Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Makings of a Point

I've really enjoyed working in O14 building the Clayton loco, but if I want somewhere to run the loco that isn't a simple straight bit of track I'm going to need to build some points. When I was at ExpoNG I picked up both the Type 1 and Type 2 crossing jigs from KBscale in preparation for this but it took until this weekend to find time to have a go. Even with a jig to help hold all the parts it's still quite tricky (or maybe I just haven't had enough practice). The first problem is finding a reliable way of cutting/filing the ends of the rails at 15 degrees. In the end I built a small jig from styrene which seems to do the job but it feels like there should be an easier way. Once all the rails have been cut and fitted to the jig the problems don't end. Because the jog is metal it's impossible to get enough heat into the join with my soldering iron as it just soaks into the jig instead. The trick is to use the kitchen blow torch (usually used for creme brulee) to pump in lots of heat.

Once it's cooled and cleaned up it looks as if it will do the job nicely. Unfortunately I then cut the rails back but measured badly so they are too short for the type 1 turnout I was trying to build. Not to worry though as the practice was well worthwhile. Unfortunately I seem to be almost out of the PECO IL-115 rail so will have to order some more before I can have another go. Also looking at the instructions I'm not sure I like the suggestions for hinging the switch rails (a wire down through the sleeper). I'm wondering if I can just do without a hinge and rely on the slight flex of the rail, but that experiment will have to wait until I get some more rail.


  1. I'm presuming you've got this article which shows how John Cruickshank files up his point rails?

    1. Yes that set of articles (by John Clutterbuck) is brilliant and at some point I will give his approach to making the crossing vee a go. I haven't yet as I'm not sure I could file them accurately enough to fit the KBscale jigs I bought. I've now refined the jig I made for cutting the rails which has made life a little easier.

      I'd still be interested in trying his hinge idea though, although I can't figure out if he leaves the cardboard in or takes it out after everything is soldered together.