Bending ME Turnouts


Robert Herrick
 

I'm new to the list and I'm wondering whether anyone successfully bent a Micro Engineering HOn3 turnout to produce a moderately curved switrch. I've done it in standard HO, but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good HOn3 turnout since I'm north of 70 and counting pennies. Should add that I have all of the Fast Track tools and I've built a number of standard HO turnouts. However, I don't want to spend a $135 to buy an HOn3 jig that I'll use only once unless it's the best option. 

Thanks,

Bolb herrick


lloyd lehrer
 

Bob, I have easily done the rails coming away from the frogs, but not the point side.  If you try, the rails from the wide end of the frog will pull out and can be bent as much as you want,   and just align the stock rails to match. I have just cut the ties away from each other some times and bent it on the bench to match the curve I needed.  I have also cut flex track to match the piece from the wide end of the frog and spiked it down at the frog instead of using a joiner and just tossing the little tail pieces of track. 
lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 11:13 PM Robert Herrick <rdherrick@...> wrote:
I'm new to the list and I'm wondering whether anyone successfully bent a Micro Engineering HOn3 turnout to produce a moderately curved switrch. I've done it in standard HO, but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good HOn3 turnout since I'm north of 70 and counting pennies. Should add that I have all of the Fast Track tools and I've built a number of standard HO turnouts. However, I don't want to spend a $135 to buy an HOn3 jig that I'll use only once unless it's the best option. 

Thanks,

Bolb herrick


--
lloyd lehrer


Dale Buxton
 

Bob,

First of all. What are the two radius that you want this turnout to fit into?

I just recently coaxed a curve into the diverging route on Shinohara turnout. But I didn't curve the whole turnout. And I'm pretty sure it couldn't ever be done either. The same would follow for a ME turnout. For one thing. The geometry both of your curve radius have to extend almost up to  brink of the frog area. On the ME HOn3 turnout, the cast frogs "Heel" ( the area after the theoretical throat of the frog. SEE: NMRA document "TURNOUTS GENERAL"  RP-12 2015.02 ) rails are part of the frog casting and and longer than the same are area on a Shinohara turnout. The second problem to overcome is that rails would need to be loosened from the tiny plastic spike heads of the plastic ties. This would probably destroy most of those spikes and you would end up with a mostly turnout kit. Lastly all of the length of the throw rails need to be curved to match the two radius going through the turnout.

Since you say you already have the Fast Tracks tools (I assume that means at least the "Pointform" and Stockaid" tools). I suggest you go to the Fast Tracks web site and download one of the HO standard gauge curved turnout templates. Hopefully they will have the two radius that you are planing to use. Yes I know you are are modeling HOn3 but, hear my out.  Fast Tracks only has one HOn3 curved turnout printout available. But they have MANY HO standard gauge ones with many different radius. All you have to do is use one of these and then re-gauge the outside and throw rails on the drawing to HOn3 gauge. 

I see this as your best option. It's certainly better that tearing up a perfectly good and expensive ME turnout. Best of luck to you!

Dale Buxton 

On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 12:13 AM Robert Herrick <rdherrick@...> wrote:
I'm new to the list and I'm wondering whether anyone successfully bent a Micro Engineering HOn3 turnout to produce a moderately curved switrch. I've done it in standard HO, but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good HOn3 turnout since I'm north of 70 and counting pennies. Should add that I have all of the Fast Track tools and I've built a number of standard HO turnouts. However, I don't want to spend a $135 to buy an HOn3 jig that I'll use only once unless it's the best option. 

Thanks,

Bolb herrick


Jeff Young
 

I can’t answer the question directly, but I lay all my turnouts on FastTracks templates using no more than their PointForm and StockAid tools.

That’s good info from Dale regarding their curved HO templates. I didn’t know about those but I mean to give them a try next time. What I’ve been doing is cutting a straight HOn3 template into 16 pieces, taping the pieces back together with a constant overlap at the top (or bottom), and then photocopying the result. It works well, but I’d guess Dale’s method is considerably less fiddly.

Cheers,
Jeff.


Robert Herrick
 

Thank you all for the very helpful suggestions!

Bob Herrick

On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 1:13 AM Robert Herrick <rdherrick@...> wrote:
I'm new to the list and I'm wondering whether anyone successfully bent a Micro Engineering HOn3 turnout to produce a moderately curved switrch. I've done it in standard HO, but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good HOn3 turnout since I'm north of 70 and counting pennies. Should add that I have all of the Fast Track tools and I've built a number of standard HO turnouts. However, I don't want to spend a $135 to buy an HOn3 jig that I'll use only once unless it's the best option. 

Thanks,

Bolb herrick


Bill Nelson
 


On Nov 9, 2018, at 10:51 AM, Robert Herrick <rdherrick@...> wrote:

I'm new to the list and I'm wondering whether anyone successfully bent a Micro Engineering HOn3 turnout to produce a moderately curved switrch. I've done it in standard HO, but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good HOn3 turnout since I'm north of 70 and counting pennies. Should add that I have all of the Fast Track tools and I've built a number of standard HO turnouts. However, I don't want to spend a $135 to buy an HOn3 jig that I'll use only once unless it's the best option. 

Thanks,

Bolb herrick
_._,_._,_



Bob,  if  you  use  an  existing  frog  Jig,  and  point  jig,  it  should  be  easy  to    go  from  there  the  old  fashioned  way  .  .     I  always  free  handed  switches,  the  frog  and  point  jigs  would  be  all  I”d  ever  use.



Bill  Nelson,  Clarksville  TN


tonyk537
 

Does Cliff in Buena Vista at BK Enterprises (Trout Creek)  still make curved switches?  I have a number of his curved turnouts on my layout.

Phone, (719) 395-8076 · Address. 12874 County Road 314B; Buena Vista, Colorado 81211 ... Trout Creek Engineering,


Bill Lugg
 

BK Enterprises doesn't advertise them, but Railway Engineering
(http://www.railwayeng.com/turnouts.htm) says "You draw it - We build
it!".  So, for a price Mr. Hatch can conjure up anything you can
conceive, I would imagine.  I hear his stuff is real good too.

Bill Lugg

On 11/10/18 11:44 AM, tonyk537 via Groups.Io wrote:
Does Cliff in Buena Vista at BK Enterprises (Trout Creek)  still make
curved switches?  I have a number of his curved turnouts on my layout.

Phone, (719) 395-8076 · Address. 12874 County Road 314B; Buena Vista,
Colorado 81211 ... Trout Creek Engineering,


Chris Kodani <ckodani@...>
 

Hi Bob, just thinking outside the box here (being HOn30 makes me do crazy things sometimes). Would it be possible to buy a premade (cheapest possible) curved switch in HO standard, and then re-gauge to 3 foot? I think you’d only need to move the outside rails. Chris Kodani 


Dave Trimble
 

Chris,

Unfortunately the points for the standard gauge switch are to far apart; they need to be made closer together to fit between the stock rails.

Dave


Chris Kodani <ckodani@...>
 

Maybe start with an N scale switch, and then widen? The points would only travel a little more. N is 9mm gauge and HOn3 is something like 10.5mm?


Chris Kodani <ckodani@...>
 

Stub switch?


Joe Ferguson
 

Cliff does still build curved HOn3 turnouts. I received one from him not long ago. 

Joe 

Joe B. Ferguson
_,_._,_


kevin b
 

well, then the ties are too small. that may or may not make any difference to folks, but, it'll look a little bit off next to HON3 track and ties etc.
plus, I think the N scale rail is not going to match up just right either.
however, I don't see why it couldn't be done.




Maybe start with an N scale switch, and then widen? The points would only travel a little more. N is 9mm gauge and HOn3 is something like 10.5mm?



tonyk537
 

I thought he still made them.  I have a number of his turnouts on my layout.  If you give him the radii that you would like.  We also had some oddball turnout needs on Dick Dorman's layout.  We just traced it out and sent it to Cliff.  He made them up for us.  Also made us the three way stub switches in Rico.

Cliff also has the entire Classic Miniatures Line.  Saw the FD Works Hardware kit (Telluride) go through Ebay a couple of time lately, selling for $20 -30 higher than you can buy it new from Cliff. This is the contact information:
719-395-8076 
http://www.troutcreekeng.co/

Thanks,  

tony


Jim Spencer
 

I don’t see any mention of using Details West switch point and frog kits.  Check out their website.  Paul Federiconi who makes them offers a full line of cast frog and points kits that also include guard rails, all with cast in bolt detail, clamps, etc.  He has kits ranging from #5 through #8 in code 83, code 70, and code 55.  In addition he has #9s in code 83.  Code 55 is really best for HOn3 in terms of scale appearance and their code 55 point rails are shorter, meaning more room for curving the remainder of the switch.  

In terms of curvable turnouts, the higher the frog number (narrower the angle), the more curvable the switch becomes - i.e. the inner curve maintains a higher radius.  So #8s would be best.  It results in the lowest likelihood for derailments.

You might also check CVMW (Central Valley) who make switch kits that are curvable.  Theirs is code 83 and code 70 and their frogs range from #8 - #9.  Their tie strips sold separately are really great and I have considered sectioning them down from HO to HOn3 widths.  Something to think about.

Jim

On Nov 11, 2018, at 10:48 AM, tonyk537 via Groups.Io <Tonyk375@...> wrote:

I thought he still made them.  I have a number of his turnouts on my layout.  If you give him the radii that you would like.  We also had some oddball turnout needs on Dick Dorman's layout.  We just traced it out and sent it to Cliff.  He made them up for us.  Also made us the three way stub switches in Rico.

Cliff also has the entire Classic Miniatures Line.  Saw the FD Works Hardware kit (Telluride) go through Ebay a couple of time lately, selling for $20 -30 higher than you can buy it new from Cliff. This is the contact information:
719-395-8076 
http://www.troutcreekeng.co/

Thanks,  

tony
<IMG_9070.JPG>

James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






Jim Spencer
 

Slight correction:  CVMW makes switch kits and switch tie strips ranging from #5 through #9.  Sorry for the typo.

I have suggested to Jeff Parker who owns Central Valley (a diemaker by training) to consider making injection molded HOn3 switch tie strips that would be suitable for code 70 and code 55, maybe even code 40.  

He has started making curvable tie strips (not switch tie strips) for N scale using code 55 rail.  But so far no switch tie strips and nothing for HOn3. 

I have encouraged him to consider HOn3 switch tie strips because of the surge in HOn3 popularity brought on by Blackstone.  To date he seems to be focusing on N scale and on his many bridge kits.

Comments from all of us might nudge him to reconsider this.  His website is CVMW.com.  It has a contact portal where you can write him a message.  Never hurts!  
Jim

On Nov 11, 2018, at 12:54 PM, Jim Spencer <trainmanjs@...> wrote:

I don’t see any mention of using Details West switch point and frog kits.  Check out their website.  Paul Federiconi who makes them offers a full line of cast frog and points kits that also include guard rails, all with cast in bolt detail, clamps, etc.  He has kits ranging from #5 through #8 in code 83, code 70, and code 55.  In addition he has #9s in code 83.  Code 55 is really best for HOn3 in terms of scale appearance and their code 55 point rails are shorter, meaning more room for curving the remainder of the switch.  

In terms of curvable turnouts, the higher the frog number (narrower the angle), the more curvable the switch becomes - i.e. the inner curve maintains a higher radius.  So #8s would be best.  It results in the lowest likelihood for derailments.

You might also check CVMW (Central Valley) who make switch kits that are curvable.  Theirs is code 83 and code 70 and their frogs range from #8 - #9.  Their tie strips sold separately are really great and I have considered sectioning them down from HO to HOn3 widths.  Something to think about.

Jim

On Nov 11, 2018, at 10:48 AM, tonyk537 via Groups.Io <Tonyk375@...> wrote:

I thought he still made them.  I have a number of his turnouts on my layout.  If you give him the radii that you would like.  We also had some oddball turnout needs on Dick Dorman's layout.  We just traced it out and sent it to Cliff.  He made them up for us.  Also made us the three way stub switches in Rico.

Cliff also has the entire Classic Miniatures Line.  Saw the FD Works Hardware kit (Telluride) go through Ebay a couple of time lately, selling for $20 -30 higher than you can buy it new from Cliff. This is the contact information:
719-395-8076 
http://www.troutcreekeng.co/

Thanks,  

tony
<IMG_9070.JPG>

James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
 

Hi,
  As I understand it - the O.P. only needs to have -1- curved HOn3 turnout.  My
advice it to just buy it!  We've already spent more time on "whether or not you
can take a straight turnout and make it curved" than it would take to scratch
build it ... just because it might be possible ... it doesn't make sense (at least
not to me).
                                                                                            - Jim B.


Robert Herrick
 

Hi Jim,

In my working years when I was earning money I'd have bought the Fast Tracks jig and been done with it. I'm in my seventies, however, and working out strategies to acquire 30 freight cars and another locomotive are daunting enough. Years ago I'd have purchased 30 Blackstone cars. I can acquire a few, but I'm going to be buiding a lot of Railine kits. The Fast Tracks jig is $130, i.e. one-and-a-half Blackstone cars. I simply have to weigh the trade-offs in light of the overall projected cost of building and equipping the layout. Having said that, the easiest solution may still be to buy the danged fixture or hire someone to build the turnout. Another member of this list offered to do so we'll see. Appreciate your point of view.

Bob Herrick



Ed Tibbetts
 

Robert, I agree with Jim. It isn't rocket science. Draw it, build it. If you don't feel you can make the points, notched running rails, and frog, take apart a commercial turnout. I have not built a turnout since the late 80's, but it only took me a couple of hours to make one in place last night.
Ed T.