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    • March 27, 2018 10:17 PM EDT
    • Rick Marty said:

      Cool project Gary,  bet this had you scratching your head a little bit.


      The software makes all the difference in the world :). I have never built a turnout of any kind in ANY scale........this one will definitely have a big learning curve. Because of the expense of the materials, I can't afford any mistakes with this one. The mating portions of the stock rails and the steel point ends is kind of critical. The full size plot makes easy work of that! The straight stock rail has a .52 degree taper to the point end and the curved stock rail has a 1.02 degree taper leading to the point end. And these are all moving parts!


      Prints come on 8.5X11.0 sheets of paper for reference dimensions. The above prints are for the straight stock rail and the curved stock rail. I will machine these on my milling machine. Easy material to cut....6061 T6 aluminum. 1 inch tall and 120 inches long.

    • March 27, 2018 6:28 PM EDT
    • Cool project Gary,  bet this had you scratching your head a little bit.

    • March 27, 2018 3:52 PM EDT

      In previous posts, I showed the building of a point to point 7-1/2 inch gauge track around my house. Those track panels are completed and ready to lay (this is a portable track and no different than a "G" layout using "snap-track"....although a "little" larger). 

      To help in the loading/unloading of engines and rolling stock onto the track, I have a "lifting rack". This rack goes all the way down to "ground level". I have contemplated either buying a RTR turnout in this gauge or getting parts from various vendors and building one. RTR is expensive....upwards of a thousand dollars each! Building from parts available is only for those with experience doing this because of the geometry needed to make this size work. But a company in Kent, Ohio (EP Plastics aka Accutie Rail System) has designed a system of plastic ties with molded tie plates with screw holes in place and the track is automatically "self-gauged". These are the ties I used on the track panels. Recently they have added Turnout "Kits". ALL items are included in the price: ties are pre-drilled by a CNC mill for the rail, frog and guard rails. ALL rail components are CNC drilled and numbered, steel points are CNC milled to the size turnout you want and predrilled to attach to the switch throw bar and to attach to the closure rails (BOTH straight and curved). The points come in #5 (32 ft. radius), #7 (62 ft. radius) or #9 (102 ft. radius). The frogs are exactly like the prototype and STRAIGHT through. The really nice thing about these turnouts is that the company will sell ALL or part of what you need. This really makes these turnouts well affordable. By the time I complete this switch, the cost is less than $225 including ties, frog and points, SS screws for mounting ties and all prints to build it. I will be doing the milling of the closure rails, straight stock rail and curved stock rail. I will be using individual plastic tie plates to establish gauge. AND I will be bending my own rail (code 1000 aluminum rail with a 15/16 wide base.

      First I did a cad drawing of the switch with all components in place including ties, holes to be drilled in the ties, steel points using dimensions from their prints. This is a plus, because the geometry is figured out for you!


      Because I have the full size cad drawing, I can now make a FULL size accurate plot (using PLOT in the software) and make an actual template to layout the turnout and fit pieces into place. In the photos below, this is what I have done. You can see the frog here in the foreground and possibly the points on the opposite end. Also shows the ties placement. BTW, the ties are on 4 inch centers.


      I have a friend who just happens to live within four miles of the West Coast distributor for Accutie Rail Systems in Minden, Nevada (Allen Models of Nevada). So my shipping cost is ZERO. Another plus. My friend made a delivery here last Saturday and we laid out the ties, rail and switch stand to check for size of this large switch.

      Forty feet of West Coast rail. The two outside rails will be the straight and curved stock rails. The two middle rails will be the material for the straight and curved closure rail.


      The 2-1/2 square aluminum block is one of my two track gauges. 1/2 inch wide groves milled into the block that fits over the rail head. The 16 inch tall switch stand is on the right and will be mounted on the two 30 inch long plastic ties.


      You can see the individual plastic ties plates set in place temporarily. The ties in the foreground are 2X2X16 inches long. UV protected. Many clubs in the US now use these....they last "almost" forever, impervious to rot, weather.


      Another shot of the ties and tie plates.


      Box of 250 plastic tie plates....dime a piece (very reasonable).

      Four holes molded in to each plate. The base of the tie plate is "canted" inward toward the center of the track panel (per prototype) 1-1/2 degrees. As you can see, all that information is engraved on the plate. You can see the 15/16 web width and the arrow and note showing the "inside" of the rail. Almost "foolproof".


      Fully machined steel points. I will receive the points and frog in my next shipment. NOT in Nevada yet :(. But I have quite a bit of work to do in the meantime....cutting and bending rail. Then machining the notches in the stock rails for the ends of the points. Build continues....................

    • February 23, 2018 12:53 PM EST
    •    Wow...the fat man at 21:55 has a comfort animal with him; at least it isn't a peacock.


    • February 23, 2018 2:31 AM EST
    • Very impressive setup! Thanks for sharing this Ric, really enjoyed the video. Some cool equipment too. I have never seen some of those before,like the little gas mechanical looking critter towards the end. Would love to have one like that!

      Tom, sounds like getting to the Bittercreek & Western out here on the central coast. It's out a ways from town almost to the end of a country road.


    • February 21, 2018 2:23 PM EST
    • You'd have to know it is there to find it.  The sign is only up for meets and it's located way back off of a country road in the boonies a ways SE of Ocala.  I had it in my GPS and still drove right by the first time.  It claims to be Florida's largest 7.5" gauge railroad.

      It was quite a get-together and may entice this small scaler (in live steam terms) to consider a ride-on.  There were a couple of nice views in the video of the new Ga 1 track I was pleased to help build spearheaded by Fred Gandolfi.  I had the pleasure of the first run on it the week before the meet with my "dirty" Accucraft Shay.  Since I now live nearby I'll be joining and running there often until I can build a track at home.

      Fred took me for a ride behind his electric box cab and his live steam beam engine, lot's of fun and nice people. 

      You can visit their web page for lots more pictures from past meets.

    • February 21, 2018 8:38 AM EST
    • Man, I've been through Ocala a couple dozen times and never knew that one was there either. 

    • February 21, 2018 6:47 AM EST
    • This was filmed earlier this month on the "Big Boots and Western Railroad". near Ocala, Florida and I felt was a good example of what goes on in Florida, each February.  The crowd has now moved to the Ridge Live Steamers, near Dundee, Florida and will continue here through Monday and then on to other railroads for at least a couple of more weeks. 




    • February 4, 2018 8:40 PM EST
    • I get most of my stuff from Jay at the Train department .  There is stuff for the industrial as well as maine narrow gauge lover both US and British.

    • February 4, 2018 7:50 PM EST
    • The Train Department is the best source for 7/8 wheels in the US and has some 7/8 rolling stock kits.  Ozark does have some good parts.  Lots of details and more kits are available from Simon Harris at in Britain.  You could have a look around the 7/8ths lounge for more ideas and sources.  

    • February 4, 2018 6:17 PM EST
    • I'd like to build a short 7/8" scale train.

      Besides Ozark Minis, does anyone have any recommendations for parts, wheel sets , etc?


    • January 27, 2018 1:34 PM EST
    • Ric, you haven't typed yet about how it's fired either. Solid fuel, wood or coal, or (gasp) propane. Neat lookin engine anyhow.

      Ben H.

    • January 26, 2018 6:59 AM EST
    • Doc Tom,

      I'll do my best.  Give me a few days.

    • January 25, 2018 8:14 PM EST
    • Ric, I am glad to get to see this neat looking critter. Very colorful and i like the brass and the wood wrapper around the boiler. Any videos of it "in steam?"

      Doc Tom

    • January 25, 2018 7:59 PM EST
    • Welcome to the left side of the "Crab".



      All this plumbing is somewhat simple, if you believe in "smoke and mirrors'

    • January 25, 2018 7:43 PM EST
    • So, I guess we could move to the left side of the "Crab" and all the plumbing that Ken is interested in.  However, let me type about one more piece of plumbing on the right side.




      See the roof of the cab over the name "Liberty", the brass knob on top is how it is how the 2 gallon water supply tank is filled with water.  It has a screen inside the fill and that presented a problem of not knowing how much water is left after the steam engine was running for awhile and with all mechanical pumps, that relied on steam and water to work, my only choice was to shut down.  During the learning curve, this was tough and a resolution was eventually created.  That is another story and relates to the 4th pump. to be discussed later.


        So lets talk about the left side and the 3rd pump.

    • January 25, 2018 7:32 PM EST
    • Ken Brunt said:

      When it involves pipes and plumbing, I figured that's why God made plumbers. 

      True, but even I can figure out righty tighty, lefty lousy and Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace Hardware have pieces of brass.  plus steam quality pipe dope and teflon tape.  Now they always had it, but now its a lot more interesting.


    • January 25, 2018 8:45 AM EST
    • When it involves pipes and plumbing, I figured that's why God made plumbers. 

    • January 25, 2018 7:22 AM EST
    • Ken Brunt said:


      I guess now you have to join the Pipefitters union, Local 905...............

      (I did find the "Crab" file in your Freight Shed, but it said we weren't friends, so I couldn't access them.)

      I agree, but I hope the give me the apprentice discount.  I've had to learn, re-learn and develop new and old techniques in almost everything I do.  Things at Home Depot, Loew's and Ace Hardware, that I just ignored are now must have stuff.  Resolve one problem and create 2 more.  Lots learned and lots to learn.  Great fun!


      Its all good!

    • January 25, 2018 7:15 AM EST
    • " Rooster " said:

      Rooster has reported Ric Golding to the moderator: Pump

      Has been used numerous times in his post !

      I not only used the word "pump" correctly in a sentence.  I also used the words "Ram Pump", "Steam Driven Pumps" and many other words.  Kinda like bugs in a chicken coup, lots of variety and something to just step on, or to Rooster its a delicacy. 

      Enjoy the ride!