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Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by rasman24, Jan 27, 2008.
How do I make sure i have the correct radius with the use of flex track.
Others can reply more accurately than I can here, but I think you can buy templates from LHS's that show the correct shape of the curve for various radii.
Another method is to take a piece of string (say 18" long, or 22" or whatever length/radius you'd like) and anchor one point down while marking the radius path with a pencil at the other end -- you effectively draw a curve of the radius you want.
Hope this makes sense and is helpful! Again, others will be able to explain this better.
Robert's nailed it on the head... you just need a compass of some sort. I've used the string method, I've also used a yard stick with a nail at 0", and holes for a pencil drilled at all the curve radii I wanted to use.
I wouldn't bother with templates, unless you made them yourself. They're a pain, and why waste money on something you can make yourself in 10 minutes?
Once you have the centerline, it is easy to position the atlas track exactly over the line. Just line the spike holes in the ties up with the line.
i bought a couple Ribbonrail Aignment Gauges from my local train store. they just lay between the tracks. available it many different sizes. i got 24" and 28" radius ones.
I use a piece of cardboard. measured my different radius and cut along the lines.
I use a template made from 1/2" plywood with a 28" radius on the outside and 26" on the inside. It's 90 deg. so I can trace a full "corner" if I have to. Since I dont have a "table top" kind of construction this come in handy for cutting out the roadbed.
I make cardboard templates. Take a yardstick and drill a small hole at 1". That's your anchor point. Say your radius is 18 and 22". Drill holes at 19 and 23". That's your radius. Anchor the yardstick in the 1" hole and put a pencil in the 19" hole and draw the curve. Do the same for the 23". Your inside curve will now be 18 and outside curve will be 22". Cut out and you have the track center. Draw the track center on the plywood or foam with the template you made and your done. This is ho dimensions.
Loren when I use the cardboard I use thick stuff, like refrig, tv and cut mine 1 inch less than my desired radius then butt the cork roadbed up to it. 6 of one half dozen of.....
Now that I don't have a need for it ( I used the string method) I bought a device called a beam compass. It uses 1/2 inch dowel or aluminum tubing.
Made by DascoPro. Bought it at Sears.
There is also a device called trammel points but they are machinist quality tools and are pricey.
I was going to use the string method but some of my turns are 37 inch radius and the board is only 32 inches at that point. The pivot point would be out in space.
Roger: Clamp or temporarily screw a piece of board on your bench to use as a pivot point.
Thanks Jim didnt think of that
Use a camera or camcorder tripod if you have one. You'll need it to take good pictures of and on your layout, anyway.
This is exactly what I did, but went a little different sizes, 27" and 33"... Just to be different. They work very well, and very easy to use.
and the Ribbonrail gauges are only $3-4. seems worth it to me versus all these stories about having to cut templates and drawing stuff. less effort and less headache sounds good to me.
That is my method exactly! I draw the centerlines in using a "compass" and then glue the cork to that line.