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Author Previous Topic: Operation Dark Winter - HO scale micro layout Topic Next Topic: On30 Sugar Cane Hauler in 1920s Haiti
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Frank Palmer

Posted - 02/22/2018 :  10:46:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Carl, once again another scale. That laser is the really nice.

Mark, oh I like the pun, “see how it turns out”. Hey 11 to go.

Jim, all I can say to Z is my eyes, my eyes.

Jerry, turns out I won’t be making turnouts for all.

Mike, you got that right.

Larry, it was a time saver because I just kept reloading the tools and kept on filing. I do have a few cuts to prove it since you file it to a razors edge.

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/22/2018 :  11:51:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frank, this new project kinda reminds me of your HO scale "Wrecker's Reef", but this time done in O scale.
What era are you going to focus on?

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 8322 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/22/2018 :  12:32:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great workmanship from the getgo! Looking forward to this build.

Fasttracks are a fantastic company and have great track building tools. I've only ever bought the ties and rail. Never the jigs. Looks like a really good way to build turnouts.

Which Proxxon table saw do you use? I've been thinking about buying one.


Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Tim Godfrey
Section Hand

Posted - 02/22/2018 :  1:18:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tim Godfrey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Can't wait to see what you guys did while I was out of town. See you Saturday.

Country: | Posts: 99 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 02/22/2018 :  1:24:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Greg, yes it’s kind of a flash back but I’m not the one in charge. Jim Hopes, one of our members is the point man on this job. Dave and I are only the minions. The era Jim is going for is the 1970’s, diesel, warehouse switching.

Kumar, I’ve noticed the turnout template where the MicroEngineering Code 100 rail is supposed to slip into is machined very tight. I have to make a few passes with a file on the rail to get it to fit into some slots. The rail wouldn’t stand upright without it. Probably because it’s new.

As far as the Proxxon saw goes I bought the cheaper version, around $120. I made a modification to the fence. I cut a piece of angle aluminum and CA glued it on top of the existing fence to extend it. Micro Mark charges more for their version. I have since removed the blade guard, it gets in the way.


Edited by - Frank Palmer on 02/22/2018 1:28:00 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/22/2018 :  11:20:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know Frank, Jerry has a good idea here. we'd rather pay you then Atlas'..

Maybe you should go into making turnouts for everyone!!


ted :<)

Country: USA | Posts: 5882 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 02/23/2018 :  10:49:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 03/03/2018 :  6:11:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The 14 turnouts are finished, 6 lefts and 8 rights. I must say the production line assembly fashion was the BOMB. So easy, I was able to assemble a turnout, soldering part only, in about 35-45 minutes. It took only 20 minutes to solder the stock rails, frog rails and guard rails the rest of the time was fiddling with the point rails.

Now for the bad news.

I watched the 12 detailed assembly step videos intently. I even went back from time to time to check them against my build. And nowhere did it say anything about “if you’re building O-Scale turnouts you must increase the distance from the stock rail to the point rail on the throw bar.

The Throwbar Video said to insert a piece, that’s right “A Piece” of PC Board tie as the “correct” spacing between the point rail and the stock rail. Well that’s probably just dandy for HO, Hon3, N etc.

Even though I was checking with a freight car truck to make sure it rolled through the turnout smoothly it didn’t dawn on me till I was finished that the clearance between the back of the wheel and the opposite point rail was tight. I never looked at an end view I was looking down all the time. Going by the theory that all rolling stock is not created equally I decided to begin unsoldering one of the point rails on the throw bar and moving it to a distance of 2 PC board ties.

I noticed my ties were falling of in the area of the stockaid filed area. After I filed the stock rails with the stockaid tool to allow for the point rails to slide up against the stock rail the bottom thickness of the rail is almost nil. So gluing the ties to the bottom is out. There just isn’t enough surface area left. That’s when I came up with another job for the laser. The Mt. Albert ties are 3/32” thick. So I used 1 layer of 1/8” plywood and 1 layer of 1/32” plywood glued together to get my 3/32”.

I broke the spacers away from the 1/8 piece where the PCB ties will go and glued the ties to the 1/32 piece. Now I can glue the ties to the rail on each end of the filed area spanning the thin part.

I only have the tie section sitting in place on the turnout so if it looks off no problem. I also made PCB guard ties for the throw bar.

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/03/2018 :  6:20:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh Man, they are some very nice looking turnouts!

Country: Canada | Posts: 1157 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/03/2018 :  7:17:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frank your the man what a great job you did.

I'll put your ad on EBAY tomorrow turnouts made in any scale just call Frank!!!


"And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11580 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 03/03/2018 :  7:33:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, beautiful to look at! Nice work Frank, even if it was a pain!

Country: USA | Posts: 3421 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 03/03/2018 :  8:25:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yes indeed Frank'. Those are some SWEET switches

ted :<)

Country: USA | Posts: 5882 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 03/04/2018 :  09:57:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I stand corrected.

Hello Frank,
If the O scale freight car truck has proper gauge and scale wheels without deep "pizza cutter" flanges then they should work just fine. I just finished building 16 O scale, code 148 #10 turnouts and using the same method of testing they worked flawlessly with the pacing made with just one PCB tie.
Terry Firth

Rob, thanks. We’ve finished the 3 modules, frame, legs and cabinet grade 1/2" deck. Wednesday is attach the 2” foam day.

Jerry are you going to be my promoter?

Carl, I enjoyed the assembly I found the filing to be . . . well, boring.

Ted, “some sweet switches”, alliteration, well played.

Edited by - Frank Palmer on 03/04/2018 09:59:21 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles

Premium Member

Posted - 03/05/2018 :  08:00:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What! No scenery yet?

Country: USA | Posts: 12949 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 03/05/2018 :  7:10:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike that'll be next week.

I’m prepainting the ties before assembly. The sections and the individual ties were painted with Rust-Oleum Earth Brown Camo. I painted the rails and PCB ties with an airbrush and Floquil Roof Brown. Oh the horrors of it all, this is my last bottle of Floquil Roof Brown. I guess the rails will get the Rust-Oleum treatment too. I just like the airbrush because it’s not as thick a paint. As soon as I finish painting the rails I wipe the tops with lacquer thinner. That way it's pretty easy to get the paint off. I'll go aroung with an sir brush and rust colors when the track work is finished.

Eight to go.

I finished 5 lefts and 1 right.

Edited by - Frank Palmer on 03/05/2018 7:15:03 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5367 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 54 Previous Topic: Operation Dark Winter - HO scale micro layout Topic Next Topic: On30 Sugar Cane Hauler in 1920s Haiti  
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