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Plastic wheeled on carriages and wagons - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2019 08:58 pm
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Grandad
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What is the opinion of the more knowledgeable rail modellers concerning wear, and dirtying the track, so that it needs cleaning, as plastic is an insulator?grandad.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 1st, 2019 09:02 pm
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Sol
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Generally Eric, plastic wheels tend to accumulate crud quicker than metal & metal sound better on the rail joints.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 01:17 pm
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Grandad
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Hi SolJust as I thought, so will carry on fitting metal wheels to kit, and some 2nd hand carriages I bought at a model rail show.  Thanks for your post, speak to you again some time.  I wonder why plastic wheels are fitted by manufacturers.
grandad.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 02:08 pm
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Super D
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'cos they're cheap!

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 04:30 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Eric,

Swings and roundabouts and some random DITD comments.


Plastic wheels: Quieter, no risks of electrical shorts across points, cheaper, same profile as metal ones, easy to paint/weather with solvent paints, no issues with magnetic decoupling systems if axle is plastic. Attract dust (electrostatic, not an issue with Delrin)), lack weight, easier to damage, axle pockets need cleaning more, one piece wheels and axles are impossible to regauge, plastic wheels on metal axles can drift out of gauge, impossible to use for electrical pickup from track.


Metal wheels give weight, but are difficult to paint unless treated appropriately. The plastic axle bush can fail, or with older design wheels the thin insulating strip between tread and wheel will fail (Romford wheels). Beware old stock, the wheel sets can be half insulated. Use a multimeter to check. Use non magnetic axles if possible. UK sets tend to be steel. They can be replaced with brass.


I have stock with plastic wheels and axles that runs fine after 10 years use, if the track is clean the treads need cleaning at about the same frequency as metal ones. If you like the noise then go metal. 


Invest in an axle pocket profiler. It will improve the running of both types of wheels.  Dirty pockets are the major cause of friction. Wheel sets from one supplier may not be the same weight or profile as those from another. Horny vs Alan Gibson Workshop or Ultrascale  for example. Fine scale vs run of the mill is another. Decide on one supplier if possible.


Subjective observation, but increasing the weight/mass at the ends of carriages or long freight wagons that originally had plastic wheels needs some added weight in the middle. The  NMRA weight/ length guide is useful. Most UK stock is too light.


Nigel






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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 10:03 pm
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Grandad
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Hi Nigel,Thanks for your post, I usually use, Hornby, but have been using ratio wagon and coach kits. I have so much to learn as I have just started with railways. I am waiting to get my shed back from my daughter and son in law. They are storing a lot of gear in it waiting for there house to be built. Which means I have not yet run any engines from my train set, and have been making things to extend the lay out. Being 75 last birthday, I am hoping it will not be to long before I get in and building. What ever I can learn from experienced rail modellers is very valuable.
grandad.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 3rd, 2019 01:36 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Eric,

Shed, daughter and SIL, house to be built? Sounds like it's plank time! Piece of whatever, 3'-4'  by 8"-10" is enough for a track or two and a siding (or even an inglenook), and will let you get those skills back. Five feet by 15" sits on an ironing board. Just saying. And it will stack out of the way in a cupboard or on a shelf. It may even turn into a real micro-layout with a fiddle yard. And no cold and damp days in the shed. 😊😊😊


Nigel


PS We have been storing "stuff" belonging to the tin lids for 6 years now. Once in a while we take a box and turn up with it. I have no idea what they do with it.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 8th, 2019 09:50 am
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Grandad
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,Hi bcdr, why did I not think of that, getting old,I think, we’ll have done it now.  Learning functions on locos which are fitted with hornby TTS sound.Eric.
I I 

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 Posted: Wed Jan 9th, 2019 03:28 am
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BCDR
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Hi Eric,

Model railway layout without tears. Branch line terminus lurking there. Make sure you have insulated joiners between those facing points!

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jan 9th, 2019 01:48 pm
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Grandad
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Hi Nigel, sorry do not under stand, working just fine.Eric

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 Posted: Wed Jan 9th, 2019 06:28 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Eric,

Sorry, had another look at the photo. Are they Hornby insulfrogs? If you have live (metal) frogs and exit rails that take the polarity of the point blades (called power routing) facing points can short unless there are insulators (or gaps). Both exit rails  have the same polarity. From memory not an issue with plastic frogs (it has been a long time since I used them).

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Jan 9th, 2019 10:05 pm
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Grandad
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Hi NigelYes they are insulfrog, I bought the hornby mixed freight train set, and have kept things the same for simplicity.  But am using peco flexible rails to extend the oval into a triangular lay out 8ftx7ft which suits my space, but have bought insulfrog points, to keep them all the same.  I will solder ire across from the stock rail to the closure rails, as this seems to cure problems with the blade rais not giving a good contact due to dirt or whatever, then to the bus wire.
Hope my rambling on not to boring, but nice to have some one to talk to about it.  Many thanks for “ talking “about to all.
Eric
P.S finger now aching:)

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2019 12:18 am
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BCDR
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Hi Eric,

Ask away, we've all been there. Or will be as this hobby is one long learning exercise. As long as the locomotive wheelbase is longer than the frog it will work fine. As will the point blades as long as the contact with the rails is good and clean. I always add wires to the point blades as well as the closure rails, but mine are usually hand built or heavily modified RTR points/turnouts.

Nigel




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 Posted: Fri Jan 11th, 2019 05:11 am
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Marty
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I started exactly the same way Eric! 
Small planks are great for developing the modelling skills and getting one to completion is achievable in a reasonable time frame.

Once completed I was able to show the missus something like this to support my "land grab" for a spare room.



Get on with it Grandad! You've made a great start.

;-) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Marty



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