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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was this a "Good Deal?"

90 pieces of track;

"POST WAR AMERICAN FLYER S GUAGE TRAIN TRACK. LOT INCLUDES 54 CURVED & 36 STRAIGHT SECTIONS. TRACK IS FRESH OFF A LAY-OUT, SHOWS ONLY MINOR BLEMISHES AND OXCIDATION HERE & THERE. READY FOR USE, USED / VERYGOOD CONDITION"

Shipped, it was $.60 per piece($54) It's all I needed to complete a layout, and based on the pics(?) looks to be pretty good:)

Thoughts?

View attachment 2515

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Jim / Reckers --

Good price, perhaps ... but there's one problem ... it's missing the MIDDLE RAIL ! :laugh::rolleyes::laugh:

(Couldn't resist!)

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Len:)
Now I can get serious about building the table for the layout and what kind of track placement I can put together. With over 120 pieces of track and 2 left and 2 right switches, it should be enough. I'm thinking I need 2 or 3 bumpers.
 

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Len, it appears we have a "Comedian", lurking about:laugh::laugh:
We do? *looking about* Oh, that? That's just some guy whose humor is so lame, it needs a crutch!:laugh:

Thanks Len:)
Now I can get serious about building the table for the layout and what kind of track placement I can put together. With over 120 pieces of track and 2 left and 2 right switches, it should be enough. I'm thinking I need 2 or 3 bumpers.
Bumpers are kinda neat, but I wasn't gonna bother with 'em. *L* I just stop in time!

Jim / Reckers --

Good price, perhaps ... but there's one problem ... it's missing the MIDDLE RAIL ! :laugh::rolleyes::laugh:

(Couldn't resist!)

TJ
TJ,

Interesting you should mention that. I recently ran across a discussion of a kit marketed to convert AF two-rail into a more realistic three-rail layout: http://ogaugerr.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2721001123/m/799108583
 

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Re: 2-rail to more realistic 3-rail conversion ... ahhh ... peace and harmony in the world, at last! Too funny!

Serious question ...

Jim, just out of curiosity, what's the radius or diameter of those AF curved pieces? Do you have a layout length x width size in mind? You had sketched out a 110" x 60" layout in another thread, but that was your O sketch, right ??? Any thoughts / inclination to combine the O and S into one layout ... S higher and in the background for a depth perception idea?

TJ
 

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Are you asking about his S scale, or his O gauge?

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Quoting a site, "The 4' by 8' table was not "standard" when American Flyer S gauge first arrived. In those days, 5' by 9' was common because it was the size of a ping pong table. The wider curves used by American Flyer fit it well. For smaller layouts, however, the 19.5" radius / 38" diameter curve can be difficult. The 4' by 6' is perhaps the smallest one can go and still have an action-packed layout for S gauge."

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One more post, and I'll leave it alone: "Refinement generally grows with the ability to produce it. As technology improved, so did the ability to make more realistic trains. That included scale. While Lionel, Ives, American Flyer, Dorfan and Marx continued to make off-scale toy trains, a handful of specialists produced scale kits. Many of the kits were accessories to turn existing toy trains into scale models. A few produced an entire scale model outright. The accepted scale for O varied. In Britain, it was 1/43.5, based on the standard track gauge. In America, I/48 was accepted, despite a minute difference in scale track gauge and the 1 1/4 inch size of O. 1/48 scale was convenient, since it meant a scale foot of 1/4 inch. Known also as "quarter-inch scale," 1/48 proved itself a winner. (HO, which stands for "half-O, was based on the British O).

A scale curve for O was developed, it being a 72 inch diameter circle. That did not sit well with toy train makers. One of the selling points of O gauge was that it allowed more action in less space. The tight O 31 and O 27 curves were integral to space consideration. O 72 was too wide, and negated any advantage, especially since it was a wider arc than the Standard gauge on which O was intended as an improvement. Thus, O gauge went in three directions: smaller trains running on O27, regular trains to run on O31, and a handful of scale models built for O72.

Enter A.C. Gilbert, who bought American Flyer and devised a brilliant concept. Since it was impossible to make 1/48 passenger cars and long locomotives capable of handling an O31 curve, why not down-scale? Gilbert figured on using 1/64, or 3/16 inch scale (3/16 of an inch equals one scale foot). His scale trains were 1/64 models, made to run on O gauge track. They worked, since even long passenger cars and locomotives could handle the tight 31 inch curves. Lionel and Marx both leaped on the idea. Marx developed an entire Scale line of tinplate cars using the 1/64 standard.

World War II interrupted toy train manufacture. After the War, American Flyer emerged with its 1/64 S gauge, a 7/8" gauge that suited 3/16 inch scale. It was out of the O gauge entirely. Marx introduced its plastic cars, along with its older lines of scale tinplate and toy tinplate trains. The plastic cars were made in the 1/64 scale, on O trucks. What stood out with Marx's scale cars is that their trucks and wheels were smaller, thus having a height commensurate with 1/64. Lionel brought out an O27 line that included 1/64 cars on its standard O trucks. Both Lionel and Marx produced most steamers in a scale close to 1/64. This is how O27 was originally associated with 1/64 over O. To date, a true O27 car is based on the 1/64 rather than 1/48 standard."
 

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Reck,

Very interesting ... that's an excellent historical summary you found.

I had no idea that Gilbert started with 1:64 running on O-gauge track.

Also, I got a chuckle out of the typical pre-war layout being based upon a ping pong table size. I guess 4x8 sheets of plywood were only hitting mass markets in the late '30's and after WWII.

So, current S is 38" diam at a 1:64 scale ... which would translate to a diameter of about 51" at 1:48 scale ... a pretty soft/gradual curve, as compared to O31.

Very interesting, indeed.

Thanks, Reck!

TJ
 

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No prob, TJ---glad to share what I have. I suspect those soft curves were to allow the maximum speed over the available surface, a good marketing advantage. O scale tends to move at a more stately pace. HO and smaller are more suited to point-to-point operations: they're too light for higher speeds. The 40's and 50's ads seemed to target boys in the 8-14 year-old range who would find the high speeds attractive.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I sure wish I knew also:laugh:

You guys are much more technical than I am. My AF test track is a full circle. Diameter if the track(outside edge to outside edge) is 39.5"

The photo is the area that I will be building the table in. As you can see, while limited, it's still a good size an will allow me a lot of latitude to go up(or down if I use enough Insulated board)

"The Boss", continues to hint at me going towards HO. She loves the detail and said she would enjoy shopping for strutures/vehicles and people. I told her I'd give it some thought:rolleyes:

In my minds eye, I see my "O's" in the forefront, with my "S" going up and down and both crossing waterways. Since I'm more of a hands on type, I can see this being more trial and error before anything gets installed more permanently:D

Len, great article:thumbsup:
 

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Jim,
As much as I'd like to help, I can't. Your wife wants HO and you want S and O, all in a small area. *L* My best advice is to let it germinate. See what occurs to you. Besides, I've had too much cough syrup and it's hard to type!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My wife, if she wants to, can have her own set of HO, and set them up in her excersize room(might as well use it for something:laugh:)

After thinking about it last night, I've decide to keep the layout all "S", and just use the "O" for the kids. I enjoy working on the "O-Scale", and will continue to add to my collection. My daughter(she has 6 of the 8 grandchildren), is considering a layout for them, so I'll have a home for all the "O" to run in. I don't want them packed away again:D

I'm going to start building the table on Monday. I'm going with Antons suggestion of 1"base(60 x 110) and a 2" top(48" x 110") of foam board. I want the 12" of side for all the various controls and future siding.

Jim
 

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Jim,

Excellent!

Future "Home Beautiful" tours of Jim's house ...

"OK, ladies and gentlemen ... step this way ... here on the left we have the O room. Down the hall on your right, you'll all enjoy taking a look at the S room. And on your way out, remember not to miss the beautiful HO room."

Love it ... I just love it!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #18
TJ, just like rubbing it in, don't you:D

"S", will be here.
"O", at my daughters(except for a small oval in my work area)
"HO", in "The Boss' " mind:D
 
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