I posted the following on the Templot forum a few days ago but so far no-one's offered any advice so I thought I'd try posting it on here in case any of you good people can help...
Some of the turnouts on my layout need to be of the symmetrical 'Y' type. I've read the section in the Templot manual about creating templates for these. My question (as a newcomer to track construction) is, how do you go about constructing a curved crossing - do you need some kind of jig to get the (seemingly very subtle) curves right, or can you get away (in 00 at least) with using a standard crossing (such as those pre-fabricated by C&L)? Sorry if my inexperience is glaringly obvious here!
I would use straight frogs (crossings) unless the curved one saves a enough space to make the hassle of curving the frog rails worthwhile.
If you first spike/pin the stock rails (outside running rails) through the turnout, building a frog in place is relatively easy, whether on the layout itself or on the workbench.
To make any frog, straight or curved, from rail, file one end of the frog rail to slightly less than half the frog angle*** and curve as needed. Spike/pin in place temporarily and in gauge with the running rails. The point of the frog is where the two frog rails are in exact gauge with the running rails. Move both these rails 1mm to 3mm (depending on frog angle) toward the heel of the turnout to minimise picking of the frog point by the wheel flanges. Finish the turnout using your favoured methods, and remove the temporary spikes/pins after turnout is complete.
*** Footnote: it's a good idea to file away part of the rail base as well if using flat bottom rail, so as to have room for adjusting the wing rails.
Comment on jig building: If you wish to do this, make a jig for a complete turnout plus 4 to 6 inches of track beyond both ends of the turnout if possible. Use copper clad sleepers in the point, point-hinge, and frog areas. Also solder short pieces of rail across the turnout on top of the rails both within and beyond the turnout. This will hold the rails in gauge until installation, and will also reduce strain on the copper clad.
If building the turnout complete with track base on the workbench, cut the rails so as to overhang the track base by a couple of inches or more, so that the rail joints don't fall on the track base joint.
What do you mean by "crossing"? Are you referring to the whole of the diamond crossing, or to what is commonly called a "frog"? I think the original question refers to "frogs".
Interesting picture, that. It also shows the wing rails from one crossing (frog) being lengthened to form the check rails for the next one, which is something you hardly ever see in model form.
And the curving of the diverging route through the diamond crossing is something you cannot achieve with Peco track. Almost every double junction has at least one curved road through the diamond crossing, the main exceptions being where the diverging route bends back on itself towards the main route (this includes "double-track scissors crossovers" such as are seen at the London end of Lewisham station)
What you call the nose, we call the point of the frog.
BTW, the points end of the turnout is the toe, the frog end is the heel.
The track gang calls the thing a track switch; the engineering dept, which designs and specs the things, calls then turnouts. Some nit pickers insists that the points are the track switch, because they call the points the switch rails ('cuz they actually switch the train from one track to another...).
"It's all rather confusing, really." (Neddy Seagoon.)