help me choose hand-laid track templates

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I might finally get to start on the layout I have been planning for 3 years now (maybe). Either way, I want to start building my own switches partly for cost and partly because I want them to look more real than the switches from atlas on my first layout. I was looking at the ones from fast-tracks, but it seems like I could make the same thing for not that much (take a piece of plywood and router to make a template), but then I found this one
http://www.proto87.com/HO_Proto87_Switch-Works_building_aids.html

Has anyone used it? I like the idea of gluing the tie plates down in a jig and then the rail to the tie plates. Looks real and seems like it would hold better, but I have never done it. If anyone has used this method, could you please share your thought/opinions?
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I want them to look more real than the switches from atlas on my first layout. I was looking at the ones from fast-tracks, but it seems like I could make the same thing for not that much (take a piece of plywood and router to make a template), but then I found this one
http://www.proto87.com/HO_Proto87_Switch-Works_building_aids.html

Has anyone used it? I like the idea of gluing the tie plates down in a jig and then the rail to the tie plates. Looks real and seems like it would hold better, but I have never done it. If anyone has used this method, could you please share your thought/opinions?
Never even seen that product before. Looks real interesting. Also looks like it might wear out pretty quickly. I found it interesting they glue the rail to the ties rather than actually spiking it. For the price I might get one just to play with.....
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
Interesting indeed. I passed on the fastracks due to the price and just scratch built some turnouts following this method:

It's worked pretty well, though the glue I used for the ties (superglue) wasn't the best choice.
 

NCRC5315

Member
Take a look at Fast Tracks, (handlaidtrack.com). I have several of their jigs, for HO code 83. Their products, and procedures are top notch. The switch is built using PCB ties, wit laser cut ties to fill in between. The laser cut wood ties, are attached using Pliobond glue, holds the ties very tightly.
 

John P

Member
A lot depends on how realistic you want your turnouts to be (ignoring the fact that they're all likely to be a good deal sharper, i.e. lower frog number, than any railroad would use). Most people who handlay track simply leave out the tie plates, for instance. The rails are just spiked or soldered--or glued--to the ties without them. And you could dispense with jigs and do the whole process freehand. It depends on how much time and money you're wiling to put into it, versus the appearance you want your track to have.
 




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