Turnout Project

In 2022 I was commissioned to build a number of O scale track components for another modeler. The total project encompassed 4 turnouts, 2 custom designed diverging track sections, 2 custom designed bridge track sections and several turnout switch stands. This is a diary of the progress on that project.

I’ve been commissioned to build 4 O scale turnouts (#6 Left, #6 Right, #8 Left, #8 Right). The turnouts are mounted on gator board. The component parts are being delivered from right-o-way.us and oacaleturnouts.com. The goal is to build realistic O scale turnouts as inspired by my previous Proto48 turnout build.

I will also be building several O scale switch stands.

May 17, 2022

Delivery of supplies from right-o-way.us.
#6 turnout and skeleton bases and template from right-o-way.us

May 18, 2022

O scale turnout tie template from right-o-way.us
#6L – I glued the ties to the gator board with Titebond II Wood Glue. The gator board is painted with Rust-O-Leum Chalk Board flat enamel spray paint.

May 19, 2022

#6L – I use 500 grit sand paper to level the tie heights.
#6L – I use a straight edge to feel for high spots.
#6L – I use steel brushes, saw blade and hobby knife to distress the ties.
#6L – I made a stain from Daler & Rowney sepia color & Dr Ph Martin black India Ink mixed with alcohol. The ratio is 90% sepia/ 10% black.
#6L – First stain coat.
#6L – 2nd stain coat
#6L – 3rd stain coat
#6L – Color comparison to my original turnout.

May 20, 2022

#6R – I glued ties to gator board with Titebond II Wood Glue.
#6R – Sanding ties and checking for level
#6R distressing ties
#6R – 1st coat of stain
I’m washing the tie plates in warm soapy water to remove contaminants

May 21, 2022

#6R – 2nd coat stain
I’m cutting tie plates from the sprue. This is a multi-step process. I cut the plates with a sprue cutter, then use a razor blade to cut any flash & sand the plates with a fine sanding stick. I cut about 180 tie plates today

May 22, 2022

I continued to cut the first 200 tie plates today and washed the next set of 400.

I also cut 50 of the long tie plates today.
I wanted to get a start on the rail braces today and found out they need some work to get them to set up against the web of the rail.
I experimented with a few different files and saws and found a suitable blade to undercut the braces and better fit them against the rail.
The modified rail braces fit better and should look good when soldered to the rail.
I’m not sure if the wings cast on the sides of the rail braces are of a particular prototype. I’ve mostly seen solid rail braces that look like this photo, where the angle brace does not have any wing support.

May 23, 2022

#6R and #6L ties stained.
I’ve now cut 600 tie plates.
I’m continuing to modify rail braces. I have added the undercut to 24 of them. Most will require additional filing to remove unwanted flash.

May 30, 2022

I installed rail braces to the #6 Left turnout today.

I used Anti solder on the point rails to prevent the solder from spreading to them.
#6 Left Rail Braces soldered to one side.
#6 Left Rail Braces soldered to both sides.
I re-drilled the spike holes in each rail brace that had been plugged with solder.

Today we discussed hand laying some connecting tracks from the diverging side of the #8 turnouts to the point side of the #6 turnout. This will be a future project, when I have the #8 turnouts in hand I can start to figure out the geometry required.

Today we discussed adding clevises and rods to the switch stands to have them ready to install. This is something I will investigate how to make it happen.

Today we discussed bridge tracks for 2 bridges. When we can get dimensions I think I will make a bridge deck mock-up to use as template for laying the bridge ties.

I recently took some reference photos to help with the project.

Close up of clevis beneath switchstand.
CP rail switch stand that is the prototype for the right-o-way SSR01 switch stand.
CP rail switch stand that is the prototype for the right-o-way SSR01 switch stand.

May 31, 2022

I continued to work on the # 6 Left turnout tonight.

I removed the original short throw bars. I am test fitting the new throw bars, they are longer and will work just fine. They still need to be insulated, glued together and drilled for tortoise operation. I made a throw bar glue jig.

I desoldered many points on the turnout out kit to correct the gauge. I removed the frog because it was out of gauge and not insulated.

The frog should be insulated. The options to insulate the frog.

  1. Use the right-o-way insulated rail joiners. These are convenient, but leave a pretty large gap between the adjoining rails. Also, they have a tendency to deform. They fit ok on the rear of the frog, but not the point end.
  2. Thin wood insulation with glue on plastic joint bars. Wood may be the best material to handle expansion of the track. I’m leaning toward this method.

I also readied another 24 rail braces and cut the insulated joint bars from the spruces.

Test fitting new throw bars.
A close up of half of a new joint bar. I plan to drill the tortoise hole in the center of the center yoke.
After some solder work, the kit is now in gauge from the points through the stock rails.
I removed the frog and am test fitting it with an insulated joint bar
Two types of insulated joint bars.

June 1, 2022

Today I continued to work on the throw bars and frog of the #6 Left turnout. Most of today was experimental to develop methods, this stage should go faster on subsequent turnouts. I also prepped another 12 rail braces.

The Throw Bars

Paper insulation for throw bar.
Close up of 1st attempt at an insulated throw bar. I was t happy with this method as it did not compress enough and left the thro bars crooked.
It took a few attempts to produce a throw bar that was fully insulated. This attempt ultimately failed when I stressed the joint.
The center yoke portion of the throw bar casting is making it very hard to insulate the opposite bar; it is deforming when joined and glued.
I decided to try removing center yoke from the of the throw bar. This piece was causing the completed part to deform and making it very hard to produce an isolated joint.

With the center yoke removed I was able to easily insulated, compress and glue the throw bars.

First test fit with the modified throw bars. The steel pin heads holding the throw bar to the transit clips is shown with the head on top.
I decide to reverse the steel pins and insert them from the bottom of the turnout.
The steel pins cut to length.

I think I’ve found a method to drill tortoise holes in the center yoke. Typically tortoise machines are driven by .033” (.85mm) or .047” (1.2mm) wire which is commonly available in USA. How large should I drill these holes? I’m thinking a 1.2mm actuating wire is probably the best solution here, but I’m not sure how much bigger I can drill the hole.

Throw bar with tortoise .033” (.85mm)hole drilled into center yoke. I’ve also made a relief cut in the left side of this yoke to make it easier to join this half of the throw bar to the other half.

Other tortoise actuating options are:

  • Using the horizontal hole that is cast in the center yoke. This may require a creative tortoise mounting method.
  • using one of the holes cast into the end of the throw rod, these would need to be enlarged. And the tortoise would need to be offset mounted.

I’d like to mail down a solution before it’s completely assembled because it will be hard to drill these brass castings when they are installed.

The Frog

I tried insulating the frogs with .020” wood.
The wood I had on hand didn’t stand up to shaping to fit the profile of the rail. So I stripped it off to try styrene.
I tried 020” styrene to the frog rails. This was also a fail.
Insulating rail joiner/joint bars. After several fails at insulating these, I wanted to send you a photo of what the rail joiner/joint bars look like. And see if you would be ok with this or should I keep pursuing a different solution?

While I’m on the subject of the frog would you like me to solder some sort electrical contact to the bottom. I’m thinking either a wire pigtail or a strip of copper.

In closing I have 3 questions:

  1. What diameter of actuating wire do you intend to use with the tortoise motors? How large should I drill the holes?
  2. Do you like the insulating rail joiner/joint bar for the frog joints or should I continue to praise a separate insulating solution?
  3. Do you want me to solder an electrical connector to the frog to make it easier to wire when installed?

June 2, 2022

I continued to work on the throw bars today. And the package from O Scale Turnouts arrived.

Package arrived from O scale Turnouts today.
The package contained: Two #8 turnout bases with frog wires. One left and one right. Two #8 tie placement templates. One left and one right. And two packages of precut turnout ties.
I continued to work on the throw bars. I drilled holes in the center yoke of the front throw bar. This image I am checking that a .033” (.85mm) wire will fit into each throw bar.
I assemble each half of the throw bar with CA and paper a paper insulator. When the glue is dried I trim away the excess paper and glue.

June 3, 2012

I received a delivery from right-o-way today. It included 2 – PMM Pittman motor mounts, 4 – SS3L switch stands, 2 – CBJ 125 Compromise joint bars, 30 – RCM 1503 Rail Joiners. Jay also included miscellaneous throw bars, rail braces and flat tie plates.

I added the front throw bar to the #6 L turnout.

I insulated the frog using paper and CA.

I worked on the rear throw bars. I removed the center yoke, insulated and glued them together. I checked each one for electrical insulation.

I worked on the gauge plates. Each plate needs to be insulated, glued, filed clean, drilled out and checked for electrical insulation. These will be cut to fit the turnout and have a rail brace positioned on the outside rails. I have done the initial prep on 4 of 8.

I started laying in tie plates today. The remaining plates will be positioned while the turnout is being spiked. This has also allowed me to remove some of the PCB ties from the kit assembly.

Delivery from Jay Criswell.
#6 Left turnout with front throw bar added.
Paper and CA Insulated frog.
Paper and CA Insulated frog.
On of the rear throw bars with center yoke removed, insulated, glued and verifying electrical insulation.
Paper and CA used to insulate the center of the gauge plate.
Gauge plates being glued together.
I checked each gauge plate for electrical insulation.
Gauge plate being drilled.
Gauge plate ready for fitting.
Fitting the gauge plates. These will need to be trimmed and fit together with rail braces.
The turnout tie template has etchings which approximate rail position. This was helpful in laying out the tie plates.
Working along laying tie plates using the rail gauges to keep the rail in gauge.
Tie plates laid out.
More tie plates.

June 4, 2022

More work on gauge plates. Beginning work on the #8 turnouts.

Test fit the gauge plates on the #6 Left turnout.
I didn’t think I’d be able to solder the gauge plates to the assembly without accidentally soldering to the throw bars.
I removed the throw bars and points to be able to solder the gauge plates in place.
A full disassembly of the points and throw bars.
With the points and throw bars removed, I had a clear shot to solder the gauge plates on.
I reassembled the points and throw bars and inserted new steel pins . I cut the rear throw bar to the correct length.
I found a reference photo and noticed they used spikes to secure the gauge plate. I’ll have to see if the spikes we have will look right, if not Ill find something that does, perhaps a pin.
I drilled out the rest of the gauge plates. These castings are pretty crude so I’ll be filing them to make them look better.
I cut gator board for the #8 turnouts.
I painted the gator board black.

June 5, 2022

I wasn’t happy with the gauge plates I installed yesterday so I removed them and am reworking them.

The front gauge plate was not matched up (green circle) and the rear gauge plate was misaligned.

I also discovered that the CA joint between the gauge plates was failing from the heat of soldering the parts.

I trying these again using epoxy to make the joint between plates instead of CA.

I’m thinking ahead to finishing. My turnout was primarily finished with acrylic primer and paints. It is relatively robust, but it has chipped in places. I like to develop an even more robust process.

The finish on my turnout has some chipping.

I conducted an experiment with blackening solution. I wanted to see if primer would adhere better to the blackened metal pieces and I wanted to see if the underlying blackened metal would show through if the primer was chipped off (instead of nickel silver or brass color).

Chemically blackened rail and brass plate. The blackening agent did a good job of discoloring the parts as well as the solder.
Chemically blackened rail and brass plate. The blackening agent did a good job of discoloring the parts as well as the solder.
2 coats of self etching primer applied to the rail. The primer did adhere better to the blackened portion.
2 coats of rust color primer applied to the opposite side rail. The primer did adhere better to the blackened portion.
Part scratched with a razor blade to test adhesion and wether the blackened base color would hold up. It did not.
Part scratched with a razor blade to test adhesion and wether the blackened base color would hold up. It did not.

Although the blackened metal color did not hold up when I scratched the parts with a razor blade, the paint did appear to adhere better to the blackened portion of the rail.

I’ll be doing more experimenting.

June 6, 2022

I continued work on the gauge plates. Epoxy to connect the plates was a fail. I solved the problem of the soldering heat destroying the CA bond and decided to go back to using CA but with a fresh bottle.

Gauge Plates

I used some heat blocking putty to prevent the soldering heat from destroying the CA bond.
As a reference, this is the photo of the misaligned gauge plates. Below is the reworked gauge plates.
I used the NMRA standards gauge to check centerline of the gauge plates.
The alignment problems I indicated yesterday have been resolved.
As a reference this is a prototype gauge plate with spikes holding it in place. Below is a view of how our spikes look versus how a round head pin looks.
This is a comparison shot of how the spikes vs pins look in the gauge plate. I think the pins will look more like the prototype.

Question? Should I use the pins, the spikes or find something different?

Guard Rail Bracing Question

My switch with right-o-way rail braces used to simulate a braced guard rail.

If you recall my turnout, I used rail braces to represent a double plate braced guard rail. I did this to simulate the look of some of the modern turnouts I see day to day. It’s more artistic expression than prototypical accuracy.

The reason I mention it is that as I was going to solder these rail braces on your guard rail and it just looked strange to me. The diagonal overhang from the ties is severe. The outside braces sit in the kinks in the guard rail. The braces need to be spread out to not obscure or destroy the bolt head detail on the guard rail.

This photo illustrates how the guard rail braces will look on the diverging route of your turnout.

Simulating this with the turnout I built looked just ok to me, but I had a different type of guard rail. With very little cast in details aside from bolt heads at each end. Your guard rail is more detailed with bolt head detail in four locations. So simulating a double brace plate isn’t possible.

Your guard rail has bolt head detail in four locations.

I checked a #6 diagram from the Union Pacific in 1985 which shows double plate braces with a cast manganese frog.

UP #6 Diagram #1985.
An example of a turnout using a double plate brace to support the guard rails.

However, there are also guard rails that do not use braced guard rails. I often find this type of turnout construction in industrial areas because the tracks have not been upgraded in years.

Turnout with bolted frog and unbraced guardrail.
Turnout with bolted frog and unbraced guard rail.

So ultimately my question to you is do you want me to install the rail braces to the guard rails (like I did on my turnout) or leave the off?

My suggestion for these #6 turnouts leave the rail braces off of the guard rails. We can see how they will look on the #8s and make a decision when we get to those.

June 7, 2022

I totally dissembled the rails from the PCB ties to clean the parts and began painting the rails.

My preparation steps.

  • Wire brush in a rotary tool.
  • Fine and extra fine sanding sticks
  • Cotton swab with acetone
  • Rinse with alcohol
I removed all the PCB ties to clean the rail and prep for painting.
I used heat resistant putty to protect the solder parts.
The rail pieces, ready to be be cleaned.
Self etching primer coat applied to the metal parts first.
Self etching primer applied to parts first.
Rust colored primer as a second coat.

June 8, 2022

I started spiking the #6 Left turnout today. I got the straight stock rail, the frog and the straight closure rail set and mostly spiked.

June 11, 2022

I was dissatisfied with the performance of the primer I used on the rails. The primer was chipping too easily. This last couple of days I removed the rails, stripped them and primed them with a different primer. I’m much more satisfied with this new primer and continued to spike the rails to the #6 Left turnout.

I was using a combo of a metal etching primer followed by a standard rattle can primer.
The original primer was chipping too easily.
The new primer from Gunze.
Re spiking the rails.
The frog spiked.
The points and throw bars.
The #6 L turnout spiked. Needs specialty tie plates.

June 12, 2022

I installed the remaining tie plates and finished spiking the #6 Left turnout today. I did an electrical test for shorts, both sides are isolated, the frog is isolated and the frog rails are isolated.

I started working on the #6 Right turnout. I removed the throw bars, corrected the gauge at the frog, placed tie plates and soldered the rail braces.

#6 Left

Tie plates spiked around the guard rails.
Tie plates spiked on point and closure rails.

#6 Right

1st step to prepping the #6 Right turnout was to remove the throw bars.
The turnout was out of gauge at the frog. I loosened the retaining PCB tie to correct the gauge.
#6 Right tie plates ready.
#6 Right tie plates ready.
#6 Right rail braces installed.
#6 Right rail braces installed.

Since the gauge problems with this turnout were minor, I should be able to install it as one piece (instead of totally disassembling it before spiking it to the ties). I’ll prime the rail after it is in place.

June 16, 2022

I continued work on the #6 right turnout. Placed the frog plates & the slide plates.

The gauge plate bond has been bothering me. I have been using CA, but it produces a weak and heat sensitive bond. I found a new product: JB Weld Tiger Patch. It is a high heat epoxy tape that does not conduct electricity. It produces a very strong bond and I can solder the gauge plates to the rail without damaging the bond. I am using it for the #6 right turnout.

I decided to disassemble this turnout as well. I was thinking I would install the built turnout kit to the ties and then clean and paint it. But the more I thought about that plan, the less I liked it. I didn’t think I would be able to insulate the frog and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to clean the rails without damaging the ties or tie plates. So I’ve started disassembly.

Slide plates laid.
Frog plates laid.
JB Weld Tiger Patch. Extreme high heat epoxy.
Tiger Patch bond. The excess tape is easily cut and sanded awy.
The Tiger Patch produces an electrically insulated bond.
I am able to solder the gauge plates to the rails without destroying the insulated bond.
Gauge plates soldered to the rail without damaging the Tiger Patch bond.
Frog removed and insulated.

June 17, 2022

I cleaned the rails, primed the rails and spiked the #6 turnout.

June 18, 2022

I began gluing ties for the #8 left turnout. Since these turnout kits have the PCB ties soldered to the bottom of the rails, I will approach this this build a little differently. Still trying to decide on a best approach. I also cut some more large tie plates and joint bars from the sprue.

#8 Left turnout kit on the tie placement template.
Laying out ties.
Ties glued into place.
More large tie plates to prep.
More joint bars to prep.

June 20, 2022

I sanded the #8 Left turnout and began to stain it. I started gluing ties for the #8 Right turnout.

Sanding #8 left turnout.
Checking #8 left turnout ties to make sure they are the same height.
#8 left turnout 1st coat of stain.
Start gluing ties for the #8 right turnout.

June 21, 2002

I worked on ties for both the #8 turnouts.

Ties glued in place for the #8 right turnout
Second coat of stain for #8 left turnout
Second coat of stain for #8 left turnout

June 28, 2022

I continued to work on the #8 turnouts. Staining the #8 right and started tie plates for the #8 left.

#8 right ties stained. 1st coat.
#8 right ties stained. 2nd coat.
#8 left tie plates started.
#8 left tie plates started.

July 8, 2002

I am continuing work on the #8 Left turnout. I removed the frog wire; disassembled the rails from the PCB ties; added throw bars; glued, sanded and stained the missing wood ties; added some of the rail braces; & worked on insulating the frog.

Frog jumper wire was removed.
Frog jumper wire removed.
Turnout rails disassembled from PCB ties.
Throw bars added
Missing wood ties glued, sanded and stained.
Missing wood ties glued, sanded and stained.
Rail braces being added.
Joint bars being added to frog.

July 11, 2022

I primed the frog, frog rails and closure rails/point rails. I started laying tie plates on the #8 right turnout.

Priming closure rails/points
Priming frog.
Tie plates added to #8 right turnout.
Tie plates added to the #8 right turnout.

June 12, 2022

I worked on the castings for the #8 right turnout. Soldered the rail braces, soldered joint bars to correspond with the heel blocks, soldered the guard rails to the stock rails. Then filed and sanded to clean the excess solder.

Guard Rails soldered to stock rails.
Joint bars soldered to correspond with heel blocks.
Soldered guard rails.

July 18, 2022

I am working on the #8 left turnout again.

Soldered the guard rail to the straight stock rail.
Soldered joint bars opposite the simulated heel blocks.
Spiked the closure rails into place.
Spiked the frog in place.
Added gauge plates.

July 23, 2022

I have continued to work on the #8 Left turnout. Completing the tie plates, guard rail braces and spiking the rails.

Guard Rail braces spiked in place.
Some spike detail on the #8 Left turnout.
The points area spikes and detailed.

August 1, 2022

I completed the #8 left turnout today.

August 2, 2022

I am working on the #8 right turnout. I unsoldered the PCB ties from the bottom of the rails and soldered PCB ties to the top of the rails. I’m trying this method to see if I can have less fuss placing the rails. I laid some the remaining wood ties. I started working on the transit clips and throw rods.

This photo shows the transition from PCB ties solder on the bottom of the rails to the PCB ties soldered to the top.
PCB ties now soldered to the top of the rails to help position the rails while spiking to the ties.
Some of the remaining ties being glued into place.
I removed the PCB throw rods.
I ream out the the transit clips to hold the pins for the new cast throw rods.

August 8, 2022

I’m working on the #8 right turnout. I glued the remaining ties into place. Sanded the ties to match the existing ties. Distressed the ties and have added three coats of stain.

#8 right turnout with ties glued, sanded, distressed, and stained.
#8 right turnout with ties glued, sanded, distressed, and stained.
#8 right turnout with ties glued, sanded, distressed, and stained.

August 9, 2022

I am working on the #8 right turnout. I added the throw rods, remaining rail braces and gauge plates today.

Bottom of the pins to the throw bars. The upper portion remains unsoldered so the throw bar pivots on the pins.
Bottom of the pins to the throw bars. The upper portion remains unsoldered so the throw bar pivots on the pins.
Throw bars installed and ready to cut to length.
I’ve added the remaining rail braces and the gauge plates to the turnout.

August 14, 2022

I started spiking the #8 right turnout today. Removed the remaining PCB ties. Started filling in some of the 24” tie plates.

August 18, 2022

I continued spiking the #8 right turnout. Placing the frog and straight side rail and frog rail. I had to file more rail braces for use on the guard rails. Spiked the straight side guard rail braces. Started on the diverging side rails beyond the frog.

August 21, 2022

I am nearing completion of turnout construction. I laid the remaining tie plates beneath the point rails and frog rails. I installed the guard rail braces & gauge plate braces. I installed the joint bars between the frog and adjacent rails. I’ve finished spiking. I will go back over the last turnout soon and make sure everything is complete and correct.

I will move on with painting after the weather cools and there is less humidity.

August 24, 2022

I am designing the diverging route pieces.

A printout of a portion of the diverging route design. I’m trying to match the curve using flex track to see how it looks. The straight track print is for reference.

August 25, 2022

I am continuing to work on the design for the diverging track sections by making full scale drawings.

August 28, 2022

I have continued to work on designs for the diverging track and bridge tracks. I cut bridge track templates and will mail them this week. I also am testing glue for the bridge track sections.

Small bridge template.
Pieces of the larger bridge template.
After several iterations I’ve come up with a tie placement design for the diverging tracks. I plan to cut this into a tie placement template.
Preparing for glue experiments.

September 15, 2022

I have ordered supplies from Right-O-Way and started removing tie plates from the sprues. I purchased more gator board to lay the diverging routes, and painted it black.

I have continued to work on the design for the diverging routes template. I was hoping to laser cut the template, but can’t resolve issues with my friend’s laser cutter so I’m cutting templates from .010” styrene.

I have also started to paint the #8 turnouts.

New gator board painted.
Cutting tie plates from sprues.
An early design of the diverging template design.
Work on template.
I cut some gauges to determine the angle of the frogs to match the diverging template I’m designing.
A test cut for the diverging template.
Cut styrene. The first section of what I hope is the final version of the diverging template.

September 18, 2022

I have finalized the design for the diverging routes, cut a template and began to lay ties.

Rejected template version. I couldn’t see the track center and base lines.
Final version of the diverging route template. The track center and rail base lines are clearly visible.
Checking the template for alignment against the turnout.
Laying ties using the template.
Ties for the left diverging route are laid.

September 24, 2022

I am making real good progress. I finished sanding, staining, tie plates, rails and spiking the left hand diverging route. Also finished ties sanding, staining, and tie plates on the right hand diverging route. I finished ties, plates, rails, spiking and began staining the small bridge.

Bending rail left hand diverging section.
Beginning tie plates left diverging section.
Left diverging section spiked.
Beginning to layout ties on the right diverging section.
Right diverging ties payed out.
Tie plates started right diverging section.
The small bridge template
Micro spikes are super tiny about 5mm. They are the longest spike I can use without puncturing through the bottom of the ties.
Lots of micro spikes small bridge.
The small bridge track.

September 26, 2022

I completed spiking the right diverging section. I masked both diverging sections and the small bridge track section to paint the rails. I primed the rails on all three sections.

I am designing the bridge guard rails and making tools to build and install them. The design uses a 5 degree can’t at the ends. I’m going to work on these a little more still.

Right diverging section spiked.
Diverging sections and small bridge section masked for painting.
Diverging sections and small bridge sections primed.
Guard rail point tool.
Making guard rail points.
Some points with fish plate detail.
Plates without fish plate detail.

September 28, 2022

I’m making preparations for the long bridge. Pre-staining ties and removing tie plates from the sprues.

Pre-stained ties drying.
Cutting another 400 tie plates from the sprues.

October 7, 2022

I finished separating another 400 tie plates from the sprues. I am continuing to prestain ties for the large bridge. I finished painting the diverging track pieces and have masked the #6 turnouts for painting.

Diverging track pieces are finished.
Close up of the diverging track pieces.
Closeup of diverging track pieces.
#6 turnouts masked for painting.

October 9, 2022

I have finished painting the turnouts.

#6 turnouts.
#6 turnouts
#6 turnouts
#8 turnouts
#8 turnouts
#8 turnouts

October 20, 2022

I cut the low profile ties. Finished pre-staining the large bridge ties. Cut the large bridge template.

Cutting low profile ties.
Staining low profile ties.
The tie templates for the large bridge.
The tie templates for the large bridge.

October 21, 2022

I finished spiking and painting the guard rails for the small bridge.

October 23, 2022

I started building the first half of the large bridge track. Laid ties and some tie plates, prepped the rail, painted the rail. Also made a new tool for making the guard rails (the old one was too short)

I lay tape upside down beneath the tie template.
Ties placed and some of the tie plates.
Some rail prep for the large bridge after cutting these rails down I soldered joint bars at the end where the two halves will meet in the middle of the bridge.
The old guard rail tool (top) and the new guard rail tool (bottom). I wanted a longer length to support the longer rails when I solder them.

November 7, 2022

I’ve finished spiking and painting the large bridge sections and am now working on the large bridge guard rails.

Adding tie plates to the large bridge.
Large bridge masked for painting.
Large bridge spikes and painted.
Large bridge guard rails formed.
The guard rails will be painted next.

November 13, 2022

I finished spiking the large bridge guard rails and am in the process of painting touch up. If I calculated correctly, the whole bridge has about 800 spikes.

I have begun work on the switch stands. This involves filing the parts and reaming them to get the parts to fit correctly. Then soldering the parts together.

I spent a couple days working on rotating switch targets, using the proto:87 stores working switch stand indicator. (http://www.proto87.com/product2355.html)

In progress fitting large bridge guard rails.
Fair rails spikes.
Initial assembly testing of the SS1L lighted high switch stands.
Assembly in progress for SS3 low switch stands.
testing p87 stores working switch stand indicator gear boxes.
testing p87 stores working switch stand indicator gear boxes.

Unfortunately I was unable to adapt the proto87 switch stand indicator to our needs.

Given the tools and parts I am working with I don’t think I’ll be able to fabricate a reliable mechanism to rotate the targets 90 degrees. It may have to be accomplished by installing a mechanism below the bench work. I’ll leave the rod extra long to protrude below the layout.

December 4, 2022

I’ve spent the last couple weeks building the switch stands. The switch stands are complete, some prices will be left for you to install in place.

I am reviewing my work before I complete it. The gap for one of the turnouts points was too small so I took it apart and am redoing it.

Switch Stand parts on sprues. Most turnout parts needed to be cut from the sprues, filed clean and the holes reamed out.
Some switch sand masts in progress.
Assembling switch stands.
Assembling switch stands.
Switch stand being assembled.
A comparison to the prototype. These type of turnouts have targets but I left them off to match the prototype photo. If you decide to use them they can be glued on to the mast.
Cleaning the assemblies in 99% alcohol to remove any flux or other contaminants before painting.
Painted parts drying.
Painted lantern heads drying.
One of the completed stands.
A completed stand
More completed stands

After completing the switch stands I wanted to make sure I reviewed the previously completed track work before completing the project. The points on one turnout were not gapped correctly. I too that turnout apart and re set the throw bars.

The gap on these points was too narrow. So i took the apart and shortened the throw bars to widen the gap.
Points re-gapped and primed.
Touch up paint.

At this point I believe the project is complete.

  • 2 #6 Turnouts
  • 2 #8 Turnouts
  • 2 #8 Diverging Track Sections
  • Short Bridge
  • Long Bridge
  • 4 High Lighted Switch Stands
  • 4 Low Lighted Switch Stands
  • 2 High Unlit Switch Stands

I’ll double check everything and figure out how I’m going to package and ship it.

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