|BUILDING A TURNOUT
JANUARY 4-6, 2009
The loop is done, but the weather has deteriorated, so it's a good time to do a project that can be done in the garage. I've built about 90
turnouts in G scale, and now it's time to try one in inch-and-a-half scale. I'll try adapting the same techniques to the larger size.
First the ties. I found some "cull" lumber at Home Depot, and cut it into lengths
of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 inches. I had enough for 2 turnouts for only 10
In G scale, I would file the base of the stock rails in the area where the point
rails will join it. Filing didn't work, so I used a hacksaw and pliers to snap off
Here's the result. It still needs a lot of filing. So I ended up cutting it on the
band saw. (Sorry no picture of the cutting operation).
The part of the stock rails that meets the point rails has no support on the side
facing the points, so I drilled holes in the base of the rail and used drywall
One of the stock rails is now installed. If I had warmer weather, I would have
painted the rails before installing them.
The second stock rail is now installed, and you can see the basic shape of this
turnout, a wye that's custom made for this particular spot in the track.
Next we build the frog. I started with one of the diverging rails, filing the rail
head on one side, and using the bandsaw and file, the rail and base on the other
For a length of three inches from the tip, the rail head is filed and the section
bent to give it a straight route. This is the lower side of the rail in this photo.
Here's the first par of the frog in its approximate location. Notice the rails are
now painted. Monday was warm enough to spray paint. Then the rain moved
We're starting on the second piece of the frog now. Here is a closeup view of
how the rail head is filed to a taper. I will cut and file the other side tomorrow.