Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby WillYart » Thu May 16, 2013 2:57 am

Thought I would avoid this, but now I am forced to consider building custom turnouts (curved, #6 or so, and others). I don't have $300-400, I am a starving student.

So, I've been turning it over in my mind and finally have come here to ask: is it even feasible to do this with my file set, wood ties, and a dremel tool? How about spiking it to the roadbed? (It's plywood, very sturdy)
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby areibel » Thu May 16, 2013 6:24 am

I would say it's feasible, that's exactly how they used to do it! I haven't tried it yet, but there are several articles in some of the back issues of MR and RMC that go step by step through it, and all they use are the hand tools you have, no fancy jig. Tom Dempsey from Clover House has PC ties, all you need is rail and patience!
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby Arseny » Thu May 16, 2013 10:35 am

Look here:
http://scaletrainsclub.com/portal/our-l ... ----tillig

- How to assemble Tillig turnout (text in Russian)
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby WillYart » Thu May 16, 2013 6:14 pm

areibel wrote:I would say it's feasible, that's exactly how they used to do it! I haven't tried it yet, but there are several articles in some of the back issues of MR and RMC that go step by step through it, and all they use are the hand tools you have, no fancy jig. Tom Dempsey from Clover House has PC ties, all you need is rail and patience!


Thanks, I'll give it a whirl.

*Edit - Areibel, thanks for the contact; called Tom Dempsey and he was very helpful, offered to custom cut the PC ties for me after I send him the dimensions this evening.
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby areibel » Thu May 16, 2013 7:25 pm

Cool!
Hand laying track is something I'd really like to do, but I don't ever forsee me having the time. The couple HO guys I know that do it claim that you can go pretty fast, but considering my current "layout" is a 3' by 4' piece of pink foam with a loop on it, it might take a while. Maybe when I win that $550 mill Powerball I can quit two of my jobs and concentrate on the important stuff- TT!
]]]]
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby Richard-B » Fri May 17, 2013 10:44 am

WillYart wrote:How about spiking it to the roadbed? (It's plywood, very sturdy)

I would advise NOT spiking directly to plywood. You will have created a gigantic sounding board...

The cheapest methods are cork or foam roadbed on top of extruded (pink or blue) foam sheets (or plywood)... but you generally need to glue down both the tie strips and the rails, since these materials don't hold spikes well.

A long-preferred material is the building board material Homasote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homasote
You can get Homasote already cut to size and with beveled edges from California Roadbed http://www.homabed.com. He cuts to order... so getting the product can take a while. The advantage of Homasote is that it does hold spikes well, and is a natural sound-deadening material as well.

PC Ties (printed circuit board ties) are made of fiberglass laminated to a thin copper top layer, and allow you to solder down the rails, especially at turnouts, to keep them from "wandering". You use them interspersed with regular wood ties... They are available from Clover House http://cloverhouse.com and Fast Tracks.

The next question is which size(s) of rail will you use: Code 82 and Code 70 are the most common for TT... Code 55 and Code 40 would be best for TT:Fine.

There is absolutely no reason you can't build even the most sophisticated trackwork with a Dremel, a flat file, and solder. It just takes time...

BTW: For examples of "ultimate" trackwork... check out http://www.proto87.com
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Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby WillYart » Sun May 19, 2013 4:39 am

Hello Richard,

Thank you for providing taking some time to provide input, I really appreciate it. The track work example on the proto87 website is absolutely stunning.

Maybe I'll use Homasote on my next layout; the mainline is already installed per the unusual method described in this thread: http://www.ttnut.com/layout-progress-t1756.html. I'm confused about making the trains as quiet as possible. Some people say prototype trains are quiet, but the trains in my area when I was a child (Washington DC area) were absolutely deafening and screeched a lot.

By the way I'm building my own track bender using the same bearings in the Fast Tracks tool, just waiting on the materials in the mail!

Right, so I've ordered my PC Ties from Clover House.

Well, according to my caliper my Tillig flex track is, um... code 80.5; I'm going to pull it of the tie strip and use it. Seems cheaper than buying the Microengineering track, although perhaps theirs is somehow superior.

Someone somewhere on the internet suggested gluing the rails to the ties, and said it was unnecessary to spike them then. However I'm inclined to spike as it seems easier to make minor corrections later than breaking glue joints.

Areibel, ah probably I am the unbalanced one. My excuse to spend time on this is my kid who enjoys running the trains.
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby Tom Dempsey » Sun May 19, 2013 1:03 pm

When the PC ties get there, just cut a tie from the strip and insert it as every fifth tie or so. Solder the rail to the tie. No spikes, glue or anything else needed. And the track will never go out of gauge.
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Re: Different TT Scale/Gauge track brands?

Postby WillYart » Mon May 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Sounds good!
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