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page trail:  Templot Club > Forums > Trackbuilding topics > Source for chairs or (US) "ties" that are not wood
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                 Source for chairs or (US) "ties" that are not wood
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 18:19
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from:
John Webb
Trinidad, California USA

 

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Hi,
I am  brand new member of Templot Club and this is my first message.

By way of introducing myself, I am American and model in G scale outdoors. I have a fairly extensive railroad almost entirely of Aristocraft prefabricated track. I would like to expand beyond the limited offerings by vendors of prefabricated track and build a 3-way switch (I believe Brits call them points or turnouts). 

I am looking for a source of non-wood (presumably plastic) material that could be used for ties ("chairs" in British parlance). I would like to find something that is impervious to weather, approximately the same dimensions as typical ties/chairs, solid (unlike Aristocraft, LGB etc.), and can be drilled to receive and hold spikes (in US fashion). 

Thanks in advance.

John Webb
Trinidad, CA USA 

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2nd message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 21:38
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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Hi John

First a warm welcome to Templot, sorry I can't offer a solution to your Timbering problem, but I can help a bit with some of the terminology. A turnout (switch) is supported by timbers and plain rail by sleepers (ties). Chairs hold bullhead rail, which are bolted or screwed to the sleepers or timbers, base plates do the same for flat bottom rail.

How come you can't use wood? do you not have timber (lumber) preservative in the US, over here we used to have proper creosote, but now we have a myriad of not so effective wood preservatives, which applied on a regular basis tends to work for a good few years. Not much help I know. in the plastics world UPVC as used to make double glazed windows and etc. might work if you can get it in a suitable section and something other than white.

Cheers

Phil.
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3rd message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:06
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from:
alan@york
 

 

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I've come across recycled plastics in a matt black, quite dense structure: used for treads/small planks especially in wet areas. Sorry, no idea of a name/maker. But it is out there, and would fit the bill if the size is right.
a@y

Edit Try this: https://www.recycledfurniture.co.uk/Fencing-and-Raw-Materials/Raw-Materials

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4th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:09
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from:
alan@york
 

 

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Edit Try this: https://www.recycledfurniture.co.uk/Fencing-and-Raw-Materials/Raw-Materials 25 year guarantee.
a@y
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5th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:24
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Hi John,

Welcome to the madhouse club :)  I'm a bit to your North in the Idaho panhandle.

Finding a plastic that is really UV resistant might be a bit tricky although something like Trex decking might work but you'd have to get it cut into the right size for turnout timbers. Trex is also a bit flexible - much more so than wood.

An alternative (and possibly much better) would be teak. It's highly resistant to rot and UV doesn't bother it in the slightest. Again, you'll either have to slice it yourself or find someone with a table saw. You might be able to pick up some pieces at your local flooring outfit (Lumber Liquidators?)  We put in a solid teak floor here some years back and I use the offcuts for lots of things. It's really tough stuff. You might have to drill pilot holes for the spikes.

Cheers!
Andy

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6th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:35
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from:
Matt M.
Australia

 

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Teak also has a higher resistance to termites which is a
problem that I would have where I live Andrew.

Good morning from Sydney.

Matt M.
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7th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:40
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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alan@york wrote: Edit Try this: https://www.recycledfurniture.co.uk/Fencing-and-Raw-Materials/Raw-Materials 25 year guarantee.


Free delivery too! (But probably not to California :) )

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8th message | this message only posted: 17 May 2020 22:52
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

Teak was ( and still is ) used by boat builders in 1:1 and smaller scales. It is very resistant to most things including water and sunlight. In the sizes useful for you I would have thought model boat shops would be the best bet. Good levels of protection should be used with teak as the fine dust can be quite harmful if inhaled.

Rob
(Not quite locked down in the UK :))


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9th message | this message only posted: 18 May 2020 06:33
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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As an alternative to teak, you could use Jarrah, which is being used for sleepers and timbering, it was used at York north end when it was remodelled back in the 80's, the south end used concrete bearers.
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10th message | this message only posted: 18 May 2020 08:45
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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.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
How weatherproof is fibreglass copper-clad? It's not wood. :)

Difficult to spike, but easily soldered. How weatherproof is solder?

American tie sizes in G-scale would be 10mm wide x 8mm thick.

Various stripwood materials here:

 https://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/Model-Boat-Timber-Stripwood.html

I can't find 10mm x 8mm, but Limewood in 10mm x 5mm is here:

 https://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/Lime-Strip-5x10mm-582625.html

Is Limewood weatherproof if creosoted?

Martin.

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11th message | this message only posted: 18 May 2020 20:25
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: How weatherproof is fibreglass copper-clad? It's not wood. :)

Difficult to spike, but easily soldered. How weatherproof is solder?

Copper-clad fibreglass (FR-4) by itself handles weather quite well. Obviously the copper does tarnish. But in very damp conditions solder joints create electrolytic action to the extent that the joints can fail.

One extreme example is the reed switch fuel gauge sender on my boat. Water tends to get into it and I've had to rebuild it several times. The last time I repaired it I potted the whole thing in RTV which seems to have helped.

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12th message | this message only posted: 20 Jun 2020 14:08
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from:
Igor Kurgan
Netherlands

 

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In the Netherlands you can buy uv resistant extruded pvc sheet from 3 mm to 50 mm thick in 4 basic colors.
Before you cut it, you can paint it, or what i like to do:
I put my sleepers/ties(azobe btw) on a sieve and dunk/drown them into a bucket/pot with paint, take them out let them drip and dry.
I am aware that i dont have a source for you but maybe this material will help you in your future endeavors?

Why not use azobe wood?

There is also wood that had a treatment with strong vinegar, warranty up to 50 years.
I can not remember the name anymore sorry, if it pops up i will let you know.

But as mention before it would be handy to have a friend or buy your own table saw, small table saws are around 100 dollars.

Hope this was adding some food for your thoughts.
Best
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