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GNMT76
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/03/2018 :  10:21:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm looking for a razor saw to cut an electrical gap (to then be filled in with styrene or another insulating material) in a HO nickel-silver track rail. I'd prefer to buy just one, though I see that X-ACTO makes the saw set in this link:

http://xacto.com/products/cutting-solutions/tools-accessories/detail/X75300

Zona also sells a number of individual saws, but from its website it's not clear which is appropriate - or best - for cutting rail.

I'd appreciate suggestions on Zona models that'll do the job, as well as other makes and models.

Thank you.

Country: USA | Posts: 117

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 12/03/2018 :  11:05:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You might find the gap you cut is infinitesimal with those saws. I use a cutting doc on my Drexel to cut gaps in track. Sometimes even those can be a bit tight if your dont put some fill in right away.

Karl Scribner
HMFWBIC
Kentucky Southern Railway
and associated lines
Midwest Lower Michigan

Country: USA | Posts: 9699 Go to Top of Page

GNMT76
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/03/2018 :  11:44:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by k9wrangler

You might find the gap you cut is infinitesimal with those saws. I use a cutting doc on my Drexel to cut gaps in track. Sometimes even those can be a bit tight if your dont put some fill in right away.


Thanks, Karl. I don't need the expense of a Dremel though. And, is it necessary to completely cut through the rail or only, say, half way?



Edited by - GNMT76 on 12/03/2018 11:45:19 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 117 Go to Top of Page

David J Buchholz
Crew Chief

Posted - 12/03/2018 :  11:57:03 PM  Show Profile  Send David J Buchholz an AOL message  Reply with Quote
All the way through, otherwise it is not an electrical gap, it is just a piece of track some material missing.

Buy a few "fine" blades, whether zona or xacto. Cutting rail is not kind to the blade. You will dull them quickly.


Home of the North Coast Railroad.

Country: | Posts: 652 Go to Top of Page

Coaltrain
Fireman

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  05:29:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
when I was in HO scale I used to use those cheap Atlas track saws for cutting gaps. I would cut them down so the blade was only about an inch long, that way you don't accidently put a cut in the other rail. the cut is very thin so you will want to get some thin styrene to slide in the gap right after you cut it. put a drop of thin ACC on the joint and let it wick down and dry, then file and cut it to fit the shape of the rail. use Evergreen black styrene for an almost invisible gap filler.


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desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 12/04/2018 :  10:20:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The link you show is a good choice, use the fine tooth saw blade for track cutting. Zona has a 4 in 1 saw that has a 52 tpi razor saw blade for cutting metal, sold by Micro-Mark for about $10.00, a good buy for the saw and blade set. I think Zona makes the best saws, so if you go that direction just make sure you get the fine blade for metal cutting. And be sure to cut completely through the rail to make a good electrical gap.
I use a dremel tool now like Karl suggested, however, at first I just used the atlas type that was available for model railroaders like Coaltrain talks about and it worked just fine for track cutting. Also his suggesting of black styrene into the gap for a filler, or even just the white, with ACC and a good filing after works best.





Country: USA | Posts: 17437 Go to Top of Page

tloc
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/04/2018 :  11:13:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ditto...to what Karl and Louis give you above.

Tom



Country: USA | Posts: 2205 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 12/04/2018 :  11:17:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Karl. I don't need the expense of a Dremel though.

If you're going to be a model railroader, sooner or later you'll need a Dremel tool. It will be the best investment you'll make. I have 3 and I can't live without them. One has a permanently attached right angle drive, most useful especially for cutting gaps in rail.



Edited by - Frank Palmer on 12/04/2018 11:20:03 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 4821 Go to Top of Page

David J Buchholz
Crew Chief

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  11:57:43 AM  Show Profile  Send David J Buchholz an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Funny, I was lokking at right angles drives for that purpose. Those rail insulators are getting expensive. Maybe rechargeable as well, to keep the cord from breaking stuff when it gets dragged across stuff.

Home of the North Coast Railroad.

Country: | Posts: 652 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/04/2018 :  12:37:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Atlas Track Saw is the classic tool for this use. It's cheap, pretty easy to find, and makes an appropriate size gap. https://www.hobbylinc.com/atlas-super-track-saw-model-train-track-accessory-400

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7170 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/04/2018 :  12:40:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Frank Palmer

Thanks, Karl. I don't need the expense of a Dremel though.

If you're going to be a model railroader, sooner or later you'll need a Dremel tool. It will be the best investment you'll make. I have 3 and I can't live without them. One has a permanently attached right angle drive, most useful especially for cutting gaps in rail.



Your mileage may vary. I very rarely use my Dremel. The #1 power tool I use for modeling is my variable speed small (MicroMark/Proxxon) drill press. The Dremel is too clumsy for precise work. I do admit to using the Dremel with a wire brush attachment to clean the paint off of track before soldering, but in part that's because I keep on wearing out the steel brush "scratch sticks" that I can't find cheaply except at train shows.

For cutting track gaps, I'll use either the Atlas 'razor' track saw or the Jewelers Saw from FastTracks.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7170 Go to Top of Page

GNMT76
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  6:54:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Frank Palmer

Thanks, Karl. I don't need the expense of a Dremel though.

If you're going to be a model railroader, sooner or later you'll need a Dremel tool. It will be the best investment you'll make. I have 3 and I can't live without them. One has a permanently attached right angle drive, most useful especially for cutting gaps in rail.



Frank,

Fill me in please on some model railroad uses for the Dremel.



Country: USA | Posts: 117 Go to Top of Page

Orionvp17
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  7:07:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gotta go with Frank on this one. My Dremel is an indispensable tool.

I use mine with the cut-off wheel for gapping rails all the time. It also works for smoothing nicked or burred rails, especially on the bottom, as it can get underneath things easily. Drilling holes for track nails, holes in buildings, cars, motive power, brass detail parts and so on is one use. Cutting brass, cutting resin, smoothing out soldered joints, and such are others. This is a very useful tool, with all sorts of interesting applications. Yes, you need proper eye (and sometimes nose) protection, but that's true of a lot of tools.

This is, as has been noted, a YMMV sort of issue, and there are partisans on both sides. I own several, with and without cords, and have for over forty years.

Yours might be a good "Dear Santa" sort of thing....

Pete
in Michigan



Country: USA | Posts: 6158 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 12/04/2018 :  8:06:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use mine for cutting gaps and drilling holes for wires. I probably use it as much around the house for drilling small holes (picture hanging etc). Useful for pilot holes.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4135 Go to Top of Page

railmus
Fireman



Posted - 12/04/2018 :  11:13:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use a Dremel with a diamond blade to cut gaps. No need for the right angle drive if you take your time and are careful. The slight angle of the cut is not an issue. I fill the gaps with styrene closure clips from loaves of bread or the milk bags we have in Canada. As others have mentioned, I use AC to glue in the styrene. Snip with a fine pair of cutting pliers then file smooth. Gets lost once you weather the rail. Ask me how many times I have tried to find the gap afterwards!


Country: Canada | Posts: 1960 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 12/05/2018 :  08:32:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Orionvp17

Gotta go with Frank on this one. My Dremel is an indispensable tool.

I use mine with the cut-off wheel for gapping rails all the time. It also works for smoothing nicked or burred rails, especially on the bottom, as it can get underneath things easily. Drilling holes for track nails, holes in buildings, cars, motive power, brass detail parts and so on is one use. Cutting brass, cutting resin, smoothing out soldered joints, and such are others. This is a very useful tool, with all sorts of interesting applications. Yes, you need proper eye (and sometimes nose) protection, but that's true of a lot of tools.

This is, as has been noted, a YMMV sort of issue, and there are partisans on both sides. I own several, with and without cords, and have for over forty years.

Yours might be a good "Dear Santa" sort of thing....

Pete
in Michigan



David, Pete said it for me. I use a fiber cut-off wheel in the right angle drive all the time. I use it primarily for cutting and grinding down burrs and joints on soldered pieces. I use a lot of brass in my work especially for railings. The straight one I use for drilling holes and I have a battery powered one also. I'm a total scratch builder and I'd lost without my Dremels.

But I'd also be lost without my Proxxon table saw and chop saw.



Edited by - Frank Palmer on 12/05/2018 08:36:34 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 4821 Go to Top of Page
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