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  • #16
    Whew...bought a lot of ME c55 flex recently to begin my HOn3 layout, and decided I probably wanted untreated ns rail to solder to...a fortunate guess on my part!

    Where are the ME c55 turnouts, it seems all they have to sell now are the c70.

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    • #17
      Man, what with work an' all, I just got caught up.

      The HOn3 'kits' are at

      http://www.handlaidtrack.com/HOn3-Sc...Kits-s/411.htm

      with the single jigs at

      http://www.handlaidtrack.com/Fast-Tr...outs-s/169.htm

      and the one I will probably get is:

      http://www.handlaidtrack.com/HOn3-6-...3-t-6-me55.htm

      which is said to be in stock. Looks like I should order soon.
      Tony Burgess

      Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

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      • #18
        I just soldered some wire to the weathered rail with no problem. Just has to be cleaned well. I use a fiber glass pin brush.


        Russ

        It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

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        • #19
          quote:


          Originally posted by NE Brownstone


          I just soldered some wire to the weathered rail with no problem. Just has to be cleaned well. I use a fiber glass pin brush.




          NE,

          One spot may not be an issue, but with Fast Tracks, every 4 inches or so you have PC Ties that need to be soldered to the rails, and you have to solder rail ends together, along with feeder wires, etc. There is just too much for you to do to work with the weathered rail. It is just not a feasible option to work with.

          Manny

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          • #20


            I'd say don't bother with weathered track. You would waste so much time trying to clean it off to fit the jigs that it would become cumbersome. Besides, you have to paint 7 or 8 PC board turnout ties anyway, and solder frogs etc. Use clean rail, and paint the whole works when done, but your mileage may vary.
            Rich



            Go Build Something Awesome.



            http://www.marshcreekmini.com/



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            • #21
              I agree Rich. I was thinking the same thing. I've never used weathered rail for a turnout, but have soldered wires to it after a good cleaning. People were claiming it couldn't be done, so I just had to go back and make sure it could be done. As for being practical for turnout building, yes, I think it would be annoying and a waste of time to try and remove that much finish just to have a finish. :P
              Russ

              It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

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              • #22
                quote:


                Originally posted by SAFN SAAP


                I have only used the regular Micro-Engineering Code 55 Nickel Silver. One issue that comes up is that the solder joints oxidize and turn that lovely copper green color. I don't know how the weathered rail solders. I'd be interested to learn myself.


                Just stumbled across this thread and was concerned by the above comment -- if your solder joints are turning green it seems you're doing something wrong. What kind of flux did you use, and did you clean the turnout after constructing it?

                I use ME non-weathered rail for building turnouts and paint them after completion. I can't comment on which rail size is easier to work with as I've only ever used code 40 (being in N-scale)

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                • #23
                  By the way, don't solder wires to the sides of the rail, its ugly, solder the wires to the base. Make the "L" in the end of the wire run parallel to the ties and crossways to the rail. The joint gets buried in the ballast.

                  You can solder weathered rail, you just have to clean it (you should also clean un-weathered rail for a good joint). I normally use un-weathered rail and spray paint it roof brown, then build both track and switches with the painted rail, using a "bright boy" or wire brush in a Dremel to clean off the paint where I will need to solder to it (frogs, points, guardrails, bases where feeders go.)

                  Have used weathered rail for track, still have to clean off the weathering to solder joints and feeders.

                  I don't use Fast Tracks, learned how to lay switches back in the 1970's before Fast Tracks was even thought of. DIY switches are an option (people used those methods for 100% of handlaying for the 60-70 years before the jigs). You are trading money for time, since there is a longer learning curve with DIY. Once you learn DIY, you can lay any size or configuration of switch. There are lots of different approaches to building switches, don't be afraid to try different methods and find the one you like best or that fits your construction situation.
                  Dave Husman



                  Iron Men and wooden cars

                  Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

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                  • #24
                    Just getting caught up on my own thread . I don't get a subscribe link, so I have to physically come here each time.

                    Good tips. I just got the fast Tracks jigs in the mail today. I bought a few extra 'tools' too, expensive, but I think the end result will be worth the cost. So....next comes the scary part, assembling. I might try the weathered rail on the outside to see how it goes, cleaning the bottom of the rail, but will start with the non-weathered.

                    But to painting, I would probably use an air brush, and probably Vallejo ?? paints. Any further thoughts on this part?
                    Tony Burgess

                    Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

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                    • #25
                      The nice thing about Fast Track fixtures is that they hold their value.
                      Russ

                      It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

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                      • #26
                        I love my Fast tracks jigs but you can usually get the tools cheaper locally.....

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                        • #27
                          I have scratchbuilt many HO turnouts using weathered rail, it can be done but all spots need to have the weathering removed, I used a wire brush wheel in a Dremel tool, and it is a pain. I switched to non-weathered rail and it is a lot easier.

                          I use Fast Tracks point and frog jigs but I do not use the big turnout jigs. One huge advantage to handlaid turnouts is the ability to build flowing (some slightly curved)turnouts, which allow you to make track arrangements that is just not possible (without a lot of work) with pre-fab turnouts. To me, using the Fast Track turnout jigs basically gives you homemade pre-fab turnouts. Also, I don't like having to blend the PC ties with the wood ties, they always seem to stand out, partly because they are really smooth looking and partly because there is a gap filed into the top surface of the turnout.

                          I find it easier to print out the Fast tracks templates and use those to locate the turnouts on the layout, then if I need a special curved turnout or built some special turnouts in a tight space I use some flex track to make my own template. To use the flex track just pin down the flex track in one route, then pin one down on top in the other route and trace the outside of the ties on the roadbed, which will be your guide for laying the ties down and for marking the location of the frog point and the throw bar (head block ties). you could also place a sheet of paper over the flex track and rub a pencil on it to transfer the rail locations to the paper, although you will have to tape it down to the layout, rub transfer one route, lift the paper and remove one piece of flex track, lay the paper back down and rub transfer the other route.

                          After you have traced the outsides of the ties glue down your turnout ties, trim the ends, use some sandpaper to level the ties, stain them in place, and then glue down your ballast. Then use the Fast track frog and point jig that is closest to the turn number you think you have and build the turnout in place. If you use the weathered rail all you will have to do is clean the weathering off in the area of the frog. Since you glued down the ballast already the area is finished (other than some paint touch up around the frog) and you don't have to worry about glue getting into to turnout from gluing ballast down.

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                          • #28
                            A great mini lesson Coaltrain, thank you for posting. I am just dipping my toe into the hand laid track pool for a mini On30 layout I have planned with 12-inch curves. I based the turnout design on that arc and machined my own assembly fixtures as seen, in all places, in Richard Gardner's boxcar thread.

                            http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...1&whichpage=35

                            Below is my test fit waiting for a little more work before solder, if you don't feel like clicking through.



                            As an absolute beginner who doesn't know what works and what doesn't, I was thinking about the same issues with the PC ties that you highlight. One plan is to give them a wipe with some bondo to fill the gap and provide a little texture. Another plan is to not center the gaps. but cut them randomly between the rails. My thought was that if they remain somewhat visible they won't look so intentional if they don't line up. And nothing says they have to be perpendicular to the tie either, right? I hope I am not off base with these assumptions, but if I am, it won't be that big a deal to replace some of the track on a 3x4.

                            Thayer

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                            • #29
                              Tin the pc ties and put a paper shim under them in the jig.

                              Found that makes soldering easier.

                              Harold

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                              • #30
                                quote:


                                Originally posted by thayer


                                I based the turnout design on that arc and machined my own assembly fixtures as seen, in all places, in Richard Gardner's boxcar thread.

                                Thayer


                                Thayer,

                                I'm impressed with the fixture. Very nice. I'm looking at doing something similar in HO standard and narrow gauge. What size of end mill are you using?

                                Bernd
                                New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

                                Main thread to all that's happening on the NY,V & N Rwy. The New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy. - Railroad Line Forums (railroad-line.com)

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