Scratch built turn out and the use of PC boards

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Chesticus, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    When you are building a switch using PC boards for code 83...

    1) What size board do you use?

    2) Do you use one sided or two sided?

    3) What is the best method to cut the board into the correct sizes?


  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I can't be of a lot of help but can offer some tidbits. I handlay but spike into wood ties. However, I do have to use pcb material for the throwbar. I don't remember the thickness of the pcb sheet I bought, I bought mine at Radio Shack, I brought a wood tie with me and bought pcb material jut a tad less thick so it could moce freely. I have cut ties from the sheet with a regular Xacto saw, but it's not much fun. I'm lucky to have a friend with a small power saw and he cut it into strips for me, so then I only had to cut them to length, much easier. You only need copper clad on one side, bur double sided won't hurt anything.

    Since you are soldering rail to pcb ties, the thickness should equal the ties on the rest of your track. You can buy pcb ties from several sources but od course it will cost more than making your own. I only had to worry about throwbars, if I were using instead of wood I would definately want a small power table saw.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    The simplest thing to do is just buy them from someone like FastTracks.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I bought some at Radio Shack and ended up cutting them with a utility knife and a small carpenters square. If you do it this way make several passes on both sides and then it will break along the lines.
  5. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    Clover House also sells PC ties. Ties are 8-9" wide. You can use single or double sided PC board. If you use double sided, make sure you don't use and spickes through holes in the PC board that will short out on the back side.

    Dave H.
  6. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    I was at the Anahiem convention train show today and I did order them from the company.

    Thanks for all of the advice guys

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Double-sided PC board may give problems if you run feeders through the board and the bottom side links both rails. Remember that the PC material has to be cut between the rails to prevent shorts.
  8. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    About 15 years ago-- somewhat before everybody got quite so skittish about being sued for anything you could think of, I bought a bunch of PC board from a scrap metal yard.
    Casting about for a way to cut the board into ties, I remembered seeing a metal shear in a local radiator shop, it was a sissor type , operated with a foot pedal. I went to see them & explained what I was trying to do & asked if they would cut a few for me ----- their response was to tell me I could use the shear myself & cut however many I wanted!!
    I spent a whole afternoon cutting PC board into tie size widths , a shear does a beautiful job of it & I have a life time supply of PC board ties.
    Probably would never happen today that someone would turn you loose in their shop to use their equiptment---- Sigh-- oh how I miss the Kinder Gentler times .
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I wonder if Harbor Freight offers a small inexpensive sheet metal shear that would work for doing the pc board ties at home?
  10. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    shear nonsense

    Maybe, if the pc board isn't too thick, a heavy duty paper cutter might work...then again maybe not. It would have to be able to cut at least the thickness of the material you are cutting. And be sure to keep your fingers out of the way!!!:eek::eek:

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