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Sprung Points

paulhards

Joined: 6-06-09

Topics: 1

Replies: 2

Posted: Sat 23rd Jul 2011, 7:39pm
Sprung Points

I am making a very rough and ready garden railway using steel bar.
I am using a second hand point which I hoped to use with a spring. I have tried some weedy springs from a general 'spring pack' but they don't pull the moving rail tight enough. However, even these pathetic springs derail my (quite light weight)general truck when it runs against them.
Are there any tips or tricks to help?
If I need to go to electric control (this sounds fun, as I could also control signals etc!) are there any places to find information ... in my N gauge model railway I used solenoids...
Any ideas would be very gratefully received.
Thanks
Paul.
 

Replies To This Post

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Sat 23rd Jul 2011, 7:54pm

Hi Paul. A lot depends on your point blades. Are they made in one piece and springy or are they jointed and more easily moved. If the former it may be worth chopping the blades and adding fishplates, make the chop above a sleeper so that both the cut ends are supported on a steel sleeper. The point may also need careful packing to get it level and allow the blades free movement. In an ideal situation you should be able to change the points with one finger, which with a spring may allow your truck to trail through. Use a longish spring, so that the force it gives doesn't increase too much as it is compressed, or a weighted point lever. Hope that this helps, difficult without seeing the point. Colin, High Legh
 

paulhards

Joined: 6-06-09

Topics: 1

Replies: 2

Posted: Sat 23rd Jul 2011, 8:41pm

Thanks for that really quick reply!
The point blades are solid bar and springy. There is a lever and they do move quite easily. Perhaps I could cut a notch so that the moving blade goes into the fixed rail (sorry I don't know the correct terms)as currently the moving blade (which has a very thin end) needs to be firmly against the outer blade to ensure the wheels take the turn.
I am not too keen on cutting the blades as the whole unit currently has a nice solid feel!
Thanks for your advice,
Paul.
 

Peter Beevers

Joined: 9-10-01

Topics: 3

Replies: 134

Posted: Sun 24th Jul 2011, 11:27am

Paul,
Alternatively, you say that your truck is lightweight - perhaps adding a little ballast weight would help??
At our railway (Swanley Park), lighter vehicles will not successfully negotiate our sprung point into the yard. This point uses aluminium rail & blades.
Peter
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Tue 26th Jul 2011, 8:45pm

If you are confident about your welding it is fairly easy to cut the point blades, say about 2 feet from the ends, and weld them to 3 or 4 tie bars made from 25 x 3 strip. You will need to pivot them as a unit, but taking the spring out allows them to lie easily against the stock rail, with only a light spring being needed. I dont taper the whole depth of the blade, just the top 8mm or so to clear the flange, takes a lot less cutting out. I have built a jig so that I can turn out 12m radius points in quantity, doing LH ones at the moment, RH ones and 3-way ones to come next. I have been looking at the possibility of using central door locking solenoids for point motors, the 5 wire ones are about £10 with postage, have a 15mm stroke and about a 5kg pull, worth an experiment I think. The switches to control signals should be operated by the tie bar, so that they indicate the position of the point, not just the motor. Colin, High Legh
 

paulhards

Joined: 6-06-09

Topics: 1

Replies: 2

Posted: Wed 27th Jul 2011, 9:45pm

Thank you for all the replies.
Colin - I love the idea of using central locking mechanisms. I am not clear about "just taper 8mm to clear the flange". Also not sure how best to site the pivot. If you don't mind, could you post photos or email them to me? A picture speaks a thousand words! I have bought a couple of points, but once I reach my station I will want to make some myself.
Thank you,
Paul.
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Thu 28th Jul 2011, 5:25pm

Hi Paul. Instead of cutting through the whole 25mm depth of the bar to make the taper at the end of the blade I just taper the top 8-10mm, what happens below that doesn't matter as long as there is sufficient clearance for the flanges. Makes for a lot less cutting with the angle grinder. Email me at colin@colinedmondson.com and I will send a photo of blades and pivot of the point I am building at the moment, I will be back to work on it this weekend. As we have orders for another 4 points on top of what we need for our extension, I will be keeping busy for the foreseeable future, perhaps we can give you a quote when the time comes to build your station. The central locking solenoid may not have enough stroke to do the job, it may have to be attached to the middle of a lever and the end attached to the tie bar to increase the stroke, I will experiment soon. Cheers, Colin
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Fri 29th Jul 2011, 5:18pm

There are many different types of electric motor that are suitable for point motors, and that may be salvaged from cars. Window winder motors, and motorised seat motorsare some, and are very powerful.
 
 
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