Fast Tracks TT

Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby CSD » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:40 am

Bill Dixon - I'm talking to you!

I noted in another thread that you mention getting a hold of a #6 fast tracks assembly. Perhaps you would be willing to share your progress with it?... When you have time...
Mark
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:04 am

CSD wrote:Bill Dixon - I'm talking to you!

I noted in another thread that you mention getting a hold of a #6 fast tracks assembly. Perhaps you would be willing to share your progress with it?... When you have time...


I decided to buy myself a birthday present, a code 55 HOm #6 turnout assembly jig and the two tools that go along with that, the point form jig and the stockaid. Delivery was noted as four to six weeks so I don't expect to see the jig and tools until sometime in January.
I have used the jigs before for HO scale turnouts, #8 and #7 and for HOn30 #8. they do work well
When the HOm #6 jig I will have to figure out how to do the ties and whether I will need to adjust the location of any of the PC ties.

When the tools arrive I will keep you all informed as to the construction progress and post pictures of in progress and finished turnouts.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby CSD » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:00 pm

Thanks, Bill. Looking forward to it.
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:57 am

CSD wrote:Thanks, Bill. Looking forward to it.

My Fast Tracks shipment arrived Friday and today I had time to make a turnout.
Here is what was in the shipment as well as a few other items.
20140209 FastTTracks Jig.jpg

The milled aluminum plate is the main piece. As you can see it has jigs for both left and right hand turnouts.
The groves are a snug fit for code 55 rail. They will also take code 40 rail.
The slots are for PC ties. The three short groves on the right side are for making the guard rails.
The 'Point Form' tool (top left) is for making the points and the frog. It works well
The 'StockAid' tool (top right) holds the rail so you can file the base off.
I used the Gold Coast truck to test the turnout. Beside the truck you can see a roller gauge for code 55 rail.
At the bottom is the first turnout I made with inexpertly applied ties. I still need to cut the rails to insulate the frog. The rails will be cut between the pairs of PC ties.
After making the frog wrong and then making it again, the turnout worked reasonably well.
The Gold Coast trucks jumped when they went through the guard rails. Seems they are a bit tight in gauge. I adjusted the guard rails to allow for this and they now run much better through the turnout. I will test with a SW1200 when I cut the rails.

As the poor alignment of the wood ties shows I need to make a jig to hold the wooden ties.

I did modify the assembly a bit. The single PC ties at the very ends were added by me to keep the rail spacing correct.
I added two long PC ties beside the throw bar.

So conclusions.
The Fast Track system works well if you follow their instructions.
The canted tie setup of the jig makes spacing of the wood ties a bit problematical. Fast Tracks may eventually do a straight tie version but this is it for now.

Thinking on this I should have purchased a code 70 version of the jig and tools so I could use the turnouts on my TT-Tracks display. Maybe in a few months.

Time to built a Right hand Turnout and post a picture of it without ties.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:42 am

And here is a right hand turnout as it comes out of the jig.
20140209 Fast Tracks RH Turnout.jpg

The guard rails have been adjusted out slightly.

Yet to be added are the two long P/C ties beside the throw bar and spacer ties at the ends of the turnout rails.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby areibel » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:31 pm

Looks good Bill!
Do they include the point tool and the stockaid tool included with the plate, or do you have to purchase them separately?
And I see they have an HOm version, is that the one you got or did they do a special TT one?
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:50 pm

How long did it take you to make a turnout? How much did the whole setup cost?
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby areibel » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:59 pm

areibel wrote:Looks good Bill!
Do they include the point tool and the stockaid tool included with the plate, or do you have to purchase them separately?
And I see they have an HOm version, is that the one you got or did they do a special TT one?
Al


OK, I should read the words instead of just looking at the pretty pictures!
I see it is the HOm one and you bought the other tools separately. Now back to our regular programming...
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ctxmf74 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:16 pm

"Thinking on this I should have purchased a code 70 version of the jig and tools so I could use the turnouts on my TT-Tracks display. "

You might be able to use Atlas code 80 N scale rail in that jig. The code 80 N scale rail looks like it has the same base width as code 55 rail. Otherwise see if regular code 70 rail will work in your point tool and then just build the turnout by gluing down the PC board ties to a base and soldering the rails to them. After a little practice you'll find the jig is un-necessary. The Gold Coast cars and the Saz model switcher will definitely run on code 70 rail , I recently made a test track to find out for myself....DaveB
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:12 pm

To answer multiple questions at once:

. . . . .
Can the jig use different sizes of rail?

Checking the Fast tracks site the jig will handle Micro Engineering Code 55, Atlas Code 80, Atlas Code 55 and Peco Code 80 rail.
If I buy a Micro Engineering Code 70 jig it will handle Micro Engineering Code 83, Peco Code 83 (IL-115), Peco 75, Pilz Code 83 and Tilig 83 rail. So two sets of jigs will handle any type of rail I am ever likely to use.
Two useful web pages on the fast tracks site are:
http://www.handlaidtrack.com/kb_results.asp?ID=124
http://www.handlaidtrack.com/kb_results.asp?ID=122

. . . . . .
How long did it take to make a turnout.?

With all the futzing around finding tools, printing templates and cutting wood ties, the first turnout took a few hours.
The second one without wood ties added was under an hour.
When I get the tie jigs made for the wood ties and precut the wood ties needed to complete the turnouts I think that a completed ready to use turnout will take under two hours.

. . . . . .
Tools

The Turnout Assembly jig, Point Aid and Stock Aid are sold separately.

As well as the three Fast Tracks tools, you need: a good soldering iron and solder, a good 8" file, a small needle file, a track cutter, a tooth brush, a jewelers saw to cut rail gaps (you can use a Dremel, you just end up with wider gaps) and more tools but those will do most of the work.

. . . . .
Costs: (** is what I bought)

Turnout Assembly Fixture
HOn3.5 Scale, #6 Turnout Assembly Fixture for Micro Engineering 70 Rail - Regular Price: $113.13 None in stock
HOn3.5 Scale, #6 Turnout Assembly Fixture for Micro Engineering 83 Rail - Regular Price: $113.13 None in stock
**HOn3.5 Scale, #6 Turnout Assembly Fixture for Micro Engineering 55 Rail - Regular Price: $118.79 1 in stock!

The Turnout Assembly fixture is rail rail size and turnout size dependent so you will need multiple tools if you are doing different sizes of turnouts in different sizes of rail.

PointForm Tool
#6 PointForm Filing Jig for Code 70, 83 & 100 Rail - Regular Price: $53.97 22 in stock!
**#6 PointForm Filing Jig for Code 40 & 55 Rail - Regular Price: $53.97 10 in stock!

The PointForm tool is rail size and turnout size dependent so you will need multiple tools if you are doing different sizes of turnouts in different sizes of rail.

StockAid Tool
StockAid Stock Rail Filing Tool For ME Code 70 & 83 Rail - Regular Price: $75.57 14 in stock!
**StockAid Stock Rail Filing Tool For ME Code 40 & 55 Rail - Regular Price: $75.57 17 in stock!

The Stock Aid is only rail size dependent. Two tools will cover all the rail sizes you are likely to use in TT-Scale.

PC Ties
The Fast Tracks CopperHead HO Scale Narrow Gauge PC Board Turnout Ties - 1/16" are milled not sheared so they are flat. They come 27 to a fret for - Regular Price: $4.21.

I purchased my tools during a Track Sale so got everything for about %20 off.

Another way to get the tools cheaper is to attend a NMRA National convention as a registrant. FastTracks usually has a Hands-On Clinic (for a fee for the materials) where you get to build the turnout of your choice with somebody helping you. At the end of the clinic you are offered the tools for a discount.

. . . . .
What's next?

I am going to build a handful more code 55 turnouts (and the tie jigs for them) to play with and then try a few Peco Code 80 turnouts to see if I can use them on my TT-Tracks display. If that works then I won't have to buy a new set of code 70 tools.
If I can find some Peco code 60 rail I will try that as well.

. . . . . . .

The set of tools is not inexpensive but the results are good. Anybody can use them and get good results. A long time ago when i was first given a set of tools to work with my first turnout was ugly (blobs of solder everythere) but it worked perfectly. With time they are getting better and cleaner. Any excess solder will be (mostly) hidden when I paint and weather the turnouts.

The turnout as built is to NMRA standards. As noted I had to move the guard rails in a bit to widen the check gauge for Gold Coast wheel sets. The gauge around the frog is very snug so I do not think that the code 55 turnouts will handle Fat Wheel flanges. The code 70 ones should.

You end up with a turnout with a dead frog so whatever method you use for turnout control has to switch power for the frog.

If you do not get the tools on sale you need to build about 15 turnouts to get the price under $ 20.00 a turnout.
If you are building a decent sized layout the tools will easily pay for themselves. If you are sharing with a few other modellers they are well worth the cost.

I can post more picture of Turnout construction in progress if people wish but the Fast Tracks Web http://www.handlaidtrack.com/online-videos-a/164.htm site has a comprehensive selection of videos on every aspect of the construction process.
Regards
Bill Dixon
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