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Old 04-25-2012, 11:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raised bed for the railroad

Well, I guess I have to start this topic all over again...
This is the last picture that I took of the process, it was erased along with the rest of the thread, so I thought I'd post it again for reference.



I've gotten a bit more done since this picture, I'll have to take a couple pictures tomorrow. Today was cool and rainy so nothing got done outside.
As to the discussion of what kind of top fill to use on the raised bed, the opinion seemed to be pretty much against using pea gravel because it's usually rounded off and doesn't lock together the way the sharp edged gravel does. Just to clarify, this layer of top fill will be used under the ties, not as ballast. It seems too big to look like ballast in 1/20th scale. Someone had mentioned using chicken grit from the feed store, the stone kind, not the oyster shell, for ballast. I have a small bag of that to experiment with. It looks to be pretty close to a nice scale size for ballast. For the raised bed top fill, the best thing I could find is the pea gravel that Quickcrete sells for mixing with their readycrete product. It seems to be all broken and sharp edged, and it's the same size as pea gravel. I have a bag of that that I was going to use as aquarium gravel, but I found out the tank leaks, so I'll try the gravel on the raised bed. I should get the rounded pea gravel for the aquarium anyway, once I get the tank re-sealed. I'll be glad when it's warm enough to get the fish back out into the pond without the temperature shock they'd get right now. I don't want to lose my big fish.

Anyway, I had several lengths of my 4 inch gauge track out in the raised bed to see what that looks like. That's pretty tempting. :-) It's code 332 brass that I'm using for 2 foot gauge mine tram rail for 1/6th scale. I'll have to get a picture or 2 of that also. I got the rail well used off of e bay in 12 inch lengths. It's a pain to use with the big ties that short, I need to solder a couple pieces together to make 2 foot sections. I'm sure I could just solder a rail joiner to both rails and it would be done. Most of the rail pieces don't have the hole drilled in the end for the track joiners, or I could just do it that way.
I wonder where I could get 3 inch wheels for small 1/6th scale freight cars. They would be 18 inch diameter in that scale. The crew could use a 20 foot flatcar for hauling ties and rail to the end of the line. :-)
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

Another thing, I have no idea what size the screws are for the track joiners for this code 332 brass track, but I know I don't have any with the right thread. I assume that they're metric. What I did was to re-thread the holes with a 2-56 tap. I do have short screws for 2-56 to hold the rail joiners on the rail. It seems that the metric holes are just enough smaller than the 2-56 that they can be re-threaded fairly easily. If I get ambitious, I might try drilling the holes in the other track pieces so that I can thread them also, for the rail joiner screws.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

Miss Amber,

Well consulting my tables gives me Imperial UNC 2-56 as a number 51 drill size. This equates as 1.702mm -so I assume the original hole was tapped to coarse M1.5 (?) This is fairly uncommon -even in a metric country! If all else fails then continue to re-tap to UNC or re-tap them to coarse M2.

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

If you have Aristo track the tap is 2 mm. When I tap other supplier track for the Aristo joiners I have had a bad experience breaking taps -- the small bit is very fragile and to succeed you need to have a vise to lock the track down and some sort of rig to keep the tap exactly perpendicular at all times. A hand held tap holder doesn't seem to do it. A drill press rotating at a VERY slow speed is ideal.

What I'ld like to know is how the factory taps all those track ends.

I like the joiners as they come from Aristo because they come with socket head screws which are easy to work (once you get the bit in the screw head). I put a piece of paper under the track ends that I am joining to catch the inevitable dropped screw. Some track came with a Philips head type joining screw which had the same 2mm tap but which were not as easy to use.

The new Bachmann brass track has joiners in the same concept as Aristo but the whole is in a different location in the track web. Be aware of this when joining Bachmann track to other brands, particularly Aristo. I have a case of new Bachmann but I haven't checked the Bachmann tap size.


Why have you chosen NOT to use rail clamps, or at least some clamps around the switches and where you feed power? The switches often need maintenance and it's easier to remove when there are clamps at all three rail ends; and power feed connectors go easier on clamp screws than on the screws that hold track to ties -- the Aristo style (or Bachmann style) clamp screws can't be used effectiovely to hook up power
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

I haven't gotten anywhere near doing switches yet, in fact, I don't own any at this time. :-)
I will try the idea of clamps for the switches when I get to that point, I can see the advantage of being able to remove the switch for maintenance. I'm not concerned about conductivity, my engines will all be battery powered, (all 2 of them). I bought a bag of Bachmann rail joiners to use on this code 332 rail that I have, and you're right, the holes don't line up perfectly. The hole in the joiner is slightly lower than the hole in the rail. I didn't have too much trouble getting the screw to go into the hole in the track so that worked out anyway.
The code 332 rail is just for the 1/6th scale mine tram, I'm using code 215 Llagas Creek track, I have 6 lengths of that, and code 250 rail and my own ties for the F scale track. I'm going to need to buy a lot more rail, if I mail order it, I'll get code 215 aluminum, the nearest large scale train shop (100 miles away) doesn't carry code 215, that's why I have some code 250 rail, from them.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

Its a good start amber. Looking a little closer at your picture I think you got too big of rail. That must be Code 3000 or something like that in the background.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

Actually, it's code 2625 rail. :-) It's 20 pound mine rail that I picked up last fall From a place up in the Copper Country of Michigan's upper peninsula. I have a rail size chart that I copied from the internet that gives the measurements of the rail and what weight the rail of a given size is. That's how I figured out what the rail is. It was quite the adventure getting those rails home!



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Old 04-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

The axle on the trailer is not as far back as it should be, so we could only do about 45mph before the trailer would start to fishtail. 150 miles at 45mph...in the dark...I must be insane...
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

The weather was nice today, so I got more done on the raised bed, among other things.





As you can see, the yard has a pretty good drop from the front yard toward the back. I started with 1 board half in the ground, and now I'm 3 boards down to get into the ground, roughly an 18 inch drop in 32 feet. That's a pretty steep grade for a G scale engine. I'd have to have a Shay to haul cars up a grade like that. :-)
My poor garden is still waiting for my attention, I tilled it but I can't plant it until the end of May due to possible frosts. I also have 2 other garden plots in the back yard to deal with. That doesn't leave much room for the railroad to expand.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: Raised bed for the railroad

The work continues on the raised bed. I haven't gotten too much done this week, too many other things going on, but I did get a bit more done.
The track crew of the Poor Rock Mining Company decided to lay a new spur track, they need anothe location to dump the tailings. They sent the crew out with a wagon load of track supplies.





The track crew is using a half finished side dump ore car to move the ties and rails to the end of the track. They have 1 rail ready to be spiked, and they're getting another rail ready to set on the ties.



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