Track making/making tracks: the good, the bad and the ugly, advice and thoughts wanted, explanation is giving(incl mistakes)

justme igor

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Henri Henri
Yes, all my tracks are(some not easy) accessible.
For maintenance i must figure out a lot more, and i want do a minimum.
For possible "lazy" cleaning/maintaining those slots, i think something like a small shovel/bend nail or strip or 3d printed thingy that will fit in those slots and that attached to a loco?
But those are future problems, not entirely? They need to calculated in also.
I am still not entirely familiar to how the forum works, but if it is appreciated/wanted i can make a "project" slide show? And post it?
 

Henri

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I am still not entirely familiar to how the forum works, but if it is appreciated/wanted i can make a "project" slide show? And post it?

Yes please do so! There are many topics on this forum with 'builds'. Depending on the subject you can choose where you want to post it.

Large Scale Pictures seems like a perfect place to post your project!
 

dunnyrail

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Henri Henri
Yes, all my tracks are(some not easy) accessible.
For maintenance i must figure out a lot more, and i want do a minimum.
For possible "lazy" cleaning/maintaining those slots, i think something like a small shovel/bend nail or strip or 3d printed thingy that will fit in those slots and that attached to a loco?
But those are future problems, not entirely? They need to calculated in also.
I am still not entirely familiar to how the forum works, but if it is appreciated/wanted i can make a "project" slide show? And post it?
Probably best to do a slide show in whatever software that you have then post that to YouTube then post the link on here.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I think the maintenance of keeping the grooves clear of debris, and the additional situation of the buildup of water, even with drainage holes would convince me to use the flat steel strap in slotted ties method. You would use less material, smoother running, more prototypical appearance. It would take more labor to cut up the "ties" but I think maintenance would be less.

I gather the idea here is cost is highest priority, maintenance next, and appearance last.

Greg
 

korm kormsen

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just for putting things right:
the pics, the shown layout are from that guy, UTJ, who published the .stl files for that loco.
(these were the first pics, that came to mind, when i wanted to demonstrate my point.)

i mself used curtain rails, before i had enough brass track. (indoors)

 

justme igor

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korm kormsen korm kormsen .
Yes the loco and tender are from utj train.
I downloaded quite a lot from thingiverse
Nice thinking of the curtain rails.

Greg Elmassian Greg Elmassian .
I gather the idea here is cost is highest priority, maintenance next, and appearance last.

Sorry, not really, i try to find a mid solution cost wise and appearance.
For tracks in site close range, the appearance will be very important. For tracks completely out of site they just must work.
To be honest, 1500 foot of track(to start with) for 10 dollar for 3 foot is a bit to much for my wallet.
(72 foot for 190 dollar was the cheapest i could find up to now. Ex transport.)
My 3d print results are looking very good, it takes only a incredible amount of time to print them: about 3,5 foot per day.
My own made wooden tracks are not bad, if a may say for myself, but they will be in site but far off(+6 foot).
I will try to post a picture tomorrow.

The ties for flat steel strap are very easy and fast to make, it will be in some other experiment.
Indeed the cleaning of those slots would be a hassle, even with a fitted loco for it, if it will work properly.
Off topic: I would like to give to your email a decent answer, thank for the explanation!

Thanks for the feedback
 

Greg Elmassian

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So a balance between cost and appearance. I think the steel strap would still be my choice, it can look quite good, and the cost is comparable to your all wood track. I also question flat pieces of wood out in the weather for warping.

In any case, we are all excited to see your progress as you start towards your 1500 foot goal. I have a small space, so only 850 feet of track.

My layout is not very photogenic at this point, more to running trains and lots of them. Below is the switchyard on the side of the house, not quite complete.

This is probably opposite from what you want, all Aristo craft stainless rail with stainless rail clamps. For what I do, I must have track power and DCC.

20181001_173021.jpg
 

Paul M

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Start small, and let your empire grow, that way you can try the various described methods
 

korm kormsen

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...
To be honest, 1500 foot of track(to start with) for 10 dollar for 3 foot is a bit to much for my wallet.
(72 foot for 190 dollar was the cheapest i could find up to now. Ex transport.)
...

for wallet-friendly track, look at LGB R1 curves. (and/or old(brass) playmobil curves) they are easily bent to bigger radius or to straights.
being in Holland, you might look in the "used" section from Grotspoor.com or on ebay.de
1 to 1,50 eu should buy you a foot of these.

and, with so many people out of work, now there should come enough cheap offers.
 

justme igor

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This is probably opposite from what you want,
Not entirely, good looking track

Anyway,
For my endeavors on making experimental track, with scrap pieces of wood and some 3d printed stuff:
20200422_084027.jpg IMG-20200401-WA0025.jpeg
 

justme igor

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For the pro's among us...yes i know i needed to drill before i put the nail in.
Yes i used the wrong pvac glue...d2 instead of d4, did not have d4 on the shelf.
D2 is only for soft wood indoor and d4 can be used for hardwood and can be for water contact outdoors.
But it is still experimental and still far away from the complete "end product" and the limits of my capabilities.
For 2 days playing and some scrap(firewood)?!?!?!
Incl making a mold/jig for the curved(2,5 foot radius) and jig for the straight track.
(plus one day for the glue to set)
I think this is not a bad result, if i am mistaken, please be honest.

The hardwood is i thought bankirai, soft wood is standard timber, the black tracks are made from pla filament cured at 70c in the oven.
The experiment with normal and "foam" pvc sheet(same design of track)), i wont recommend: to soft and the pvc glue (even from griffon 88's) wont stick properly.
Maybe it can work with "high tack" polymer kit(thick glue).

My 3d track idea's where coming from thingiverse from osrailway, how ever i was not satisfied with that result (especially the couplers)so i used it as a base to develop my own.
Major difference: i would like it permanent, he has other goals.

As always: comments thoughts ideas ect are welcome.
 

PhilP

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I would be interested to know how 3D printed track works-out on cost?
Also,
Does the 3D track shrink / warp / twist when left outside?

On a slightly different topic:
I have a couple of cheap 'tub' wagons, laser-cut MDF, which I am purposefully leaving outside.. One has small drain holes, the other not. Both were sealed before gluing, then normally painted (rattle-can).
Of course, since I did this, our weather has not been as wet as usual! :rolleyes:

Would be an interesting experiment, to put a bit of weed membrane down, add some grit, and your track pieces, and then see how it stands up to being just neglected? :nerd:
 

justme igor

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PhilP PhilP
From what i have calculated on the weight of pla i was printing on, the costs would be 20Euro for 6.2 meter/20,4 foot
My printer is busy for 12 hours to print 1.2 meters/3.9 foot, if, big if, everything works oke.
My bed size is 35cm x 35cm/~1 foot by 1 foot.
If printed in abs (lego plastic) the price is the same, but very very difficult to print for me.
In pla plastic i print 3% larger and cure it in the oven (at 70c/158f) to make sure it will stay "measurement fixed" and not shrink or wrap.

That would be a nice experiment, but i am going to play "dirty":
I will let them sink in a bath of wood stain for 6 hours to a day, and create a vacuum :angel:
I think untreated that those small pieces will not last 10 years, (especially embedded), if i look in my canal at the wood(much thicker) after 30 years there are some deteriorations.

Untreated mdf outside, it will thicken up and deteriorate within 2 years, how ever there is mdf and mdf.
Sinds a year or ten there is a mdf that had a special treatment, with very concentrated vinegar or something similar.
They are changing chemically the cell structure or the cellulose in the wood itself? cant remember precisely anymore.
They say it wil have a lifespan of 30 years plus...?
I have a suspicion that mdf used for your model is not the "regulair" mdf but possibly enhanced?
Sorry to say i am not familiar with rattle can.(yet)

As far for my experiments/projects i would like to do some more before i decide what is going to be it.
De grootspoor has sometimes some secondhand stuf or chinees plastic rails?
A lot to explore, first in line with cold rolled steel strips or bended steel rap.
Btw as you look close at those pictures i posted you can clearly see that i need to change/work on some dimensions.
 

Madman

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Interesting subject. I've breezed through out of the replies, so some of what I may say may already have been said. From experience as a professional carpenter with fifty plus years behind me, I would not be too keen on using wood.

Here's my thought. The exotic hardwoods like IPE', and the other's you mentioned are excellent for structures like decks which are exposed to the elements. But when you mill them down to the sizes we need to build track and small items, even these woods loose their ability to withstand the kind of weather you experience in your country.

When I was a young carpenter, I thought I could make anything from wood and I did. I made some nice outdoor furniture and the like from wood that was supposed to be good in the weather, like Redwood and Cedar. Even pressure treated lumber needs painting, as it will dry and absorb all kinds of moisture that cannot escape quickly enough to keep the wood from softening.

After some time, my mindset changed to, If it's going to be outdoors it has to be made of stone or steel.

One last suggestion. Why not use plastic track ? It's readily available. Playmobil track comes to mind.
 

Paul2727

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Something worth taking a look at.
A year or so ago a 32 mm narrow gauge line was built 75 miles across Scotland. They used extruded pvc track sections. (Apparently 40,000 of them.)
I know the gauge is smaller, but the photos on the link do show the profile. Maybe something like this could be produced in 45 mm in a different medium. Unless you happen to have a friendly extrusion company on speed dial.;)
Regards,
Paul.
 

Gizzy

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Something worth taking a look at.
A year or so ago a 32 mm narrow gauge line was built 75 miles across Scotland. They used extruded pvc track sections. (Apparently 40,000 of them.)
I know the gauge is smaller, but the photos on the link do show the profile. Maybe something like this could be produced in 45 mm in a different medium. Unless you happen to have a friendly extrusion company on speed dial.;)
Regards,
Paul.
Now if they could make that for 45mm so you could slot in some brass code 332, I would be interested....
 

Paul M

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One last suggestion. Why not use plastic track ? It's readily available. Playmobil track comes to mind
Hasn't some one on the forum used plastic track with his live steamers?
 

korm kormsen

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this project keeps spinning around in my head.

on one hand, you want to use wood - on the other hand, you are into 3D printing.
why not combine the two?

how would it be, to print not the entire track, but just the rails and screw them on wooden sleepers or boards?