    i was referring to going straight up from the bottome of the benchwork to just below the switches so that i can use an exacto knife to clear the rest of the way, withough having to move any tracks. I already have all sorts of scenery and ballast down in most places, ( and i don't want to get the tracks messed up) so i figured drilling from below would be the better option.
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    I don't know if there's a ready-made stop for a drill, but you can make one. Use a small piece of 1/2" or 3/4" ply (wood, whatever), drill a hole through it (same size as the drill you're going to use), and slip it over the drill, You'll need to adjust the drill in the chuck so only the right amount of drill is left "uncovered" to drill through the mounting board. The stop should seat tight against the chuck. That should do it...!!! (I think...)
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Try going down through the center where you want the throw to come out with a small( 1/8" or smaller) as straight as possible all the way through the bottom. Then use a 1/2" Forsner bit to come up from the bottom, using the smaller hole as a centering guide. The smaller point of the Forsner bit won't poke through as quickly or as badly as a paddle bit. With someone watch it from the top, they can easily see when you start approaching the switch and avoid coming through the roadbed. The bit has the added benefit of making a shallow "plug" that can be popped out fairly easily with a little care.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A good tool supplier should be able to supply you with a collar that screws onto the bit.
    I've also used a piece of masking tape around the bit.
    I Have a depth gauge for one of my drills -- big contraption that mounts on the drill and only allows so much movement (adjustable).
    Problem with most bits is the conical tip that has to go past the surface for you to get a full sized hole.
  7. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    As a contractor I had that requirement many times. The simple way of doing it is to use a piece of masking tape as a flag. Put it on the drill bit where you want to stop drilling and you can see it touch the material.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    lol, thanks! you put most of me fears to rest. However, i just realized some of my switchs are above joists in the bench work. wold an rod going up to the switch have to be straight, or can it tilt a bit?
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    In that case, try using a choke cable from a lawn mower or car. It's flexible and has positive action in any number of configurations.

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