Plastic shims under turnout throws for smoother motion??

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dmiller

Member
I am going to use Peco turnouts on foam roadbed. I plan to hand throw all switches. I read that it is helpful to place a thin plastic sheet under the throw bars to add in ease of movement. I was going to drill a 1/2 inch hole under the turnout track center throw before laying down in case I ever changed my mind and wanted to motorize it.
Has anyone found it helpful to add a plastic shim under the throw to ease movement? I do not plan to ballast any where close around the area . I seems it might push up more on the throw bar..

Thank you all.
 

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
I use cork and never have needed plastic under a turnout unless it needed leveled and then just in the specific spots that need it. The plastic sheets I use are the cheap plastic for sale signs in most box or hardware stores. Just cut what you need. That being said I have never used the foam roadbed.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
I think it should be unnecessary, but it's worth trying to see if it does indeed make moving the points easier. The problem is that you might lift the headblocks enough that you cause the points tips to either lift or to recede and not work well.
 

GeeTee

Well-Known Member
it might if its wide enough to span the ties on either side of the throw , usually I just cut the roadbed out from under the throw.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I am going to use Peco turnouts on foam roadbed. I plan to hand throw all switches. I read that it is helpful to place a thin plastic sheet under the throw bars to add in ease of movement.

Has anyone found it helpful to add a plastic shim under the throw to ease movement? I do not plan to ballast any where close around the area . I seems it might push up more on the throw bar.
It was a standard on the layout at a club I used to belong to. We had Homasote roadbed that would get fuzzy after years of use. I would think with foam roadbed it would still be useful, but you don't put the plastic just under the throw bar it goes under the two adjoining ties on either side so there is no push up. Also we would cut out a notch for it to sit in so it was not taller than the top of the roadbed. The club also found was it was easier to sweep away stray ballast and other trash when there was a silicky surface under the throw bar.

I have never used it with my cork roadbed.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
I usually shave down the roadbed a tad where the throws are but totally forgot at the start of this layout.
I also usually use metallic duct tape under part of a turnout and press ballast into it from the top, again forgot to do so.
Guess I’m just excited to get going again...:p
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I use cork and never have needed plastic under a turnout unless it needed leveled and then just in the specific spots that need it. The plastic sheets I use are the cheap plastic for sale signs in most box or hardware stores. Just cut what you need.
I'm using almost exclusively Peco as well, and on a few of them I am installing the Peco PL10 solenoids in a hole drilled into the 3/4" plywood deck. I plan to use some of that thin sign-material plastic to mask the sizable hole in the plywood.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
I never used a plastic shim on my cork roadbed. Never had any issues. I can see where it might cause some problems with Homasote if you didn't use them. I also use ground throws in over 95% of my switches (116 of them).
 
It was a standard on the layout at a club I used to belong to. We had Homasote roadbed that would get fuzzy after years of use.
I've always painted my Homasote beforer using it. Partly to seal it and partly because I don't like the fuzzy texture that can develope. It's easier to draw center-lines on painted homasote and you can use a color to you liking as a base. ;)
 

wvg_ca

Well-Known Member
foam underneath throws, turnouts, and track ... ballasted all the way including turnouts, caboose ground throws, no shims under point throws but some under the ground throws if it matters ..
train 003.jpg
 
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2Tracks

Ol' School
Cork road bed laid of 2' rigid foam. Shinohara turnouts. No shims, no cutaways. Smooth operation all of them (22).
 

autocoach

Active Member
I am using Peco Code 83 turnouts directly on Woodland Scenics foam roadbed on my new layout. I have not seen any problems with the turnout throws but have not ballasted any turnouts yet on the new layout. The track locations are not yet 100% final due to pending construction of a 75 foot turntable at the center of the layout.

In the past I have not glued the ballast on turnouts but left it loose on the turnout and not ballasted around the throws. I am working on a better solution as loose ballast invariably worked it's way into the moving parts of the turntable. I am thinking about removing the turnouts as I ballast and gluing very thin Evergreen plastic sheet under the turnout with ballast applied and glued on the workbench. After that replacing the turnout on the layout and ballasting adjoining trackage. I have several ladders of turnouts and other complex trackage. This will also help ensure rail connections are tight and insulating joiners are in place. Rail would also be painted at this time. Electrical continuity can also be workbench tested.

On the prior layout I used pieces of sheet plastic roughly cutout in the shape of the turnout under the ties as I did not want liquid ballast glue seeping through into the Woodland Scenics foam and from there into the fiber insulation board underlay. This old layout was built 15 years ago. Now I have an impermeable plastic barrier layer covering the whole layout between the foam underlay and light weight half inch foamboard I am using as the baseboard on the new layout. If I were doing it again I would use half inch PVC sheet and would not need the barrier.

This is lightweight layout construction for a small sectional layout (14 feet total length) in an townhouse extra bedroom so it can be easily removed if necessary.
 




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