just that your excellent answers to user enquiries may be missed by people like me who don't monitor several different forums.
Here is a re-hash of some stuff I have posted here and elsewhere a few times. I will get all this into the Templot Companion eventually.
It is much easier to file a vee after
assembling it. Even easier if you use a disc sander.
Below shows how a vee can be constructed to any angle matching the template, without needing filing jigs, and finishing with solid metal at the nose.
I have greatly exaggerated the crossing angle for clarity. The rails are shown in cross-section along the rail -- yellow shows the rail head and foot, orange shows the web of the rail:
Make sure you have both rails the right way up. Bullhead rail has the thicker part at the top.
A is a prepared piece of rail with the end bent to the crossing angle, or slightly less. Allow a little extra on the overall length. Then file the end down to the web as shown to become the splice rail.
Make another one of the opposite hand as B, to become the point rail (nose). No need to file the end yet, but file a side notch in it to receive A as shown. The filing does not need to be very accurate.
C is any scrap bit of rail or etched kit waste, soldered on top of the rail for stability while handling. Unsolder or cut it off after installing the vee in the turnout, and then the surplus vee rail ends are trimmed back as required.
Assemble the vee rails as shown using a spare printed template as a guide. Double-stick tape can be used to hold the rails in place. Use high-temperature solder because the rail gets hot while sanding. Using high-temp solder also reduces the risk of it coming apart later if you are using soldered track construction.
Hold the assembled vee down on the edge of a small block of wood using a penny washer on top and a couple of screws. Stick a bit of printed template on the block as a guide:
Adjust the fulcrum screw until it is a couple of thou higher than the rail. Check that the rail being sanded is held firm.
A penny washer is a large washer with a small hole. They are sold as backing washers for pop-rivets, fixing canvas, etc. If you don't have a penny washer to hand you could drill a hole in an old coin, or use something else.
Turn the vee round on the block to make the second cut.
The result is as shown after making two cuts on the sander. If necessary the bulk of the metal can be quickly removed with a coarse file or metal shears before finishing on the sander. Use a fine-grade sanding disc on the sander plate. If the vee gets too hot while sanding stop and dip the block in a bowl of cold water.
The end result is an accurately aligned vee comprised of solid rail at the nose. All that then remains is to fettle the running edges at the tip and blunt back the nose to the specified width as shown on the template (0.25mm/10 thou for bullhead in 4mm scale). It's a good idea to take a few thou off the top of the nose so that it dips down slightly below the wing rails. This allows for the coning angle on the wheels as they run off the wing rail onto the nose, producing smoother running. But don't overdo it.
N.B. Wear a mask while sanding and wash hands afterwards. The sandings will contain lead from the solder. Stick Elastoplast or tape on the ends of your fingers beforehand to protect them if they catch on the sanding disc.
Far East-quality disc sanders are available at lowish cost and very useful for many other workshop jobs:
p.s. last week I noticed disc sanders currently on offer in Lidl at £29.
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