Saturday, March 31, 2012

Turnout - Points, Closure Rails and Frog Rails

I more or less finished assembly of the #7 turnout today. First the drawbar was slid in place, under the stock rails. Next the points were installed. They hook up to slots in the tie plate. The other end of the points are locked to the drawbar with the help of a retainer plate which is glued to the drawbar.  CVT has made it possible to hook up switch machines and actuating linkage in slightly different ways, but I opted to do it this way since I intend to use my old Tortoise switch machines, mounted straight below the points.

There are small holes in the "hooks" of the points, intended for feeder wires, but of course, I forgot about that although the instructions are clear - solder the wires to the points before installing them. Luckily I managed to solder them in place afterwards, without damaging the ties.

Next came the closure rails. This was straightforward. Pieces of rail are cut to the appropriate length. At the frog end they are partly slid under the earlier installed frog block. At the point end, they simply end where the points begin. The rail for the diverging route had to be slightly bent, but as for the stock rails, the tie plates and the self gauging mechanism makes this a snap. I glued the rails in place with CA.

The frog is formed with two shorter pieces of rails, filed so that they form a sharp point. The CVT instructions explains this fairly well. Once filed and test fitted I glued the rails in place with CA.

Last, I glued styrene bolt bars to the frog block. I also glued rail-braces to the ties along the point area.

The CVT kit also includes parts to make a switchstand. The switch-stand seems quite fragile, so I intend to wait with that until later, when the turnouts are in place on the layout. Painting and weathering will also have to wait.

So for the time being, this turnout has to be considered completed. It looks good so far and was not that difficult to build. Hopefully the next one will be even less difficult and look even better when finished!

Last minute addition: An Ohm-meter showed that the foil strips, supposed to create electrical contact between the stock and closure rails, did not do their job. There simply was no contact. I tried to flood some solder between the foil and the rails, but with limited result. Instead I bent the foil up on top of the rail base, on the outside of each rail. Then it was possible to solder the foil to the rails, making contact. I wonder how this was meant to work reliably in the first place. I have to come up with something better for the future turnouts.

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