TURNOUTS - Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource
Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource

Go Back   Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource > Scale Specific Model Train Forum > N Scale
Forgotten your password?

N Scale Atlas, Life-Like, Graham Farish, Micro-Trains, Minitrix and other N scale discussion.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-12-2019, 09:41 PM   #1
dd1228
Hobo
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: phoenix
Posts: 39
TURNOUTS

Im having a heck of a time with turnouts. A while back I was using all Peco stuff, and it was pretty good except too much tie spacing, not prototypical looking. So I switched to Atlas code 55 flex and turnouts. It looks great but the latest batch of turnouts I got were of poor quality. They weren't flat and the straight part of the turnout was not straight. Very disappointing. So I was thinking about the old adage "If you want something done right you have to do it yourself". So has anyone hand made turnouts using the Fast Tracks jigs? Their videos make it look very easy and the turnouts look great. But the initial cost is a couple of hundred to get started. I don't mind paying that if my turnouts will turn out like their videos. However, I think their videos are showing HO turnouts, a little easier to work with the bigger size. Any advise appreciated. Thanks in advance.
dd1228 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-13-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
sid
Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Mena Arkansas
Posts: 581
Scales Modeled: N
some body on here makes there own turn outs . cant remember who. but im sure they will post here shortly. my memory is not that great these days.
sid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2019, 10:11 AM   #3
GNfan
Engineer
 
GNfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Posts: 667
Scales Modeled: N
traction_fan makes his own N scale turnouts. He usually comes by here once or twice a week.
__________________
Chief Operating Officer of the Plywood Prairie Railroad.
Married to the Chief Financial Officer.
GNfan is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 08-13-2019, 10:52 PM   #4
traction fan
Station Master
 
traction fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,913
Scales Modeled: N
West DIY turnouts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dd1228 View Post
Im having a heck of a time with turnouts. A while back I was using all Peco stuff, and it was pretty good except too much tie spacing, not prototypical looking. So I switched to Atlas code 55 flex and turnouts. It looks great but the latest batch of turnouts I got were of poor quality. They weren't flat and the straight part of the turnout was not straight. Very disappointing. So I was thinking about the old adage "If you want something done right you have to do it yourself". So has anyone hand made turnouts using the Fast Tracks jigs? Their videos make it look very easy and the turnouts look great. But the initial cost is a couple of hundred to get started. I don't mind paying that if my turnouts will turn out like their videos. However, I think their videos are showing HO turnouts, a little easier to work with the bigger size. Any advise appreciated. Thanks in advance.

dd1228;

Yes, as GNfan said, I do scratch-build my own N-scale, code 55 turnouts. The why, and how, is in the attached pdf file, "How I scratchbuild turnouts." The other file, "All about turnouts", has some general information, and my opinions, on the various commercial offerings, including Micro Engineering brand turnouts, which look fantastic, work well, but are a little delicate; so you need to be a bit gentle when installing them. Also Micro Engineering only has #6 right, and #6 left turnouts available.

I started making my own turnouts many years ago, when there were no N-scale, code 55 commercial turnouts available. Today Atlas, Peco, and Micro Engineering, all make them, and I should add Kato. They make a good N-scale turnout, reasonably priced, but I'm not sure the rail is code 55 if that's important to you. Also Kato's turnouts do not have the more realistic looks you apparently want.

My turnouts are primarily built for ruggedness and reliability, rather than for appearance. I think that they look fine when painted and ballasted, but they may not meet your standards for looks, that's up to you. If they don't, then you might go with Micro Engineering as they make the most realistic looking turnouts, and code 55 flex track, I've ever seen.

The biggest advantage of building your own turnouts is cost savings. You can make your own turnouts for about $5 ea. (or a bit less) in terms of the cost of the materials needed to build them.
A good quality commercial turnout, like Peco, Micro Engineering, or Kato, retails for about $20-$30ea. The price of commercial turnouts seems to be very gradually going down a little bit, and there are some discounts available as well. This somewhat reduces the cost advantage of building your own, but not all that much. The trade-off for spending less money is spending more time.

While the Fast Track jigs are popular, and seem to satisfy the folks who use them; I, personally, have never used, needed to use, or even wanted to use, them. They are very expensive, and each jig can only make one type of turnout. If you buy a #6 right hand jig, for example, It can only make #6 right hand turnouts, and nothing else.
This doesn't mean that The fast track jigs, have anything physically wrong with them. Many have used them, and been very happy with the results. I just never found them necessary, and I wasn't willing to spend that amount of money on something I didn't need.

By using the method, and materials, outlined in the file, I've been able to build dozens of turnouts, in any configuration required. I have also scratch-built all-rail crossings and custom yard throats in much the same way. You would need a lot of expensive jigs to do that; if indeed, you could even find jigs for all those different pieces of custom trackwork. By contrast, once you learn how to scratchbuild turnouts without jigs, you can build whatever kind of trackwork you want.


Traction Fan

How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf

All AboutTurnouts rev 4.pdf
__________________
To Puget sound, Electrified!

Last edited by traction fan; 08-17-2019 at 08:39 PM..
traction fan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
dd1228
Hobo
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: phoenix
Posts: 39
thanks to all who responded!
dd1228 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


» Visit These Sites:
LGB World

Or Our European Train Website ModelRailForum




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.