Tillig turnout kits - guide

Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby j p » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:56 am

Preface: I found this detailed guide on the internet and got a permission from its author for translating it to English and posting here. My comments are written in italic.
This is a draft verion, please feel free to comment on spelling and translation errors

Original guide written by Martin Pinta. Translated by j p (with permission)

Assembling and modification of Tillig turnouts
Unless you want only to play now-and-then on the table, your turnouts would be the longer ones and if you want to save some money, Tillig’s kits 83420 or 83421 can be used for making EW2 and EW3 turnouts, and possibly also other turnouts, including non-standard ones. Assembling of the kits is very similar. Some improvements used for assembling can be applied also onto the original (assembled) Tillig turnouts.

Tillig offers the following turnout kits:
Number / Description - - - - - - - - - - - / Grp / Note
83410 - / IBW left curved - - - - - - - - / 1 - / 83430 picture
83411 - / IBW right curved - - - - - - - / 1 - / 83431 picture
83416 - / IBW left curved, weathered / 1
83417 - / IBW right curved weathered / 1
83430 - / kit - EW 1 left 15° - - - - - - / 1
83431 - / kit - EW 1 right 15° - - - - - / 1
83436 - / kit - EW 1 left 15°, weathered/ 1
83437 - /kit - EW 1 right 15°,weathered/ 1
83420 - / kit - flexi 15° - - - - - - - - - / 2 - / 83431 picture
83421 - / kit - flexi 12° - - - - - - - - - / 2 - / 83431 picture
83426 - / kit - flexi 15°, weathered - - / 2
83427 - / kit - flexi 12°, weathered - / 2

Group 1 has point rails divided with a joint, the moving part of it with a pin, longer frog (as EW1), point rails connected to the stock rails, electromagnetic drive and fixed ties. Only one type of turnout can be made out of the kit.

(I do not recommend Group 1 turnouts)

Group 2 turnouts in contrary are like EW2 or EW3, the point rails are flexible, without a joint, shorter frog, driven by a remote drive placed typically under the turnout. The ties are flexible, so the kits 83420 and 83426 can be used for 15 degrees turnouts EW2 left, EW2 right, curved turnouts and everything in between, including the symmetrical turnout ABW15. Kits 83421 and 83427 are longer and 12 degrees. It can be used for EW3 left, EW3 right, curved turnouts and everything in between.
Please note that this gives two types of curved turnouts. The pictures on Tillig’s homepage are wrong and many shops just copy it including the wrong pictures.
Group 1 is delivered with all the rails cut to the correct length. So everything just has to be assembled and glued. Nothing much to add. Some modellers reported problems with pins of the point rails. All Group 1 turnouts have the same disadvantages as the original EW1.
Group 2: first of all an advice to all who try to assemble this kit for the first time: calm down! When assembling the first kit, you could be sorry for not buying the turnouts assembled. But the $5 difference in price per turnout is a good motivation when many turnouts are needed for the layout. Finally, only few tricky details have to be solved to get a good and inexpensive turnout. And not only that. Several improvements are possible.
The kits 83420 and 83426 can be used for 15 degrees turnouts EW2 left, EW2 right, curved turnouts and everything in between, including the symmetrical turnout ABW15. Kits 83421 and 83427 are longer and 12 degrees. It can be used for EW3 left, EW3 right, curved turnouts and everything in between.
It would be a good idea to buy one assembled turnout of the desired geometry. Then you can always look at it to find out how it was assembled. When making EW2, the hot air gun suggested by the manufacturer is not needed. The ties are kept in the correct position by the (correctly shaped) rails. But the hot air gun (or a hair dryer) makes the work easier.
Both stock rails should be curved in a way that they push towards each other, towards the point rails, and at the same time the straight part of the turnout should be as straight as possible. The flexibility of the ties is obtained by connecting the individual ties to each other by a U-shaped “wave”, making their distance flexible. The only problem is that the actual length of the ties is slightly different (usually longer) than the original, so it has to be slightly compressed. That can be done easily at the end before gluing the stock rails, check rails and points – by fixing the turnout on an adhesive tape. However, this has to be taken in account when determining the length of the rails in order to get the point through bar in the correct position.
If everything is supposed to be exactly like the original turnout, we have to measure, cut, and bend as good as possible according to the original turnout.
One of the tricky points is inserting the driving pin of the points into the point through bar. The tiny pin tends to break.

(note: this is the original author’s observation, I haven’t experienced this problem. Perhaps Tillig started to use a different alloy for the rails? The way-around is explained below anyway)

The broken pin can be replaced by a piece of wire soldered to the point from the bottom. Of course, the wire has to be soldered to the other side of the point rail than the stock rail followed by sanding if needed so that the tin would not be in the way for the flanges. The wire diameter was approximately 0.5 mm. It could be a good idea to shape it before soldering so it would fit well into point rail. When assembling my third turnout, I figured out how to not to break the pins. The pin should be bend to a U-shape using needle nose pliers (it is possible even without)

Figure 1: the pin bended to u-shape, with the lowest risk of breaking

The second tricky point is the point through bar. It is a tiny plastic part with some holes for the pins of the points and a steel wire connecting it to the drive. It can be broken very easily when trying to increase the diameter of the holes for the steel wire. (note: why didn’t he use a wire which would fit into the hole?) If you happened to break it, no problem. It is quite easy to make a new one out of a piece of plate for PCBs. Those plates come in suitable thickness, thicker ones can be sanded. The copper layer on one side of it provides some additional strength. The final shape can be adjusted by repeated measuring and sanding. Making a new point through bar was a usual routine. New point through bars are also useful for repairing of the original turnouts.

The third tricky point is the geometry of the wing rails (= the other end of the point rail) If the point rails are closer to each other than required for the correct gauge, we risk a short circuit if the point rails are connected according to the scheme 3.
If this scheme is chosen, the geometry of this detail should be adjusted in a way that the gap between the point rails would be as wide as possible and that the engines’ wheels would be pushed towards the “functional” point rail. Bending of the point rail into the wing rail is done according to the manual. That is 5.5 mm from the frog for EW2, and 5 mm for EW3 respectively. Don’t forget to help the bending by filing a notch in the rail at the bending point. It helps precision of the bending. The wing rail (after bending) should be theoretically parallel to the (corresponding) stock rail. At the same time, the manual suggests that the wing rail should follow the direction of the plastic part of it near the frog. That is why the bending angle would be a compromise between those two.

It is enough to keep the correct bending of the point rails and glue the both stock rails at the A area slightly pushed towards the point rails (in the direction of yellow arrows on figure 2). At the same time the point rails should be pushed towards the stock rails, e.g. away from each other (in the direction of blue arrows on figure 2.) That can be done by fixing the stock and point rails by a wire or string at A1B1 and solder a connection wire (or included connection piece) from the bottom while the rails are fixed. Any forces transferred to the ties should be avoided because otherwise the ties start to deform once soldering from the bottom has started. The soldering should be as short as possible having the turnout placed on a glass - rails’ side down, ties side up. This should be done very carefully.

Then the geometry should be checked, including the horizontal plane of all the rails, especially around the frog. The tip of the frog tends to rise above this plane sometimes. When everything is OK, the stock rails and point rails can be glued to the ties, using droplets of a CA glue. Extra weight can be applied to the tip of the frog if needed (a clamp works better).
It seems to be rather complicated but the assembling itself takes less time than reading this guide. Assembling of my first turnout took a long time followed by fixing the errors and searching for improvements.
Figures 15 – 18 show improvement of an original (assembled) turnout ABW 15, including description. The same improvement can be used also for the kit.

Figure 2: Turnout EW2 out of the kit

The electrical connections are made by soldering small cables directly to the bottom of the rails. Soldering should be as short as possible, having the turnout on the glass. Where the “wave” connection the ties in is the way, it should be removed at the place of soldering in order to reach the bottom of the rail.
The points of EW2 turnouts are stiffer than the ones of EW3. It is possible to make them softer. It is enough to file away some material from the rail foot – e.g. extend the original recess. (Figure 3)

Figure 3: Extension of the recess by filing away a part of the rail foot on both sides of the point rail – between the yellow arrows on one side and between the green arrows on the other. The right green arrow cannot be moved further to the right because the point rail is glued to the tie there. The position of the left yellow arrow can be however moved further to left. This reduces the stiffness significantly.

(Note: this trick can be used also for old HP Products turnouts, which are even stiffer than EW2 and require a relatively powerful drive)

Assembling instructions

1. Shape the stock rails into the desired geometry. Check the geometry by inserting the rails into the ties. Do not glue yet.

2. Insert the wing rails. The tip of the frog is 3.1 mm from the connection between the plastic part of the wing rail and (bended) end of the point rail for EW2/83420, 83426 or 5.3 mm for EW3/83421, 83427. The plastic check rails can be glued now (by a droplet of a CA glue). The wing rails can be soldered to each other from the bottom while the turnout is placed on a plane surface in order to maintain the horizontal level of the rails (a glass plate or a mirror work just fine). Figures 4 – 7.

3. Adjustment of the points. Measure, cut, file, and shape (including the ends towards the frog, a grove should be filed in the rails foot at the bending point to ease the bending.)

4. Bend the pins of the points down to a U-shape and insert them into the point through bar. Insert the point rails into the ties (the stock rails have to be slightly pulled out of the ties.) Figures 8 and 9.

5. Check the overall geometry, length and placement of the point tips with pins in the correct gap between the ties. Glue according to figure 10.

6. Fix the stock rail to the end of the closer point rail at A and B points (if needed) and solder connectors from the bottom. Check the gauge, at least by a caliper. The space for soldering from the bottom side is made by removing one of the “waves” between the ties. Figures 11, 12 a 15 to 18.

7. If you want to use a hot air gun, now the right time for it. The only critical part is the point through bar with pins inserted and placed in between the ties. The point through bar has to be able to move freely. If hot air gun is not used, the ties can be fixed on an adhesive tape instead.

8. If everything fits, the stock rails and point rails can be glued by a CA glue (figure 13). Apply weigth around the frog. Check the plane of all rails, adjust if needed. Then insert the check rails and glue them too.

9. All the remaining wires can be soldered to the rails. Soldering time should be as short as possible while having the turnout placed on a glass, rails’ side to the glass.

10. And the last point: enjoy the result of your excellent work.

Figure 4: Wing rails inserted

Figure 5: Both stock rails should be inserted before gluing the wing rails. The stock rails should not be glued yet though. Then the turnout is placed on a flat glass – in order to keep the correct plane of all the rails. (The tip of the frog tends to rise during soldering)
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
j p
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby j p » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:38 am

Figure 6: Soldered at this point, but the next gap between the ties to right would be better because there the wing rails touch. Adding the wire there could be slightly difficult though. The original turnout has the contact attached at the next gap to left. The risk of damaging the attachment of the wing rails tips to the ties is lowest there.

Figure 7: Some solder on the foot of the rail first then let it cool down. Then add the contact connector - or wire directly (the contact connector provides some additional strength though) and solder it onto both rails. After that the wing rails can be glued. Remember to check the geometry. The tie section is often slightly longer. Fix it before gluing (by an adhesive tape). It is good idea to glue each of the “fasteners” from both sides of the rail. It has to hold really well otherwise it breaks when connecting the turnout to the other tracks.

Figure 8: The point rails have the correct shape before inserting. The bending near the frog makes this slightly tricky; pliers with flat ends help. (Do not use ordinary pliers with groves as on the picture, they scratch the rails) The stock rails are slightly pulled out of the tie section – that way the ties do not stand in the way for the pins of the points which are already shaped.

Figure 9: The bended pins of the points are inserted into the point through bar. After that the stock rails can be inserted. (The ties section is not in the correct position on this picture, it is slightly longer)

Figure 10: Check the entire geometry, ties, rails, point through bar inside the gap of the tie section (the turnout is glued on a double sided tape – note: test this tape first, I know some double sided tapes with strong adhesives which would not let you remove the turnout afterwards). If everything is OK the stock rails and point rails can be glued in the points indicated on the picture. That would hold the turnout in the correct shape. The recess in the stock rail has to be in the correct position at the point through bar so that the points fit.
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby j p » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:59 am

Figure 11: Removing of the “wave” for soldering of the connector done by a shaving blade “saw, but a sharp knife would also work.

Figure 12: The stock and point rails with solder ready for soldering and a connector from the kit soldered onto the wing rails. The next position to right would be better (Figure 15).

Figure13: Finally, CA glue is applied between the rails and the ties using a suitable tool (note: do not touch the CA glue!). A wire was used for this on the picture. For the stock rail it is enough at each of the ends and something also in the middle (a part of it was done earlier). The point rails and the wing rails should be glued to each of the ties.

Figure14: After applying the glue, the turnout is placed between the glass panes. The CA glue applied only by droplets needs some time for bonding. After the bonding (at least one hour) the turnout is ready and it is time for enjoying the result.

All soldering was done from the bottom side. If you happen to melt some of the plastic by an accident, it is not visible if the soldering is done from the bottom. It works better if the rail gets some solder first, then waits for full cool down and the wire is soldered to it then.
When making curved turnouts, the deformation (and the bending force) of the tie section is so large that a hot air gun should be used together with a correct geometry printed out in order to achieve the correct shape of the tie section which would hold the rails correctly.
If you want to use the wiring where the point rails are connected directly to the stock rails, the danger of short in the point B should be removed. A simple and reliable modification of the turnouts is showed on the following pictures. A correct geometry in essential! According to NEM 310, the inner gauge of the wheels must not be smaller than 10.2 mm. This standard also defines the gauge of the rails as min. 12 mm and max. 12.3 mm, where in case of straight track, the nominal value (12.0 mm) should be used, while the gauge in the curves may be wider up to 12.3 mm if vehicles with long wheelbase are used. If you and the manufacturer of the wheels follow this standard, there is no danger of short circuits.
However, I found also wheels with only 9.9 mm gauge and impossible to adjust. In that case, the following modification can be the next step to avoid the shorts between the point rail and the other “non-functional” point rail. (note: it would not work with Rokal wheels even with this modification because of their very thick flanges)

Figure 15: The connecting “waves” are removed first the place where shown on the picture and a connector is soldered to the point rail. The check rails should be pulled out to prevent their damage while soldering
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby j p » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:02 am

Figure16: The stock rails are fixed by a string, pulled towards each other by the clearance in the rail fasteners. The force should not be too high. It is better to use a wider area than shown on the picture - otherwise the straight rail would not be straight anymore. Check the geometry visually and by a caliper or standard gauge. Better check everything two times.

Figure 17: The wire is soldered also to the stock rails and then the string is removed.

Figure.18: Insert the check rails back and that’s it. Glue the check rails and the stock rails can be glued too, at least around the modified spot. Overlapping wire can be either cut or used for connection. After that enjoy the result and see how the trains can run without short circuits and how you saved one switch contact of the drive.

It is hard to understand why this modification is not done already by the manufacturer (on the assembled turnouts) especially when this is recommended in the manual for Tillig’s motoric turnout drive.
Finally, I have to mention that this guide is more complicated that the assembling itself. The goal was to describe it in detail to save some time for the modellers – or eventually some turnout.
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby areibel » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:39 am

Great Info, Thanks!
Hey Boss, can this be a sticky?
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby WillYart » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:17 pm

This is a very nice guide by the way. I've decided to make curved turnouts of custom radii, and this is most helpful as I prepare.
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby Edgardo_Rosatti » Fri May 20, 2016 11:05 am

This guide is very interesting and I would like to make my contribution, because in the past I was able to assemble this kind of turnout.
I hope it can be to your liking. The article I wrote is present on the portal of GAS TT and at this link you can see the translated version in English.

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... latt&hl=en
See photoguide model, Assembling the kit Tillig 83430/1 - turnouts RW1

One thing I can say about this kit is that the needles of the switch were made with a critical material to be used. This is the only assembly critical point IMHO. However, this kit offers a good compromise cost / job.

Yours sincerely
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby ctxmf74 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:42 am

That seems like about as much work as building a turnout from scratch? :>) ....DaveB
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby ConducTTor » Sat May 21, 2016 1:13 am

These kits drove me insane. Kudos to those who are able to work with them but they're not for me.
My website: https://www.ttnut.com
It's the website you're already on. But if you want to be even more on it, click the link.
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Re: Tillig turnout kits - guide

Postby BogdanRa » Tue May 24, 2016 10:52 am

Very useful tutorial. I have s question. Did anyone of you tried to do an dkw of 12 degrees?
Many thanx
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