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  • hand made switches

    Good morning all,I was hoping for some opinion on these hand made switches such as "Fast tracks", where you totally build them, and also the "Light Iron" switches where they are more assembled? I don't recall anyone commenting on the Light Iron products before.I desire to move into track laying and switch construction, for a better realism that I see in some of your great works.I'm wanting to move beyond prefab products.Thanks for your imputs.Randy May

    "Light Iron Site"

    http://www.maine2footquarterly.com/turnout.htm

  • #2
    Randy,

    The "Fast Track" fixtures work great. It is easy to learn and makes consistently reliable turnouts. I highly recommend them if you have enough turnouts to build and you want to hand lay your track. If you want to see how it is done watch the hour video available on the Fast Track website, it shows you how to build a turnout from start to finish.

    The "Light Iron" turnouts are accentualy fast track turnouts as they are made using Fast Track fixtures.
    Ron Newby

    General Manager

    Clearwater Valley Railway Co.

    http://cvry.ca

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    • #3
      Randy the lite irons are a great product if you can waite awhile on your order i ordered 30+ in sept. And still need 4. If you got enough of one kind go fast tracs i pretty sure their the same. But gary makes a great product far better then others out there. Pilot

      and i'm not shouting by useing caps just hunt and peck and it's easyier for me but bothers some.

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:


        Originally posted by PILOT


        RANDY THE LITE IRONS ARE A GREAT PRODUCT IF YOU CAN WAITE AWHILE ON YOUR ORDER I ORDERED 30+ IN SEPT. AND STILL NEED 4. IF YOU GOT ENOUGH OF ONE KIND GO FAST TRAC I PRETTY SURE THEIR THE SAME. BUT GARY MAKES A GREAT PRODUCT FAR BETTER THEN OTHERS OUT THERE. PILOT


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        • #5
          Ron,Pilot, I didn't know Light Iron was a Fast Track product,learned something there.so the draw back is the delivery time for the Light Iron switches, but the performance and quality would be exactly equal to Fast tracks.

          next question???

          in the Fast Track kits are the tools you need to constuct a switch included in a kit, or is there further need to buy tools to make there switches? Randy

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          • #6
            Not sure they are the same i just was making an assumtion by the quility , you just set them on the ties and spike the other i used made me wish he made the "3 ways" and curved if they came from a jig i think its wore out. Garys are outstanding even with the waite and he did get me what i needed to work in an order i needed. Pilot

            sorry about double post i tried to changes something a couldn't

            Comment


            • #7
              When you get the hang of it you can make a Fast track turnout in about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. Lots of fun. You can use their jig to help make stub tunouts ... If interested I can explain ...

              Hand made switches ... hand laid rail ... [:-jumprefect]
              Tom M.

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              • #8
                Randy - I just ordered (and received) a complete On30 #5 turnout kit and a bunch of extra stuff.

                Reasonable price and fast shipping. I only had to order one extra tool (Stock Aid tool). I feel

                that I have made the right choice, as I will need many turnouts on my new layout. Building your

                own has its advantages also. If you visit the site, you can get a pretty good idea of what you

                will need.

                If I was only going to use 4-5 turnouts, then I would go the commercial route. Just my rantings....

                The Geezer

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                • #9
                  Hi Tom!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Guys,

                    Garys switches are indeed fastrack all the way, including their wyes. I have 2 of Garys #4s integrated in with my own fastrack #5s on my RR. I managed to get a #4 fasttrack jig, and Garys fit right in. The jig provides consistency, switch to switch. Having built switches in place being able to build in the jig with Point and Frog fixtures is also a great benefit.

                    Les

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Geezer, what is the ( Stock aid tool ),that you had to get extra?

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                      • #12
                        You can get a better view at the site Randy - it is a tool that helps you remove the

                        correct amount of the rail base where your points meet the stock rail. Somehow, I thought

                        it came with the kit, but it didnt. All the tools are very well made and designed.

                        I can't wait to make a few turnouts - Maybe this weekend!

                        The Geezer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Does anyone just use the printable templates from the site and the filing jig to build there turnout?
                          Owen Pass Lumber Company

                          HO Logging Layout in a Shed.

                          https://owenpass.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Adrian,

                            As I mentioned earilier, I use both, when I scratch build in place, I glue down the template, I then work from the thru track to the curved thru track, filing and grinding rail, points, frogs and spiking them inplace. Some of those switches from an abandoned layout exist today. Techniques are the same, building of the frog, the points, filing of the base rail where the points hit, making of the guardrails, its just that the jig provides consistancy. Short of using the quik-ties (Fastrack switch ties) or the flex switch ties, I put down the paper template, glue down the wood ties and position assembled switch down.

                            I am not a convert to gluing it down with pilobond, it works where you need to position before spiking.

                            Assembled switches, have a great advantage in positioning where you can't build in place. I suggest that some RRs will have jig switches and some custom built in place switches.

                            Les

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                            • #15
                              I believe the break even ($$$) with Fast Track is about 10 turnouts and after that you should be building them for about $5.00 each.
                              Tom M.

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