In my thread on the quarry tram line I wanted to see what a 10" radius looked like and whether a quarry car idea I had would work on a 10" radius curve. So I did a test track using my home made rail bender.
I took the rail bender apart into it's components to show the seperate parts better. The dimensions are just guide lines. Use them to come up with your own.
First a close up look at the bender. It's not pretty but it works wonderful.
These are the rollers. Nothing more than bearings. They have a 3/8" diameter bore and can be purchased here http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc or you might be able to find something similar at the hardware store. The screws are home made from 1/2" hex stock turned to fit the bearing hole diameter and threaded. The aluminum washers go under the bearings when fastened to the fixture so the based of the rail goes underneath the bearing. If the base of the rail does not run under the bearing it will twist the rail.
Here's the rest with some dimensions. They give a general idea of size and location. You can make up your own sizes, they are not critical to the fixture.
That's it. Questions?
Here's a demo of bending code 125 rail. This is used in O scale.
First a close up of the rail in the bender. Note the base of the rail is under the bearing. The bearings actually contact the rail head.
I just arbitrarily set it up with no radius in mind.
An approximately 14" radius.
How about an "S" curve?
Don't like the curve it produced. Send it back through the other way and it becomes a piece of very straight track. I'd like to see somebody do that by hand.
For those that don't have the machine tools or inclination to build one, Fast Tacks makes a nicer version than I built. Also watch their video. Explains much better how a rail bender works.
Since I haven't hand laid any track yet but I'm about to give it a try I have a question or two. How do you bend that stuff to the proper radius and how do you make a pair of rails that are the perfect offset shape/radius of each other?... or is that somehow not critical.
mwiz64 wrote: Since I haven't hand laid any track yet but I'm about to give it a try I have a question or two. How do you bend that stuff to the proper radius and how do you make a pair of rails that are the perfect offset shape/radius of each other?... or is that somehow not critical.
The rail bender gives you a curved rail with a general radius. You start out with a large setting, the rollers father apart, then keep closing in on the movable roller until your close to the radius you want. Run the second rail throught it and then spike your rails down. Making the curved rail in the fixture is not critical. Best way to understand this is use a rail bender. You'll then understand better of how it works.
Couldn't you put two steel rules on the device, one one the fixed and one on the movable, get your angle from the three points, figure the arc and get it's radius then multiply it then you can repeat exactly each time.
____________________ Clif Korlaske
OWNER,OPERATOR,CHIEF COOK,& BOTTLE WASHER
"How old will you be before your as stupid as you think I am?"
A scale is really of no use. The bender is not actually going to bend a perfect 22" radius. All you want to do is get it close. The only thing a scale would do is let you get an aproximation to the radius you want. You'd take the first rail set the bender then take the rail to the place your doing a curve and see how close you are. If it needs a sharper curve then set the roller closer to the other two. Need less of a curved, back off on the roller.
Take a look at Fast Tracks bender video. It'll explain it better than I can typing.