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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My layout originally started out as code 332 brass track. Since then I have started using code 250 aluminum for projects and other parts of the layout. The biggest thing that kept me from doing more was the cost of the 332/250 conversion clamps. Last night at work I came up with an idea and I thought maybe a few of you would like to try it out.


The process and tools are simple. I used 1/8" flat brass stock ($.99/foot) a kaydee 2-56 tap and drill set ($6.00) and (4) 2-56 screws two of which are Aristo track screws and the other two are scavenged from a B-mann circuit board tear out.


The inside web lines up flush with my rail. (Micro engineering code 250) as well as flush with the 332 aluminum. I also checked it with aristo, AMS and LGB brass 332 and it lines up as well.


Cut a piece of the 1/8 flat stock 1 1/4" long Drill and tap the brass. Place the rail pieces head side down so they line up and mark your holes using the brass piece you drilled (remember the brass goes to the inside). Drill the rail out with the clearence bit. The brass fits underneath the head flush against the web so the flanges will clear. I had to trim down the screws on the 332 side because they were to long. A dremel made quick work of this.


Here's what you get:


Outside of the rail...





Top of the rail (don't mind the scratches I used scrap rail)





Backside of the rail....





Easy money saving stuff I thought I'd share.


Take care,
Terry
 

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Nice info Terry! I need to do the same. Also looks more prototypical than the clamps.

Question, what size bit did you use for the clearance bit for the 2-56 tap?

Also, would one screw each rail work or was it not strong enough?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The clearance bit is a #43, it comes in the set from kadee. I tried one screw on each piece of rail but it tended to "dip" in the middle. Two screws secured it and took that away.

Terry
 

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Terry, Excellent idea you've come up with there. Quite similar to a transition rail used on the prototypes. I imagine you're not an engineer or a physicist, just goes to show that you don't need be one to come up with some useful stuff.

Regards,
pk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm only an engineer on the weekends. ;)
 

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Looks good. The only thing I'd do a little different is to have the strap fit the 332 rail between the head and base of rail and then grind off the other end to make it fit ssnug also on the 250 rail. makes for a lot stronger joint. Make sure the gage side of the rails line up to avoid the mismatch of the rails. Later RJD
 

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PaintJockey
Do you have a band saw?

I use Brass track and just cut out a ***** the 332 rail above the base of the rail about 1 inch and set the 250 rail on top and solder together. In your case you could use the cutout to rest the 250 rail on for alignment then just screw to gether like you have shown.

I have used thsi for years as almost oll of my switches are 250 as I have 4 hundred feet of Sunset Valley rail I no longer use for mainline track.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the pointers. The idea behind this was to be able to do it "in the field" the only power tool I bring with me is my battery dremel. I made a section of track with the joiners shortly after I posted this. When it has ties put under the joint is quite strong and the locos and rolling stock track quite well over it. All in all I would have to say it's a success.
 

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My layout originally started out as code 332 brass track. Since then I have started using code 250 aluminum for projects and other parts of the layout. The biggest thing that kept me from doing more was the cost of the 332/250 conversion clamps. Last night at work I came up with an idea and I thought maybe a few of you would like to try it out.


The process and tools are simple. I used 1/8" flat brass stock ($.99/foot) a kaydee 2-56 tap and drill set ($6.00) and (4) 2-56 screws two of which are Aristo track screws and the other two are scavenged from a B-mann circuit board tear out.


The inside web lines up flush with my rail. (Micro engineering code 250) as well as flush with the 332 aluminum. I also checked it with aristo, AMS and LGB brass 332 and it lines up as well.


Cut a piece of the 1/8 flat stock 1 1/4" long Drill and tap the brass. Place the rail pieces head side down so they line up and mark your holes using the brass piece you drilled (remember the brass goes to the inside). Drill the rail out with the clearence bit. The brass fits underneath the head flush against the web so the flanges will clear. I had to trim down the screws on the 332 side because they were to long. A dremel made quick work of this.


Here's what you get:


Outside of the rail...





Top of the rail (don't mind the scratches I used scrap rail)





Backside of the rail....





Easy money saving stuff I thought I'd share.


Take care,
Terry
WOW somebody had the exact same problem as me i also want to use code 250 aluminum track but code 250 turnouts are expensive so i need to change at the yard entrance
 

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I use a dremel also, and for a present I was given the Milwaukee version. Lots more power and it can use the quick change dremel disk attachment.
 

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Good idea, just be mindful of having different metals touching together, especially when it comes to those other metals touching aluminum, as it tends to cause accelerated corrosion and in the case of electrified track, electrolysis. This is why when attaching, for example, brass track to aluminum track it is advised to use insulated joiners and, as an extra step if desired, Noalox or an equivalent.

These problems tend to occur over some years, so in most cases you'd be fine for a while, but just something to keep tabs on as time progresses with mixed material track and hardware.

Best,
Mike
 
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