26 October 2009

First turnouts continued

In the past week I kept on working on my first two hand-made turnouts. So far I completed a left and a right #6 turnout. Still missing is the isolation of the frog -I need a jeweler saw- and to glue the quickstick ties.

Overall I'm rather satisfied with the results even though I have to improve in many of the steps in order to acheive both a good working and good looking turnout. For example I need to make better soldering applying less solder, make less evident gaps in the PCB ties and, most of all, be more precise when soldering the wing rails and the frog point in order to fully comply with the NMRA specifications.

Anyway, these are the lates photos taken.

On the left the first two turnouts with stock rails already filed and in place;
on the right the first completed turnout with frogpoints, guard rails and
switch point installed

Close-ups of the frog area and the point area

Hopefully, I'll do better with the next ones.

See you soon...

20 October 2009

Benchwork construction, part 15

During the last weekend I continued with the benchwork construcion. Now all the three framework sections of the lower level are completed and mounted on the legs with supporting gussets.

Last section of the U-shaped lower lever of the benchwork mounted on two legs with braces and gussets.

On top of the legs are two pulley to lift the entire section. Still missing is one of the two pulley mounted on the ceiling to complete the lifting mechanism. Mounted on the wall you can see one of the two folding brackets used to support the benchwork section when lifted up and the two slides to guide the vertical movement of the structure.

Next step is to apply a base paint to the wooden part of this section, mount the last pulley to the ceiling and start thinking how to build the sub-roadbed. Sheets of extruded foam? Plywood? Open grid wiht splines?

See you soon...

My very first hand-made turnout and few photos

I couldn't resist and wait for another week-end so I started building my very first turnout using the FastTrack material.
Before starting with the building process I took some photos of what I ordered. Here are few shots.

A bag of Micro Engineering code 55 rails and one of PCB ties

A pack of QuickStick #6 turnout ties, a complimentary laser-cut hex-wrench handler as shipped and mounted with a hex-wrench for the points/frog and stock-rail filing tools

Points/frog for #6 and stock-rail filing tools, code 55 #6 turnout fixture and a very nice N-scale FastTrack billboard I got for free in my order

Then I started building a left-hand turnout following (hopefully) the very well-done instructions and videos on the FastTrack website and on a CD included with the shipment.
So far I've cut the PCB ties to the right length then I cut the required gaps in order to isolate the rails and the frog. After that I cut, bent and filed the guard rails and made the frog point using the points/frog filing tool. Then cut the two stock-rails and filed the base of the rail web where the points will touch the stock rails using the stock-rail filing tool. Finally I soldered the stock rails to the ties.

Considering that it's been quite a long time since I used the soldering iron and all the rest I'm pretty happy for what I've done up to this point. Here's a photo of the current status.

Current status of my first turnout

See you soon with my progress on my first turnout construcion...

15 October 2009

Fast-Track order

Today my first order to Fast-Track has arrived. After thinking about whether to go for self made turnouts or not a couple of weeks ago I made my mind and placed an order for everything needed to build few #6 code 55 N scale turnouts.

Since I discovered the Fast-Track website I was impressed by the quality of their products and the engineering process behind their construction. Eventually, I decided to give me a chance to experiment with building my own turnouts.

Basically, I ordered the #6 fixture, the point and stock-rail filing tool, few code 55 rails and few #6 turnout quickstick to get started.

The shipment was perfect and arrived right on time. Included in the package was also a very nice N scale sign with the Fast-Track logo and a laser-cut tool to better handle the hex key required to tighten the point or stock-rail tool.

So far I'd give ten out of ten to Fast-Track product and service. Hopefully, my self-constructed turnouts won't be too much worse than that!

See you soon...

04 October 2009

Benchwork construction, part 14

Yet another post on the benchwork construction but this is the first in english.

Today I've added the third benchwork section of the lower level. Still missing are the pulleys to lift this section and the bracing to support the horizontal iron beams that made the main framework of the benchwork.

Now this section is laying on top of the two folding brackets that keep it lifted in the "up-position". As soon as I can find an electrical drill powerful enough make holes in the concrete ceiling I'll fix the pulleys to the ceiling and get the rope through the two legs pulleys of this section and the benchwork will be done. At least the first level.

Some new photos to better show the current status soon.

See you soon...

01 October 2009

Hello World!

Well, here I am.

For those of you who don't speak italian and couldn't follow this blog, shortly I'm going to post few articles to summarize "the story so far".

In the meantime just wanted to tell you an incredible strory. Today I received a call from a guy in Italy who received my last (actually second to last) purchase orderby error. He got my package in his mailbox and didn't know anything about it. Instead he's waiting for his guitar cabinet he ordered in the US as well.
Looks like the "wonderful" Italian custom personnel has exchanged two shipments from the US and sent mine to him and vice-versa!
He was so kind to call me on the phone and now we're arranging to ship my material to me. Hopefully I'll get my stuff very soon, finally.

See you soon...