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Custom Switches?

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  • Member since
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Custom Switches?
Posted by JDawg on Monday, April 19, 2021 9:42 PM

Hi. I am building a layout for my second residence. It's small, 3' 4" by 6' and it uses an 18 inch radius loop of track. I really want some switches on the curves, but no one makes an 18 inch curved turnout. Peco makes one that is 17.8 radius but that will derail my cars. Does anyone know of a person/company that makes custom switches? I could hand lay but that is a skill that I neither have nor want to acquire. Thanks!

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

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Posted by JDawg on Monday, April 19, 2021 9:48 PM

JDawg

Hi. I am building a layout for my second residence. It's small, 3' 4" by 6' and it uses an 18 inch radius loop of track. I really want some switches on the curves, but no one makes an 18 inch curved turnout. Peco makes one that is 17.8 radius but that will derail my cars. Does anyone know of a person/company that makes custom switches? I could hand lay but that is a skill that I neither have nor want to acquire. Thanks!

 

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

Tomorrow is a Mystery.

But today is a Gift, that is why it is called the Present. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 19, 2021 10:52 PM

JDawg
I really want some switches on the curves, but no one makes an 18 inch curved turnout. Peco makes one that is 17.8 radius but that will derail my cars.

To fit in your space, the diverging route on the turnout will need to be smaller than 18 inch radius.

This will need to be custom built, and most equipment will be unhappy about it.

You can actually do quite a bit in that space without curved turnouts.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 8:48 AM

Atlas snap switches are 18" radius for the diverging route but of course has a straight main route.

Atlas snapswitch has a 22" radius inside diverging route. The customline curved turnout is also 22" inside diverging route. Outside diverging route is around 30" radius. 

I'm unclear about which of the turnout routes needs to be 18". If the Peco derails your cars at 17.8" radius how will you fit a still tighter inside radius than that?

Peco makes curved turnouts with an 18" inside radius and a 21" outside radius. Second and third radius in their OO/HO series. Not sure about their North American product lines. Code 83 is labelled #7 and is much broader than the Atlas. 

Are you modelling HO?

 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 1:23 PM

JDawg
I could hand lay but that is a skill that I neither have nor want to acquire.

 

I was also a bit leery of hand laying switches until I realized there was no way my budget would allow me to puchase commercially produced switches (over 50) for my current layout.  I watched a few videos on the subject and eventually purchased PC board ties and a #6 Frog/Point Filing jig from Fast Tracks.  My turnouts are a fusion of Fast Tracks, Joe Fugate's and my own designs but I found it was much easier to do than I imagined.  I built every one of the 50+ turnouts on my current layout including regular #6 left and right turnouts, plus custom designed (by me) turnouts including both routes curved, constant radius diverging route, constant radius "wye", and other special turnouts made to fit specific locations.  My trains track better over my hand laid turnouts than they ever tracked over the Atlas turnouts on my previous layouts.  

The only weak link in these turnouts is the solder joints holding the point rails to the throw bar as filing the point rails leaves little surface area to solder to on the underside of the rail.  I have found that regular lead/tin solder is sufficient for all solder joints except the point rail/throw bar joints.  Use silver bearing or Tix solder for these joints and you will greatly minimize joint failures at the point rails. 

Hornblower

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Posted by Texas Zephyr on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 5:15 PM

JDawg
It's small, 3' 4" by 6' and it uses an 18 inch radius loop of track. I really want some switches on the curves, but no one makes an 18 inch curved turnout.

Atlas made an 18" inside 22" outside turnout for many years as did AHM.   Both of these should be "findable" on ebay or other 2nd hand selling mediums.   https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atlas-Roco-Nickel-Silver-REMOTE-CURVED-TURNOUTS-ONE-PAIR/333950666343?hash=item4dc102c667:g:J7QAAOSw84Zgbk19

Peco makes one that is 17.8 radius but that will derail my cars.

What kind of cars do you have that are sensitive to a difference in  radius of 0.2" (what is that 0.13%?)?

I have one of those Peco turnouts on a layout's mainline and it has not been any notable trouble, in fact less trouble than the curved Atlas on the same layout.

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Posted by JDawg on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 5:54 PM

Texas Zephyr

 

 
JDawg
It's small, 3' 4" by 6' and it uses an 18 inch radius loop of track. I really want some switches on the curves, but no one makes an 18 inch curved turnout.

 

Atlas made an 18" inside 22" outside turnout for many years as did AHM.   Both of these should be "findable" on ebay or other 2nd hand selling mediums.   https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atlas-Roco-Nickel-Silver-REMOTE-CURVED-TURNOUTS-ONE-PAIR/333950666343?hash=item4dc102c667:g:J7QAAOSw84Zgbk19

 

 

 
Peco makes one that is 17.8 radius but that will derail my cars.

 

What kind of cars do you have that are sensitive to a difference in  radius of 0.2" (what is that 0.13%?)?

 

I have one of those Peco turnouts on a layout's mainline and it has not been any notable trouble, in fact less trouble than the curved Atlas on the same layout.

 

 

Rivarossi 60ft passenger cars. 18 is ok. 17.8? Nope. Derail!

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

Tomorrow is a Mystery.

But today is a Gift, that is why it is called the Present. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Nashville, TN area
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Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, April 29, 2021 4:53 PM

hornblower
  The only weak link in these turnouts is the solder joints holding the point rails to the throw bar as filing the point rails leaves little surface area to solder to on the underside of the rail.  I have found that regular lead/tin solder is sufficient for all solder joints except the point rail/throw bar joints.  Use silver bearing or Tix solder for these joints and you will greatly minimize joint failures at the point rails. 

Hornblower... you must be reading my mail Smile, as I have several turnouts converted to dcc friendly, where the soldered joint between the point rail and throwbar tends to break.  

Can you provide some more info on silver bearing or Tix soldering, or point me to a good youtube video?  Thanks!

Jim

 

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Posted by hornblower on Monday, May 3, 2021 1:21 PM

hardcoalcase
Can you provide some more info on silver bearing or Tix soldering

Micro-Mark is a good source for both silver bearing solder and Tix solder.  They offer both Stay Brite Silver Solder (claims to have "twice the strength" of regular solder, Solder-It silver bearing solder paste in a syringe applicator, plus Tix solder that melts at only 275 degrees and has a tensile strength of 4,300 psi.  

I also found the above three brands plus others on Amazon.

Hornblower

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