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June 1996 - Page 16


WHNDtHIN6 N - 5CA tE TRR CH
h i s month we conclude this article on handlaying N-scale fine-scale track. Given the prototype data and i nformation from last month and the techniques of hand laying code 40 rail from the previous month, it is now t i me to construct an N-scale code 40 turnout. Also refer to the templates and figures provided i n the last article. Improvi sation with this tiny rail is not recommended. Fol low and use the templates for rel iability and derail m ent-free operation. B u i lding a fine-scale turnout is not diffi c u l t and does not require magnification ! ( Speak jo r you r self, Doug - Randy)

T

B u i l d i n g Tu rnouts
I f your roadbed is a porous material l i ke soft cork or extruded S tyrofoam, a stable p latform i s needed under the turnout. This maintains the holes needed for point pivot and movement. Styrene i s recommended for this base, use at least .080 thickness or more (see Photo 1 5). Extend the platform around the two long switchstand ties. Next, glue the

appropriate tie template to the styrene with Pliobond as seen in Photo 1 6. Several sizes of t h e s e were provided in F i g u re 2 l a s t m o n t h . T h e paper templates c a n a l s o b e glued directly t o dense cork o r Upson board roadbed with white glue. Use the centerlines on the t e m p lates to m atch your e x i s t i n g track centerlines. Note that a turnout extends p a s t where the two centerl ines i n tersect. Leave enough room for the template. Cut ting a turnout short is a fast path to derail ments. The photos a l l refer to a l eft-hand turnout, while the templates are for right hand turnouts. Make a transparency of the templates, fli p it over and copy again onto plain paper to get left-hand turnouts. Glue wood ties directly to the template with white glue. M icro Engineering ( M E ) makes several varieties, natural and stained. For turnout ties, use their products #36- 1 05 (natural) or #36- 1 06 (pre-stained). The nat ural ties must be stained prior to gluing them to the roadbed. Note that sections of ties are the same length. Turnout ties are staggered

15 There m ust be adequate su pport under each turnout to provide defin ition for the throw-mechanism holes. Styrene can be used for this.

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t hroughout the t u rn o u t . A l s o , the t i e s are spaced c l o s e r together d i re c t l y under the frog to help distribute the weight. The tem p l ates are drawn u s i n g a n o r m a l 2 2 " tie spacing and an 1 8 " spacing under the frog. This matches ME commercial flex track. H aving specific ties made from copper! fiberglass-laminated printed circui t material (commonly known as pc board) is the key to the N-scale turnout. Try to find pc board that is equal to or thinner than the wood ties you w i l l be u s i n g . If u s i ng M icro E n gineering ties, find a pc board that is .044 thick or less. Thinner pc board wi l l be shimmed during installation as described later. Make the pc board ties as shown in Photo 1 7 using a cutoff disk in a motor tool and eye protection. Make extras and use the most uniform ties. Clover House also makes pc board ties, but they tend to be too thick for N scale. G l u e the fi xed pc board ties (indicated with an asterisk [*J on the template) to the template with P l i obond or gap-fi l l ing C A . C u t , b u t do n o t glue the floating pc ties to the template. See Photos 1 8 and 1 9 for these steps . U s i ng Figure 3 (from l a s t m o n t h ) , mark t h e locations o f t h e electrical gaps t o be cut on all t h e pc t i e s . Use a c u t o ff disk and gently remove the copper laminate from all the pc tie tops as seen in Photo 20. Then tin the tops of each fixed pc tie with solder as i l l ustrated in Photo 2 1 . The floating pc ties should not be tinned. Carefully file off any excess solder. The solder s h o u l d be a thin fi l m on the top of the pc t i e . Remove any solder that fil l s the electrical gaps. The copper laminate is fragile so be patient and

16 Glue a turnout tie template d i rectly to the roadbed. This ensures correct rai l and tie spacing throughout the turnout.

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b Doug Ge iger. MMR
P hotos b the iluthor

P A RT 3

17 Cut pc board ties with a cutoff disk i n a motor tool . Use eye protec tion. M a ke extra pc ties and use only those that a re perfectly shaped.
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..... M O D E L RAI LROA D I N G

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18 Here we see some of the fixed pc board ties ready to instal l at the correct locations on the turnout template. The wood ties have already been glued down.
J U N E 1 996

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