Forums » Track and Trestles

List of newest posts

    • March 21, 2019 8:29 PM EDT
    • I cut the first acrylic bent and two more sets of the cross pieces today.  Each bent takes about 32 minutes to cut.   This is much quicker than I anticipated.  A set of four crossbraces takes about 9 minutes and there are two sets per bent.  These will be held together with M2x35mm SS screws and nuts.  This is smoked in color.

    • March 15, 2019 1:46 AM EDT
    • Actually, I'll probably leave them in the clear smoked and just spray them with clear UV paint to prolong their life a bit.  This adds to the uniqueness.

       

      Alternatively, I put acrylic parts in the sand blast cabinet and media blast it.  This frosts it and gives it tooth for painting.  I may do this and spray paint them in a brown or use shades of brown acrylic paint to get a wood simulation as in the pic where you see Babs sitting on the door to the dunk tank.  (When space is tight, our structures multi-task.)  I did this to the doors for the new temple that replaces the delapidated wooden church this season.  This also shows the "wood" effect I lasered into the decking as well as planking lasered in.

       

       

       

       

      This is a step for the new temple going in.  This is two pieces of clear acrylic glued together then blasted and ready to receive paint.

       

    • March 14, 2019 11:06 PM EDT
    • Todd Brody said:
      Dan Gilchrist said:

      Todd, Will you also use the laser to engrave a wood grain pattern?

      No.  It would only be on one side of the pattern without much added work to cut the second side, and it would much lengthen the time on the laser.  You couldn't even do the other two sides at all.

      Gotcha.  My experiences with acrylic are that it's prone to chipping so I wondered how you would add wood grain safely.  Will you drag a razor saw?

    • March 14, 2019 10:49 PM EDT
    • Dan Gilchrist said:

      Todd, Will you also use the laser to engrave a wood grain pattern?

      No.  It would only be on one side of the pattern without much added work to cut the second side, and it would much lengthen the time on the laser.  You couldn't even do the other two sides at all.

       

      The outter edges (that you can't do at all) are cut in "steps" and will appear as a ripple pattern.  I can only book 1-1/2 hrs on the laser at a time, and that's about what it takes to cut a bent and the 8 braces.

       

      I did do the wood pattern when I did the gallows/dunk tank for the build challange a few years back.

    • March 21, 2019 5:11 PM EDT
    • Pete Lassen said:

      Jon, Is there a grommet to seal the rod/casing area, I think this would work great for my outdoor switches and would not have the rust worry and are probably way less expensive than choke cables. and by having them in straight lines from the switch I wouldn't need the bell cranks. Thanks for the pictures and the explanations

      No there is not. The inner rod must be allowed to extend beyond the end of the sleeve in most applications. I suppose it might be possible to seal it and only have the 4-40 rod extending beyond, but since it needs to move it couldn't be water tight.

    • March 21, 2019 10:12 AM EDT
    • Jon, Is there a grommet to seal the rod/casing area, I think this would work great for my outdoor switches and would not have the rust worry and are probably way less expensive than choke cables. and by having them in straight lines from the switch I wouldn't need the bell cranks. Thanks for the pictures and the explanations

    • March 20, 2019 1:24 PM EDT
    • Non scale snow? Oh My!

    • March 19, 2019 6:21 PM EDT
    • I used choke cables to link the crossover switches on my HO module. Since they should get thrown together, I linked them with a choke cable so they always throw together.

    • March 19, 2019 5:42 PM EDT
    • Thanks Fred. I'm sure you noticed that I did credit your choke cable system as the inspiration for this method.  I'm not worried about winter operation either. Those days are over for me!

    • March 18, 2019 7:15 PM EDT
    • We use automotive "Choke cables" all the time out-of-doors, BUT...we see no pleasure trying to operate out-of-doors, in below freezing temperatures, let alone running in circles in the snow (Which isn't the same scale as our railroad equipment), so don't have any problems. 

         Fred Mills

    • March 18, 2019 6:54 PM EDT
    • Thanks Tod.  Not sure this stuff would be good outside. Water could easily enter and live in the splined inside rod, Freeze would probably split the outside tube.  If I do use it outside, the sleeved part will likely only be vertical.

    • March 18, 2019 1:42 PM EDT
    • Wow Nicely done Jon and it looks great.

       

      I had a similar problem outdoors at the far side of my WYE where the switch is located under a tree. I wasn't at an angle like yours so I used plastic tubing that came in 4' lengths and I used a greased wire that was inserted, bent to a T handle at one end and a 90 degree bend at the other that was placed into the switch throw arm.  I secured the switch and the tubing with wood stakes and it works. 

      Your setup is so much nicer.

       

       

    • March 17, 2019 2:25 PM EDT
    • Thanks Andy.  Hard to see in this old pic, but for the switch against the wall (3rd track) on this early version of Willow Hill, I simply used a round dowel attached to the throw-bar with wire.  It's flat on the bench just past the middle shelf support - in front of the box car. Pull or Push the dowel to throw the points.   Not fancy at all, but it worked!  The new method is a lot cooler!

       

    • March 17, 2019 2:09 PM EDT
    • Jon,  The above is much appreciated, as I have a couple of switches that are hard to reach on the bottom portion of my inside layout..

       

      Your process seems to be a fitting application for those switches....

       

      Thanks

       

      Andy

       

       

    • March 17, 2019 11:55 AM EDT
    • I have several locations on my indoor railroad that have manual switch machines that are out of easy reach. While building the expansion of Willow Hill this winter I decided to try a twist on the Choke Cable throw. I'm not knocking what Fred and Crew have done up on the I.P.P.&W., but I wanted something that worked a little smoother and used a 'scale' machine.  I've had a little exposure to RC airplanes and thought that the tried and true method to attach control surfaces to servos would work well for switches.  It took some trial and error but in the end it works flawlessly.

       

      I began my quest at the local hobby store. He had this carbon fiber control rod set in stock. One factory sealed and one missing parts. I bought the sealed one and he threw in the open one for free. This is a common brand name in the RC plane game, so they should be available most anywhere...

       

      I experimented with home-made bell cranks made from hardware corner reinforcements, but operation wasn't smooth enough for me so I put another $3 in the budget an picked up a couple of bags of the Dubro 90 degree Bell Cranks - Part #DUB167...

      I am also using Bachmann Large Scale switch throws which work great. I'm going to be hunting for more at the ECLSTS this week.

       

      The switch I chose had a broken throw bar, so the first step was to repair and reinforce it with a small brass strip drilled to fit...

       

      The machine was removed and a brass clevis that was included with the rod was attached to the throw bar with the included solid rod...

       

      In my application, the rod will need to pass under a track, so the ties were notched out and the rod cover glued in place with E2000. The tape and bread ties are to hold the cover while the glue cures...

       

      While the glue was curing, I set up a breadboard for testing on a small piece of plywood, attached a switch, and started playing...

       

      The above test was purely to prove theory and required some changes before I realized smooth operation.  As soon as the new bench work was ready, the switch was placed for operational testing. I needed to work out some issues of uneven throw which were directly related to not mirroring the angles created by the bell cranks. Once I got that sorted out the throw worked great. Here are some early shots just after tweaking was complete...

       

      I would rather not have the machines so close together, but fixing that would require taking it all apart for the third time to shorten the outer cover and the rod. I got lazy, filled that gap in the track, and called it done...

       

      Now that it's done and has proven very useful during operations. I have several other places where this method would help. Installing more of these is on the agenda!  I might also think about using the same method for a tall mount outdoors for ground switches.

    • March 15, 2019 8:56 PM EDT
    • That paycar would be an interesting project. Now for the big question, is there any record of what color it was?

    • March 15, 2019 8:41 PM EDT
    • Jenny Lind "pay loco" is on my someday list

    • March 15, 2019 8:36 PM EDT
    • Need a spoke Driver eh?, how about a shorty? Little John

      Run in reverse...

       

    • March 15, 2019 3:52 PM EDT
    • That solid single pair of drivers, the look of maybe a steam tractor boiler, plus the overall configuration, made me think of NZ backwoods homemade locos. I'd never have expected that it was SP! Except that the wheel arrangement of the loco part is almost like the CP Huntington... huh. Thanks for showing us!

       

       

    • March 15, 2019 10:04 AM EDT
    • Cliff Jennings said:

      Cool story John. And here I thought you were saying "biggerdiddle", just diffrent. 

       

      I think that would be Uncle Ernie's train, if you are old enough for a Who reference!