Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

The Use of 'RibbonRail'

7369 views
36 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Monday, April 09, 2018 5:02 PM

RibbonRail

The more I read about these track tools the more I like.



I was down at a local sign makers shop today in search for some items he had discarded out back, and I discovered some nice thin alum sheets. I think I may try making some of my own by using either my really nice precision Makita jigsaw, or the band saw of a friend on mine.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: various locations
  • 2,001 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:01 PM

Ive used the Sweep Sticks from Fast Tracks and the Ribbon Rail guages.  Sweepsticks have holes like the Peco Tracksetta.  With Ribbon rail, Ive found that the width is slightly smaller than the track gauge, so it should be noted that if you are not paying close attention, you can get slighly less than the indicated radius or slightly more than the indicated radius.  

If you lay the track so that the inside rail of the curve is touching the ribbon rail only at the tips while it is flat, you will never be less than your minimum radius.  

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:00 AM

I particularly like the idea of using these track gauges 'across' the end joints between two pieces of track.

Going to a train show here in FL this Sat. I will look for some of these.

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Friday, April 13, 2018 7:01 AM

Making Ribbonrail Type Gauges

I've found a great supply of reality thin alum sheet material at my metal scrap yard.

With a good bandsaw or jig saw I should be able to make a good selection of Ribbonrail type gauges.

Anyone done this, and/or suggestions??

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 17,117 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, April 13, 2018 7:44 AM

railandsail

Making Ribbonrail Type Gauges

I've found a great supply of reality thin alum sheet material at my metal scrap yard.

With a good bandsaw or jig saw I should be able to make a good selection of Ribbonrail type gauges.

Anyone done this, and/or suggestions??

 

I suppose if you have a very good and very reliable cutting tool, this make work for you. However, the Ribbon Rail Metal Track Alignment Gauge is a precision tool that fits firmly inside the rails to provide an exacting radius.

It would be better to use metal than wood or plastic in my experience, so you are at least selecting a reliable material. Good luck with this and let us know the results.

If it works satisfactorily, it would be very useful to make several different lengths. Ribbon Rail makes both a 5" length and a 10" length, but I only find the 10" length useful, and I would surely purchase longer lengths if they made them available, perhaps as long as 24" or so.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Saturday, April 14, 2018 5:40 AM

I found a whole butch of 'ex-street sign' material.

And I have a nice router that I plan on using to cut my helix roadbed. It will have no problem cutting that sign material. So it will make an interesting experiment.

And yes I think a few longer lengths will be in order.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 17,117 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 15, 2018 3:36 PM

railandsail

I found a whole butch of 'ex-street sign' material.

And I have a nice router that I plan on using to cut my helix roadbed. It will have no problem cutting that sign material. So it will make an interesting experiment.

And yes I think a few longer lengths will be in order. 

Another thing about the Ribbonrail gauges worth mentioning is that the gauge "snaps" into place between the rails to ensure a tight fit. If the track is not perfectly straight, you will not be able to snap the gauge into place between the rails. On curves, that snapping effect forces the flex track into the proper radius.

If you are going to make your own gauges, you will need exact tolerances to achieve that snapping effect.

Rich

Alton Junction

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!