Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby Shipsure » Sat May 03, 2014 10:29 am

My scanner is down at the moment, but I made my own tie strips using 1/16 aircraft ply and rastered a seat for the rail to lay in. I left a few gaps for PC board ties and so far they seem to be working well. 1/32 will work for siding track and the like. Pre stain and color and then a few heavy coats with Testor's clear flat lacquer will seal them really well. I take a different approach to ballast though. I make up sections of track, then spread a very thin layer of 20 minute epoxy on the road bed. I seat the finished track with rail in the center of the road bed, drive in a pin or two and then sprinkle the ballast over the whole thing. In 20 you suck off the loose material and you have flawless trackwork. The effect is really amazing.

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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby ConnRiver » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:08 am

Bernd,

To offer cost-effective retail flex track product, I wonder if you won't have to purchase a laser? Couple of years ago, I took a piece of 1/16th aircraft plywood to a local business with a laser cutter; the quote was $45 to cut tie strips (don't recall if it was for one piece or two of 12" x 24" sheet). And, rails would come on top of that. Big ouch.

Some weeks ago, I priced a vertical shuttle injection molding machine similar to the one Micro Engineering uses to produce its flex track. The price tag for one used machine I found was $12,500. Ain't happenin' at my end!

Lately, I've been researching a plastic forming process that appears highly interesting. To experiment, I'm going to CNC cut short (8-inch-long probably) flex track dies and test the method using the industrial book I have to guide me through it. I'll attempt to form standard polystyrene around the base of the rails as is done with injection molded flex track.

Turnouts, I've been sketching ideas for CNC mill jigs to allow gang cutting of frog, closure, and point rails. If flex track polystyrene forming is a success, I'll adapt the process to create turnouts and other track pieces.

Ballpark calculations tell me a flex track retail cost might come in under $4, and a turnout for less than $15.

It seems to me (and I easily could be wrong, so I've discovered many times ;-) that to have a shot at seeing some of the locomotive and rolling stock products we'd like to have, to attract small manufacturers to work in our scale someday soon, we need the basics: flex track and turnouts, and wheels, stuff basic to any possible TT scale market growth.

Guess we all just keep chippin' away at it until something happens.

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby j p » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:14 pm

Bernd wrote: Couldn't agree with you more. I feel the same. Need to make the tracks to run the engines so they can bring the product to the consumer. :wink:

Bernd


May I suggest a minor correction?
:wink:

Need to make or import the tracks to run engines...

Rob mentioned something about tracks and startset: http://www.ttnut.com/zeuke-tt-what-s-new-t2241-10.html#p28760
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby j p » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:54 pm

The important thing is to get the tracks to the market. Make it, import it, or both. That does not matter. Just don't forget the possibility of buying it elsewhere.
The only thing causing discomfort is to see people duplicating the same work because we do not have so many resources in the tiny NA TT community for such a luxury. What was wrong with the track from Michael? He made even missing spikes...
http://www.ttnut.com/resources/image/3627
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby areibel » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:47 pm

It's not just that it's available JP, it about the availability and cost. You can afford to buy whatever you want, but a lot of TTers can't. Michael's track is beautiful, but 26 Euros for 55 cm? When I bought Kruger track I paid about 4 Euros for their flex track
for a piece 90 cm long. Michael's is nicer and more detailed, but if someone wants to build a layout there's no way the normal person (remember them?) can build one at that price. And to attract modelers to the scale it's where we need to start.
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby j p » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:51 pm

areibel wrote:It's not just that it's available JP, it about the availability and cost. You can afford to buy whatever you want, but a lot of TTers can't. Michael's track is beautiful, but 26 Euros for 55 cm? When I bought Kruger track I paid about 4 Euros for their flex track
for a piece 90 cm long. Michael's is nicer and more detailed, but if someone wants to build a layout there's no way the normal person (remember them?) can build one at that price. And to attract modelers to the scale it's where we need to start.


I agree with you Al. (but I cannot buy whatever I want anymore, at least until my wife finds a job again)
There is a cheap option (Kuehn) mentioned by Rob. He has them in his e-shop already. It is maybe not perfect for NA, but it is cheap and it is better than Tillig. If Kuehn adds some reasonable turnouts, nobody would be able to compete with his value for money for a while. That is a track system which IMHO has the potential to help in reintroducing the TT scale in NA.
If I like the track from Bernd, I'll buy some for sure. I am not new to the scale though. And I don't expect Bernd to match the price of Kuehn track which is made in China.
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby ConnRiver » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:37 am

Bernd,

You're ahead of me on actual track work! Way to go! (I'm still re-assembling my office/shops after a move last fall. Almost there, but what a chore). My interest in producing quality track (we can do that in a home operation, right? After all, quality is not dependent upon the walls inside which a product is made) is to help the scale grow a bit by helping those of us who wish to model now. There are other projects I'd rather be working on, given the choice.

As an example, I would move on to tackling metal wheel production based on the Sherline owner who set up his CNC lathe as a sort of screw lathe production center. (Have you seen his video?) Unless someone here is working seriously on wheels, in which case I would move on to something else. (I'd love to really, really pursue my modular GP7-9-18-20 project. Blomberg trucks. And I'm crazy about SD40's. Flexicoil trucks. And. . . . ;-)

Are you interested in discussing track here with the idea you'll take the lead (which you have, already)? That is, a discussion by which we all here can mull over the issue of production? Get an inflow of ideas? Would you find that helpful?

I've got several approaches to track production I'd like to present informationally here. Gotta run to work right now, but if you think this would be helpful, I'll happily post them. Or, I can email you privately if others here might be bored by the use of such bandwidth.

TT - survive, then thrive!

-Brian

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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby Marquette » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:38 pm

Bernd wrote:
ConnRiver wrote:
As an example, I would move on to tackling metal wheel production based on the Sherline owner who set up his CNC lathe as a sort of screw lathe production center. (Have you seen his video?) Unless someone here is working seriously on wheels, in which case I would move on to something else. (I'd love to really, really pursue my modular GP7-9-18-20 project. Blomberg trucks. And I'm crazy about SD40's. Flexicoil trucks. And. . . . ;-)


That's another product needed, wheels and axles for both rolling stock and engine's. I don't know of anybody working on wheels. I'd say go with the wheels sets. No, I haven't seen the video. I'd be interested in seeing though.


Wheels: so, to what standards are you planning to turn the wheels to? RP-25?

I won't even ask if you'll do Proto:120 since there are probably only two people in the world who want to do that, one is me and the other lives 20 minutes from me.

Flexicoil trucks: yes please! There are SD7s to build! And that would solve the SD45 powering question, too, along with opening up any SD possibility...
http://espeett.blogspot.com - The SP in 1:120 - my attempt at a blog
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby j p » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:26 pm

I know a German company specialized in TT scale wheels. They make NEM wheels and also wheels with NMRA RP25 profile.
(there are many others making only NEM wheels)
Do you really think that another manufacturer is needed? Those are not garage companies :)
Price is $1.
Diameters for RP25
7.0 mm
7.7 mm
8.0 mm
8.3 mm
they can make other diameters too, of course
Material: brass
Surface treatment: nickel or black
Roundness guarantee, no sidestroke.
Paypal accepted :)
http://www.muellerradsatz.de/

Anyway, I have several hundreds of HP Products (or HP compatible) spare wheelsets. New pointed axles for those would be a better business. The HP wheels themselves are very good and can be used again with new axles. The bearing system has developed since 1950s and HP's bearings became somehow obsolete.
You could get excellent wheelsets that way (and made in USA!)

Spoked wheels for steam engines are missing. Would you make those? Same diameter of the axle as HP Products engine wheels would be an advantage.
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Re: Taskboard TT Scale Tie Strips

Postby Marquette » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:02 pm

Bernd wrote:Can be done for you. I know a guy who has a lathe. :wink: Could a standard wheel be used and taken to the correct width for Proto:120?


Well, width is a thing, but so is the flange shape and all that other stuff... if you give me a few days I'll get the necessary info.

Hopefully it *will* be possible to turn an existing wheel down... it might make it easier to do things like get my SW on P:120 wheels...
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