November 17, 2009

Etched Switch Stands arrive

The test etches arrived for the new switch stands today. We tried two thicknesses of stainless steel, .010 and 0.008 inches.

I had trouble soldering the first 0.010 inch sample using the paste flux I had on hand. But, when I switched to liquid flux the job went a lot easier. Of course being liquid in a bottle and all, I spilled the flux all over the work bench. Drat!

It looks like the design is good. I may make a few tweaks to improve it. But overall I am pleased. The stainless steel is quite strong, but I may switch to phosphor bronze to make soldering easier.

The switch stand kit includes parts to allow use in either a normal two way switch or a three way switch using a different guide plate . These switch stands are very close to scale size. Combined with the bridles, these turnouts will be as close to scale as I can get. Hopefully they will be a product for Alkem Scale Models.

While I was soldering Paul Dolkos and his son Todd stopped by to help out (they were actually escaping ladies' book club night back at Paul's house.) Paul spiked about 12 inches of rail, while Todd supervised my initial feeble attempts at soldering the switch stands. They didn't stick around to see my more successful effort.


  1. The switch stand looks great. How does the throw rod connect to the near rail?

  2. Would you believe magic pixie dust!

    Actually it's not attached yet, but will be soldered to the rail after I made a short "L" bend at the end. The switch stand is designed to have the precise throw so that limit stops are not necessary. Just install the switch stand and gauge the stub rails to match the throw.

  3. I like those switch stands.. don't have the problem with some of the commercial throws where the handle needs to be dug up out of the scenery with a fingernail!