• proto87-8-1
  • proto87-8-10
  • proto87-8-2
  • proto87-8-3
  • proto87-8-4
  • proto87-8-5
  • proto87-8-6
  • proto87-8-7
  • proto87-8-8
  • proto87-8-9

I tried my hand at building a #8 turnout from Proto:87 Stores. The results were less than spectacular. I ran into several problems. I used the instructions from Proto:87 Stores, a #8 Superfine kit, Barge cement, MEK, & some CA.

  1. I had trouble “printing” solder paste on to the frog assembly. I had several attempts where too much solder was applied and several attempts where not enough solder was applied. I finally settled on a lightly “printed” solder solution & I ended up soldering the frog twice.
  2. I tried to use the solder paste to solder on the frog bolts, but that didn’t work. So I tried with gap filling CA. That also didn’t work. I finally used liquid CA and that did work.
  3. I had trouble figuring out exactly where the frog was supposed to go. I eventually got it with the help of my proto:87 gauge.
  4. I had trouble with the curved closure rail. The end closest to the frog doesn’t rest on a tie and it dipped down a bit, causing a vertical alignment problem with the frog. I eventually filed this down, but it doesn’t look very good. I also had a horizontal alignment problem as the barge cement couldn;t firmly hold the rail in proper alignment with the frog; the cast on tie plates also had too much play at this spot to provide any help.
  5. I messed up and used one of the guard rails for the strait wing rail, which caused me to use regular un-filed rail as one of the guard rails.
  6. The guard rail that I didn’t mess up wouldn’t push up close enough to the stock rail to provide a tight enough flange way.
  7. I messed up point hinges. The kit supplies two sets of hinges; one set for #5/#6 turnouts and one set for #7,#8,#9 turnouts. I used the wrong set. and I couldn’t figure out why I had slop in the hinge, so I soldered the hinges to the stock rails and closure rails, it helped a little bit. I was able to fit the correct hinges in place atop the incorrect ones.
  8. I couldn’t get the throwbars to work. The wouldn’t snap over and wouldn’t hold the points tight against the stock rails. I tried adding an over-center spring, but that didn’t work because the points are not connected the leading throw bar. So I tried soldering pins of the leading throw bar to the points, but that didn’t work (I think they are stainless steel). I tried adding a shims to the throw bar but that didn’t work. I tried gluing some shims to the throw bars, but accidentally glued the throwbars down to the base. UGHH!!!! I was able to pry them back up, but I have not been able to make them work.
Proto:87 #8 Turnout

Proto:87 #8 Turnout

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Greg Amer

  8 Responses to “Proto:87 Turnout Fail”

  1. I have built my first superfine turnout and I also ran into several problems. I think building the throw bars and putting the hinges is tricky. Don´t like how the points work. I also had trouble getting the correct sharp bend on the curved stock rail.
    The frog is a little bit higher than the closure and frog rails. I glued the rails with Pliobond but don´t like the result. On my second turnout I´ll use some PCB ties with the plastic tie strip. I´m also looking for a good product for gluing the rails.

  2. Have you tried Fast Tracks.com?

    • Thank Bill,

      Nice product, but I prefer more detailed turnouts. Still use some Fast Tracks tools, I use sweep sticks and plan to order a Rail Roller.


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