• Track Geometry Unit

    I recently made this track geometry unit to help me align my N scale code 55 track. I thought other people may be interested in it also as it works very well. I took an N scale truck and glued a nail through the bolster hole using CA glue. I then cut the nail shorter and drilled a hole (part way) in the circular level and made sure it fit on the nail with a snug fit.
    I have had the circular level for many years, so I don't know where I got it. I have added the plastic bumpers to the trucks so I can push it with a loco. Since I have used it on my track I have had zero derailments. I place the unit on a known flat surface to calibrate the level. That is why I didn't glue it in place.
    http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/s...metry-Unit.jpg
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. SimAce1's Avatar
      SimAce1 -
      This is great idea. I've used a truck fitted with a paperboard sail. I would blow gently on the sail over the track in question and observe any variation in speed or tilt. This setup is much better.

      Harry Alban
    1. warnerj01's Avatar
      warnerj01 -
      This is a brillant way to level track.
    1. pwh70's Avatar
      pwh70 -
      What's the best way to make leveling adjustments when you find an issue? Before ballast, by shimming under the roadbed?
    1. Big Windy's Avatar
      Big Windy -
      I thought I had my benchwork level(lumpy basement floor) not so says the car that flopped over on a little wiggle your idea will save me some time figuring out the culprits.
    1. zosimas's Avatar
      zosimas -
      Google shopping search for "circular level" pops up with all sorts of results, as low as $1.

      Thanks for the article
    1. BNSF AZ's Avatar
      BNSF AZ -
      Hi every one. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I may add a coupler to the unit so I can push pull it. I am currently just pushing it. Works well doesn't tip.
      Keep on Tracking!
      Paul
    1. neil111's Avatar
      neil111 -
      Good evening. I'm new to this forum, but have been building my n-scale layout for about a year. While I was building benchwork and sub-roadbed (I use pink foam), I used an app on my Android phone that shows you the grade %. I'm sure it isn't perfectly accurate, but good enough for my purposes. That app also has a level. I'm sure similar ones are available for iPhones.

      Best regards,
      - Neil
    1. BryanC (RIP)'s Avatar
      BryanC (RIP) -
      Quote Originally Posted by neil111 View Post
      I used an app on my Android phone
      You have a link (Play Store or where ever) or even a name? Sounds like it might be a useful app to have!
    1. Running Bear's Avatar
      Running Bear -
      Quote Originally Posted by SimAce1 View Post
      This is great idea. I've used a truck fitted with a paperboard sail. I would blow gently on the sail over the track in question and observe any variation in speed or tilt. This setup is much better.

      Harry Alban
      Wonder where I could find a level like that?
    1. zosimas's Avatar
      zosimas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Running Bear View Post
      Wonder where I could find a level like that?

      I just googled "
      circular level" and clicked the shopping link on the left frame and lot's of results as low as a $1 popped up.
    1. Running Bear's Avatar
      Running Bear -
      Thank you.
    1. neil111's Avatar
      neil111 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Running Bear View Post
      Wonder where I could find a level like that?
      Hi. Sorry for the delayed response -- it has been a busy week. Here is the link to google play store. The name of the App is Bubble level by Antoine Vianey. It also shows angle of inclination, which is a fancy way for saying grade. It is also free.

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...es.level&hl=en

      Regards,
      - Neil
    1. surgpsych's Avatar
      surgpsych -
      Hi. Sorry for the delayed response -- it has been a busy week. Here is the link to google play store. The name of the App is Bubble level by Antoine Vianey. It also shows angle of inclination, which is a fancy way for saying grade. It is also free.

      ~~ I downloaded the "bubble level" app (TiltMeter)for my iPhone and it worked like a charm!! THANKS for the info! I placed the phone on a 1x3 block of wood and measured small sections of my incline/decline at a time. The block turned sideways help keep the phone above the lowest point in the track and the surrounding structures. This technique allowed me to measure 2 and 3 degree inclines smoothly! Kudos!
    1. jimltop's Avatar
      jimltop -
      just got the level at harbor freight $1.29
    1. toyotagramps's Avatar
      toyotagramps -
      Wow. I love it. Awesome job and it is so cool that ya can make a useful tool and not have to buy something a retail store sells. I love homemade tools. Toyotagramps
    1. chuck67's Avatar
      chuck67 -
      Thanks BNSF AZ: I never gave that one a thought. That is a RV gas refrigerator level, cheap as you can find anywhere. Hope this helps.
    1. epumph's Avatar
      epumph -
      hmmm this is 4 yrs old???
    1. aflica's Avatar
      aflica -
      There is a sudden rash of this going on Gene , but i got "told" by TD and Zos when i pointed it out .

      Steve
    1. Tony35's Avatar
      Tony35 -
      Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
      There is a sudden rash of this going on Gene , but i got "told" by TD and Zos when i pointed it out .

      Steve
      Your not trying to run up your post count are you Steve?
    1. aflica's Avatar
      aflica -
      Yup , i heard there was a prize at 2000 , thx for helping me Tony

      Steve