Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NSWGR Handlaid Trackwork-pt 2 Construction

Over a period of a couple of years I've had a go at point construction. I follow the trackwork of NSWGR and all that that encompasses. The materials and jigs and bits are few. Canite to hold the turnout plan, and mapping pins and T-pins to hold all in place. Here's a photo to show you what I mean.

I've squeezed a RH & LH plan onto the piece of canite so that I've just got one piece of wood to find on the 'tidy' workspace, when I need to build a turnout. The mapping pins are sold everywhere, even at Woolies, and the T-pins are from a hobby shop, and are used in model aeroplane construction. I use a combination of both, with T-pins in the spots that will get a bit warm with the soldering iron.

I use a Tricky Dicky Temp controlled iron, as I've got a brass kit to construct. I should probably state here and now, that kit and scratchbuilding is my preference, and I am biased that way. So don't expect a balanced opinion from me in relation to RTR. I think the RTR products are great, but they will be a small part of my rollingstock, as I enjoy the construction of a MODEL railway.

OK, that's all clear now. So I use a great solder flux too, for use with electrical wiring, in that it is non corrosive and does not need rinsing. Available from Gwydir Valley models, (hope that's how you spell it) Warren has a great mail order business, that sells alot of the scratchbuilding stuff I use. It's great for layout wiring., how many of you have seen corroded solder joins on your layout?

The sleepers are clover house from GVM also. I use alot around the frog area as I'm a bit wary of this area being prone to being out of gauge. As you'll see too the quantity of pc sleeper enable a stable isolation cut to be put in beside the frog (more on that bit later)

I don't do anything startling in my method, however I do think that once you've built a few you do develop your own steps that you follow each time. I do file back the foot of the railstock where the point blades come in contact with, but not the head of the rail.

I do start at the frog and work out from there, if that helps. When you look at the NSW Trackwork Manual it lists two different guard rail lengths for where the turnout is positioned, whether in mainline or a siding. Ialso solder from the outside of the turnout and apply flux to the inside so that the solder is drawn through between the rail and the sleeper. Looking at the photo here, I put an isolating cut on the LH side of the frog (DCC friendly points) on the RH side I put two isolating rail joiners on the two middle pieces of rail. No cut necessary, as most of us don't run out locos right up to a point before selecting the road. All who operate on my layout know this is how it works so all is good! By far the longest part of the job here is the filing of the point blades. This has been covered in many AMRA articles that I read and re-read every now and again.

Once the basic point is finished, with the isolation cut ( OOPS!! forgot to let you know,I cut my rail from the reverse side. Starting with a 'V' cut with a triangular file through the base of the cut, and finshed with my razor saw, giving a very fine join) I then get out the hobby drill with a small 'ball' shaped sanding stone in it. This I use for all the isolation cuts in the sleepers. It leaves a slight dished cut, that once painted looks like weathered rotten timber, much less noticeable than a straight cut into the sleeper with a saw. Then I spray the whole thing with the grey primer from an auto store, once dry I hit it with a 'rusty rail' coloured paint, and drybrush the sleepers. Aphoto about here shows what I mean.

Then it's time to wire it up and 'activate ' those point blades. Another two photos here wil give you an idea of what I do. The result I'm pleased with, it looks pretty good, and only costs about $5 for materials.


  1. Hi Sprfr8r,

    You have started something now. You know I will have to create a blog now as well. Looks great.


  2. Do you have a track plan for your home layout that you could perhaps share with us?

    Enjoying your BLOG thus far

  3. Yes tom somewhere I do have a track plan. I'll look it out and scan it onto the blog. hope you keep finding things here enjoyable