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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.