Cutting Kato curves.....?

french_guy May 19, 2020

  1. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Hello,

    Has anyone tried to cut a 30° curve (20-140) to get 2 x 15° curves?
    I would need 15° in those areas (where tracks are missing)
    15 deg.JPG
     
  2. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    The problem with KATO track is the unijoiner. When you cut the track, you remove the manufactured coupling from one end. It could be done using a Dremel on the rails, but you might need to make some modifications to the ballast base to make the unijoiner from the adjacent unmodified piece fit at least semi-permanently.

    Flextrack cut to length would work too and you could just use regular rail joiners and remove the unijoiners from the ends entirely.
     
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  3. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe take two long pieces that are 30 degrees each for 60 degrees, and cut out the end joiners to remove 15 degrees from the two big pieces.

    Then you can just use some standard code 80 joiners to connect them.

    I would cut the plastic from underneath with a razor saw, then use rail nippers to make clean cuts on the rails.
     
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  4. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    @french_guy This was another reason why I shied away from Kato due to the lack of usable pieces. But @traingeekboy has a interesting solution.
     
  5. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks....a razor saw will not make a clean cut on the rails? I should use rail nippers?
     
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You may not need it, but I recall seeing a neat trick as shown in a Mike Fifer [ https://www.fiferhobby.com/ ] video where he cut multiple slots in the "ballast" section of Kato Unitrack so that he could then bend the track section (rails and "ballast") to any intermediate radius he wished. Camouflaged with Kato ballast, it's a good solution for difficult situations.
     
  7. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    As long as you make a straight cut with either tool you should be fine. Rail nippers are basically a one-and-done tool, but the saw is probably fast on N scale rail too. If you wanted to sand or polish the cut end, it would remove any burrs or imperfections from the saw strokes, although you don’t have to if the first cut is clean.
     
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  8. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  9. IronMan1963

    IronMan1963 TrainBoard Member

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    There are a couple You tube videos about cutting unitrack and keeping the unijoiner ends. Basically you take the section out of the middle. You cut the ballast, slide it off, shorten the rails and ballast to the size you need.
     
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  10. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    You could also just heat up a butter knife and melt your way through.

    Razor saws are not good rail cutting tools. With the track cutter make sure you use the flat side for the piece you want to save.
     
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  11. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    cut out the middle of the track and then push them together you will have to trim the rails. ive done this and it works great DO NOT CUT THE RAILS IN THE MIDDLE just the plastic.!!!
    mike fifer has a video on this
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    What Sidney said. Otherwise, if the spacing between the two straights at top is not critical, I would just use 19" radius 15 degree curves, and shorten the top straight as needed.
     
  13. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    I tried that........It was in my original track plan, but it doesn't look good. And I'm planning to run long passenger cars, so it will probably be an issue...
     
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  14. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I get it that the extra gap between the two straight tracks may not be aesthetically acceptable, but what kind of issues would you expect from the change with long passenger cars?

    Would moving the upper straightaway further up create a potential overhang issue on edge of the layout?

    Using longer radius pieces to transition from a curve to a straight is similar to using easements with flex track, with similar benefits, especially with long equipment. You might also transition the inner curves with a 15"x30 degree section, which would reduce the gap between straights a bit as well.
     
  15. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Doesn't look too bad for a 1st time.....
    I need now to get rail nippers and the right glue.......Probably cement for plastic models?
    20200521_202837.jpg 20200521_202813.jpg
     
  16. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Will super glue work on this type of plastic, or do I need a specific 2 component glue system?
     
  17. Sepp K

    Sepp K TrainBoard Member

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    Are you going to be installing the track permanently? I don't believe I've ever glued the Kato roadbed back together. I just count on the glue or caulk I'm using to lay the track to also hold the roadbed together. Anymore I use small screws as well as adhesive caulk.
     
  18. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    No, not going to install permanently yet......this is why I want to glue the 2 pieces of roadbed together
    But I would like a fast setting glue, since I want to press them tight together to have the smallest possible gap
     
  19. Sepp K

    Sepp K TrainBoard Member

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    I would try a thick or gel type ACC generic super glue.
     
  20. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    Done.......happy with the result (for a 1st time). I used a cutting wheel on a dremel for the rails
    1 more to go.....hope it will be a least as good as this one !
    20200523_183351.jpg 20200523_183620.jpg
     

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