Turnouts for the New Layout


Jim Overman
 

I’m starting to plan my layout for the new home.  I’ve got a year before the homes completed, so I have a good amount of time to start build things, like turnouts.  The layout will occupy a room which is about 650 sq. ft.   

 

My estimate for turnouts will be as many as 200, all Hon3 both code 55 for the branches and yards but mostly code 70.  I will be using Fast Tracks fixtures as I have made many for my club in both standard and narrow gauge as well as dual gauge.  My though for the ties, in-lieu-of Quick Sticks is to use regular wood ties glued to a printed copy of the Quick Stick and then glue on the rails as I would with the Quick Stick.

 

Does anyone have experience with this method and could offer any helpful tips?


lloyd lehrer
 

Jim, have you considered having your ties laser cut commercially? I would do it in at least 3 separate pieces. Points to frog, frog to diverging  and regular sections to fill the misc. other spots. Also we had our pc ties cut by cloverhouse at much cheaper pricing in 12" lengths.

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Sat, May 12, 2018, 8:38 AM Jim Overman <jloverman@...> wrote:

I’m starting to plan my layout for the new home.  I’ve got a year before the homes completed, so I have a good amount of time to start build things, like turnouts.  The layout will occupy a room which is about 650 sq. ft.   

 

My estimate for turnouts will be as many as 200, all Hon3 both code 55 for the branches and yards but mostly code 70.  I will be using Fast Tracks fixtures as I have made many for my club in both standard and narrow gauge as well as dual gauge.  My though for the ties, in-lieu-of Quick Sticks is to use regular wood ties glued to a printed copy of the Quick Stick and then glue on the rails as I would with the Quick Stick.

 

Does anyone have experience with this method and could offer any helpful tips?


--
lloyd lehrer


Alan
 

Anyone happen to know the stock number for Clover House PCB ties that will fit the Fast Tracks #6 HOn3 jig?
Thank you
Alan


lloyd lehrer
 

Clover did not have them as a stock item. We just custom ordered them. They were very easy to work with. 

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097


On Sat, May 12, 2018, 9:00 AM Alan Lautenslager <alan.lautenslager@...> wrote:
Anyone happen to know the stock number for Clover House PCB ties that will fit the Fast Tracks #6 HOn3 jig?
Thank you
Alan


--
lloyd lehrer


Alan
 

Lloyd,
   Do you recall if they have the sizes for the jigs or is this something you had to supply?
Alan


Jim Marlett
 

I live with the curse of enjoying hand laying track. Today’s flex track probably looks more realistic, but there is just something satisfying to me in spiking that little strip of rail.

I have a pretty good supply of switch ties – so many that I have no idea who sells them now and it will be a while before I have to find out. It is really easy to cut them to proper length and lay them in a spacing jig. I haven’t yet tried to use them with a Fast Tracks turnout, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to simply leave out the wooden ties where PC board ties will go. I did buy some Fast Tracks QuickSticks anticipating using their jigs, but I probably won’t bother again. Laying individual ties just doesn’t seem that hard.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


Alan
 

For me nothing beats the look of all wood ties.  I do things a little different when using my Fast Tracks jig. I build up the turnout on the jig using the PCB ties then lay down wood ties on my roadbed. Next I install the turnout using spikes. The PCB ties are thinner then the wood ties and are suspended in the air so I come back and with my soldering iron heat up the PCB ties and remove the. I replace the PCB ties with a wood tie and spike it in place. End result is a very nice smooth turnout with all wood ties.

Alan

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Jim Marlett
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2018 11:36 AM
To: HOn3 Group
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Turnouts for the New Layout

 

I live with the curse of enjoying hand laying track. Today’s flex track probably looks more realistic, but there is just something satisfying to me in spiking that little strip of rail.

 

I have a pretty good supply of switch ties – so many that I have no idea who sells them now and it will be a while before I have to find out. It is really easy to cut them to proper length and lay them in a spacing jig. I haven’t yet tried to use them with a Fast Tracks turnout, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to simply leave out the wooden ties where PC board ties will go. I did buy some Fast Tracks QuickSticks anticipating using their jigs, but I probably won’t bother again. Laying individual ties just doesn’t seem that hard.

 

Jim Marlett

http://flatheaddrag.com/

http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jim Marlett
 

I’ve given that serious thought. The only thing I might leave with PCB ties is the frog if I gap it per Fast Tracks protocol. The turnouts/switches I have converted to DCC friendly still have the frogs and closure rails as one piece and are powered through Frog Juicers. The points pivot from headpins that reach through the roadbed and are soldered to the power. Works great. If anyone is masochistic enough to see how I did it, you can look here:

http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/p311136063

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On May 12, 2018, at 11:47 AM, Alan Lautenslager <alan.lautenslager@...> wrote:

For me nothing beats the look of all wood ties.  I do things a little different when using my Fast Tracks jig. I build up the turnout on the jig using the PCB ties then lay down wood ties on my roadbed. Next I install the turnout using spikes. The PCB ties are thinner then the wood ties and are suspended in the air so I come back and with my soldering iron heat up the PCB ties and remove the. I replace the PCB ties with a wood tie and spike it in place. End result is a very nice smooth turnout with all wood ties.
Alan
 
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
 

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Jim - I can't offer a voice of experience here; just a sudden creative thought.  Print your tie pattern on heavy stock paper as near as you can get in color to the natural ground of the area you are modeling.  For most of us modeling the west that would be some light shade of warm tan. I'd even try a two stage print with the ground being a piece of "art" that I create myself and the second printing whichever tie pattern I need.  Ed Weldon


Mark Kasprowicz
 

The whole reason for 'Fasttracks' being called that is that it is fast, or at least faster and much easier than hand making scratch built turnouts. If it's a cost saving exercise then weight it up. If it's looks thing then I cannot see it because as Bob Haydon once wrote, 'in the end all you are looking at is paint'. But consider this. Many of us started making RailLine boxcar kits. After about 20 or 30 they started to be a bit repetitive, boring even. You're expecting to have to make 200 turnouts. Unless you are a true devotee of making turnouts then perhaps look at quicker alternatives. I'm rebuilding my layout right now and at first decided to use FastTrack turnouts in the new sector. In the end I used old recycled HOn3 Shinohara Code 70 turnouts in the hidden siding section and FastTracks in the 'in sight' section. It is working out fine. It's said that a model railroad is never finished. I like to think while it may not be finished it is, at least, well under way.
Mark K


Mike Van Hove
 

It may be repetitive, even boring, BUT, the cost savings over buying 200 ready made turnouts is a very real advantage.

After all, you won’t need to make all 200 at one time, so make enough for the area you are working, then go do something else for a while.

I first started my layout using the Central Valley turnout tie strips.  After a while, I got tired of the derailments, etc, so I started building Fastracks and replace the CV turnouts, one by one.  I’ve never regretted
 making the change, only regretted not using the Fastracks from the start.

When I am in “Production Mode," I now make a bunch of each piece.  Goes much faster that way.

I do use a small 1” wide belt sander for the removal of most of the metal, then I finish up with a good sharp file.  That really saves a lot of time. Especially when you are making 200 turnouts.   I bought a 1” X 30” belt sander at Harbor Freight.  Lots of their stuff isn’t very good quality, but I have been quite pleased with this belt sander.  It also has a 5” disc sander, and a vacuum attachment.  Saved me a lot of time in making my turnouts.

Just my 2 cents worth.

I hope it helps.

Mike Van Hove
 

On May 14, 2018, at 11:13 AM, Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:

The whole reason for 'Fasttracks' being called that is that it is fast, or at least faster and much easier than hand making scratch built turnouts. If it's a cost saving exercise then weight it up. If it's looks thing then I cannot see it because as Bob Haydon once wrote, 'in the end all you are looking at is paint'. But consider this. Many of us started making RailLine boxcar kits. After about 20 or 30 they started to be a bit repetitive, boring even. You're expecting to have to make 200 turnouts. Unless you are a true devotee of making turnouts then perhaps look at quicker alternatives. I'm rebuilding my layout right now and at first decided to use FastTrack turnouts in the new sector. In the end I used old recycled HOn3 Shinohara Code 70 turnouts in the hidden siding section and FastTracks in the 'in sight' section. It is working out fine. It's said that a model railroad is never finished. I like to think while it may not be finished it is, at least, well under way.
Mark K


Jim Marlett
 

I have yet to try my hand at making PCB ties look like wood, so I may find I like the results as is. I am still somewhat suspicious of HOn3 code 70 points being used with Fast Tracks design. I’m concerned with them being a bit stiff to bend over and over without creating a lot of stresses that could eventually cause the need for repair. I don’t think that would be the case for code 55 rail, but code 70 in HOn3 seems iffy. I would like to hear testimonials from those who have done so with or without problems. It will certainly be easier than making hinges. In my hidden staging areas I do plan to use unmodified Fast Tracks switches, possibly without any wooden ties or at least very few. The first hidden staging yard will be a test bed for when I get to my main yard since, although it will be hidden, it will be very accessible and I can change or repair things easily. Of course, I won’t have anywhere near 200 turnouts on my railroad (I hope!).

On May 14, 2018, at 11:13 AM, Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:

The whole reason for 'Fasttracks' being called that is that it is fast, or at least faster and much easier than hand making scratch built turnouts. If it's a cost saving exercise then weight it up. If it's looks thing then I cannot see it because as Bob Haydon once wrote, 'in the end all you are looking at is paint’.

Mark K


Dusty
 



I did a 'kerf cut' from the bottom on a bunch of #6 and #8 code 83 std gauge switches. Cut 4 or 5 cuts up to rail head. Used thin jewelers saw before attaching point rail to ties. It really eased the tension. Should do the same on 70.

Dusty Burman 


Lee Sorensen
 

Jim
I have built HO and HOn3 as well as dual gauge turnouts for my layout. I dislike code 70 because of it's stiffness. I changed from rabbitt switch machines to servo machines with stiffer wire and it appears as though they will work over time. I do not have enough time as yet to voice an opinion there. 

Lee Sorensen


Russ Norris
 

I use Tortoise machines, but also with stiffer wire because my machines are mounted under a 2" slab of pink foam.  I had a problem with not enough force, especially with stub switches.  

Russ Norris

On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Lee Sorensen <narrowminded2@...> wrote:
Jim
I have built HO and HOn3 as well as dual gauge turnouts for my layout. I dislike code 70 because of it's stiffness. I changed from rabbitt switch machines to servo machines with stiffer wire and it appears as though they will work over time. I do not have enough time as yet to voice an opinion there. 

Lee Sorensen



Jeff Young
 

My Tortoise’s are mounted under 1” of spline and 3/8” of Sundeala (our equivalent to Homosote).  The supplied 0.20” wire is not stiff enough for code 55 stubs, but 0.32” wire works fine.  (I also have some 0.39”, which I suspect would be required for code 70, but I’ve never had to resort to it.)

For stub switches a lot will depend on the length of the lead rails.  I wrote up my method for building stub switches in the 2016 HOn3 Annual.

Cheers,
Jeff.


On 14 May 2018, at 19:47, Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:

I use Tortoise machines, but also with stiffer wire because my machines are mounted under a 2" slab of pink foam.  I had a problem with not enough force, especially with stub switches.  

Russ Norris

On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Lee Sorensen <narrowminded2@...> wrote:
Jim
I have built HO and HOn3 as well as dual gauge turnouts for my layout. I dislike code 70 because of it's stiffness. I changed from rabbitt switch machines to servo machines with stiffer wire and it appears as though they will work over time. I do not have enough time as yet to voice an opinion there. 

Lee Sorensen






Jim Marlett
 

If I was starting over, I would go with code 55. However, I’m not going to re-lay the rail on all the existing sections and if I used code 55 on all the new track,I think mixing the codes where they would need to be mixed would call even more attention to the oversized code 70. Let sleeping dogs lie. Now I need to step away from the computer and get some work done!

On May 14, 2018, at 1:18 PM, Lee Sorensen <narrowminded2@...> wrote:

Jim
I have built HO and HOn3 as well as dual gauge turnouts for my layout. I dislike code 70 because of it's stiffness. I changed from rabbitt switch machines to servo machines with stiffer wire and it appears as though they will work over time. I do not have enough time as yet to voice an opinion there. 

Lee Sorensen


Mark Kasprowicz
 

Mixing codes 55 and 70 doesn't hugely notice provided it's not right in your face and it's painted  
I had a similar dilemma of whether to rip the whole thing up and with code 55 but having dismantled over half of my layout for an entirely different reason I realised that replacing all the 70 with 55 would be a daunting task. Anyway, I'm certain I would be the only one to see the difference. 

Mark K
Oxon England.


Lee Gustafson
 

Rusty,

A very clever and genuinely neat solution. Very nice work.

Lee Gustafson 


On May 14, 2018, at 12:18 PM, Dusty <dustburm@q.com> wrote:

<15263181574112278316406696886758.jpg>

I did a 'kerf cut' from the bottom on a bunch of #6 and #8 code 83 std gauge switches. Cut 4 or 5 cuts up to rail head. Used thin jewelers saw before attaching point rail to ties. It really eased the tension. Should do the same on 70.

Dusty Burman 


Jim Marlett
 

Maybe I will have run out of my stock of code 70 rail by the time I get to the proposed main yard. Anyhow my story is that the railroad’s founder, “Big Larry” Fremont, went for quality with an eye to the future and having access to heavy rail, built his railroad to last. “Big Larry,” by the way, is named for my deceased  father-in-law, Lawrence Fremont Gray, who was by no means a big man, was not called “Big Larry," but did have the good fortune of having a Colorado-sounding middle name. We now live in the house that belonged to my in-laws and it just seemed like a nice thing to do.

On May 15, 2018, at 5:30 AM, Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:

Mixing codes 55 and 70 doesn't hugely notice provided it's not right in your face and it's painted