Atlas flex track, radius

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by rasman24, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. rasman24

    rasman24 New Member

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    How do I make sure i have the correct radius with the use of flex track.
  2. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    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.

    Rob
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    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?
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    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.

    Kevin
  5. electric130

    electric130 Member

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    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.
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    I use a piece of cardboard. measured my different radius and cut along the lines.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    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.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    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
  9. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    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.....
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    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.
  11. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    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.
  12. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Roger: Clamp or temporarily screw a piece of board on your bench to use as a pivot point.
  13. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    Thanks Jim didnt think of that
  14. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Use a camera or camcorder tripod if you have one. You'll need it to take good pictures of and on your layout, anyway.
  15. Wildcatfootball

    Wildcatfootball Member

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    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.
  16. electric130

    electric130 Member

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    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.
  17. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    That is my method exactly! I draw the centerlines in using a "compass" and then glue the cork to that line.