Handlaying Straight Track

Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby ctxmf74 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:13 pm

"trying to keep the rail straight without putting any kinks in it while fastening it down"?

The normal way is test it with a straight edge as it's fastened down then use your eye as the final judge( sight along the tracks from the end), when I was a kid I watched the Southern Pacific section gang do that many times. For curves it's easiest to have a nice fair curve drawn then lay the ties and rail following it. If the curve can't be drawn on the benchwork a cut out template of cardboard used as a guide works fine. It's one of those things where experience will make the problem go away.....DaveB
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby Bernd » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:56 pm

ctxmf74 wrote: It's one of those things where experience will make the problem go away.....DaveB


And that's why I'm going to make the jig. The newbie doesn't have that experience. Why frustrate him when a jig would help greatly?

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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby ctxmf74 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:12 pm

"The newbie doesn't have that experience. Why frustrate him when a jig would help greatly?"

Having the option would certainly be nice but I think laying fair track is gonna be a minor problem for any newbie trying to start out in TT gauge. They would probably be more likely to start with Tillig sectional track until they learned more? My inclination is education instead of buying stuff until one learns what they really need and what they don't. One could build track in a jig and still end up with un-fair track if they don't know how to line up all the sections, showing them how to eyeball a fair line and a little practice might be all they need? .....DaveB
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:33 pm

For curves *I* would use 14" and 15.75".
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby Tom Dempsey » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:16 pm

Or, you could fab the track section in the straight jig but only lay one rail, bend that piece to the curve, which will also give you the opportunity to draw the easements in, and then lay the second rail to proper gauge against the first rail.
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby Bernd » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:22 pm

ConducTTor wrote:For curves *I* would use 14" and 15.75".


I was thinking more of the recommended standards, but they could be custom made to certain radius' also. It'll give me a starting point. Thanks Alex.

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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby Bernd » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:23 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:Or, you could fab the track section in the straight jig but only lay one rail, bend that piece to the curve, which will also give you the opportunity to draw the easements in, and then lay the second rail to proper gauge against the first rail.


Interesting solution Tom. I'll give it a try when I get the first jig made. Hopefully by tomorrow night.

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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby ctxmf74 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:01 am

" I was thinking more of the recommended standards"

The generally accepted curve standard is 4 times car length so a 4 inch car should have 16 inch minimum radius curves , but 5 times car length looks a lot better and minimizes any wheel tracking problems( derailments hardly ever happen on straight track so the nearer to straight the curves the better). One of the advantages of TT scale versus HO scale is the curves can be made a lot larger relative to the equipment in the same space so a 24 inch radius in HO is 172 scale feet while in TT it's 240 feet . ...DaveB
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby Bernd » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:37 am

The prototype straight track jig is done. Got it all milled out this morning. Everything fell into place faster than expected.

On the milling machine doing the last rail groove for Code55 Micro Engineering rail.

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All finished. Time for a little clean up.

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The ends trimmed off and burrs sanded off.

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Two pieces of 3 foot long rail has been placed in the jig. I still need to cut up some PC board into ties to place in the tie pockets on the jig. Hopefully I can do that be days end.

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The nice thing about using PC ties and jig like this is you can solder two rails to the same PC board thus eliminating rail joiners of straight sections.

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This is not vaporware. It's not going away. First though I have some modifications to make to improve the jig. Stay tuned more to come.

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Last edited by Bernd on Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Handlaying Straight Track

Postby areibel » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:19 pm

Cook! CWR in TT! (CWR is continuous welded rail in real railroad terms).
And I can see how it would be helpful to have a jig like this for curves like Tom mentioned- solder one rail down to the PC ties in the jig, curve it to fit and fasten down then solder the other with a track gauge.
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