Kankool trackwork – Part II …

Hi all,

I have made more progress on the Kankool turnouts.  I have now fitted tiebars.

I have always wanted to have tiebars that look as realistic as possible, within the bounds of practicality for HO scale and reliable operation.

Ever since I saw a post on Rene Gourley’s Pembroke blog, I have wanted to achieve a similar result.  Here is another link to a photo of his tiebars in situ.

Some time ago, Rene kindly sent me one of his 3D printed tiebars.  I had planned to look at his design and see if it could be adapted to my new track standards.

I put the whole thing on the back burner for a while, but resurrected it nearly 12 months ago when it was getting to the point that I was going to need something to be able to complete the turnouts.

I put the idea to a mate who is a bit of an expert on 3D design.  He thought the idea had merit, so I left it with him to come up with a design.

Over the last few months however, I began to have reservations about the 3D print idea.  Because the plastic tiebars would have to be glued to the points, I was worried about the mechanical strength of such a bond.  Also, as the 3D printing thing is still relatively new, the materials are untested over time.  Will they deteriorate over the next twenty years?

When Andrew and I built the P87 turnouts for Bowen Creek, we used thin pieces of printed circuit board that would allow for a soldered joint to the points.  So began the manufacture of a prototype.

tiebar

tiebar

My design uses brass strip soldered together in a similar design to Rene’s.  It still allows the tiebar to slide underneath the second sleeper back from the toe.  It also has a drive tube underneath into which the wire-in-tube turnout activator will fit.

I had to have a method of holding the tiebar underneath the turnout whilst soldering to the points.  So, using a piece of old melamine shelving, I marked out and routed a recess for the tiebar to sit in.

tiebar in place in recess

 

The turnout was then located over the tiebar and clamped in position.

 

Soldering the points to the tiebars requires a great deal of care.  It is very easy to solder the points to the stockrails!  To reduce the risk of this, and also to reinforce the soldered joint, small pieces of brass strip are soldered to the tiebars then to the points.  The point is clamped against the stockrail then the brass strip carefully soldered in place.

 

Once the first point is soldered in place, the turnout is repositioned so the other point can be fixed in position.  Again, the point is clamped to the stockrail, and ensuring the opposite point is the correct distance from the stockrail to allow for wheel clearance, the second point is soldered in place.

The finished tiebar!  It is then tested for binding and to ensure both points sit snugly against each stockrail.  The turnout can then be removed from the melamine base.  The plan is to temporarily clamp the turnout in position on the roadbed and connect the actuator and test the operation using the wire-in-tube.  Once it is proven to work effectively, the turnout will be painted and prepared for final installation on the roadbed.

A similar recess for the tiebar was routed out in the cork roadbed at each location.

 

Cheers.

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Posted on July 22, 2016, in Kankool, Trackwork and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Kenneth Thompson

    Ian,

    I’m a new visitor to your blog and I’m already impressed with your beautiful track work. I’ve built a few turnouts using similar methods as yours with individual tie plates, slide plates and such with parts from Proto87 Stores. I make my turnouts with heel blocks and hinge the points with thin metal joint bar material soldered to the points and the fixed rail. This method works great and gives very reliable conductivity to the points. I love the method you’ve come up with for the point rods. Thanks for sharing all this neat stuff.

    Ken Thompson
    So. Milwaukee, WI, USA

    • Hi Ken,

      Thanks for the kind words. I certainly enjoy building trackwork, in particular, turnouts. I am currently laying rails on quite a fair bit of the CV track bases, and enjoying that too. Keep an eye out for a new blog update very soon.

      Cheers.

  2. Much nicer engineering than my bridging.
    I wonder if you could use the conductive material to positively wire the points, rather than relying on rubbing as most of us do.

    You are right to be suspicious of the glue: I’ve had a couple of failures. Time will tell whether the plastic will last!

    Cheer
    Rene

    • Hi Rene,

      The points are electrically connected at the heel so continuity should be good. Both Andrew and I were certainly worried about both the glue bond and the longevity of the plastic.

      Cheers.

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