Fiddly Bits of Rail

The distance between the frog casting and the baseboard joint for the runaround turnout is about three ties including the brass screw concealing one. Normally, one would insulate the frog from this rail so that polarity switching might involve as small an area as possible. I had severe doubts about my ability to align, wire, spike and keep aligned those two bits of rail. I thus resolved to affix them to the frog casting and make the unavoidable gap at the baseboard joint the electrical gap as well.

Butt soldering the ends of two pieces of rail and expecting it to have structural strength seems a wee bit optimistic so leveraged my recently acquire brass scoring and snapping skills to make four suitable bits of .010″ brass. (If I had appropriate strip on hand, I would use that but it was satisfying to not be delayed by the lack thereof. That sort of delay is the nemesis of my progress.)fishplates

Having got up a head of steam, I rolled right into attempting to solder up the pieces. I quickly determined that two outside plates would suffice if only to avoid character building fiddling trying to get my soldering iron into the confined space between the two diverging rails. I also deployed my brand new flux applicator bottle (Thanks for the idea, Trevor!) which worked very well for getting minute quantities applied. It also didn’t spill when I inevitably knocked it over.

Here is the first rail bit in place.extendedfrog

That is as far as I got before running out of time but I am please with the result.

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