Re: handlaying track - jig??
I went to Mark Fielder's Nn3 web site and saw what you were speaking
about. It is a very elaborate tie & rail jig. For the moment it is not
I understand your idea, but you must first decide what spacing you want
between the PC ties and the wooden ties. If you just do it randomly,
you will not achieve the symmetrical look that the prototype track has.
You should place some masking tape, sticky side up, on a flat surface
and put down some wooden and PC ties, spacing them so that they look
right for you. No need to measure the distance between them accurately
but be certain that they approximate the prototype distance and that
they look right to you. The ties are oversize anyway so measuring will
not help. You are striving for a reasonable "look".
Put some rail on top of these and eyeball them to see if they look
"real". Once you are satisfied with the look of the spacing, mark your
work table with the location of the PC ties. Now you can solder the
ties to your rail at the marks made on your wife's kitchen table and
have proper spacing for the wooden ties to fit between the PC ties
without looking too irregular.
After laying a few feet of track by hand, trying to keep the ties
perpendicular to the rail, you will fashion a small pattern with what
ever material that you have on hand (cardboard, styrene, wood, dried
noodles) and make a jig of some sorts. And after a while you will make
a jig for the wooden ties also because lining these up by eye will
After building several miles of track you will discard the jigs and go
back to "eyeballing" because your eye sight would have become sensitive
to the spacing and you will no longer need a jig.
OR, sometime in the future we will see a notice on this list that you
are offering a Z scale tie jig for sale to help others do what you did.
Ole, I hope that I haven't offended you by my remarks. Sometimes I
just go too far with my off hand statements and I do not have the time
to edit them out. The hands type before the brain reacts. (Most times
the brain never reacts)
I called most of the popular model train shops nearby (within 35 miles)
and no one had any code 40 rail. I then called the Original Whistle
Stop in Pasadena and they had some on hand. It is a one way trip of
about 70 miles but the Original Whistle Stop is one of the Southern
California train shops that must be visited at least once a year. If
you think that Z scale is expensive, look at the brass O scale
locomotives. I pay less for my automobiles and my automobiles have
By the way, Mark Fielder's web site at:
is a gold mine of information.
Using the web for gaining information is so great. The education about
model railroading that I got from reading the web would be equivalent of
100 years of subscriptions to magazines. I do not limit my self to Z
web sites. Mark Fielder's web pages is about Nn3 but Nn3 uses Z scale
track. The mechanisms used to power Nn3 locomotives should inspire some
in Z to scratch build Z locomotives,s.
The problem with the web is that you can spend too much time on it and
never get to running trains.
Way over my allotted time.
Ole Rosted wrote:
> From: Ole Rosted <Ole.Rosted@...>
- One of the best ways to decide how to do it is to do it. Make a little
bit one way, and then try a little bit another way, and soon you will
decide which you like best.
Several of the best, most experienced modellers on this list and the Nn3
list have completely different approaches. All of them must work.
For me, using lots of soldered PC ties works best because that way I can
control the gauge closely. If I was better at pre-bending the track,
maybe I would use less.
Ole Rosted wrote:
> From: Ole Rosted <Ole.Rosted@...>
> Hello group,
> I have now both the materials and tools needed to begin handlaying
> code 40 rail.
> The trauma, that hit me as I saw the tiny rails emerge from the box,
> has gone. At least partially.
> Thank you all for replies and good advice on the subject.
> I have decided to use the fishbone method of laying tracks, that is: I
> will solder one rail to the PC ties and then place the fishbone on the
> layout and solder the second rail in using 3-point gauges (RLW)
> I have "invented" a jig built around a steel ruler. I will press the
> rail against the ruler in some way, place a PC tie at the end (I
> presume a 90 degree angle between the long side and the end of the
> ruler) and solder it to the prepared tie. Then I will shift the rail
> an inch or so and solder in the next tie. After placing the fishbone
> on the layout I will use a gauge to solder in the other rail of the
> track - take the assembly out, glue the wood ties in place - and then
> solder the completed track into the layout. One rail soldered to PC
> ties will give me a perfect flex-track I guess.
> Until now I have done nothing but look at my new fine/expensive tools
> - If anybody here feels like killing my jig-idea please do so before
> I make another false move.
> (The fishbone idea comes from www.fielder-rowe.freeserve.co.uk
> On their page about tracklaying a jig is shown. I think that one is an
> overkill, allthough I would by one if I could find it for sale
> somewhere. But I believe that my own version - as described above -
> will do the job).
> Any objections, opinions? I will recieve any input with gratitude.
> BTW I saw in a danish HO periodical a rail-cutter named Xuron
> Is this the tool that was recommended here some time ago?
> I didn't pay much notice to it then, as I thought handlaying tracks
> was well beyond my horizon. And here I am. Was Xuron the name
> regards Ole Rosted, Denmark
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