Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

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Builder01
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:26 am
Location: Erie, PA

Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Builder01 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:01 pm

Do you need help to make proper wheels and axles? Where in the U.S. Are you? re you sure this is the right project for you? . Have you talked to guys at your club track for help?

David

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:34 pm

I was a machinist and fabricator for over 10 years, after a back injury I'm in estimating now in the office. I'm confident I can get this done and done right. The issue with work is, our shop is union and management is not. I can't TOUCH any of the machines until all the shop guys go home, and then someone non-union has to be there to make sure the lathe doesn't eat me or something(safety). This is usually the shipping guy for 30 minutes at best. So getting machine time is hard to come by as a result.
I will be 12" gage so I am on my own, I don't plan on visiting a club or anything. The closest one is 3 hours away, or I cross the border to Canada but couldn't take anything with me without a huge hassle. I think at most, Glenn (Woodinville shops) and I could end up operating on each others RR as a guest once in awhile, as we are the only 12" ones in the works in Washington that I'm aware of.
I have my axles, sprockets, bearings, and truck sides already on hand and made. Laser cut wheel parts and my sprocket hubs will be here late next week. My switcher body is getting close to being done, and as soon as I have the trucks built I'll start on the frame.

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Builder01
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Location: Erie, PA

Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Builder01 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:02 pm

Okay, sounds like it is full speed ahead!

David

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Fender
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Fender » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:58 pm

An easy way to cut the grooves is with a stack of blades in a skilsaw. Use spacers between the blades to obtain the desired width of cut, like a rabbeting blade. After setting the depth and making the first cut, put a wooden strip about 3/8 X 1 (loose fit) into a bunch of ties to keep them aligned, then place a plank against this strip as a guide for the saw to cut the other groove. You'll have to figure the width of this plank based on the track gauge and the distance from the blade to the edge of the guide on your saw.
Dan Watson

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:54 pm

I looked into that Fender, and just found the router to be easier and faster to work with. I basically made a block the right width that I can router down both sides, screwed it onto a saw horse, and I just clamp each tie under the block with a vise grip and run the router down both sides. I cut and grooved 39 ties in just over an hour the last time I made them. I didn't have anywhere to stack the cut ties or the finished ones except on the floor inside the garage(and I was cutting outside), so I know I can go faster with something to stack them on placed on each side. The fit from the 3/8" bit is perfect it seems to cut small at about .365", I use a dead-blow hammer to seat the rails in the grooves and then usually walk on it to fully seat it.
I think I will eventually make a steel fixture though, and possibly one that I can put 3-4 ties into at the same time. I don't think my router base is perfectly centered on the body, that's why the small variance. But I think staying within 12-1/16" to 12-3/32" is pretty dang good. On the last 10 ties I made they were all perfect, because I made sure to run the same side of the router down the fixture every time.

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Fender
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by Fender » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:30 pm

You've probably figured this out already, but press one rail into the tie notches, then put the section in place and align it as you want (straight or curved). Finally, put in the other rail. A section is almost impossible to re-align after both rails are pressed in. Also, expect the track to move outward on curves a little when the rail expands in the summer.
Dan Watson

rkcarguy
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Re: Wheel profile for "groovy track"?

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:01 pm

So far I've only made a couple straight sections, but it seems to be fairly flexible until that 2nd rail goes in. I've watched some Youtube video's and one RR appeared to have some pretty severe bowing of the rails both horizontally and vertically on what appeared to be a pretty hot day. Another of the reasons I prefer steel. I'll be having the laser cutter make my joiner plates, and they will be slotted
I have parts for a couple more sections of track, but I think I want my next build to be a turnout. Where I'm planning to start laying track from, I'll only need a couple straight pieces and then the first turnout to the spur that will run the firewood up to the house, then a curve to the right and the beginning of the passing siding.

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