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 Gap-Cutting Razor Saw
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Author Previous Topic: Life-Like Alco S2 Wheel Cleaning Ideas Needed Topic Next Topic: My RDG Rolling Stock
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Premium Member

Posted - 12/05/2018 :  08:42:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I usually gap both handlaid and commercial track with a conventional motor tool & cutting disk. I find the side-to-side thrust of a razor saw loosens the rail, and the length of the blade risks accidentally notching ties, nearby rails etc.

When I start work on the street track inside GE Riverworks I may try Coaltrain's trick of shortening a razor saw. I have hung onto used cutting disks worn down to half their original diameter to get into tight places in turnouts, and a 1" or less saw might be a useful alternative.

Ever since I first saw Tim Warris' Bronx Terminal, I have wondered how he was going to make the gaps necessary for operation, even with frog juicers. An approach I just thought of (but probably isn't new) would be drilling two holes, one for the blade of a jeweler's saw, the other off to the side for the handle.

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New Hire

Premium Member

Posted - 12/06/2018 :  12:51:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would also strongly suggest a Dremel. I've used jewelers saws, Zonas, and various X-Acto and clone razor saws on track. Every one of them has loosened track pieces at one time or another, especially on hand-laid "glued" track aka Fast Tracks. A Dremel with a cut-off disk zips through the track quickly and cleanly and doesn't loosen the track.

One thing I would look at though is which Dremel. If you anticipate using it a lot one of the big (currently 4000 series) units is great. I find though that I rarely use it. It is great but it is big and bulky and without the right angle attachment causes you to cut the track on an angle. I recently bought their smallest corded unit (called the Stylo I believe). I use it constantly. It is about the same size as the handpiece for the Flex shaft with a thin cord. It allows you to get the tool close enough to the track to do straight cuts. On top of that, it is less expensive than most Dremels. MSRP is something like $59.99 and you can find it for about $50.00.

Great tool, small enough to keep handy all of the time and still all of the great uses of a Dremel.

Tom - blog: https://trainblog.tharbin.com

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/08/2018 :  2:04:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all your suggestions!

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john holt
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/08/2018 :  8:14:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Harbour Freight has a Dremel "knock off" that is less expensive and works just as well. I do NOT work for Harbour Freight or own any stock in the company or receive any compensation from them. Just offering an alternative for purchase. If you can save a couple of bucks put it towards more train stuff.


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