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Since which turnout is "best" is a matter of individual opinion, I'll just give you some information on them, and let you make your own choice.

The top file, "All about turnouts," contains the info, I suggest reading it first. The other files are referenced in the main(top) file, and contain additional, more detailed, information on specific items mentioned.


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regards:

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
Traction Fan does a good job of explaining the hand made turnout process in his "How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf" paper. I am going to build HO turnouts using MEC Code 83 NS Rail. I found the suggested tools, gauges, and PC ties but I can’t find any wood ties.

• What do you use for wood ties?
• Do you make your own?
• Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,
LeRoy
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Wood ties? Wood ties?We don't need no stinking wood ties!

Traction Fan does a good job of explaining the hand made turnout process in his "How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf" paper. I am going to build HO turnouts using MEC Code 83 NS Rail. I found the suggested tools, gauges, and PC ties but I can’t find any wood ties.

• What do you use for wood ties?
• Do you make your own?
• Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,
LeRoy


Leroy;

As covered (pretty thoroughly I thought) in the file, I don't use wood ties at all. I use all PC board ties. The reason, (again, explained in the file) is that when I had used the mix of a few PC ties and mostly wood ties, common in other turnout building methods, I had problems with the copper cladding coming off the epoxy base of the PC ties and ruining the turnout. I resolved that since I was going to spend the time needed to scratchbuild a turnout, I wanted the resulting turnout to be as strong and rugged as I could make it. With all PC ties, if one cladding joint breaks free of the tie, the others will keep the rails in their proper position. I have made dozens of turnouts with all PC ties, and I haven't had a single one fail.

As it happens I do make my own (PC) ties by cutting PC board, but I don't recommend doing this. It requires special tools, and extra effort. PC ties are available commercially from Clover House, in many sizes.

If you want, for whatever reason, to use wood ties, Campbell Scale Models sells them, or you could cut your own from basswood dimensional beam stock. I'd use 1/16" square stock for N-scale and perhaps 1/8" x 1/16" for HO-scale. Real ties are not square, but rectangular, except for those used on bridges. However, an N-scale tie is pretty small, and somewhat fragile if thinner than 1/16" thick. When ballasted, the extra thickness doesn't show anyway.

My only suggestions are:

!) Read the file again and use it as a set of instructions as you go along. After you have built a few turnouts, you will be able to build more without consulting the directions, in the time-honored, manly, maner! :laugh:

2) Use all PC ties. It makes a much stronger turnout.

regards;

Traction Fan

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf (Just in case you lost the earlier copies) ;)
 

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Märklin is a proprietary AC model railroad system. It is not interchangeable with DC or DCC model railroads, although Märklin can be DCC and most of it today is, the same as other European DCC equipment.

Their couplers are often current-carrying and is used for lighting coaches and other electrically operated accessories on the coaches such as music, operating pans on restaurant coaches, and other lighting effects.

There is no standard coupler in Europe for use on models; the prototype coupler would be quite impossible to use for HO modeling although rivet counter model builders and Märklin have replicated these, mostly for display purposes.

There are several popular couplers in use though and some are compatible with others and some are not.

Close-couplers used on Fleischmann, Roco, Pico, and other manufacturers are mostly used on passenger wagons and the coupling is bellows to bellows close. You can barely see light through some of these cars coupled together.

Ironically enough, these same manufacturers use the Roco type hook-and-loop type coupler on their locomotives. Don't ask me why. It's one of the mysteries of European model railroading. Locomotives from most major brands include a pair of both types of couplers.

TRIX also uses a universal coupler in that it mates with the Roco hook-and-loop type coupler very reliably, but it does not work with the Fleischman close-coupler. TRIX also includes a pair of different couplers with their locomotives and passenger wagons.

Fleischmann also uses another type of coupler on some of their rolling stock. It is not pictured in this post. It is not compatible with any other coupler so it must be changed out for swapping cars between trains or the consist must be kept together with this coupler.

A.C.M.E. uses yet a third design which may be due to being an Italian made product. They are not compatible with anything and must be changed out to one of the above types. They too include Roco style hook-and-loop type couplers.

Most European model railroaders opt for one of the two pictured, however, I use both depending upon what works better with the locomotive/ first car combination. All of my passenger coaches use the Fleischmann close coupler throughout the train. The one exception in my TRIX Era III/IV coaches and they use the TRIX universal coupler. It's only universal in that it will couple with Roco hook-and-loop type.

There are several other types available I won't go into here. These are the most common. European model railroaders will have a supply of different types of couplers to swap among their rolling stock.

Prototype couplers available from Märklin. Cumbersome and difficult to couple cars together without small hand tools.



Roco type coupler made by Fleischmann, Roco's is identical:



Fleishmann close-coupler for passenger coaches:

 

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NMRA weight guidelines.

What generally happens when you practice following the weight
NMRA guidelines for ones rolling stock?
thank you!
I need to get a postal scale
Regards,tr1:smilie_auslachen:
 

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Yes, a postal scale or a digital kitchen scale which is accurate to within 1/10th of an oz.

Cars that are too light generally don't track well, and may come off the rails more easily. Remember, it's a recommended practice, not mandatory, but if you're having trouble with derailments, underweight cars could be the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Adding weight

What generally happens when you practice following the weight
NMRA guidelines for ones rolling stock?
thank you!
I need to get a postal scale
Regards,tr1:smilie_auslachen:
tr1;

What generally happens is that the cars stay on the track better.:laugh: Unless there are other problems like wheels out of gage, track out of gage, turnouts that haven't been set to NMRA gage specs, etc. To do the most good, in terms of keeping a car on the track, weight should be as low, and close to the center, of the car as possible. I like to add weight to the center sill for example.
Metal wheels and metal trucks since you're an HO modeler, also help with weight, in addition to just being better wheels.
Bismuth alloy, which melts at a low enough temperature to be poured directly into plastic, is handy for getting weight into little nooks and crannies. "Lo Temp" is one brand.
Moldable lead is good for this too, if you can get any. The nanny state of California, in its never-ending crusade to over-regulate every aspect of every resident's life for him, has banned moldable lead. :mad:
N-scale cars tend to be pretty light in general, so I end up adding weight to most of them. I also tend to replace the flat sheet steel weights that come inside many cars, with brass, or some other non-magnetic material. I do this to prevent a car from being attracted to a magnetic uncoupling ramp, and moving when I'm trying to get it uncoupled.

Good luck, & have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #29
What's the best kind of turnout to buy?

Since which turnout is "best" is a matter of individual opinion, I'll just give you some information on them, and let you make your own choice.

The top file, "All about turnouts," contains the info, I suggest reading it first. The other files are referenced in the main(top) file, and contain additional, more detailed, information on specific items mentioned.


View attachment 468340

View attachment 468342

View attachment 468344

View attachment 468346

View attachment 468348



regards:

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
Here's the latest files to be added.
 

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