Scratchbuilt Turnouts Index





Getting Started







For materials required check the Materials List.





Patterns and templates







The first step to scratchbuilding turnouts is to come up with a pattern of the different configurations. Having built hundreds of  HOm turnouts both for customers and for my own layout, it was relatively easy to convert the measurements from 1:87 to 1:22.5


Of course the more information you have the better. That being said, there's also a point where one needs to decide just how true to scale the turnouts need to be. One needs to compromise if one is to run "off the shelf" rolling stock and would like to have friends being able to run their stuff. If it is all strictly to scale, interchanging rolling stock will be just wishful thinking.







Template for RhB turnout (12 frog; approx. # 4.5)





I draw the templates in CADrail to full scale (1:22.5), then print out at 1:1 ratio and assemble the tiled sections. The template gets glued to a piece of 1/2" thick pressure treated ply wood.








Assembled paper template on ply wood.





The ties are  then pre-cut to the various length required and immersed in wood stain. I use both oil based and latex based stain in different shades. The oil based penetrates the wood quite well. The latex based coats. Time will tell which will give better results but being as Red Cedar ages to a nice grey I'm more interested in the preservative effect of the stain than anything else.


The ties soak in the stain for 2-3 days, after which I pour the stain through a strainer to remove "gook" and ties, let them drip-dry for a few hours and then wipe off excess stain.


They are left to dry completely for a day or two. The latex based dry quickly and the oil based takes a bit longer.
Once dry they are glued to the template. I use Weldbond at full strength, this should hold things in place for the next 100 years.








Ties on template.





There are variations in the hue of the stain, depending on the type of stain.
If I decide that the effect doesn't look realistic I may decide to touch up the stain later on.


This is still a live and learn process. I have always used different hues in the smaller scale and it looked natural. It remains to be seen how this works in 2m.












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