TT Trackwork

Re: TT Trackwork

Postby j p » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:33 am

Hello Donnell

You forgot one tiny detail in your consideration: N or H0 scale track is not relevant, since that does not help much for TT scale.
It can be used as an indication what TT scale tracks could cost if TT community was as big as H0 or N. :P
You can never get to anything close to those prices by handlaying the track. Even if they provided the supplies free of charge! You have to add the time to your calculation. $40-60 per hour.
For the loop you have mentioned - if the material cost is around those $2.17/ft, you'd spend $40 on the material. That leaves $295 out of the A&D price for work, which is 5-7 hours. Would that be enough for handlaying 18.5' of track?
I know for sure that I would not be able to do that so fast. Therefore I go for Kuehn track and hope that Kuehn comes up with some acceptable turnouts soon. Maybe I can make a short section with A&D track for taking photos of rolling stock. I have some Filigran code60 track and it looks really good (it is not NA though).

Jan
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby areibel » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:24 am

Well if you're paying $40-$60 an hour I'm coming to work for you JP!
I wonder if the company that bought out Kruger track still makes the plastic tie strips? Arseny, do you happen to know?
They used to be available through DnS, and they would work with code 55, 70 or 83 rail. It actually looked pretty good and wasn't expensive but I don't know if it's even made anymore. It would be a good compliment to any Code 55 or 70 switches, and is a lot less work than hand laying. It wouldn't be as detailed as Richard's, but I don't know of many HO guys that are getting that detailed, my hat is off to him!
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby sd80mac » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:17 am

j p wrote:Hello Donnell

You forgot one tiny detail in your consideration: N or H0 scale track is not relevant, since that does not help much for TT scale.
It can be used as an indication what TT scale tracks could cost if TT community was as big as H0 or N. :P
You can never get to anything close to those prices by handlaying the track. Even if they provided the supplies free of charge! You have to add the time to your calculation. $40-60 per hour.
For the loop you have mentioned - if the material cost is around those $2.17/ft, you'd spend $40 on the material. That leaves $295 out of the A&D price for work, which is 5-7 hours. Would that be enough for handlaying 18.5' of track?
I know for sure that I would not be able to do that so fast. Therefore I go for Kuehn track and hope that Kuehn comes up with some acceptable turnouts soon. Maybe I can make a short section with A&D track for taking photos of rolling stock. I have some Filigran code60 track and it looks really good (it is not NA though).

Jan


Hello Jan,

Why would you factor in time? I could understand if you were laying track for someone, but for yourself, it is part of your enjoyment of the hobby. Your hobby time is your "you" time, and it is priceless. Personally, I never factor in time for my own modeling projects because it's what I like to do. Now, if someone wants to utilize my skill set to work for them, well, that is when my time gets assigned a value.

Using the values you provided, the labor cost for laying 18 feet of track would be in the neighborhood of $200-$400. However, I would venture to say that you would get much more than $200-$400 worth of value and enjoyment over the life of your layout. Therefore, I would consider that a small investment for a maximum return, and well worth it!

Donnell
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby j p » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:29 am

I rather invest my time in making rolling stock or the layout.
I would enjoy making some short track, or rather some turnouts which cannot be obtained in another way.
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby richardedmonds » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:54 pm

sd80mac wrote:Hey Bernd,

Going back to the laser-cut Taskboard idea, what if you were to carefully lay out 6 lengths of flex ties, side by side so that they share a common edge so the laser only has to make one pass? You could plot them on an 8" square of Taskboard or ply
PS - The rail shown in the pictures is code 55 on N-scale PC ties. The ties plate are Proto87 Stores HO-scale code 55 tie plates. All of this was experimental as I was planning to build Fast Track HO turnouts with P:87 tie plates soldered between the rail and PC ties.



That is what appeals to me with dressing up at the edges it looks like it should. To me a yard of track looking like that would be worth the effort
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby richardedmonds » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:09 pm

I am quite impressed with you guys over this topic, it is good to know that there are still a lot of modellers getting their hands dirty. I am learning lots here and I am grateful to you all
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:35 pm

Damn it. I want to just put down track and watch the trains go. You guys are making me think about laying my own.....I'm going to resist as long as I can.
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby Arseny » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:59 am

areibel wrote:I wonder if the company that bought out Kruger track still makes the plastic tie strips? Arseny, do you happen to know?


Did any company buy out Kruger company? I do not know about it...
There is joint-stock company in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, in participation with Kruger, called TT-Model.
As I know, Mr Kruger is ill, but I had met with Svetlana Kukoba (director of TT-Model) this summer, and, as I know, they still offer code 70 tracks, including flex ones.
I can call her by phone today or at Monday and ask about plastic tie strips and/or tracks, I beleive they are available.

TT-model web site:
http://tt-model.spb.ru/2-2/
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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby ConnRiver » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:33 am

Like you fellas, I've been mulling over the best way to produce track that is "reasonably priced" (to attract modelers to the scale rather than scare them away), includes details such as tie plates and spikes, and is efficient to produce (to minimize production time). I always end up where I started, convinced plastic injection molding is the way to go.

I've read several professional IMM (injection molding machine/process) texts and think something can be done with a smaller, semi-manual machine. Micro-Engineering appears to use a Newbury vertical shuttle press ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p02-uEUHiI ) and its 36-inch-long flex track is molded in four press operations. The least expensive used 30-ton Newbury I've found runs to five figures. Ain't going that route.

I have found video of an out-of-production manual machine (made by a defunct company) in operation and photos of the same machine disassembled. It is a benchtop IMM machine of maybe 5-tons molding pressure. I am drawing each machine component in 3D and will assemble the 3D parts to check for fit and operation (the 3D software allows the drawing to be animated). Also, I've found a couple or three supply houses that offer useful components for sale. I'll have the heavy metal plates made locally (I hope).

I think the CAM software I use to operate my CNC mill and lathe might be useful in operating this IMM. If not, the micro-controller information available at Make looks interesting. I have the Make: Electronics course material here and hope to learn a lot with it.

Bottom line, for speed of process (reducing operator production time) and reasonable material cost (HIPS polystyrene pellets), I don't see how batches of TT scale flex track and turnouts can be made as inexpensively by any other method as injection molding. (On the other hand, what the heck do I know? :-)

Hey, Bernd, if you prove me wrong, I'll be a happy guy! I'm not keen about becoming a track production guy, but the scale desperately needs reasonably priced flex track and turnouts. Without it, where's the market (even if it is a tiny market) for locomotives and rolling stock?

Anyway, just wanted to jump into the discussion here. As always, great stuff here.

-Brian

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Re: TT Trackwork

Postby sd80mac » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:41 am

If your going to do injection molding, your best bet would be to contact the folks Micro Engineering to get an idea of the cost and complexities of manufacturing track. Otherwise, I would copy Central Valley Model Works' track system almost verbatim in TT-scale.

The bench-top mold machine, though limited to 4" molds, has great potential. There's also a company called Protomold that can cut simple tooling for well under $5000! In fact, going back to Central Valley Model Works, they may even help in cutting a mold if it could drum up enough interest.

Again, going back to the PCB idea, Cloverhouse offers .075" PCB tie strips in TT-scale. So, making a fixture should be easy, and can be done without a CNC machine, although cutting a fixture on a machine would be so much nicer!

Donnell
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