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Jim's method for building vee's - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 07:41 am
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jim s-w
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Hi All

the sticking point of handbuilt track is generally perceived to be the good old Vee.  After all all points need them and a layout without them isn't really that much fun! 

In reality though theres nothing difficult about building them its just a cast of right tool for the job and knowing what to do - the final element being practice.  After all without practice no amount of wishing is going teach you how its done.

There are many ways and what follows is mine, theres nothing new or original about it but it works for me.


If you are not going to build a lot of pointwork then you can just buy your vee ready assembled.  If you are then the filing jigs available from the EMGS will pay back their initial outlay many times over.  This is the larger one and I am using the 1 in 9 angle (it will go up to 1 in 12).  Simply put you just pop your rail in and file off the bit that sticks out.  You are supposed to file bend then file again but I dont bother as you cant see the end result anyway. 


The same jig can be used to hold the rails at the right angle while you solder them together.  As I am using plastic sleepers mostly I solder the Vee to a base plate of Nickel silver for ease and strength.


Again you can use the jig to set your angle for your checkrails,  Once you have built a lot of points you tend to get very good at bending angles by eye!  This angle was my initial bend with flat nosed pliers, not bad hu?  It was a smidge out though so a gentle tap with a small hammer brought it spot on. Alway over bend and tap the bend to get it back.


Using a ruler for the alignment of the rail and a gauge to set the check rail gap the check rail is soldered to the baseplate.


The ruler cant be used for the other rail as the vee in in the way.  I line this rail up buy eye.  By using a base plate you can always unsolder the rail if its wrong and try again.  Theres a lot of metal here and heat will sink away pretty rapidly so you will have to really go some to accidentally unsolder the vee


Finally the excess baseplate is gut away with a slitting disk in a minidrill.  Holding the drill at an angle helps to hide the baseplate. I also gently tidy the vee itself with the minidrill so that there are no jolts on the sides. Dont forget to give it a wash so that any left over flux is removed. These views show the front and back.

One thing that crops up from time to time and seems to get overlooked by those who know how to build track is the orientation of the rail.  With bullhead rail the fat bit is at the top not the bottom.

Including taking the pictures this vee took half an hour to put together.  (well 32 mins actually!)

Hope this helps someone.

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:31 am
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Sol
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Jim, I would think the bullhead rail would be easier than flat bottom to work with.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:49 am
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jim s-w
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Hi Ron


It is indeed - far less filing. Also Steel is easier to work than Nickel silver as its softer. I use NS myself

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:55 am
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Very neat result Jim and another one for our Index.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 10:06 am
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Now that looks fairly straight forward. Mind the last time I used a jig to bend metal work I was about 18 years old and making ally frames for squash racquits! :roll: 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 06:42 pm
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Petermac
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A neat piece of work Jim :thumbs

A couple of things I don't understand :oops::oops: - could you elaborate please.

You say you are using a "1 in 9" jig. :???:  What does this mean (or am I being really stupid here :roll::roll:)

You are supposed to file bend then file again :???:.  Why do you bend the rail ?  I thought it was for the "Vee" :oops::oops:  Also, isn't there a risk of filing the jig down thus ruining the angle or is the jig "disposable" ?

Does the gauge have a pre-set moulding for the check rail - I presume you'd need to allow some play in there and finally, what sort of iron are you using (wattage) ?

I'm really quite interested in having a bash at making some track having seen what Sol has done and now this from you.
 



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 06:59 pm
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Sol
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Peter, check rail & gauges - have a look at this site

http://www.doubleogauge.com/standards/finescaletrack.htm

while it is for 00 fine, it shows the clearances with a tolerance. All other scales/gauges have similar concepts & maybe tighter tolerances.

 

Most of the jigs are hardened metal & the 1" in 9" mean that the diverging rails at the frog points are 1" apart at 9" of rail length - a very nice large radius point indeed. I think the Peco large radius of 60" is around 1 in 7 . The Code 83 from Peco #8 turnout is a nominal 67" radius.

You would not use too many of Jim's 1 in 9 on a 6ft plank layout:exclam

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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 07:04 pm
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Sol
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Peter, some more info can be found here
http://www.handlaidtrack.com/index-2.php & no doubt Jim has a site or two as well. We may already have this listed in our index.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 07:08 pm
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jim s-w
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Hi Peter

As Sol says, 1 in 9 is the crossing angle.

The theory is that you file an angle on the the rail then bend the end so that the side you just filed is straight along its length, turn the rail over and file the other side, This is how the prototype does it.

The jig is tool steel so it wont file down, I use a 25watt Antex iron.

The check rail angle is 1 in 9 too so you use the same jig. I have done enough points at this angle to be able to bend it by eye! In P4 the check rail does do the job its supposed to, ie guide the wheels through the vee. Its important that it is accurately set to gauge and there is NO play. You should set the check rail from the rail its checking and not the stock rail its next too.

Hope this helps

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 07:15 pm
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jim s-w
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Sol wrote:

You would not use too many of Jim's 1 in 9 on a 6ft plank layout:exclam

Erm no.  A 4mm scale double slip is 16 inches long.  The scary thing is that it would have a 15mph restriction through the curve. 

Our fiddleyard uses mostly 1 in 25 crossings and the points there are in the region of 4ft long.  (65 mph in the real world)


Pic © Tim Horn

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:01 pm
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Sol
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Very nice indeed.

There is a downside to such shallow angled points/crossings in standard 00 as  I found when I built some diamonds in 1 in 4 - no problems  but going to 1 in 7 ( Peco large is 1 in 5), I  found that while back to backs were OK, the flange thickness variations between wheelset brands meant that some wagons wanted to go down the other leg being pulled or pushed or even dipped & bounced through the frog so it did meant two things, either remove the diamond or change all wheelsets to one standard - it was easier & cheaper to remove diamond & alter track plan.

 Not sure how shallow angled 00sf would go - perhaps Martin Wynne maybe able to answer that one.

Now with S4/P4/P87 using finer wheels & standards, etc, I would not expect any problems in navigating frogs, etc.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:06 pm
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jim s-w
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Thats correct Ron

Basically put in 00 the check rails dont actually do anything. In p4 they do. the Wheel wont drop into the gap by the vee as it will run on the edge of the checkrail if everything is built correctly. The gap in the fiddle yard points is about 2 inches.

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Sep 17th, 2009 08:12 pm
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Sol
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Jim, can you post a photo looking down onto your frog area on those long points showing the frog, guard & check rails please?

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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 03:28 am
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jim s-w
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Hi Ron

The fiddle yard lives at a friends house but before we built the pointwork I did build a test vee to see it if worked. Its the same 1 in 25 angle.



The Vee itself was filed up using my point blade filing jig and is actually 2 D switches. For a sense of scale, what you see above is 11 inches overall.

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 04:11 am
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Thanks Guys - some good links there Sol :thumbs and you've answered my question perfectly Jim.  Not too sure about using 4ft for a single point :shock::shock: - could be I'd have one fiddle yard here and the other at Chez Bob in Spain !!!  Could you turn the trains for me down there Bob ? :lol::lol::lol:

Hand built track is certainly something I will have to have a go at.  It looks just great but I wonder if I've got enough years left in my life :roll::roll::roll::roll:



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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 04:29 am
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Sol
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Jim, I assume there is a large gap between point of the V & the knuckle of the blades - nearly 1" it looks like, so do 4 wheel wagons drop in there or is it compensation that keeps them level?

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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 06:07 am
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jim s-w
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Hi Ron

No they don't - when everything is set up correctly the outer rim of the tyre runs along the edge of the checkrail and doesn't fall in. When you have consistant standards throughout it should work regardless of the gauge used. The problem begins when RTR people provide different wheels and dont set the back to backs properly.

Cheers

Jim

HTH

Jim



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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 09:22 am
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Sol
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Jim, what are what you call the check rails - are they the ones next to the V also called wing rails in NMRA parlance?
I understand the outer edge of the rim can run on this check/wing rail bit & I was about to say, it would still drop on that long gap but as you say, using proper wheel standards, that would not happen. I don't think you could build one of that shallow angle in standard 00 to take all types of wheels without bouncing through the frog area.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 02:28 pm
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Just read your comments about diamonds.  I needed a very shallow angle on a curve so built these switched diamonds.  They need two motors and provide total support for the wheels all the way through the crossing.  May be worth considering if you face that problem.



 

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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 02:53 pm
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Sol, thought you may be interested in this one.  This is a C10 turnout which is about 400mm long overall.  This close up is of the business end and a crude measurement would give the gap between the switch rail and the frog to be approximately 15mm.  I run a mix of kit built stock and RTR Hornby and Bachmann and they all run through the crossing no problem.  In fact I'd challenge you to push a wagon through the crossing blindfolded and say when the wagon is going across the gap.  As Jim says if the check rails and B2B's are set correctly you won't have a problem.




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