Track Gauges

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Vic, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hello All!

    This morning I was just stumbling around on the Internet and came up on this site

    Looks like these gauges would be the ideal thing to handlay track with. I've used 3-point gauges for years but always found them kind of cumbersome.

    Think I'll order me up a set for Hon3 and On30 (HO) and give them a "spin".

    Anybody had any experience with these??
  2. jkristia

    jkristia Member

    I'm using them, have a set C40 and a set C55 N scale gauges. I like them better than the 3 point gauge from ME, as it's easier to hold the rail in place while building turnouts, so I would recommend them. Only thing is, when I ordered mine, it took a while before I received them (if I remember correct, almost a month).
  3. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Two questions, jkristia.....

    On their web site they say that the old rule about widening rails on curves (for which a 3-point gauge is necessary) is the bunk. Interesting. Have you followed their advice --- and found that they are correct?

    Also, in the past I always rather wished the metal track gauges I had were heavier, to hold things in place better. Have you not found the light weight of these plastic jobs a disadvantage?

    Bill S
  4. jkristia

    jkristia Member

    Bill, I can't honestly tell you whether they are correct or not about NOT widening the gauge on curves, as I haven't been running all that many trains yet, I'm still building, I simply assumed they were correct and used their gauge all the time. But the gauge is a bit tight compared to the NMRA gauge, so I did widen some of the turnouts a bit. I have had no problem with whatever cars or few locomotives I have run on the track and through the turnouts.

    What I usually do to keep the track in place when soldering it, is to place a weight on the track (the spool of solder tin) and then 2 or 3 roller gauges to hold it aligned. I will then solder the track every 6 inches or so, placing a gauge on each side of the tie/soldering. Next I go back and solder the center tie between the 2 soldered ties and then solder every 6 inches or so. Alway keep some distance between the solderings to avoid overheating the rail. There are probably many different ways to do this, and this way is works for me.
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Bill & Jesper, Earlier today I read a discourse on this subject by the gentleman that makes the gauges on one of the Yahoo narrow gauge groups. His contention is that the NMRA standard is 4 scale inches too wide and subsequently the NMRA gauge is out by that amount resulting in curves that the gauge is too wide. Now this does make some sense to me as curves do have a tendency to spread out a bit in guage but I have never found it to be a problem and never lost any sleep over it:D His main contention was that in a scratchbuilt turnout the excessivly wide curve would result in excessive wheel play thru the turnout and would lead to excessive wheel drop and derailments. I seem to recall an MR article about widening the gauge on curves too for better operation but I guess I ignored that too...for almost 40 years!!:eek: :D

    A few years ago I had the same wish about the 3-point gauges. Lo and Behold I found some 3/4x3/4x1/2 steel blocks and ACC's some gauges to them. They are much easier to handle. For those really "weighty" situations:D I set a 1# Lyman lead block on top of the gauges. You can get the 1# blocks where they sell reloading supplies.

    Attached Files:

  6. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Thanks Jesper & Vic.....

    I would think that the "excessive" gauge might be a problem for fine scale modelers, but probably less concern for those of us (I'm HO Std Gauge) who run the grossly overwide RP25 wheels.

    Jesper, you obviously know what you're doing, but you might consider doing some serious testing before you lay too many hundred feet of that beautiful trackwork of yours!

    Bill S
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have a set of similar gauges in brass as well as a couple of 3-point gauges and the NMRA gauge (all in 16.5 mm).
    I like metal ones where I am soldering to the rails, especially on plastic ties, or printed circuit board.
    My roller gauges have a flat machined on them for use on turnouts at the frog.
    I don't think that HO gauge is out by more than 3/4 of a scale inch, but O gauge is out by 3.5 scale inches.
    And my British OO is narrow by 5.5 scale inches!
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    If you lay flextrack through a curve, the gauge doesn't change, and I've never had a problem on flextrack curves.
    When hand laying track, I've always kept the gauge constant.
    The distance between the center lines has to widen in curves of two track mains/sidings, to prevent collisions due to overhang of longer rolling stock, as in passenger cars.

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