Large Scale Central

Frog Help

For my ceiling layout I need a single turn out. All my stuff is smaller than production, the loco motor blocks I have and am making all have much shorter wheelbases for tight radius curves. I have either modified Bachmann Lil hauler blocks or now am printing my own motor block housings so that I can have a 45 mm center of axle to center of axle wheel base. This should get me around my 30" diameter curves without issue. I will be using Code 215 rail since a few projects I have made are already built with 215 rail.

For the single lone frog I need to produce an R1 turnout in 215, I am thinking of printing it. But I have not the first clue how to do that other than to “fabricate” it out of virtual rail in CAD and then cut out the frog section and print it. Is this a fair approach to designing it.

When I got to thinking about fabricating int virtually I thought about fabricating it for real. I tried this with marginal success with aluminum and aluminum brazing rod. It was not the best effort. But for the indoor I am thinking about Nickle Silver track which I know can be soldered with regular solder and a iron. Is this a doable option?

The main problem I have here is that there are not code 215 frogs with that much divergence for obvious reasons.

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So I am starting to answer some of my own questions as I am playing with this in fusion.

First Sean asked in Dan’s thread if I could make a curved switch. No need to. The mainline will stay straight for a short bit. What needs to happen is that the diverging track needs to make as close to an immediate 30" diameter curve.

Basically what I am trying to do is get the tracks to diverge very quickly and have the spur make a 45 degree curve on a 30" radius into a short section of straight track and into the engine house. The mainline will continue straight a couple of inches so that when it makes its 45 degree turn It will then miss the engine house.

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Pictures may help

This is the big picture

This is where I will end up with buildings. The engine house is already constructed so everything is working around that. The lower picture is the most accurate as far as where things actually will lay. The upper picture is just showing a bigger picture of what I am trying to accomplish

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Hi Devon,
I am sure you can print a decent frog, but making one out of nickel-silver or brass rail will work too. I assume you can find code 215 n/s rail, but not brass?

Yes, just file it to shape and fill it with solder. I made one by cutting the rail to shape.

OldGR5 cutting frog V

Another way, especially as you have a sharp angle, is to file a notch in the back of the rail at the frog, then bend it and fill with solder. This is a Llagas Creek nickel-silver frog:

This is a pretty sharp switch with 2 frogs (2’ gauge diverging from the dual gauge using a stub,) and you can see I filed the rails to fit snugly together. I then spiked them down as they are aluminum, but no reason I couldn’t have filled them with solder.

PTstubindoor2 wayindualgauge

This thread has a whole bunch of reference links:

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According to Llagas right now the only 215 rail they have is N/S. According to their website they do not offer code 215 brass.

I will explore both your options if the printed one is not what I think I can do. Soldering N/S I think is the best option at this point like your first example.

I am thinking this is the route to go if printed doesn’t work. Never thought of doing it this way. So you are saying take the two rails at the frog and file a notch in each (as in the side that faces the opposite rail? and I assume we do this so it bends nice and sharp? )

As for 3D printing the frog I am making some head way and I am thinking ultimately this will be the way to go. What I really need at this point is the rail profile of Llagas 215 track. I made a quite make shift rail that I could play with and see if I can accomplish this in CAD and so far I think I am well on my way. Basically I am doing in CAD what Pete is doing with a saw, file and solder. Just in a virtual world.

Nope. Make a frog point by bending a single piece of rail back on itself.
To make it bend you have to file away the outside of the rail. Put it sideways in a vice, decide where your point is going to be, and file away a wide “V” in the base and rail head until you are almost through the head. Then just bend the loose end back over the vice.

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Okay that makes sense

could not find a way to load the autocad file so saved as jpeg and attached. code 215 in upper right corner

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Thanks Al. I can see that perfectly thanks. That should help a lot.

Devon, you are on the right track as far as design. Design the entire switch and then cut out the piece(s) you want to print. Being as this is an indoor layout, any issues with thermal expansion and contraction will be minimized. I sent you a copy of my design file for reference.

Thanks Dan, I will need it I think, But so far I think I am getting somewhere. I have the basic concept and now with all providing the Llagas Code 215 spec I am starting over with that profile. I think this will work. If Not I can always fall back on Pete’s plan.

Another design method that might work is to layout the switch in a sketch (2D) with a single line representing each rail and then draw the rail profile at the end of each line in another sketch making sure the profile is in a plane perpendicular to the original line and then use the sweep command to extend the rail profile down the path of each line.

Just as clear as mud :crazy_face:

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As I am playing with this design I do like what Dan did by not just designing the frog for printing. Instead he printed that entire section of the switch as one print. Since this is an indoor layout and one where it won’t see ton’s of use much less abuse and thermal considerations are not an issue, I think printing out the entire cross section of the switch that encompasses the from is a good call.

The other thing that I think I will do with this is make it a stub switch. One it will be easier to make and it would fit the theme better even though no one will actually see it.

How wide should the gap be to allow the wheel flanges to pass through?

I’ve got some code 250 #4 frogs laying around that I’m not using.

Best method of making your own frog is printing off a turnout template ( fast tracks have them). Then build your frog in place. Llagas doesn’t sell aluminum 215 anymore as they said the sales were very very low.

I solder a brass shim under the frog rails to hod everything together.

#4’s wont diverge fast enough and they are code 250 and I need 215. I had considered using 215 #4s. I am sure I could make them by adjusting the rails. But in messing with this I think I am going to go another route and that is to print basically an entire stub switch. A lot easier for what I am doing especially for a fanciful unrealistic one of switch. If I was going into production that would be one thing but for this very singular need I will make do by printing it.

Now I do have the need for some #4 code 250s for my outdoor. So if you are serious I will take them. I even have enough 250 aluminum track to make them. But that is a bit of a disappointment to here they aren’t making the aluminum anymore. Glad I really don’t need any.

With MANY apologies, but EVERY time I see this title…