fighting procrastination fifteen minutes at a time

Switch build 02

Finally found a moment to burn some metal and get started again on first switch. This being N Scale the question was how was I going to gauge this. Well time to break out the trusty callipers, not the digital ones this time as they have plastic prongs and not good at holding a finger singeing rail to gauge but got old fashioned analogue. I tend to use my 2FS gauges to start off soldering first rail to keep it vertical then move to the callipers.

So I started out working on the frog, yes I know that this is not the prescribed method but I am just messing around with ways to build as it’s been some time since I built handlaid switches, but it’s always good to tryout new even if you get it wrong.

Speaking of getting it wrong I forgot to file out the blade pocket on the stock rail again just rustiness but at this size and gauge it shouldn’t be too much of an issue and I can always take a file to it later if needs be.

Until next time..


  1. Chris Mears

    Starting by forming the frog is always how I’d start, not that my vote matters, but I’ve always reasoned that the geometry of the frog is the foundation of the turnout and once this was set, the rest would and does flow naturally.

    I’ve wondered about setting the turnout’s other critical dimensions using calipers though I’ve never actually done it (typically relying on my collections of “standards gauges”). By comparison, did you enjoy it? It seems to make perfect sense to employ this tool but I was curious how well it works in practice.


    • 15minutemodeller

      I totally agree Chris about the frog I just find it easiest to start with the stock rail and work out from there. I guess when I first started building pints I didn’t have any tuition and pretty much made it up in the days before Youtube and now I can’t change my bad habits.
      As for callipers I’ve found it to be an excellent method and really accurate. There’s no visual interference that you get with roller gauges but obviously one has to be very meticulous in keeping rail in place whilst soldering. I struggled with using them at first bit once I started using a roller gauge at one end to two rails to make sure rail was at ninety degrees to pcb I found it really easy to work with and really enjoy my home brew, cobbled together frankenbuild method. In fact it allows for any scale without the need for manufactured gauges. I wouldn’t hesitate to offer it up as an alternative. Like everything point building it takes a couple of gos to get it right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.