Back to back to basics

Having had a bit of trouble with shorting and poor running over
pointwork I have gone back to re-checking and re-spacing the wheels on
my various models. I'd already done some and I know you should be
able to run Hornby RTR on their 14.5mm B2B but I have consistently
found that if I re-space them using the spacing gauge to somewhere
close to 14.85 give or take a gnat's crotchet, as Humph would say, and
shim the check rails on all points with .010" plastikard, everything
is massively more reliable - and because the wheel track through the
points is predictable you can also work on those tiny deviations from
vertical that cause problems with short wheelbase locos.
It's not a five minute job, but I reckon it's worth it. The only
problem is that Bachmann is 14.25mm as I measure it, and re-spacing
the wheels on the Deltic looks like it might be quite tiresome. The
9F is also a bit daunting.
Guy
Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
Loading thread data ...
This tends to be much the same reason that EM or P4 can work better than OO - better tolerances. There are exceptions either way of course, but it does amaze me at some exhibitions to see RTR stock plonked onto RTR track, and it promptly falls off. It's good to hear that you're doing something positive about making your layout more reliable.
A 9F is daunting whichever way you look at it! One of my pending projects is a 9F in P4. It's been pending for a long time, and it'll probably stay pending for even longer...
Reply to
Paul Boyd
LOL! I know what you mean. I take it that re-wheeling a Bachmann is out of the question? They are bloody huge, but most impressive. I'm going to see about fitting a firebox LED in ours.
Guy
Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
You do seem to have a comnplicated way at times. Whilst occasionally I get a loco (either bachmann or hornby) that requires adjustment, most RTR just does get plonked and runs happily.
14.5mm vs 14.85mm - you would have fitted in at Horwich :-)
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
If they had run, I'd have left them. They kept shorting on points.
Guy
Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
Ah, the joys of living without standards... ;-)
wolf k.
Reply to
Wolf K
You need to define your problems here Guy. Whose points are you using? Are they live or dead frog? The bad running- what is that - bouncing over the crossings or jamming? Where is the 'shorting' taking place - at the heel or the toe of the switch? have you checked the faulty points with a gauge?
My 4mm 00 layout has trackwork by SMP for plain track, and copper clad pointwork handbuilt to prototype formations. The flangeways are 1mm everywhere. I run a great variety of stock most handbuilt and some RTR by both the big makers. I do ease out Bachmann and Hornby coach wheels to 14.5mm plus or minus 0.1mm using two gauges - Go and No-Go - to ensure accuracy. LIMA bogies I throw way and replace with kit built ones. Most locos are treated likewise if they have less than 14.4mm or more than 14.8mm B/B. Everything runs fine through all my crossings, nothing ever shorts, so you can see that consistent standards do pay off. Things do de-rail now and then, and it is always due to wheels shifting on axles or crud on the treads.
If you are using proprietary track there will always be problems due to the rather the drastic radii found on a lot of this pointwork. Have you tried building your own using either C&L type systems (which I personally do not like due the use of glue) or copper clad? The great thing about soldered pointwork is the ease of adjustment if you don't get your clearances right first time. It is also easy to repair and even re-arrange as you can break it down to components and convert a straight turnout to a curved one if required. I have re-cycled pointwork from three layouts now.
Alistair W
Reply to
Alistair Wright
Thanks for that! I'm considering dipping a toe in the scale camp, and that's not something that had occurred to me. If I start with a very simple plank with a single turnout, to see how I get on, you're saying it's easy to recycle?
How does soldered look, compared to the slide on plastic chaires? Do you use cosmetic chairs?
MBQ
Reply to
Man at B&Q
sorry, only trying to help -:) Tis just that if you are implementing a complex fix for something that most people dont have a problem then perhaps you need to look at how you are doing things. It may be something simple. Perhaps things more sensitive as you have DCC (I assume) but do the wheels wobble - perhaps hit 'less that smooth track joint', do you have a complex set of curves in front of the point - maybe a speed restriction would help ?
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
Thanks for that! I'm considering dipping a toe in the scale camp, and that's not something that had occurred to me. If I start with a very simple plank with a single turnout, to see how I get on, you're saying it's easy to recycle?
How does soldered look, compared to the slide on plastic chairs? Do you use cosmetic chairs?
It doesn't look as good as the slide on plastic chairs, but it is not possible to recycle using that method. You make a mistake with plastic chairs and you scrap expensive components. How much time do you spend gazing at your trackwork? If you were being ultra fussy you could add whitemetal cosmetic chairs to C/C track. Personally I don't bother. The beautiful appearance of custom built track draws people's attention away from the absence of chairs in my opinion. No one has ever noticed the lack on my layout or they didn't think it mattered. Horses for courses. You give yourself a lot more scope for error correction with soldered track. I've tried both methods, and frankly the C/C is far easier to build. Once you have cracked the technique you will never go back to proprietary trackwork. I would start with an SMP copperclad kit just to get your hand in ,but move on at once to more accurate formations - SMP tend to mimic proprietary turnout types which are never prototypical. A word of advice. You DO need good gauges (roller and triangular) to build C/C accurately. Don't try doing it without. Also do not mess about with Code100 rail. The correct size is Code65 which is what SMP supply.
Alistair W
Reply to
Alistair Wright
That's a bit of a sweeping statement. Right now I have a pile of pointwork built using plastic chairs on ply sleepers that was scraped off a layout that had to be scrapped due to a house move. So those turnouts are recylceable (or they would be if I hadn't changed gauge in the meantime!)
Also, if you make a mistake using the above method, you can just crack the chair off the timber and reposition it. In case anyone is wondering about the strength of plastic chairs/ply timbers, MRJ had an article a while back testing this. The chair broke before the joint.
If, on the other hand, you use plastic components throughout and make a mistake, then you're stuffed :-(
Reply to
Paul Boyd
Alistair,
Like Paul, I've re-used 7mm scale C&L chairs more than once. They are glued to ply sleepers with Butanone and can be removed by slipping a sharp scalpel blade or razor blade between the chair and the sleeper to break the bond. This feature is also handy for doing minor adjustments to rail positioning since you can free all the chairs you have to move and move the rail to wherever it should be - a bit easier than unsoldering several rail/sleeper joints.
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
- a bit easier
Hmm. I can unsolder a rail sleeper joint in seconds using a razor blade slid into the joint as you heat it with the iron. I think that might be quicker than undoing a glued joint. However as I said, it's horses for courses. You use the system that suits you best. I guess most folk can use glue but a lot fewer can solder properly. If the glued joints can be parted so easily I would worry that they might come undone without any intervention. Soldered track will generally not suffer from unscheduled detachments. Having said that I have seen some pretty horrible soldered track from time to time. I remember one such effort submitted for a new club layout. I took it home and retrieved enough solder to make another five turn outs! The guy who made it never even noticed that it had been reconstructed.
I will allow that in 7mm the absence of chairs might be more noticeable, though again I recall that the wonderful Diggle and Halebarns 7mm railway was entirely done in copper clad (hundreds of yards of it). We never noticed the absence of chairs as we were too busy playing trains.
Alistair W .
Reply to
Alistair Wright
You don't perhaps think that the above statements are mutually contradictory? You say you can get the chairs off the sleepers, but MRJ say they will break before you do. Which is it?
Alistair W
Reply to
Alistair Wright
Er, both? When you want to get a chair off a ply sleeper, you prise it off with a scalpel blade between the chair and the sleeper. When you're trying to pull the chair off by a piece of rail held in the jaws of the chair, the jaws will break as they're small.
I guess you've just never built much chaired track to gain any experience. I've built a fair amount, so do have experience.
Reply to
Paul Boyd
Thanks all for the commenst.
I can solder and, I'm sure I could use the copper clad sleepers, but I prefer glue where it can be used.
Is the isolating slit in each sleeper noticeable?
Do the wooden sleepers look more realistic in any way?
MBQ
Reply to
Man at B&Q
On Aug 13, 9:45 pm, "Alistair Wright"
I can solder and, I'm sure I could use the copper clad sleepers, but I prefer glue where it can be used.
Is the isolating slit in each sleeper noticeable?
Do the wooden sleepers look more realistic in any way?
MBQ
If you would like to see some photos of C/C track to make up your mind pm me at snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com
Alistair W
Reply to
Alistair Wright
Alistair,
I think that the bond between plastic chair and ply sleeper is of sufficient strength for the average layout and normal levels of running. They might succumb on a layout which has a high level of running with long and heavy trains. But I don't think I will have any worries on my small terminus layout :-)
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
That depends on your skill in painting and weathering track. IOW, create a good overall impression. If anyone wants to duck down with a magnifying glass and inspect things, he has a problem, not you. ;-)
At 3ft, the overall impression gioverns. See above. ;-). ;-)
cheers, wolf k.
Reply to
Wolf K

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.