Diary of track construction
December 3, 2016
Table of contents
- Summary of what I did
- Observations and tentative decisions
Summary of what I did
- Last week, I made a gauge by glueing and clamping two segments of ice block sticks on to a block of wood.
I'll refer to this as the wooden gauge. There were no slots in the wooden block for the shaft of a screwdriver.
I checked the wooden gauge this morning and found it was too wide. Nevertheless, I used this gauge in the first part of
today's session to gain experience at using it, then switched to using the NMRA O scale track gauge.
- For both the wooden and NMRA gauges, I experimented with
- attaching sleepers to the rail using panel pins, small screws, and the Sunset Valley (SV) spikes
- 2, 3 and four nails per rail
- When using the wooden gauge I had to keep it a little to the right of the sleeper (I hold the drill in my right hand) and not directly
over the sleeper so that I could get the drill in place. This seem to introduce some imprecision.
Having slots in the wooden block should able me to get the wooden gauge over the sleeper.
- Some times the base of the rail was not flat on the sleeper. This changed the gauge because the head
of the rail was either rotated inwards or outwards.
- I drilled the pilot holes right beside the foot of the rails using a 1mm bit. The SV spikes are about 1.2mm in diameter and
when the spike was pushed into the sleeper, the rail was pushed a distance of 0.1mm. This imprecision is smaller than other
imprecisions in my neophytic technique but I would still like to eliminate this imprecision. I could not think
of an efficient technique for doing so.
Observations and tentative decisions
- I prefer the SV spikes to the panel pins and screws because
The spikes have the disadvantage of not being available locally.
- the spikes are more prototypical
- the spikes grip the foot of the rail better.
- I need to spend some time next session building a very accurate wooden gauge with slots.
- I was able to push the spikes in a reasonable distance using pliers.
I was unable to last week, maybe I was not pushing hard enough then.
- I need a pair of needle nose pliers for pushing in the spikes. The pliers I used today were standard pliers
and the jaws got in the way.
- I need to sit down when working.
- Some times a SV spike would rotate 20 or 30 degrees about the vertical axis when hammering the spike
- How far down do I driver the SV spikes? So that the head of the spike is
- above but not touching the top of rail foot?
- lightly touching the top of the rail foot?
- firmly holding down the top of the rail foot? (BC)
- What can I do to ensure that the bottom of the rail foot in flat on the top of the sleeper? Make sure I have enough downward
force on the wooden block? (BC)
- If I was using 2 spikes per rail, in what order would I insert the four spikes for a sleeper? Does the order
(BC) The order matters. Put the two spikes in for one rail, the two spikes can be inserted in either order. Then
do the inner spike of the second rail and finally the outer spike of the second rail.
- How do I allow for the shaft diameter of the SV spikes being greater than the 1mm diameter of the pilot holes?
(BC) Five possibilities
- Ignore it
- Use a shim 0.1mm thick between the drill bit and the side of the rail foot.
- Under gauge the gauge, a bit risky since you should err on being over gauged.
- Insert the inner spike of the second rail partway on an inward leaning angle. Next, drive in the outer
spike fully. Now go back to the inner spike, make it upright and drive in fully.
- Do every third sleeper, make sure they are correct, then do the infill sleepers
- I used a nail punch to drive the spikes the last few millimetres. Does it matter what size the head is on the nail
punch? I first used a punch with a big head that was concave. I switched to a nail punch with a smaller, flat head.
(BC) A little. Either flat or just enough concavity to hold the head of the spike.