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The Use of 'RibbonRail'

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  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 831 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.

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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
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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.

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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
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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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

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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
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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

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 831 posts
Posted by railandsail on Sunday, May 06, 2018 8:02 AM

Has anyone had experiences with these track laying tools??

s-l400 white.jpg


s-l400 white2.jpg


s-l400.jpg


parallel track tool.jpg
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Weymouth, Ma.
  • 5,199 posts
Posted by bogp40 on Sunday, May 06, 2018 9:20 AM

railandsail

 

 
MisterBeasley

Like Jim, I use my RibbonRail gauge to maintain minimum radius when laying flex track.  (Unlike Jim, I don't have the luxury of 30-inch radius, though.)

When I built my carfloat terminal area using Proto87 girder rail, I found the gauge to be the single most useful tool I had.  It wasn't the right size for rail-to-rail spacing, but the edges worked perfectly for aligning the rails section-to-section and maintaining constant curvature.

As for getting the rail-to-rail spacing right on the girder rail, there's that other oh-so-useful tool, the NMRA track gauge.

 

 

 

So the ribbon-rail tool does NOT fit down between the rails like the FastTracks's Sweepsticks?

 

Brian, that is girder rail pictured, that's why mrB is using it on the outside. Ribbon rail fits between the rails otherwise. Also great for hand laying to set the opposing rail in gauge.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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