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  • Topic: Train - Li's Rail Clamp

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    • July 8, 2009 8:42 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Train -Li has this nice rail clamp that uses the KISS idea. (keep it simple stupid)

      I like the idea of using a normal bladed screw driver . The orientation of the screw (from the top) helps on switches and in tight places like tunnels. The clamp it self is nicely built.

      The area were the screw goes has some meet to it. When you install it , and ballast it, it seems to blend in.

      I'm decided not to use grease because to much open area to collect crud. So far as I connect each section and move away from the power connection, (note very wet cause of rain) I'm having no problems with power loss. I guess I'll have to pay attention as time goes on. To sum it up Great! Thanks Axel ! Sean McGillicuddy
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    • July 8, 2009 9:26 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Installation does look a lot simpler than the old Hillman's or Split Jaw, but I'm not so sure I like those out of scale slotted screws looking up at me. Perhaps if they were painted black it would help hide them better.

      They should be less expensive than the competition - they look to be cut from an extruded shape rather than machined. Less drilling too. What is the cost like?
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    • July 8, 2009 9:40 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      $1:40 each no matter which 1 to 100 !!
      ____________________________________

       My u-tube  My Vimeo

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • July 8, 2009 10:21 AM EDT

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      Very similar to the old stainless steel San Val clamps.
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      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • July 8, 2009 12:12 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      TonyWalsham said:
      Very similar to the old stainless steel San Val clamps.
      Tony, I was thinking the same thing. I still have a bunch of those and they are great for quick repair to get conductivity back. But they are unsightly and now only use them on rail that is above the visual line of sight. I always like the way you could use them one way for over rail clamps and the other way without rail clamps.
    • July 8, 2009 2:56 PM EDT

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      I remember the San Val clamps having 4 screws, this one has 2 on one side and a "hook" for the rail base on the other.

      Regards, Greg
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • July 8, 2009 3:20 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, General Contractor???
         
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      Sean,

      We use the Stainless Steel San Val clamps on all our club road show layouts with a varying degree of difficulty. Stainless steel fasteners are notorious for galling up when you try to remove them, especially when they are installed with eccentric loading on the head. We have thrown some away and had to re-tap some after each show. Axel has chosen to use brass instead. I believe that will be a good move, however I would recommend using a thread treatment such a 'Never-Seeze' on the screws to help if you ever need to remove them. We have done so with the San Vals and have reduced the galling problem some. Personally I like a phillips or hex rather than a straight blade screwdriver.

      Bob
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    • July 8, 2009 4:56 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Sean McGillicuddy said:
      $1:40 each no matter which 1 to 100 !!
      That's good. $0.40 each cheaper than the street price of brass Split Jaws in bags of 10. I hope they work well for you. I'll be interested in how they are doing after a New England winter. My brass Hillman clamps all gave out after a couple of years outside. My SS Split Jaws are all good except a few that I over-tightened need new screws.
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    • July 8, 2009 7:32 PM EDT

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      Greg.
      Before San Val started making the 4 screw clamps he did make the 2 screw versions.
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      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • August 20, 2009 9:42 PM EDT

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      Am I correct that you can still order from San Val (AL Kramer) the 4-screw clamps?

      Wendell
    • August 21, 2009 6:00 AM EDT
      • UK/Ontario/Oregon
         
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      Jon Radder said:
      Sean McGillicuddy said:
      $1:40 each no matter which 1 to 100 !!
      That's good. $0.40 each cheaper than the street price of brass Split Jaws in bags of 10. I hope they work well for you. I'll be interested in how they are doing after a New England winter. My brass Hillman clamps all gave out after a couple of years outside. My SS Split Jaws are all good except a few that I over-tightened need new screws.
      Hey, Jon - what was the form of failure on your Hillman clamps? Mine have been out here in yUK since 2000, and my B-i-L's track since 1997 wihtout any signs of degradation. Mind you, we don't get quite the same weather as you guys.... Besp tac www.ovgrs.org
    • August 21, 2009 8:21 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Terry A de C Foley said:
      Jon Radder said:
      Sean McGillicuddy said:
      $1:40 each no matter which 1 to 100 !!
      That's good. $0.40 each cheaper than the street price of brass Split Jaws in bags of 10. I hope they work well for you. I'll be interested in how they are doing after a New England winter. My brass Hillman clamps all gave out after a couple of years outside. My SS Split Jaws are all good except a few that I over-tightened need new screws.
      Hey, Jon - what was the form of failure on your Hillman clamps? Mine have been out here in yUK since 2000, and my B-i-L's track since 1997 wihtout any signs of degradation. Mind you, we don't get quite the same weather as you guys.... Besp tac www.ovgrs.org
      I use the Aristo Stainless rail. It has a different web profile than the brass from either Ariso or LGB. The Hillmans always worked fine for me on Brass track, but when I went to stainless, the clamps would bend then eventually fail at the edge of the thinnest portion of the metal. Hillman came out with a Stainless version of the clamp that was supposed to fix the problem, but as it turned out they only changed the material to stainless and did not change the profile of the opening to match the stainless rail. They failed too, just took longer. There was a lengthy discussion of this on MLS many moons ago. The pictures below were taken for that thread. Brass Clamp on Brass Rail

      Brass Clamp on Stainless Rail

      Note how poorly the clamp fits the stainless rail. The groove on the stainless version of the clamp is machined exactly the same.
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    • August 21, 2009 10:41 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      I think that "hook" will be its weakest point.
      If you tighten too much, the brass screw heads might bend or break off.
      Put a dab of blacken it on the screw and it will turn brown.
      I agree, they should have used hex heads. More "railroady" if you will.
      Hillmans fail due to freeze-thaw cycles in some instances. I don't mean 32 (or "0" C) but -10 or -20 F.
      I seen some literaly break in two and even break the rail.
    • August 21, 2009 2:55 PM EDT

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      I have to agree with Jon, not my idea of a good fit to SS. The SJ clamps have more of a "V" slot to very closely fit the base of the SS rail.

      They are the best for SS in my opinion, of course I don't care about cost, but quality, I am going for zero maintenance.

      Regards, Greg
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • August 21, 2009 6:40 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:
      I have to agree with Jon, not my idea of a good fit to SS. The SJ clamps have more of a "V" slot to very closely fit the base of the SS rail. They are the best for SS in my opinion, of course I don't care about cost, but quality, I am going for zero maintenance. Regards, Greg
      That's what I use at all switches and places where I'll need to break track apart for maintenance. In between I use the standard Aristo joiners, but instead of the little pain in the butt hex cap screw, I use the Phillips screws from the tie strips. Same thread, but a little longer. They will push the far side of the joiner open a bit when tight. I've had no conductivity issues at rail joints in over 4 years on the ground.
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