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I need to order a track gauge ASAP. Can you let me know what your favorite is, and why?
I tried to search the track forum for 'track gauge', but you can imagine the results were not exactly what I needed./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif" border=0>"
Thanks much,
Matt
Edit: Thank you for your quick response, Paintjockey, but I'm afraid I was too vague in my question. That is why the search wouldn't work.
The 'gauge' I was actually asking about was the tool. I plan to stick mainly with 1:20.3 with code 250, but I'm hand-laying track and want to be able to measure the distance between the rails as easily and accurately as possible.
Thanks
 

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my favorite is 250, but outside 332 has worked best for me. That and i have some uber crappy wheels on some of my cars and the 332 is a tad more forgiving. All that said, i'm going back to 250 cause it is cheaper and looks better.
 
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instead of a trackgauge i put a piece of plastic sleepers under the rails, and nail my wooden sleeper just beside. then shove the plastic sleepers a little to the side, to make place for the nex sleeper i want to nail down.
 

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Harvey, I think I may do like you said, and make my own, since apparently nobody likes the track gauges that are out there./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif

Kormsen, as I said on Paintjockey's thread, I will also try your method, at least on straight sections.

Thanks, gents.
 

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The Aristocraft track gauge checks all gauge items (incl. turnouts), wheels, and other stuff. Note that it's good for checking, not laying track. For hand laying track, I suggest a three-point gauge (can't remember where I bought mine 10 yrs. ago).
 

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Thanks, Dennis.

Ray, (or anyone) can you tell me how a three point gauge works?

Thanks
 

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Llagas creek makes a three point gauge that I use. I only have one, but would recommend buying two. This way when you lay straight rail you can place the gauges opposite of one another to insure correct gauge the full lenght. To use, place the two point side on one rail, and the one point side on the other rail. When laying curves it's generally recommended to place the two point side on inside of the curve to allow for a slightly wider gauge on curves.
http://www.llagastrack.com/images/PTG2.gif
http://www.llagastrack.com/pricelist.html
Craig
 

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Posted By Matt Vogt on 08/09/2008 6:35 AM
Thanks, Dennis.
Ray, (or anyone) can you tell me how a three point gauge works?
Thanks



In the 12"=1' world...

The track gauge is a long bar with one hook (prong or projection) on one end at right angles to the bar about 4 inches from the end, and two similar hooks on the other end, at the same right angle, about 4 inches from the end and about 6 inches apart on a line at a right angle to the bar. The distance between the single hook and the double hooks is the gage of the track. One rail is spiked down about the correct distance from the end of a tie and the two hooks are held against it (this keeps the bar perpendicular to the track), the other rail is then held against the single hook while it is spiked to the tie.

When laying tangent (straight) track the gauge is often flipped end for end each time it is moved down the track. When entering a curve the double-hook end is kept against the outside rail. Due to the geometry of the three hooks, this widens the gage of the track slightly, and the tighter the curve the more the gage is widened.

Below is a drawing from "The Modek Railroader Cyclopedia" (copyright 1949 by Kalmback Publishing) that shows a track gauge for model trains. The gauge for model trains has the two-hooks much farther apart than in the 12"=1' world, which produces much more widening of the gage in curves than in the real world.

The model gauge also has double hooks at each point to help the modeler hold the track in position. A real gauge has just a single hook to assure only the inside gage measurement (there are always more than one pair of hands to hold the rail where it goes when handlaying real track, but the modeler is often alone and needs the extra help to hold the rail in place.
 

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For simply spiking straight and curved track, the track gauge of 45mm actually doesn't matter that much - you could probably vary it between 43,5mm and 46,5mm. The reason is simply that the wheel treads are so wide, that they can slide sideways quite a bit without dropping off the railhead. have a look, it's very instructional! :-D (This is true as long as you do not use fine scale wheels, which involve finer and more accurate standards.)

This means any wood scrap with nails so-so correctly positioned will do as track gauges, or any other home made thing you would like to make.

Track gauge is only critical if you decide to build your own switches. And if you have the patience to hand-spike rail, building your own switches is even more worthwhile! Don't be intimidated - you only have to understand the principle right, and then it's not difficult.

But for this, the important measure is from the outside of the guard-rail, to the outside (YES! outside-outside)of the frog. This measurement needs to be slightly more than 40mm. (And you have to check that the inside measurement between flanges of all your locomotives and rolling stock is exactly 40mm) The reason is that the guard-rails push the inside of the outer wheel-flange out from the frog, preventing the inside wheel to catch in the frog-point.Again, have a good look at how you might push the wheel axles sideways in a switch, and you will understand.

Now, the remaining problem for most of us, is time needed for hand-spiking ;-D
 

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I would argue that if you layout your outside rails and your frog in the correct place you shouldn't even need the guard rails for the turnout to work properly. This is were having two guages would be helpful.
As for the time problem.. how many hours do people 'waste' watching TV? Wouldn't that be better put to use working on the railway?
Craig
 

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Hi,


The Llagas Creek rail gauge is a fine little invention. When spiking down rails, I use notched brassbars with srews, to hold the rails in place:




Have Fun

Juergen
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Posted By Pauli on 08/09/2008 3:53 PM
Now, the remaining problem for most of us, is time needed for hand-spiking ;-D


That's hitting the nail on the proverbial head, Pauli. With three young girls, a house to install siding on, and a backyard to install drainage pipe in, it has been tough to make progress on the train layout. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif" border=0>
Fritz, those are pretty cool looking gauges!
Semper Vaporo (sorry, I can't remember your real name) thanks for the explanation. I guess I'll have to decide whether my curves will be subtle enough to use the three pointers.
Craig, thanks for the post and explanation. I couldn't find the gauge on COCRY's page.
 

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Sorry bout that Matt, I read guage and just assumed you meant "track".
 
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