3D Printing

Laser Cutting & Engraving

3D Scanning

Drafting & 3D  Modeling

   Let me start by saying that I build all my turnouts on the bench and I use the same order of operations for all types. After the turnout is complete I use it to locate the wood ties on the road bed around the PCB ties attached to the turnout. Then I sand the tops of the wooden ties to the common level of the PCB ties and install the turnout with CA cement andAconnect my turnout linkage. Next I cut the gaps required in the turnout so it's ready to wire. Once all this is complete I lay the rails up to each side of the turnout.

    I use a 25 watt Weller soldering iron with a standard tip that I have “reground” to a pencil tip and re-tinned  for all solder joints between rail and ties. The frog however is first tacked together with the Weller iron and then resistance soldered together. Doing this I find that I can safely solder the frog to the ties without disturbing the frog weld because it doesn't get as hot as the solder joint left by the resistance soldering tool. I use a Esico-Triton PTH resistance soldering tool., 112 W Elm St., Deep River, CT 06417-1687  ph 860-526-5361 or I also ground the tips of the blue handled bent needle nose pliers that you see in the photos to the width of my guard rail gap ( a great time saver when locating the guard rails ).

     Figure 1 shows how I start a turnout.  This is a printout from my 3rd Planit plan of my layout at 1:1 scale. It gives me locations of all the rails and tie spacing.  Figures 2, 3 & 4 show profiling and taping the frog rails directly onto the plan. I then resistance solder the frog together and remove it from the plan. Figure 5 shows the soldered frog. Next I lay a strip of double sided masking tape along one of the stock rails shown on the plan and cut all my PCB ties to the length shown on the plan. I pick which ties will be PCB ties by determining where electrical gaps will be cut in the rails and place ties on either side of the gaps, as in Figure 6. 

Figure 7 shows the addition of the stock rail, in this case, the common rail of dual gauge track. Before soldering it in place I ground the notch required for the point rail. In Figure 8 I have curved the first point rail and bent it to form the guard rail on it's side of the frog. I use a ruler to align the bend point to the frog so that the wheel sets won't pick the frog.  Figure 9 shows the completed result. Figure 10 shows the addition of the guard rail for standard gauge.  Figure 11 shows the installation of the second stock rail.  This was unusual on this turnout, as the point end is set for standard gauge and the frog end is narrow gauge. Figure 12,13 & 14 shows the addition of the second frog created by narrow gauge crossing over standard gauge.  This frog forms the guard rails for both sides of narrow gauge.  You can also see in the photo, that I have cut the gaps for the frog before installing these rails as it was easier to get the cutoff disk in before the rail was soldered in place. 

 Figure 15 shows the guard rail required for narrow gauge to follow it's proper route and Figures 16 & 17 show the installation of the narrow gauge common rail at the point end of the turnout.                     

    Throughout the entire turnout building process, I use my 2 point gauges to check placement of the rails. In the case of everything being on a curve, like this turnout, I leave about .005" slop between the rails. The true test, which I do throughout the building of the turnout, is to roll pieces of equipment thru the turnout. When I install guard rails, I roll the equipment thru pushing it towards the frogs, trying to make it pick the frog. The guard rails function is to stop this from happening. So I can tell that my guard rail is in the correct location when equipment can't pick the frogs.   

Building Turnouts
Fig 1