North switch feeders and stock rails

To accurately locate the feeders, I place the rail in position, and then file a groove in the bottom of the foot with a triangular file. I use my old file, so it doesn’t get gummed up with Pliobond. I then flip the rail over and deepen the groove slightly, and then scrape the Pliobond off a little to either side of the groove. The feeders are bent over at 90 degrees and held in the groove while I solder them onto the foot of the rail.

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Once all the feeders were on, I soldered and glued the “straight” stock rail. To locate this rail relative to the ends of the ties, I used a tie with a groove cut in it, and ran that ahead of the soldering iron that I use for softening the Pliobond. I started with the two PC board ties to either side of the switch casting, and worked my way out from there.

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Here are all the soldering tools lined up for track building.

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With the straighter stock rail down, I could locate the frog. I started this at the tip of the frog, holding it in place with three gauges. Once the soldering bit was done, I finished up all the Pliobond down to the end of the rails, gauging off the other rail or the end of the ties as appropriate.

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Next I placed the diverging stock rail, again starting with the two ties on either side of the switch. To ensure there is sufficient gauge for the points, I pushed the no-go mark of the track gauge right down between the rails at the point of the switch. This is important, as if the gauge is at all tight at this point, there is no room for the points, and it will be impossible for wheels to get through the switch.

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