Tortoise Question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Mrplow123, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    I am getting ready to buy my under table switches and I am looking at the Tortoise because it just seems like the best option for what I need. My question is directed to those who have installed them and used them. What is the thickest plywood base these will work with? I am going to be adding some to my old layout, and when I built it I used what materials I had available. So the only thing that was available,(meaning free) was 1 inch plywood. Tell you what though, it sure is strong and deadens most all of the noise. But I am worried that theTortoise throw rod wont be long enough to make it. My road bed is only 1/8" thick and it is all mounted directly to the plywood. So I guess my real question is will the throw rod make it 1 1/8" and still work properly? And BTW I am using all Atlas turnouts.

    Thanks in adavnce...
  2. wickman

    wickman Member

  3. caellis

    caellis Member

    They will work through 2 inches without any problem, maybe more. Adjusting the fulcrum and/or using .032 music wire will permit the Tortise to work through a very thick roadbed.

    However in your case the thicker wire will NOT be necessary. The wire that comes with the Tortise is .025.

    I would recommend you drill a 5/16 to 1/2 inch hole rather than the 1/4 inch. This permits the fulcrum to be adjusted much easier.
  4. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    Thanks guys, this answered my question. And caellis, you have brought up another subject I am not sure about. What is the best way to go about drilling the hole in the bench work? Can it be done safely with the turnouts in place? Or am I going to have to pull up alot of track? I just laid my roadbed and all of my turnouts last night for my new yard. I should have thought of the hole before laying the track. Thanks.
  5. caellis

    caellis Member

    You do not have to pull up the turnout. But it is always easier to install the Tortise before the turnout. But if it was easy it wouldn't be fun LOL.

    There are good mounting instructions that come with the Tortise.

    But basically you drill a pilot hole down from the top through the turnout bar hole.
    The drill should be the same size as the hole in the turnout bar.

    Then you drill up through the bottom using the pilot hole as a guide.

    Be certain you do not drill into the turnout!

    Place a piece of tape or a collar around the drill bit at the same distance as the road bed and bench work depth. In your case it will be the plywood plus the roadbed.

    Drill very carefully. It is best to use a couple sizes of bits working up to the desired finished size.

    For example use a 1/8, 1/4/ then 1/2 inch. Just work slowly and all will be well.
  6. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    OK, that doesn't sound too bad. I figured it couldn't be that hard, or no one would do it. Once again, thanks for the tips.

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