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Turnouts and laying cork roadbed

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  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
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Turnouts and laying cork roadbed
Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, March 12, 2023 10:05 AM

I'm wondering if there is a better way as I deal with my first curved turnout.

When I get to a turnout, one cork strip follows the outside mainline rail the other follows the outside diverging rail.  I then fill in the middle.

The alternative would be to follow the mainline and splice in the diverging rail.

What is your preference?  Is it the same for a curved turnout?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    February 2020
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Posted by Llenroc fan on Sunday, March 12, 2023 10:33 AM

It has always seemed to be best to do the two outside rails and then fill in.  I guess it may be personal preference.

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, March 12, 2023 11:08 AM

Llenroc fan

It has always seemed to be best to do the two outside rails and then fill in.  I guess it may be personal preference.

 

There is a reason for this with cork. The two outsibe peices give you a landing for sanding everything level, otherwise you might end up with a slight bevel to one side or the other.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Sunday, March 12, 2023 2:08 PM

I do likewise.  I also find turning the cork over to create a smooth area where there is less of a gap.  Just something else to try.

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Posted by crossthedog on Monday, March 13, 2023 11:42 AM

Llenroc fan
It has always seemed to be best to do the two outside rails and then fill in.

It certainly seems easiest, and it gives, in my view, a cleaner look, because any mess you (I) make is in the middle, underneath the frog and the center of the ties.

This photo shows two curved turnouts in a row. The track here is not nailed, just lying there for eyeballing my trajectory.

By dumb beginner's idiot-luck, these turned out pretty well (hehe... "turned out").

The scary part is trying to get one's head around the unworldly curved receding angle created in the crotch of the turnout. Two pieces of cork, the inside of the "straight" and the outside of the "divergent", approach each other with beveled edges and on a curve. They meet, and then something has to give, and there are several ways to do create the give.

Usually I chose to undercut the divergent so that it overlay the "straight". Imagining -- and then actually executing -- this cut on the cork is like working in the Twilight Zone even on a straight turnout, but with the curve thrown it, everything seemed to be like guesswork, especially since the cork tends to want to straighten out when you take it over to where you're going to cut it, so that allowances had to be made for stretching, etc.

I found this to be weirdly satisfying puzzle-fitting. I have a lot of turnouts over cork, and not all of them came out looking elegant.

Ballast covers a multitude of sins. 

Good luck.

-Matt

 

 

 

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 4:06 AM

Laying the outsides of the routes is what I have done in the past. As already mentioned, it lets mistakes on the inside sections be hidden a lot easier,

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 6:31 AM

FRRYKid

Laying the outsides of the routes is what I have done in the past. As already mentioned, it lets mistakes on the inside sections be hidden a lot easier,

Yes, I lay the outsides and fit/cut pieces to fit inside:

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by AEP528 on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 8:00 AM

crossthedog

 I found this to be weirdly satisfying puzzle-fitting. I have a lot of turnouts over cork, and not all of them came out looking elegant.

Ballast covers a multitude of sins. 

Good luck.

-Matt

 

Ballast does hide a lot. Besides all of the reasons given in this thread, having the cut pieces under the turnouts means the joints are hidden. If the gaps are larger and it might take a lot of ballast to fill, another filler material like joint compound can be applied, sanded, and painted first. 

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Posted by Llenroc fan on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 8:52 AM

That's the other advantage of defining things with the outside pieces - any gaps that occur are basically irrelevent as long as you use joint compound.  Plenty of room for error.

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 8:16 PM

Thanks to all who commented.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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