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                                       Gauge changing over time using ply sleepers?
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 1 May 2018 18:57
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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I was reading the latest issue of the scalefour news and someone mentioned about a layout using ply sleepers going under gauge after a few years due to using plywood sleepers.  Is this something that happens alot?  I am making mine to 4-SF so I am hoping it has a little more leniency compared to P4 as I don't want to have to attempt to fix issues with my track after a few years as i'm already going through too many just trying to thread them on lol
Cheers

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2nd message | this message only posted: 1 May 2018 19:12
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Michael,

Some confusion there?

Injection-moulded plastic sleepers do shrink with age, unless moulded at very high pressure.

Plywood doesn't. However it does vary with humidity, expanding in moist conditions and shrinking in dry weather.

Unless you start with damp ply timbers, you won't have any problems. It may be worth storing them somewhere warm and dry for a few days before using them. The normal variations won't have any effect on 4-SF.

There are lots of layouts with ply timbers, still going strong after many years. Including P4. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 1 May 2018 19:40
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Thanks Martin, I have had my plywood up in the loft for a few months now all cut up so that should help then. I just didn't want to find it all going wrong in a year or 2 so that's good to hear.

Cheers
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4th message | this message only posted: 1 May 2018 20:12
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Michael Henfrey wrote: I was reading the latest issue of the scalefour news and someone mentioned about a layout using ply sleepers going under gauge after a few years due to using plywood sleepers.  Is this something that happens alot?  I am making mine to 4-SF so I am hoping it has a little more leniency compared to P4 as I don't want to have to attempt to fix issues with my track after a few years as i'm already going through too many just trying to thread them on lol
Cheers
Hi Michael,

Wood shrinks mainly across the grain as moisture evaporates. The drier the environment the wood is kept in the more the likely shrinkage. Plywood is made from alternate layers of wood bonded together with the grain of the outer layers always being in the same direction. 0.8mm ply sleepers are made with 3 layers in total so assuming you have the sleepers/timbers cut lengthwise with the grain there won't be an issue. I use 0.4mm ply as well for goods yards and such like as it doesn't take as much cinder ballast to build up the groundwork. As Martin says there are many layouts out there that have been fine for many years. I think ply is more stable than plastic sleepers - with the thin plastic sleepers you have to make sure they are well glued down or the solvent used to attach the chairs can cause the sleepers to warp.

The cheapish wood moisture meters are useful for checking on timber moisture content generally, not that I am suggesting you use one on the sleepers.

Rob


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5th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 07:40
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Thanks Rob, Yeah the ply is cut with the grain. It's a loft layout and so it is quite dry up there so they will only get moisture when I add water/pva mix for ballasting.

I'm using exactoscale chairs at the moment and they are really brittle, breaking no end, might switch to c&l ones as they don't look much different, when painted I don't think anyone would be able to tell
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6th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 11:07
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Michael Henfrey wrote: Thanks Rob, Yeah the ply is cut with the grain. It's a loft layout and so it is quite dry up there so they will only get moisture when I add water/pva mix for ballasting.

I'm using exactoscale chairs at the moment and they are really brittle, breaking no end, might switch to c&l ones as they don't look much different, when painted I don't think anyone would be able to tell
I prefer the Exactoscale chairs to the C&L ones ! I think the moulded detail is better and the moulds are currently producing less flash, at least on most types of chair. The Exactoscale ones seem to take less solvent to produce a good bond in my view but that may be subjective. Are you staining the timbers/sleepers before laying them and if so what with ?

Rob


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7th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 11:21
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Rob Manchester wrote: Michael Henfrey wrote: Thanks Rob, Yeah the ply is cut with the grain. It's a loft layout and so it is quite dry up there so they will only get moisture when I add water/pva mix for ballasting.

I'm using exactoscale chairs at the moment and they are really brittle, breaking no end, might switch to c&l ones as they don't look much different, when painted I don't think anyone would be able to tell
I prefer the Exactoscale chairs to the C&L ones ! I think the moulded detail is better and the moulds are currently producing less flash, at least on most types of chair. The Exactoscale ones seem to take less solvent to produce a good bond in my view but that may be subjective. Are you staining the timbers/sleepers before laying them and if so what with ?

As a matter of interest,  both ranges are moulded by the same company and probably with the same material,  as are our S Scale Society chairs.  That certainly was the situation a year ago when I checked the location of the moulds for the S Scale chairs.

Jim.

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8th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 15:35
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Jim Guthrie wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: Michael Henfrey wrote: Thanks Rob, Yeah the ply is cut with the grain. It's a loft layout and so it is quite dry up there so they will only get moisture when I add water/pva mix for ballasting.

I'm using exactoscale chairs at the moment and they are really brittle, breaking no end, might switch to c&l ones as they don't look much different, when painted I don't think anyone would be able to tell
I prefer the Exactoscale chairs to the C&L ones ! I think the moulded detail is better and the moulds are currently producing less flash, at least on most types of chair. The Exactoscale ones seem to take less solvent to produce a good bond in my view but that may be subjective. Are you staining the timbers/sleepers before laying them and if so what with ?

As a matter of interest,  both ranges are moulded by the same company and probably with the same material,  as are our S Scale Society chairs.  That certainly was the situation a year ago when I checked the location of the moulds for the S Scale chairs.

Jim.

Jim

Off topic a bit but what code rail do the S gauge chairs take please

John

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9th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 15:46
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Off topic a bit but what code rail do the S gauge chairs take please
John,

We had Code 87 bullhead specially drawn for us and the chairs were made to fit the rail.  They are a very good Goldilocks fit - not too tight,  not to loose,  but just right. :)

Jim.

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10th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 15:54
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Pity I want some chairs for a 7 mm narrow gauge layout and for visual effect have settled on code 100. Was hoping S gauge chairs and rail might fit the bill. Back to the drawing board
Thanks for a swift reply

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11th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 15:56
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from:
Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Hi,
Are you sure that it really is the latest Scalefour mag? The latest one points out the vagaries of using steel rail etc but I can't see anything about plywood sleepers. Could it possibly have been an earlier  issue with maybe a seasonal twist? :cool:

Michael Henfrey wrote: I was reading the latest issue of the scalefour news and someone mentioned about a layout using ply sleepers going under gauge after a few years due to using plywood sleepers.  Is this something that happens alot?  I am making mine to 4-SF so I am hoping it has a little more leniency compared to P4 as I don't want to have to attempt to fix issues with my track after a few years as i'm already going through too many just trying to thread them on lol
Cheers


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12th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 16:27
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Rob: I am staining my sleepers before I put it the chairs on with Colron Jacobean dark oak I believe. I have stuck some on and they have bonded well, But the exactoscale chairs I have seem to break more easily when trying to thread them onto the rail.  I do agree they have more detail though.  (I am filing it to a point first to make it easier using the vee filing jig)

Borg: Yep it's in the latest on the last paragraph of page 8, But it is referring to an article in MRJ 259
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13th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 17:42
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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I believe that most of the gauge narrowing, is due to the track gauges gripping more than just the head of the rail and thus holding the rail vertically, whereas the chairs are made to hold the rail with a prototypical 1 in 20 incline and thus over time the rail reverts to inclined and gives the gauge narrowing.

Phil
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14th message | this message only posted: 2 May 2018 18:11
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Michael Henfrey wrote: Rob: I am staining my sleepers before I put it the chairs on with Colron Jacobean dark oak I believe. I have stuck some on and they have bonded well, But the exactoscale chairs I have seem to break more easily when trying to thread them onto the rail.  I do agree they have more detail though.  (I am filing it to a point first to make it easier using the vee filing jig)

Borg: Yep it's in the latest on the last paragraph of page 8, But it is referring to an article in MRJ 259
Michael,

Isn't Colron water based ? I tend to use an Isopropyl alcohol stain that has been coloured with india ink or similar. I use it a lot in wood building construction for my american layouts making sure to stain both sides of the wood to equalize any movement.

I don't file the rail to a point before threading on the chairs. I have a mini bench grinder by the work area. Just touch either sie of the rail foot onto a fine grinding wheel and then quickly apply all four sides of the rail to a wire brush wheel on the other end of the grinder. Seems to work OK for me and it doesn't hurt so much when you stab the rail end in your finger ( although it does if your finger gets too near the grinding wheel ) :(

Rob


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15th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 07:50
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from:
Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Hi,
Exactoscale chairs - I remember that some time ago - pre C&L involvement, that I had a similar problem. It wasn't repeated so I thought they had it sorted, perhaps I'm wrong in thinking that? I put it down to a rogue batch. I did mention it to Exactoscale at the time but didn't get a reply.

There is no need to file the rail to a point for threading chairs. It's just the foot and web that needs attention, the head can be left alone.

For what it's worth I use Cuprinol Fence paint (it's really a stain I think) Black Ash. A tin goes a long way.
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16th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 07:54
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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I'm not sure, I just seen it recommended a few times from different people, I've gone abit too far now to switch it over so hopefully it should be ok. I will have a look at the Iso Alcohol version though.. Yeah I have stabbed myself a few times so far but I reckon that for every 2 chairs I put on 1 will break on the underside
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17th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 09:16
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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It could be that the problem of the chairs breaking is not with them, but with the rail section if the web of the rail has got thicker for some reason - i.e. if the rail the chairs were designed for is no longer available and a close substitute has been sourced.

Jim.
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18th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 09:34
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Phil
I tend to agree with you on this one, also if rail is  not precurved or at bends there is too much tension this could also cause gauge narrowing/widening if either is unsupported until fully cured

Given that the ply sleepers / timbers are not that large, if there were any movement I would have thought it would be minimal and possibly within tolerances  

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19th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 09:38
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Borg-Rail wrote: Hi,
Exactoscale chairs - I remember that some time ago - pre C&L involvement, that I had a similar problem. It wasn't repeated so I thought they had it sorted, perhaps I'm wrong in thinking that? I put it down to a rogue batch. I did mention it to Exactoscale at the time but didn't get a reply.

There is no need to file the rail to a point for threading chairs. It's just the foot and web that needs attention, the head can be left alone.

For what it's worth I use Cuprinol Fence paint (it's really a stain I think) Black Ash. A tin goes a long way.
I have been told by someone who works in plastics, if the plastic is too hot during the process it becomes brittle, I have seen this with some C&L 4 & 7 mm chairs. I think this is a rare occurrence though
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20th message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 10:31
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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From experience with other chairs, different plastics can be used. Some are a bit more brittle, some flex a bit.

One thing; always clean the rail thoroughly before use. There will be a bit of crud left over from the manufacturing process, and also natural oxidisation. This will prevent the chair sliding easily on the rail. If the chair doesn't slide reasonably easily, you're in for trouble.

Nigel
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21st message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 11:39
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from:
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.

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Michael Henfrey wrote: I reckon that for every 2 chairs I put on 1 will break on the undersideHi Michael,

Try threading them in a bowl of hot soapy water. But only if nickel-silver, not for steel rail.

cheers,

Martin.

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22nd message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 15:14
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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I know towards the end of the previous C&L owners reign there was an issue with some rail, Phil thinks the wrong rail die was used, certainly the new rail he had drawn earlier this year was back within specification
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23rd message | this message only posted: 3 May 2018 17:12
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from:
Michael Henfrey
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Thanks all, I spent abit more time working on the rail to get it ready for threading on the chairs and I went through alot less chairs than I normally would. I think as I was filing the rail to make it easier to thread on it was causing some burrs or something in the web of the rail.

I remember reading something about the rail, I got mine back in Feb and it looks ok :)
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