Laying cork stips in turnouts

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BP Rail

New Member
I'm in the process of laying down cork strips for my roadbed. Does anyone have a simple technique/trick that allows for clean/crisp fit of cork roadbed under turnouts. I find I'm either losing the bevel or having to guess where to cut. Many thanks in advance. Eric
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
It can be difficult. At track switches, lay the straight-through cork first, then the cork for under the diverging route. Cut the cork as necessary to fit the diverging cork smooth and flush against the straight-through cork. If your track switches have holes in the centers of the ties, use these holes to set the switches over the center lines of the cork. Don't solder all your rail joints. You have to allow for expansion and contraction that goes with temperature. The key is a really sharp utility knife. Cut through the straight and diverging route cork in as a few a passes as possible. Don't worry if you loose the bevel. The most important thing is that the cork be level on both routes. You can use scrap cork to add the bevel back later.

If you really find you're not getting this right, you can order precut cork for different number switches from Walthers or get them at any well-stocked hobby shop. Sometimes this is the easiest answer to getting smooth transitions on switches.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
I lay the outside piece/half of the straight line, then lay the other side and have it diverge with the switch. this gives the outside edges the "best" look and gives full continuous support to both tracks. then I fill in the interior.
 

Beachbum

Member
Up to now, I've done as Ken describes above. I just bought two precut cork switch pads though and I think I'm going to go with them from now on. They're sort of pricey - $5.75 for two at my local hobby shop - but very convenient.

If you continue to use strips, I've found it helpful to overlap the strips a bit vertically and cut through both of them with a razor blade. Then they snug right down with a virtually undetectable gap.
 
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