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Home Made Rail Bender - Ver 1.0
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 Posted: Fri Oct 12th, 2012 03:35 pm
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Bernd
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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.

http://www.handlaidtrack.com/Fast-Tracks-Rail-Roller-p/tl-0004.htm

Happy model railroading

Bernd

Last edited on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 11:24 pm by Bernd

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 Posted: Fri Oct 12th, 2012 04:08 pm
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mwiz64
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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.

Mike



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 Posted: Fri Oct 12th, 2012 06:02 pm
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Bernd
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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.

Mike


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.

Bernd

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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2012 01:06 am
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smokebox
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HIYA...

Also, when you bend the rail even if its off some its ok because the rail will not be fighting its self trying to spring back to its rest state.

Smokebox

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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2012 05:14 pm
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W C Greene
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Wasn't that the name of a 60's rock group-Wayne Fontana and the Rail Benders...? Whaaat? How about a fixture to bend code .40 rail?

Boudreaux



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2012 05:29 pm
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smokebox
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HIYA...

With his little sherline I bet he could cut groves for the bottom of
.40" rail.....THATS TINY!!!!

Is that for Z scale or did you mean code 40?

Duhh... it would help if I read every word of the post..... LOL

Smokebox

Last edited on Sun Oct 14th, 2012 05:32 pm by

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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2012 05:41 pm
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W C Greene
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Rob-if you can't bend code 40 rail without using a bender, maybe you need to do some serious hand exercises or get out of whichever scale causes you to use teeny tiny rail! have fun...

Woodie



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 Posted: Sun Oct 14th, 2012 07:07 pm
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Bernd
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W C Greene wrote: Wasn't that the name of a 60's rock group-Wayne Fontana and the Rail Benders...? Whaaat? How about a fixture to bend code .40 rail?

Boudreaux


Know the group well. There's was a similar group called the Mind Benders. Boy I'd like to see that fixture. :cool:

This one will do code 40 rail. Gives a nice even bend. I mean it will really bend your mind. :P

Bernd

 

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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2012 04:11 pm
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wclm
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Bernd
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 K



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 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2012 07:46 pm
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Bernd
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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=B7g9O04wMDA

Bernd

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