Up until a few minutes ago I figured the only issue with a blog post titled “So good I can see my house from here!” was that it was probably only witty to me and , anyway, it was probably a bit too wordy.

Back to the story and what brought me to here.

This afternoon I had the house to myself and I spent it all on a nice little On30 turnout. The turnout itself isn’t for a layout but more to practice a few things I figured I could be better at or would like to do different.


The big news at the frog was a slight change in how I line things up. I’ve always built turnouts by building up the frog first. With the frog soldered to the ties, I placed a steel ruler to against those rails and then taped it to my work surface. This way I could just slide the closure rails into place. Since the ruler wasn’t going anywhere the closure rails were then nicely lined up with the frog. Not sure why I haven’t been doing this before it’s the way I’ll be lining up things here in the future.

Not done yet is to place some styrene in and around the frog and check rails to fill those gaps and provide a flange way for wheels. I’m using NMRA’s spec. to place rails in this turnout and the wheels would be code 110 ones so wheels dropping at the frog isn’t an issue but that gap bugs me. It’s easy enough to fix and I’m going to.

At the front of the turnout is where I feel I made the most progress.

I’ve always filed the stock rails to create a little pocket for the point blades to land in. This time I’ve left the stock rails alone and did a little extra filing to shape the foot of the point blades so they work, in the model, more like the way they would on a real turnout.

For the throwbar I’ve almost always used a regular tie. I’ve used full sized ones or picked ones from a smaller scale. Further, I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a hinge to connect the point blades to the throw bar instead of simply soldering them in place. After several failed attempts I remembered a rather brilliant idea that Chris Abbott came up with for Trevor Marshall’s Port Rowan layout (check it out here: http://themodelrailwayshow.com/cn1950s/?p=1011). I was impressed with the idea when I first read about it and, having tried it, I’m convinced of its merit. In my interpretation, I soldered an N scale tie to the top of a piece of PC board scrap. For the hinges, I used some copper nails and soldered them to the point blades.

I was smart enough to remove the copper cladding from the outside faces of the throwbar so the hinges wouldn’t short across the throwbar. What I forgot to do was remove the cladding between the layers. Unfortunately, when I soldered the hinges to the point blades it appears some solder ran down and into this area and, well, there’s the short. The fix is easy and I’ll just make up a replacement throwbar.

It was a fun use of a spare afternoon.



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