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Thinning Peco turnout headblock ties

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  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 34 posts
Thinning Peco turnout headblock ties
Posted by DSteckler on Thursday, October 04, 2018 3:40 PM

Does anyone have experience with or have a link to information on replacing or thinning Peco turnout headblock ties?  I want to keep the spring in place so I don't want to just replace the ties.

Thanks.

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,661 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, October 04, 2018 4:49 PM

Why do you want to thin the headblock ties?  On the couple of Peco turnouts on my layout, the ties and headblock ties are the same thickness, and the same thickness as those on the Atlas flex track to which they're connected.

Okay, I just went looking for a photo to illustrate the statement above, and realised that you don't want to thin the ties (reduce their thickness), but meant to say "make them narrower".

Looking at the underside of one not yet installed, the headblock ties are hollow on their undersides, so the first thing I'd do would be to fill those voids, which are about .073" wide and .050" deep.  Evergreen .060"x.080" strip styrene, filed to fit,  can be added using solvent-type cement, as the Peco ties are styrene.  Let those joints harden before attempting to narrow the ties.

I'd suggest taking the excess material from the throwbar-side of both headblock ties, mainly because it's unclear, without removing the metal plate over the spring, where the unseen end of the spring actually is - from its movement when pushing the points back and forth, it looks to me as if it's on the side of the headblock tie away from the throwbar

Using a new blade in your X-Acto, you should be able to carefully whittle away most or all of the original tie material closest to the throwbar - you could also use needle files for the portion of those ties outside of the rails, but there's not a great deal of room between the throwbar and headblock ties in the area between the rails.  Work slowly and carefully, and you should be able to get all of the excess width removed, save but the metal coverplate under the spring.

Personally, while I agree that the headblock ties are overly wide, I don't find them all that noticeable once the track has been ballasted (click on the photo for an enlargement)....

(For the uninitiated, the Peco turnout is the one which doesn't yet have an extension rod on its throwbar, as would be necessary for a turnout actually controlled from a switchstand not immediately adjacent to that turnout.  The other turnout visible, also without a rod to link it to its adjacent but-not-visible switchstand, is from Micro engineering.)

Wayne

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 34 posts
Posted by DSteckler on Thursday, October 04, 2018 9:24 PM

Thanks, Wayne.  I was directed to a YouTube video on swapping left and right headblock ties on Peco turnouts that shows the headblocks can be removed without affecting the spring.  That's what I'll do, then replace them with regular width Peco ties.

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 8,661 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, October 04, 2018 10:10 PM

That sounds easier than what I suggested.

Wayne

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Louisville
  • 343 posts
Posted by dbduck on Monday, October 08, 2018 10:24 AM

DSteckler

Thanks, Wayne.  I was directed to a YouTube video on swapping left and right headblock ties on Peco turnouts that shows the headblocks can be removed without affecting the spring.  That's what I'll do, then replace them with regular width Peco ties.

 

  could you please share that  YouTube link so that others may benefit?

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