Friday, October 16, 2015

Only 10 more to go,

And I'll have enough for the St Thomas yard.
Yes, folks turnouts!
That's a pile of 12 you see. All built in Fast Tracks fixtures.
I need to add electrical wires to the frogs and the stock rails and then spray paint the pc board ties and then I can actually lay these bad boys in place.
Had a bit of an object lesson when I started these the other day. It was taking me about 45 minutes to build a turnout. Far longer than I remember it taking a few years ago. And I felt that I was working too hard filing the rails for the frogs, points and notching the stock rails.
So I wandered over the hardware store and bought a brand new 10" mill file.Turnouts now take 20-25 minutes a piece. Terrifying what a sharp file can do.
I do so little work in metal that I forget what a sharp file can feel like when it's being used.
Won't forget that detail very quickly.


Jeff Leslie said...

Are you planning on fastening the turnouts to the tie bed with Pliobond or with spikes?

Pierre Oliver said...

Actually, both. I bought the predrilled Tie Sticks.

Unknown said...

That's the best way Pierre.

Hunter Hughson said...

So here's a stupid question: are metal files disposable, or can they be sharpened?


Pierre Oliver said...

Not so stupid. But sadly no, you can't sharpen files. But if you treat them properly, they'll last quite a long time.
The biggest killer of files is letting them bang against each other.
Next biggest is not lifting the file on the back stroke.

Jeff Leslie said...

Sorry for the length of this post. I'm about to give you more useless trivia on files than you care to know but metal working is a topic near and dear to me. Filing is an industrial art that is arguably becoming extinct. Why sharpen a tool or a blade with a file when I can just go buy a new one. Even in machine shops today filing is not as necessary as it used to be because modern machining technology can get very nice finishes right out of the machine.

Nicholson files used to be the number one, period. They used to be made in Providence, RI. Taken care of and used properly, a Nicholson file would last forever. I have a couple that are 35 years old that I got when I was a machinist apprentice after high school and they are as sharp now as they were then. Nowadays Nicholson files are no longer made in USA. Most are made in Mexico, Colombia, and probably China by now. Nicholson is available at Home Depot, I do believe. I'm sure a Home Depot file works very well for model railroading use. I would have doubts as to how long one would last in a real machine shop.

If you can find them, Bludan files are comparable to old Nicholson files. They are made in Austria and not necessarily with the Bludan name on them. I have a Bludan and all it says is "Made in Austria". Files made in Germany are very high quality as well.

Pierre was right - files will last a long time if you treat them properly. Keep files from coming into contact with each other (the fastest way to ruin a file is with another file!) and never file back and forth. There is no need to "lean into" a file when filing, only light pressure is necessary and the file will do all the work. Hang them up in a file rack or wrap them in dry cloth (not oily cloth!) if you keep them in a tool box or drawer. Another thing is to use a file card or file brush to keep the cutting grooves clean and free from metal deposits. Do this constantly while using the file. Never oil a file either. Files cannot be sharpened.

Trevor said...

Congrats on the progress, Pierre - and thanks to Hunter for asking the question and to Jeff for the lengthy response. No need to apologize to me - I learned a lot from your answer Jeff. It's one of the things I find so powerful about writing my own blog and reading those penned by others. Keep up the good work, everyone!
- Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)