Throw Bar Throw Down

Shimming Proto:87 Stores “Ultimate” Throw Bars

I’m continuing to build Proto:87 Stores “Ultimate” turnouts. One feature I’ve complained about before is holding the points snugly against the stock rails (see: Getting to the Point). With a bit of filing and shimming I’ve been able to make the “Ultimate” throw bars work, but they are hard to throw and they aren’t pretty. Shims are placed above the plastic portion of the hooked throw bar and below the plastic portion of the straight throw bar. Without shims, the throw bars are prone to falling out of place and don’t seem to hold the points snugly to the stock rails.

Shimmed Proto:87 Stores Throw Bars
Shimmed Proto:87 Stores Throw Bars


Can I Make My Own Throw Bars?

I am trying to make my own throw bar system with Fast Tracks N Scale Copperheads PCB Ties and .015″ phosphor bronze wire. The basic premise is to connect the points to the PCB ties using the phosphor bronze wire. The PCB ties will be used with the copper portions facing the ties (giving a thin profile). I’d like to report some success at this point but can’t.

I’ve tried a few methods.

  1. Hook and Eye – In this method I’ve soldered eyes to the sides of points and fashioned a hook of wire that is threaded through to the PCB tie (throw bar).I like this method for the looks, but it has draw backs.
    • It is hard to produce eyes that look the same.
    • It is hard to make several bends in the wire without breaking the wire or the PCB tie.
    • I need to come up with a better jig to drill holes
    • I tried soldering wire hooks to the eyes, but lost the flexibility, and still having trouble bending over without breaking.
  2. Thread and Solder – I thread wire through the PCB tie, slide it through a hole in the point, bend it over and solder it to the point.This method looks kind of bad and doesn’t function well.
  3. Straight Connection– I solder full size PCB ties directly to the points.Looks terrible. Almost always results in points being soldered to the stock rails. Function OK.
  4. Modified Proto:87 points– I drilled an extra hole in the points and used the hooked Proto:87 throw bars instead of the pointed ones in the front throw bar position.This doesn’t work, the hook bumps against the base of the stock rail and doesn’t allow the points to close.



Author: Greg Amer

2 thoughts on “Throw Bar Throw Down

  1. A link to the throw bar file. The first example (tiebar1) is the one that may be of help.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 − = two

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.