When I built my first working point at the beginning of December I mentioned that I was intending to build another one to see if relying on the rail flexing was a better approach than hinging the rails. I actually built the second point quite soon after but for some reason didn't post about it. Anyway here we have both points next to each other with the new version no the left.
So how does allowing the rail to flex compare to using hinges? Firstly aligning the rails accurately and getting a nice smooth curve through the point was much easier the second time around. Partly this was down to having a better idea what I was doing when shaping the rails but also as I could use the rail gauges to position and hold the rails in place while they were soldered on which was easier than holding them in place and drilling holes for the hinges. On the down side though I'm honestly not convinced by the motion of the point. Firstly as the rails are flexing I've ended up with a point that when left alone sits with the tie bar half way between the two routes. Secondly keeping the point one way or the other requires quite a considerable amount of force.
So in conclusion I'm going to stick with fitting hinges to the points and hope that with more practice the flow of the rail will improve slightly over the first attempt so I'll have both nice looking points and points that require little effort to operate.