Fast Tracks TT

Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby milwrd1 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:37 pm

Bill Dixon wrote:I have noticed a tendency for the code 55 rail to twist.
It is necessary to make sure the rail is straight and untwisted before using it.

I had though about the rail joiner issue but as I have not got that far in the track laying process I have not had to deal with it yet.
I thought of cutting down the inside of the rail joiner or using a PC tie for the joint.
This might be a good place to use the Gapmasters. I have a couple on order to try out.


Thanks for the feedback, Bill. I to noted that one had to make sure the code 55 rail was straight prior to cutting (it is very easy for the rail to get twisted, especially with longer pieces.) I found it was better to use a cutting plier instead of a dremel with a cutting disc when cutting longer pieces.
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:13 pm

After you have made the basic turnout you need ties.
I cut these by knife on my first test turnout, with poor results.
There are much better ways to do this.
20140216 making ties.jpg

Enter the North West Shortline Chopper II.
Use the caliper to set the spacing for the stop on the right. Feed in tie material and chop.
Then store the cut ties so you can easily find them.
I cut a large number of 8'6" ties and numbers of lengths in 6" increments from 9' up to a scale 15' 6".
I didn't have a storage container with enough sections, need 15, so I had to double up on lengths in a few sections.
Making sure that they are wildly different lengths makes it east to select the right size.
Regards
Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:41 pm

As the Fast Tracks is designed to make HO Scale HOm turnouts the resulting turnout needs a bit of work during construction and after removal from the jig to make it more suited for TT-Scale.
Fast Tracks Tie Layout.jpg

PC Ties A through J are installed in the jig.
I added PC ties 1 though 5.
Ties 1 and two are the head ties. Tie #2 is a bit crooked and will be adjusted before I continue.
Tie "A" is out of position. It should really be closer to tie #2. However as I have added ties 1 and 2 in the point area i don't need tie "A" to hold things in gauge. I am going to remove it and start my 8'6" long wood ties there.
Tie "C" is about a half tie too far left. I am going to move it a bit to the right. If i leave it where it is the tie spacing between Ties #1 and "C" will be a bit wide.
Tie "D" is a full tie width too far to the right. I am going to solder a whole new PC tie beside it and remove the current tie "D".
Wood ties between "D" and "E " will be rotated from the right angle of tie "D" to the canted angle of tie "E". Going to be fun to make the jig in that area.
Ties "E" and "F" are awkwardly spaced. They are too close for a tie between them. When I make future turnouts I will make sure that they are as close to each other as is possible in the jig. There is room in the PC ties slots in the jig for some movement.
Ties "G" and "H" are so crucial to holding things in gauge around the frog area that I am not going to touch them.
Ties "I" and "J" have much the same problem as "E" and "F" however there is more room between them for a tie. I will move these two ties as far apart as is possible in the jig to make more room.

Below the image of the unaltered turnout is what I think I will need for tie lengths and numbers to finish the turnout.

To the left of the scale 15' 6" ties standard 8' 6" ties will continue on. I am not sure yet but I may have to add a 16' ties to the left so that the ends of the 8' 6" ties on the two diverging tracks do not interfere too much with each other.

With all this information I can now start building a tie jig for the turnout and then when that it done another one for Left Hand turnouts.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:08 am

Thanks for the write up Bill, I'm sure it will come in handy for many of us :)
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ctxmf74 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:46 am

Making ties.
I use the NWSL chopper to make ties but I use a different method. Instead of buying scale lumber or making thin tie strips I rip 3/4 inch soft pine tie material to the correct tie thickness ( to match the PC board ties I'm using in this case) so using 3/4 material that gives me a 1/16 thick by 3/4 wide tie board , then I cut a tie length piece off the end, 8.5 scale foot, 9.0 foot or whatever lengths I need for a turnout. Then using the chopper set to the finished tie width I chop the tie length piece into individual ties. I can make enough for a turnout in a few minutes if I have a supply of decent pine handy. For turnouts these wooden ties are just glued between the PC board ties , for common straight or curved track I glue the wooden ties down then spike the rail to them saving the cost of PC board ties. Seems to work fine so far on my test tracks. I'll know more when I get a module ballasted and see how it holds up. I still want to try the Tillig plastic tie strips that one can add their own rail to make flextrack, the time savings might be worth the extra cost....DaveB
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:42 am

I built a tie jig for my Right Hand Turnout . . . and it worked . . . sort of.
20140218 tie jig.jpg

If you ignore the too tight tie slots in some locations and the fact that some ties ended up being glued into the jig when I tried to glue the ties to the turnout, it worked. It did not quite end up as I had planned. Really a pain in the butt to use and sniffed too much glue making it. Took a half day for the smell to dissipate. This was a job that was best done outside. Except for the 80km winds and blowing rain I would have done so.

Here is an image of a finished turnout.
20140218 Turnout.jpg

I only had a can of flat black spray paint to hand so it is a bit dark.

You can see where the ties are too close together.

There are five wires soldered to it, Red for the back rail, orange for the corresponding section of rail to the left of the frog.
Black to the front rail, grey to the corresponding section of rail to the left of the frog.
And a blue wire to the frog.

The turnout is OK, use able but I won't build another one the same way. Too much fiddly work. There has to be a better way.
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:00 am

As I said in the last post there has to be a better way.
And last night lying in bed thinking about the problem I came up with a few ideas.

Referencing the image of the turnout with no wood ties.
Fast Tracks Tie Layout.jpg

The problem of too tight tie spacing occurs between PC ties pairs "E - 'F' and 'I - J'.
The purpose of these pairs of ties is to hold the turnout together when you cut rail gaps.
However you don't cut the rail gaps until well after the turnout is out of the jig. So if I don't install PC Ties 'E' and 'J' until after the turnout is out of the jig I can use a spacer and install them at the correct distance. That will eliminate the two areas with too close tie spacing.

Then I thought about the wood tie jig. I made one to hold the whole turnout at once and had problems using it.

It would be easier if it was made in four sections.
Section one would cover ties to the right of PC Tie number 2.
Section two would cover ties between PC ties 1 and E.
Section three would cover ties between PC ties E and J.
And section four would cover wood ties to the left of PC tie J.
Each section would need to be long enough to cradle the whole turnout but as each section only handles wood ties for part of the turnout they will be much easier to use. Trying to get the whole turnout out of the first jig I made was not fun.

Of course the best way to do the wood ties would be to buy or get access to a laser cutter and laser cut tie sections.
However as neither time not money is available for that course of action I will try this way.
It should be much easier than my first attempt.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ctxmf74 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:31 am

"Trying to get the whole turnout out of the first jig I made was not fun."

Once the turnout is soldered together you could set it on the roadbed and trace the PC tie locations with a sharpie then remove it and glue down the wooden ties. I glue all the ties down first and then just solder the rails to the PC board ties in place to make it even easier. Once you know where the PC board ties go there's no real need for a tie jig as the wooden ties just fit between them ...DaveB
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby Bill Dixon » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:09 am

So no sooner thought of then done.
Of course it did not work as I planned. I ended up moving the inner PC ties; 'F' and 'I' out rather than the two outer ties 'E' and 'J' in.
20140218modified turnout.jpg

This image shows a modified turnout, on top, beside an unmodified turnout.
The two spaces are filled with ties and Styrene spacers to show what the finished result will be.
It looks much better now.
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Re: Fast Tracks TT

Postby ctxmf74 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:20 pm

"The two spaces are filled with ties and Styrene spacers to show what the finished result will be.
It looks much better now"

That should look great when installed and ballasted. I wouldn't bother with spacers for tie placement, just eyeball them and they'll come out fine, I watched southern Pacific section gangs work when I was a kid and they just set the ties down by eye and tamped the ballast around them, the spacing could vary by a few inches as they worked their way along a stretch of track, and some ties would be at a slight slant to 90 degrees .....DaveB
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