Building manual point/switch throw and.......

Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
....I’m trying to do the trick using a a barrel lock. trouble is I can’t find any here in the USA smaller than 2” (tried local hardware store, ACE, that normally has everything, the big box stores Lowe’s and Home Depot and the internet of course. Does anyone have any ideas where i could source them Stateside?

I’d quite like to get switch/point levers commercially too. I don’t need electric and I don’t like either the LGB or TrainLine manual ones. The Heyn ones look good but by the time I ship a few over to the US, the price seems to climb. I’d like something that looks like a 1:1 point lever but in 16mm/Ft scale. I want a positive throw, not sprung, and something that will stand up to being outside in the heat, humidity and daily irrigation. Again any ideas? I can’t find anything hence trying to build my own.

Rik (Ge_Rik) I’ve been trying to copy your design, but I’m being a bit cack-handed!
 
P

phils2um

Registered
11 Sep 2015
259
34
Ann Arbor, Michigan
A quick search of the web turned up a Sugatsune BL-40. 40mm (just over 1-1/2 inches). Stainless steel with nickel plated brass bolt. Price is a bit steep at $10. I'm sure others can be found.

Phil S.
 
TLR

TLR

anything to do with model L/S loco's boats etc
24 Oct 2009
468
6
62
Clacton on sea Essex
How about constructing a barrel bolt using a a piece of brass tube with a flat piece of brass soldered to one side to form a fixing with a bit of brass rod inside, the barrel could be slotted to form a keyway.
All you would need to do is either solder or screw a leg onto the side of the brass rod and attach the end of it to the tie bar on the point, your keyway corresponding to the throw of the point blade.

Shaun
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
A quick search of the web turned up a Sugatsune BL-40. 40mm (just over 1-1/2 inches). Stainless steel with nickel plated brass bolt. Price is a bit steep at $10. I'm sure others can be found.

Phil S.
Thanks Phil. Yes, there are a few 1.5” bolts out there and i will try and see if that length works. Good find.
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
How about constructing a barrel bolt using a a piece of brass tube with a flat piece of brass soldered to one side to form a fixing with a bit of brass rod inside, the barrel could be slotted to form a keyway.
All you would need to do is either solder or screw a leg onto the side of the brass rod and attach the end of it to the tie bar on the point, your keyway corresponding to the throw of the point blade.

Shaun
Thanks Shaun. Good suggestion. I’m not sure if my metal working skills are up to that, but I’ll give it a go. It’s the only way I’ll learn!
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
2,674
89
56
Royston
Martin On, it's good to see you're being pointed in the right direction.
Have a go at making some, if it doesn't work out, you could always switch to another method.
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
I got hold of a 1.5” barrel bolt (thank you Amazon) for the princely sum of $5.

Not exactly what I wanted but it seems to work. This is prototype one.

I’ve attached a pin to the end of the bolt and this in turn is through a hole in a brass picture hook. That gives both the attachment to the point bar and acts as a universal joint.

I carved out a piece from the barrel bolt to provide the correct (ish!) throw.

Obviously when it comes to an operational version the measurements will be more accurate and the whole thing will be built with greater care and made to look better.

For my station area, I’m still looking for a more sophisticated device and may have to go down the Heyn route. However for the fiddle yard area this will do just fine. The bolt can be sited well away from the point/switch itself by using a longer rod. That would mean all the bolts could be at the edge of the fiddle yard (which will be a wood construction somewhat off the ground, to save the bending and kneeling). As the rest of the line is essentially at ground level, the things may not work quite so well.

Anyway, it’s a start.
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122941_621bc847af596cf01eab12c7a4c58f2d.jpeg
 
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Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
Just sitting with a glass of red, pondering...... Has anyone done this? Would it work? What pitfalls do you see?

Barrel bolt mounted on fence. Connected by by bike brake cable to point/switch. Bike cables are enclosed, flexible, weatherproof, cheap.

What do you all think?
122943_eccac8948febaaec9070917997882f5e.jpeg
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,832
58
Pennsylvania, USA
I got hold of a 1.5” barrel bolt (thank you Amazon) for the princely sum of $5.

Not exactly what I wanted but it seems to work. This is prototype one.

I’ve attached a pin to the end of the bolt and this in turn is through a hole in a brass picture hook. That gives both the attachment to the point bar and acts as a universal joint.

I carved out a piece from the barrel bolt to provide the correct (ish!) throw.

Obviously when it comes to an operational version the measurements will be more accurate and the whole thing will be built with greater care and made to look better.

For my station area, I’m still looking for a more sophisticated device and may have to go down the Heyn route. However for the fiddle yard area this will do just fine. The bolt can be sited well away from the point/switch itself by using a longer rod. That would mean all the bolts could be at the edge of the fiddle yard (which will be a wood construction somewhat off the ground, to save the bending and kneeling). As the rest of the line is essentially at ground level, the things may not work quite so well.

Anyway, it’s a start.View attachment 251886
View attachment 251887
View attachment 251888
View attachment 251889
I've done the very same thing. However, I like your connection to the point bar, using a picture frame hanger and brass nail. I found that a spring needed to be placed in the linkage. I couldn't find a barrel bolt with the exact same throw distance as the switch points. So as Greg mentioned, a spring allows over travel of the throw ( barrel bolt )
 
David1226

David1226

Registered
24 Oct 2009
3,503
518
69
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
I am assuming that the expression 'spring' refers to an omega loop, as used in smaller scales, to give flexability in both directions, i.e stretching and compression, and allows for fine tuning of the throw.

David
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,527
193
70
Co. Mayo
Remote mechanical actuation of points/switches isn't a problem. I use Fishing rod line guided round bends (corners - 90 degree) with small-bore plastic tubing. For the spring, I leave the manual point actuator in place and set the point for its' diverging route so it's always in tension for the main route. Although this is in my trailer, I have one point which has six foot of line and two 90 degree turns to reach that said point. Because the route of the cable/line is alongside the track I have a simple bell crank to pull the point.
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
I’ve been looking to incorporate a spring in the system. My mind has wandered back to the 00 point levers in the ‘60s which had small omega loops, but I’m not sure where to find them or how to make them.
I also have gone through the fishing line thought process with bell cranks or pullies, and that led me to the cycle brake levers.....
I hadn’t thought of leaving the existing manual actuators in place, but that’s where i suffer from ingress of sand ( we live within yards of the Gulf of Mexico) which gets into nearly everything with the assistance of the every other day irrigation system from April to November.
I like the idea of a manual system using either fishing line or bike cables. Yes, I do need to incorporate springs and perhaps omega loops.

....back to an internet search!
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,454
203
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I’ve been looking to incorporate a spring in the system. My mind has wandered back to the 00 point levers in the ‘60s which had small omega loops, but I’m not sure where to find them or how to make them.
I also have gone through the fishing line thought process with bell cranks or pullies, and that led me to the cycle brake levers.....
I hadn’t thought of leaving the existing manual actuators in place, but that’s where i suffer from ingress of sand ( we live within yards of the Gulf of Mexico) which gets into nearly everything with the assistance of the every other day irrigation system from April to November.
I like the idea of a manual system using either fishing line or bike cables. Yes, I do need to incorporate springs and perhaps omega loops.

....back to an internet search!
Actually if you used fishing line with a Metal Loop and a couple of Nails on the Fence. Then a Spring could be used to return the point or even Signal to Normal or Main Line if you like for Point, Danger for a Signal. Then when you want to Reverse you just swop the Loop to the other Nail. You would need to get a bit inventive with how you run the line to the Point or Signal but only where you need to do 90%, perhaps a Plumbing Small Bend would do. Also use Wire for the Fishing Line, in UK Wire Fishing line is available for Pike Fishing, I imagine similar would be available State Side.
 
ge_rik

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
9,549
93
Cheshire
www.riksrailway.blogspot.com
In my 00 and 009 days, I made simplified omega loops with paper clip wire. Rather than an omega shape, mine were a simple zig zag - the longer the zig and zag, the more spring. For outdoor use, phosphor bronze wire would be more weatherproof (and springy).

Rik
PS - Just remembered. Where space was tight, I would just put a zig (or a zag) in the link. Much easier to bend than an omega shape.
 
Last edited:
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
1,391
95
65
Weston-super-Mare
On seeing post #8 with the photos my first thoughts were "this needs an omega loop" seems I have been beaten to it.
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
Thanks everyone.

The idea of putting a spring in is ideal, particularly using a zig zag rather than an omega loop. I’ll try that. So far, using the picture hook has provided the flexibility, as the pin sliding through the hook has been a stand in for the spring - giving a self setting adjustment for the distance if you see what I mean.

The article on Bowden cables is very valuable Rik. Thank you for that. I’m about to go off to a local bike store to look at their cables. That may be the answer I’m looking for. Combining that with a barrel bolt at one end and a zig zag spring or omega loop at the other may do the trick.

I wasn’t aware of the Bachmann switch throws Sean. Certainly deserves looking at.

I’m still attracted by the Heyn throws, but like all the others, my thought is that they will require constant maintenance to keep out sand and grit. It’s enough of a pain getting the stuff out of the switch/point blades!

Anyway, once again, thank you all for the suggestions and advice. I’ll report back after the bike shop visit and further experimentation.