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  • Topic: Bending Brass Track for Turntable Pit Rail

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    • July 27, 2021 8:03 AM EDT
      • Chelmsford, MA
         
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      Bending Brass Track for Turntable Pit Rail

      Each of my turntable pits has a support rail for the turntable bridge.  On one pit I use code 250 brass rail and for some reason the rail has become very brittle and broken in numerour places.

       

      Are there some manufacturers of code 250 brass rail that is better for this application and should the rail be heated while bending to avoid stress cracks?

       

      Thanks

       

      Stan

       

       

    • July 27, 2021 9:49 AM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Brass does not bend with heat, it breaks. Non-ferrous metals need to be annealed prior to bending. Heat then immediately quench in cold water. Annealing makes brass softer.

    • July 27, 2021 5:35 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Stan,

       

      There are many alloys of brass, some softer or harder than others. Rooster is correct, annealing will soften (take out the temper/hardness) of the rail. I suggest doing the annealing in a pretty dark room and heat the rail to a dull red color before quench. If using straight rail to start, I suggest using a piece of 3 or 4 inch PVC pipe with a cap on the bottom. Lean it at about a 45° angle and fill with water. Make the pipe 6-12 inches longer than the length of the rail.

       

      Also remember that brass work hardens. So once you have annealed it, every pass through the rail bender to get the desired radius will put temper/hardness back into the rail, so the closer you can get on the first pass the better you will be. And for those reading this, aluminum also work hardens when you roll it through the bender, but will not be detrimental unless you are rolling very tight radii.

       

      Good luck Stan.

      ____________________________________

      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • July 27, 2021 6:23 PM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Bob Cope said:
      Rooster is correct

       

       

      Wow ....that is huge !!

    • July 28, 2021 7:50 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Rooster said:
      Bob Cope said:
      Rooster is correct

      Wow ....that is huge !!

      well , Bob  is fair 

       

      ____________________________________

       

       

       

       

       

       

      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

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