Workshop – Brass Points

A purchase of a quanitity of brass rail opens up the field for track building on a major scale! First task is to make some points to allow the stage 1 loop to link up to stage 2 track. The template (drawn at 100% in Adobe illustrator) for the first set of points (made from aluminium bar) was used again, just printed in reverse to make the mirror image right turn point...
Pic above has much of the work completed. Still to go – Pivot rails to be secured and switching mechanism to be designed and made. Chronological (mostly!) step by step follows, with the latest steps at the top.
Installed and tested. It all seemded to work well at first. Several issues have since arisen with regard to a tight point across the frog which some locos don't like and to do with electrical pick-up on LGB locos with pick-up sleds. They pick up reversed polarity power from the frog rail which extendes across the curved section. This shorts the circuit and cuts out the power controller, not good! Grinding and exopy insulation has been tried as a work around.
The switching arm with locating pin. Each pivot rail is locaterd by a small pin in the arm. No springs, just a hole at the end of the travel in each direction.
Completed and ready for installation. All seems to be good on the bench!

After they are pre-drilled, the sleepers are painted then spiked with small brass nails (eschutcheon pins). These are bent over with pincers to secure the rails. The frog has styrene strips to provide insulation, then epoxy glue over the top to hold it all in place. The left check rail shows a failed attempt to solder it to the main rail. Several sleepers were charred during this process!

Sleppers are cut from 9mmx9mm moulding, again, against the template. These are pinned in place with the rails to allow for mark-up of the spike holes.
Frog rails are ground to shape according to the template plan. Here it is tested for fit.
Pivot rails (and recesses on the main rails) are ground to shape. The bulk of material is removed with the bench grinder, whilst the small stuff is done with a cut-off wheel on the mini grinder
Laid out in position to double check length, then the check rails and frog rails are bent. The rail base was notched with the mini grinder and the rail annealed in the blow torch to ease the bending process.

Brass rail is bent by hand and then cut to length, against the template.

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