Stub Switches Built My Way

I have been getting enough request asking for info on how I build my Stub switches, from people visiting my web page , that I have written it up for both here and later on my web page .

First off, Let me say, My way is not the only way, nor will I claim it is the best way, but it is my way of building the switches for my railroad. I'm still finding designs to make them better, so small changes are seen on each switch I make. After saying that, Lets make a Switch!

I use Redwood for all wood pieces in the construction of my switches. Any dimentions stated are what I use and can be changed as you see fit. I also use 332 Alum. rail, as it was given to me, and very easy to use.

Ties are cut in three lengths, at 3/8 X 3/8 X 3 7/8th" - 5" - 6 1/4" lengths.Stringers are cut at 1/2 X 3/4 X 26 inch.All rail pieces are custom fit on each switch.All spikes are Micro Engineering Largescale spikes.Each spike has a hole pre-drilled to keep from splitting the ties.All ties are "Goop"ed and nailed to the stringers, using #18 X 1 inch wire nails. Frogs are castings of resin, from molds I made. My frogs are now #8's

I set my stringers up side by side and put a piece of Aristo track on top, then I mark just one side of each tie. I then start nailing the ties to the stringers using the lines a guides for spacing. I do not worry about uneven spaces, it looks good to me. from the leading end of the switch, I start with seven regular {3 7/8inch} length ties, next I use two 6 1/4 inch ties for mounting the switch stand, making sure which side of the switch I want the stand on. Then I use three more regular ties, followed by six ties 5 inches long, these are starting to angle off the direction you want the converging rails to go. Next use five of the 6 1/4 inch ties, followed once again by two regular ties.

The first photo shows the ties nailed to the stringers, note that the stringers are under where I will be spiking the rail. This hides the nails. The stringers keep the whole switch level and adds strength. Before nailing the switch stand ties down, make sure if you want the switch stand on the left or right of the switch. This can make a big difference if you don't have room on one side or making it easy to reach for switching.

I start spiking my stock rail from the point where the swivel section { I talk about this section in detail later} will meet it at the center of the second switch stand ties. This rail exrends over the last tie on the end of the switch, so I can use a rail connetor when I install the new switch. Next I set the FROG close to where it will be spiked down, I also place a piece of rail parallel to the stock rail, lining up the frog and rail at the same time. I use as many as 3 gauges at this time. all of which I made. Once I'm happy with the alignment of the frog, I mark the ties, so I can put some Goop on the frog and then spike it down, rechecking the elignment after each spike is put in. If i'm happy with this, I measure the rail and spike it down from the frog to being flush with the stock rail end, half way on the Switch tie. Now that I have the frog and some of the rail spiked, I now add the converging stringers, I use the angle on the frog to determin the placment of the short piece from the frog to end of the switch, again leaving room for maybe another tie and track connectors, Then add the longer stringer for the outside converging stock rail. these stringers are also "Goop"ed and nailed. I now add two regular ties in the ends of these converging stringers. Now measure, bend, tweek, and spike the curved pieces in place. The 2 short pieces of rail off the end of the FROG, I also add some "Goop", just cause!! Photo

Now comes the moving section. I solder this from Brass rail. Photo I use brass because I need to solder this so to keep it in gauge. While making this part of the switch, it is important to put the tie bar extending out to the proper side to link to the switch stand. Once it is soldered, and cooled, I find the center of the tie bar on the swivil end, and drill a hold for the pin. I also drill a hole for the linkage from the other tie bar, this hole is close to the end of the extended end.

Now placing this new piece on the ties, and using a pin to hold it in place while you slide it back and forth finding the proper placment while leaving a gap between all the spiked rails. I then predrill this spot of the pin, and use a spike as a pin.

Now I add the two short pieces of rail to this end of the switch, leaving a gap to the swivil piece, and also extending far enough over the last tie so a rail connector can be used. These are "Goop"ed and spiked. At after each piece of rail is added, before it is really spiked down, I recheck all the rail for gauge, and I roll a loose truck with metal wheels through the frog and moving pieces. doing this before all the spikes are put in, allows for minor adjustments. Once any needed adjustments are done, I then add the Guard rails near the frog, these are fit, holes are predrilled, and the rail is "Goop"ed and then spiked down. Then comes more rolling of the truck making sure all is OK.

I now bend some small brass rod for my linkage to the switch stand. Always make sure you place the stand far enough out from the switch so you have plenty of clearance. It's not nice to knock a switch stand over with a train. Photo Now you have a completed switch, all that remains is to paint the switch stand.

Have fun building switches!!

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