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page trail:  Templot Club > Forums > Trackbuilding topics > Exactoscale versus C&L BH chairs -- FB rail supplies
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                                       Exactoscale versus C&L BH chairs -- FB rail supplies
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 20 Mar 2018 01:19
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hello,

Can anybody pass comment/opinion or whatever concerning the difference between Exactoscale and C&L 4mm scale plastic chairs. I am just discussing the one for plain track, not S&C work. Phil at C&L stocks both and I have used the C&L branded ones ( usually the 3-bolt or should that be hole ? ) in the past. Are there any advantages of the Exactoscale ones ? Is the plastic any different or brittle or harder to glue etc etc .

Thanks for any opinions.

Rob


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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Rob,

There seems to be problems with both of them in fitting different batches of rail. You may want to read the discussion here:

 https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=55937#p55937

I suggest you obtain a few of each and try them on the actual rail you will be using.

cheers,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 20 Mar 2018 07:47
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from:
rodney_hills
United Kingdom

 

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Rob,
Back in the early days of the 00-SF yahoo group...
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/00-sf/conversations/messages/1087
Hello,

Modern-ish Lima wheels have flanges thin enough to pass through 
1mm flangeways.
However, the flanges are quite deep and it has been found that if one
wants to have Lima wheels operating over chaired bullhead track and 
pointwork it's best to avoid the exact scale model chairs by C&L and
to use instead those with extra clearance to the inner jaw that are
produced by Exactoscale (thank you Mr Len Newman!).
This Lima-tolerance issue was first reported to this group by member
David A. Smith (see message archive). Thank you Dave.

Regards,
Rodney Hills

 
----- Original Message ----
From: "lsimm4@talktalk.net" <lsimm4@talktalk.net>
To: 00-SF@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, 13 March, 2009 7:53:52 PM
Subject: [00-SF] Re: For those running Locos (and Rolling Stock) on 00-SF

Hornby Dublo and Wrenn wheels are a bit thick in the flange for 1mm 
flangeways, but most other wheels are OK. Possibly Lima may have 
problems?



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4th message | this message only posted: 21 Mar 2018 20:50
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Rodney, Thanks for the info re Lima. Happy to say my flanges are rather finer than them.

Martin,

Interesting thread, thanks for pointing me to it. Looks like hit and miss really regarding rail foot width, brand and age of tooling ( of both chair and rail ). I will probably try some Exactoscale ones next time I meet Phil at C&L.

One other thing that came from the thread was that Peco have discontinued IL-115 Code 82 FB rail. That is a bit of a sod as it is the only FB rail with proper head width for UK 1:76 layouts. Takes us back to the various postings over the years on rail section, telephone conversations with Brian Lewis etc etc. If you know any other sources for rail with correct head width please let me know. The IL-115 hasn't been stocked by many Peco dealers for years they just ordered it from Peco when required so there isn't stocks scattered around model shops to buy.

Thanks again.
Rob

PS Martin, What do you think about gently heating the rail near chairs that don't sit flat or sit out of true? I was thinking a temp controlled soldering iron. Maybe a recipe for melted plastic :shock:


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5th message | this message only posted: 21 Mar 2018 21:06
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from:
polybear
 

 

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Rob Manchester wrote: One other thing that came from the thread was that Peco have discontinued IL-115 Code 82 FB rail. That is a bit of a sod as it is the only FB rail with proper head width for UK 1:76 layouts. Takes us back to the various postings over the years on rail section, telephone conversations with Brian Lewis etc etc. If you know any other sources for rail with correct head width please let me know.

Peco Code 82 F/B rail has a rail head width of 0.89mm.
Exactoscale sold a Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail BS113A steel which had a rail head dimension of 0.91mm nominal; however I believe that this is no longer available. 
The C&L code 82 F/B rail BS110A has a rail head width of 0.67mm
I believe Marcway have a code 90 F/B rail, but dimensions are unknown.
HTH
Brian


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6th message | this message only posted: 21 Mar 2018 21:41
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote:PS Martin, What do you think about gently heating the rail near chairs that don't sit flat or sit out of true? I was thinking a temp controlled soldering iron. Maybe a recipe for melted plastic :shock:Hi Rob,

I've suggested this in the past as a way of adjusting the end of 16.5mm flexi to 16.2mm 4-SF pointwork.

I think it should in theory be possible to improve the fit of the chairs by heating them. But I think I would do them in advance, rather than one at a time while track building. Otherwise you are likely to get some very uneven levels for the rail top.

I can imagine threading a batch of chairs on some lengths of rail. Placing them on a flat non-stick tray with a flat metal plate on top and a tray of cold water on top of that, and putting them in a warm oven for a while. How warm and how heavy the water tray and for how long are the big unknowns, but should be repeatable once you do know. The 1:20 cant built into these chairs may be an issue and may be lost in the process.

The idea of the cold water is to keep the metal rail colder than the plastic so that it doesn't melt its way through the chair base instead of flattening it.

Needless to say I haven't tried any of this. :)

But it would be a lot of work -- not least having to thread them all twice.

There remains the option of using them as cosmetic half-chairs with rivet or vero pin construction. :cool:

cheers,

Martin.

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7th message | this message only posted: 21 Mar 2018 22:05
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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The variability in model rail sections, even from a single supplier, is a serious problem for anyone who makes chairs but doesn't control the source of the rail. (Don't ask me how I know :) )

Printing rails along with chairs and timbers eliminates that particular problem although it also creates other problems. Sigh!
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8th message | this message only posted: 21 Mar 2018 23:00
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Martin,

Thanks for the suggestions re the ( plastic ) chairs. I was thinking of doing each chair in situ but as you point out the chances of keeping the rail level would be slim.

Have you ever made a souffle ? Correct mixture+correct time+correct heat=bingo but get any one wrong and disaster - don't ask me how I know :( At least with a souffle you are cooking it all rather than trying to warm some of it and keep the rest cool.

Rob


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9th message | this message only posted: 22 Mar 2018 09:23
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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polybear wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: One other thing that came from the thread was that Peco have discontinued IL-115 Code 82 FB rail. That is a bit of a sod as it is the only FB rail with proper head width for UK 1:76 layouts. Takes us back to the various postings over the years on rail section, telephone conversations with Brian Lewis etc etc. If you know any other sources for rail with correct head width please let me know.

Peco Code 82 F/B rail has a rail head width of 0.89mm.
Exactoscale sold a Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail BS113A steel which had a rail head dimension of 0.91mm nominal; however I believe that this is no longer available. 
The C&L code 82 F/B rail BS110A has a rail head width of 0.67mm
I believe Marcway have a code 90 F/B rail, but dimensions are unknown.
HTH
Brian

The C&L code 82 BS110A rail that I have has a head width of 0.78mm, which is still under scale, but this is a moot point as it is no longer available either.
I understand that Peco have replaced their FB code 82 with a code 83 version, but I do not know what the head width is as I don't have any to measure.
Regards
Tony.

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10th message | this message only posted: 22 Mar 2018 15:55
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Thanks Tony,

I heard that Peco had replaced the code 82 IL-115 with a code 83 substitute. I assumed that it is the rail used in their US line track in which case the head will be skinny for british use. I have mailed Peco to ask.

Rob


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11th message | this message only posted: 22 Mar 2018 16:17
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Peco have confirmed that the Code 83 FB rail they supply is the same as the US line ie skinny in head width for UK use.

Rob


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12th message | this message only posted: 22 Mar 2018 16:33
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Peco have confirmed that the Code 83 FB rail they supply is the same as the US line ie skinny in head width for UK use.Hi Rob,

Colin Craig is the FB track man:

 http://colincraig4mm.co.uk

 http://colincraig4mm.co.uk/track/4532596088

He lists etched gauges for different suppliers' FB rail sections, and may be able to advise.

cheers,

Martin.

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13th message | this message only posted: 22 Mar 2018 18:23
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Martin,

Good idea, I have just sent a message to Colin Craig enquiring about rail availability. I will post details if I have any further information. He sells gauges for skinny and 'scale' head widths for use on plain track giving 1in20 tilt to the rails and S&C gauges that just use the gauge face so are universal in terms of head width.

Thanks
Rob


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14th message | this message only posted: 23 Mar 2018 06:28
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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Rob Manchester wrote: One other thing that came from the thread was that Peco have discontinued IL-115 Code 82 FB rail. That is a bit of a sod as it is the only FB rail with proper head width for UK 1:76 layouts. Takes us back to the various postings over the years on rail section, telephone conversations with Brian Lewis etc etc. If you know any other sources for rail with correct head width please let me know. The IL-115 hasn't been stocked by many Peco dealers for years they just ordered it from Peco when required so there isn't stocks scattered around model shops to buy.
The Scalefour Society has just taken delivery of over a kilometre of flat bottom nickel silver rail...

I've asked our Stores Officer to measure what the head-width is and let me know.

Naturally, this will shortly be available to Society members via the Scalefour Stores.  However it will also be available from the Stores at our shows to visitors as well.  Scalefour North in Wakefield is coming up in Wakefield in around a month's time...

Scalefour North 2018 information

Cheers,
Paul Willis
Scalefour Society Deputy Chairman


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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Willis wrote:The Scalefour Society has just taken delivery of over a kilometre of flat bottom nickel silver rail...Thanks Paul.

Can you clarify the height of this rail? The only flat-bottom rail I can see on the Stores list:

 https://www.scalefour.org/members/stores/shops.php

is code 55 FB, in steel.

cheers,

Martin.

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16th message | this message only posted: 23 Mar 2018 10:19
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Borg-Rail
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I have some of the Peco code 83, head width is 0.85mm as far as I can tell. Karlgarin also do a code 82 but the foot width is a little wider than Peco so won't fit Peco Pandrol clips. Karlgarin measured Head width 1.09mm.

polybear wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: One other thing that came from the thread was that Peco have discontinued IL-115 Code 82 FB rail. That is a bit of a sod as it is the only FB rail with proper head width for UK 1:76 layouts. Takes us back to the various postings over the years on rail section, telephone conversations with Brian Lewis etc etc. If you know any other sources for rail with correct head width please let me know.

Peco Code 82 F/B rail has a rail head width of 0.89mm.
Exactoscale sold a Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail BS113A steel which had a rail head dimension of 0.91mm nominal; however I believe that this is no longer available. 
The C&L code 82 F/B rail BS110A has a rail head width of 0.67mm
I believe Marcway have a code 90 F/B rail, but dimensions are unknown.
HTH
Brian



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17th message | this message only posted: 23 Mar 2018 11:08
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from:
Paul Willis
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Paul Willis wrote:The Scalefour Society has just taken delivery of over a kilometre of flat bottom nickel silver rail...Thanks Paul.

Can you clarify the height of this rail? The only flat-bottom rail I can see on the Stores list:

 https://www.scalefour.org/members/stores/shops.php

is code 55 FB, in steel.

No problem.  Jeremy in the Stores has just emailed me back.

"Flat bottom rail is 0.75 over the head, 1.7 across the base, and 2.1 tall"

What that actually corresponds to in a prototype section, I have no idea about.  Very little of the prototype after 1911 interests me ;-)

It's not on the website as back in stock yet as we've literally only just taken delivery of it, so it will take a little while to unpack some and post the details on the website.    Members will be notified when it is up there and available.

Cheers,
Paul
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Willis wrote:No problem.  Jeremy in the Stores has just emailed me back.

"Flat bottom rail is 0.75 over the head, 1.7 across the base, and 2.1 tall"
Thanks Paul.

I was a bit surprised to find that bog-standard FB109/BS110A/BS113A sized rail wasn't on the S4 stores list. It was the standard UK rail for about 50 years!

Head width 2.75"  scales to 0.92mm.

Height 6.25" scales to 2.08mm (code 82).

Foot width 5.5" scales to 1.83mm.

So this new rail is a bit narrow on both head and foot. The reduced head width is disappointing because a) it will be loose in fixed-slot track gauges, and b) it looks wrong.

cheers,

Martin.

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19th message | this message only posted: 23 Mar 2018 11:45
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Paul,
Thanks for the info and yes I have Scalefour North on calendar for April. If the rail as measured is 0.75 head width then it is underscale for 4mm/1:76 layouts. Just to clarify there are two reasons for wanting scale width FB rail - (a) it looks right, people wouldn't accept wheels that were 15% too small and (b) it fits the gauges that most people have for making BH track.

Rob




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Borg-Rail
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I Suspect that that the Scalefour rail is intended for use as conductor rail, since as far as I know the only NS FB rail the Society sells is for that purpose.
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote:people wouldn't accept wheels that were 15% too smallHi Rob,

The rail head is actually 18.5% too narrow.

Combined with the P4 flangeway being 15% over width, the result will be an unfortunate visual discrepancy from the prototype.

C&L are listing code 82 FB rail in steel as being in stock. What is the head width of this:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=346_347_354_355&product_id=3293

cheers,

Martin.

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polybear
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: C&L are listing code 82 FB rail in steel as being in stock. What is the head width of this:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=346_347_354_355&product_id=3293

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

In May 2009 it was 0.67mm
HTH
Cheers,Brian


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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Rob Manchester wrote:people wouldn't accept wheels that were 15% too smallHi Rob,

The rail head is actually 18.5% too narrow.

Combined with the P4 flangeway being 15% over width, the result will be an unfortunate visual discrepancy from the prototype.

C&L are listing code 82 FB rail in steel as being in stock. What is the head width of this:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=346_347_354_355&product_id=3293

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

And even more so with my EM gauge turnouts :( I made the observation on the head width based on the assumption that the Scalefour stores would carry rail that met their published standards which are 0.92mm as here P4 track standards

Rob

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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Borg-Rail wrote: I Suspect that that the Scalefour rail is intended for use as conductor rail, since as far as I know the only NS FB rail the Society sells is for that purpose.Hi Stephen,

But the sizes quoted by Paul don't match any of the dimensions here Conductor Rail

It may be that having exact scale rail sections made would now be too expensive and people would not buy them. Assuming we need to but track parts we do have to buy something though....

Rob


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25th message | this message only posted: 23 Mar 2018 20:49
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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For what it's worth the rail dimensions on Atlas Code 83 H0 track:

(Resolved to .05 mm)

Height 2.10
Head Width 1.05
Foot Width 2.00
Foot Depth 0.45
Web Width 0.75
Head Depth 0.80

I'd request that we also include the foot depth and web width with rail dimensions. They are very useful for anyone who is making chairs.

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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Andrew Barrowman wrote: For what it's worth the rail dimensions on Atlas Code 83 H0 track:

(Resolved to .05 mm)

Height 2.10
Head Width 1.05
Foot Width 2.00
Foot Depth 0.45
Web Width 0.75
Head Depth 0.80

I'd request that we also include the foot depth and web width with rail dimensions. They are very useful for anyone who is making chairs.
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the figures on the Atlas track. Is that their standard set/flexi branded track ? It is odd that the head is so wide.

Presumably for chair making you would also need to know the radius of the 'corners' where the web joined the foot of the rail although that would be more relevant on BH rail.

Rob


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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Hi Rob,

That's their flexible track. I was surprised it is so wide too. Maybe for strength?

It would be nice to know the radius of the corners or even have an accurate drawing of the profile but it's not so easy to measure and there's going to be some tolerance, and who knows what that will be. But an approximation to the foot depth and the web thickness is a good place to start.

It occurs to me that the Atlas rail would be pretty good if it was modified slightly. Maybe it could be milled/sanded to size, or even annealed and stretched? Is it even available in the UK? BTW, it's made in China.

Cheers!
Andy
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Martin Wynne
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Andrew Barrowman wrote: I was surprised it is so wide too. Maybe for strength?Hi Andy,

Here are some USA rail sections:

 https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=arema+rail+sections&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X

The heaviest rail is 141 lbs/yd with a head width of 3.3/16 ins.

At 3.5mm/ft that scales to 0.93mm, so it's not clear why the Atlas rail is wider than that.

cheers,

Martin.

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Andrew Barrowman
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Martin Wynne wrote: Andrew Barrowman wrote: I was surprised it is so wide too. Maybe for strength?Hi Andy,

Here are some USA rail sections:

 https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=arema+rail+sections&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X

The heaviest rail is 141 lbs/yd with a head width of 3.3/16 ins.

At 3.5mm/ft that scales to 0.93mm, so it's not clear why the Atlas rail is wider than that.

cheers,

Martin.
HI Martin,

Beats me too. Looks like NMRA has something to do with it  https://www.nmra.org/rp-151-rail

Andy

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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Rob Manchester wrote:
Presumably for chair making you would also need to know the radius of the 'corners' where the web joined the foot of the rail although that would be more relevant on BH rail.
Rob

When the S scale Society got itself a new set of track parts about ten years ago,  the rail was drawn first by Wintwire to the scale profile of 95lb bullhead then the plastic chair moulds were fine tuned to fit the rail.  Len Newman designed the chairs based on the work he did for the Exactoscale 4mm scale range and they are an excellent fit on our rail.

Interesting that the Scale 4 Society is getting rail drawn.   4mm scale was so well supplied with track parts in the past that the 4mm scale societies didn't have to bother about supplying their own track parts.  But I suspect that the minimum order costs for rail and chairs is getting such that trade suppliers are cutting down on product lines.   I note that the Scale 4 rail order was for about a kilometre of rail.  Our S scale rail order was a bit more than that since I have about a kilometre in stock at the moment and that would be just over half of what we had to purchase when it was made.   I believe that the minimum order for plastic chair sprues can be 10,000 parts.    So it could be that model railway societies become the main providers of track parts in future since they can afford to hold large orders in stock over long periods.

Jim.

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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Jim,
Thanks for your post. The point you make about the 'scale' societies stocking parts for trackbuilding is sensible but would need some co-operation between various societies. There wouldn't be much to gain if the EMGS and Scale4 groups both negotiated with suppliers for rail, sleepers and chairs when the track gauge was the only variable. 10,000 sprues of 10 chairs is only 10 metres of track for each of 50 members ( if I read your quantity correctly ). I have to say that the supply of parts via societies has sometimes been poor in my experience and items are often out of stock for long periods. The levels of service offered by the likes of ( for example ) Brian Lewis, Andrew Hartshorne and Derek Russan are unlikely to be seen when the tasks are undertaken by a society operated by a part-time, volunteer workforce ( who are always helpful and very keen before anybody gets the idea I am dismissing their efforts). Best I don't wear a name badge at the next scale society meet :D

BTW I did have a chat with Susie Frith at the SSMRS a while back and she was very helpful. I was after some rail for 7mm scale light railways.

Rob


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madscientist
 

 

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The single supply issue in relation to 4mm plastic chairs is an issue for me , and is an area the scale societies should step into
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Hayfield
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C&L Code 82 flatbottom rail in nickelsilver

Spoke with Phil at weekend and he is waiting for a new stock to be drawn and delivered very shortly. Has been ordered just in a queue waiting its turn at the factory
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hayfield wrote: C&L Code 82 flatbottom rail in nickelsilver

Spoke with Phil at weekend and he is waiting for a new stock to be drawn and delivered very shortly. Has been ordered just in a queue waiting its turn at the factory
Hi John,
Thanks for the info. I wonder if Phil has read this thread and ordered rail with a scale head width ? I suspect not as if it is a re-order of a previous products the dimension over the head will be 0.67-0.70mm.

I do find the narrow head rail visually good for light railways as it suits the smaller stock often used even if it isn't prototypical. I do prefer the right head width for 'proper' 4mm scale layouts. A class 60 with a coal train doesn't look right on rail that is too narrow. Just my opinion.

Rob


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Borg-Rail
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I know it might seem heretical but the head width of code 75 BH rail is I think approx 0.90mm and that of code 83 FB approx 0.85mm.
Unless I get the calipers out, I can't subjectively tell the difference in appearance between EM (18.2mm) and P4 (18.83mm) a difference of around 0.61mm, so I don't think I'm going to be able to notice much difference in head width between Code 75 BH and Code 83 FB. Or am I missing something?
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Borg-Rail wrote: so I don't think I'm going to be able to notice much difference in head width between Code 75 BH and Code 83 FB. Or am I missing something?Hi Stephen,

I think what you are missing is this earlier post in this thread:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=3245&forum_id=6#p24310

For code 82 FB the difference is between 0.75mm and 0.92mm.

Which is enough to be visible. But more important it makes fixed-slot track gauges useless for accurate gauging.

I don't know the dimensions for Peco code 83 FB.

cheers,

Martin.

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Borg-Rail
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I'll measure tomorrow
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Stephen,

Your point is valid but the currently available types of FB rail don't have a 0.85mm head width, that was where Peco IL-115 was ideal as it fitted the usual track gauges and was to scale.

Interested to know what measurements you come up with, even more so if any is currently available to buy from a trader.

Rob


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Borg-Rail
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Peco code 83 IL-83 - 2.20mm high, foot 1.75mm wide, 0.80mm head width. Measurements are approx as my calipers are somewhat ancient, worn and were pretty cheap in the first place. Having said that, I have some steel C&L code 75 BH rail here, which appears to be very much of the same head width, so obviously variations can and do occur.

As far as I know it's reasonably available even if you have to order it.

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