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June 1996 - Page 18


26 Lay the straight frog rail next. Gauge this rail off the straight stock ra il laid i n the previous step.

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27 The curved frog rail has been g l ued and soldered. The frog point should match the position from last month's Figure 4.

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28 The frog is fil led with solder to attach the two frog rails together. This is done after the rails have been soldered to the pc ties.

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29

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A three-point gauge correctly positions the curved stock rail.

30 The straight closure rai l extends from the point heel through the wing rail. Use Figure 4 to determine this length.

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31 The cu rved closure rail is laid j ust l i ke the straight closure rai l . Use a track gauge to positio n this rail with respect to the curved stock rail.
t w o outside g uard rail s are fashioned from short pieces of the code 40 rail . Very s lightly bend the ends of the guardrails. Use the tem plates for dimensions and p l acement at the frog . U s e t h e N M RA g a u g e ' s g u ardra i l prongs t o set these rails i n position. Cut the straight closure rai I b ased on the templates. The length s h o u l d be from the point heel, through the closure rail bend, to t he end of the wing rail. Note that the wing rail is just an extension of the closure rail. A feeder is not needed on this rail. Solder this rail in place as seen in Photo 30. The curved closure rail is laid simil arly (Photo 3 1 ). The bends in the closure rai l s must fol l ow pre cisely the template in relationship to the point of the frog to ensure that the wheels will not fal l into the small gap near the frog tip. The

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NMRA gauge helps set the flangeway gap as i l lustrated in Photo 32. After the frog is com pleted, use a spare truck to check the opera tion of that part of the turnout. Re-solder and move any rails to certify the turnout's reliabil ity. The pc ties allow for very small correc tions. Replace any pc board ties that become damaged during the adjustments. Attention now focuses at the point end of the turnout. Before attaching the points, the turnout throw mechanism must be decided u p o n . M a n u a l o r s l o w - m o t i o n s w i tc h m ac h i n e s are rec o m m e n d e d . A t w i n - c o i l s w i tch machine w i l l damage the d e l icate code 40 rai l and i s not endorsed. An easy manual-throw mechani s m i s shown i n Fig ure 5 . Its parts are seen i n Photo 33. It con sists of several sizes of brass tubi ng and rod and brass square stock. It functions by hav ing the entire point assembly rigid; pivoting occurs at the point heel. The floating pc ties keep the point assembly stiff. The pivot tube i s pressed i nto the hole drilled near the point heels. The pivot rod is then bent and s li pped i n to the pivot tube. Solder a floating pc tie to the pivot rod as shown in Photo 34. Use styrene shims under the floating pc ties (Photo 35) to squeeze the t i e u p a g a i n s t t h e s to c k r a i l s . T h e y a re removed after soldering. A l l floati n g ties s h o u l d move fre e l y under the stock rai l s . Use a pinch o f Kadee Greas-em powdered graphite lubricant to polish the contact area. Make the straight p o i n t first. Begin by removi n g the base from the side that w i l l contact t h e stock rail . T h i s base s h o u l d b e removed t o match t h e base removed on the adjacent stock rai l . File the area flat. Then file off the side of the rail head opposite the stock rai l . This should leave the tip of the point l ooking l i ke a capital "L". F i l e the ground areas smooth with the fi ne-toothed file. The top edge near the end of the point should be razor sharp. The two sides of the rai l head shou l d taper to a l mo s t n o t h i n g . Practice on making points before usi ng one in the finished turnout. If the points are too b l un t , whee l s w i l l " p i c k t h e p o i n t s " and cause a derailment. Use only perfect points to ensure rel i a b i l i ty. When i n doubt, make another. Cut the p o i n t to l e n g t h after the point has been fi led. Round the rai l head at this end of the point. Remove all the weath ering patina from the underside of the rai l. B e careful w i t h the fin i shed point as i t is quite delicate, especially near the tip. Bend the rai l as straight as possible with gentle finger pressure. Slip all the floating pc ties under the stock rails (use shims if necessary) and solder the straight point rail to these ties. Also solder this point rail to the floating tie attached to the pivot rod. Photo 3 6 shows this rail in place. The l ast rai l to b e made i s the c u rved point rai l . Fashion a point as before. Note that this rail is a mirror-image of the straight point rai l . Pre-bend the curved point rai l to match the curve of the stock rai l . The code 40 rail is delicate, so be careful . Lay the rail into the turnout and check the gauge of the

1 8 T M O D E L RAI LROA D I N G

J U N E 1 99 6

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