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Thread: Protecting turnouts

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    Default Protecting turnouts

    So, most of my track is laid, power/turnouts are pretty much wired. My question is how to protect the turnouts as I'm doing scenery work around them - either ballast, grass, etc. I ruined a couple on my "practice" layout with hand me down parts with glue, etc. running underneath and into the electrical workings, but I didn't lose much sleep because I knew I was trying to get it figured out and decide if I really wanted a "real" layout. Now, I've got all new track and I don't want to ruin it. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm flummoxed

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    I recommend not ballasting any track until scenery on either side is substantially complete. Blue painters tape can help keep glue out of the switch, if firmly affixed to the roadbed, but capillary action is what it is.

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    Try to avoid ballasting turnouts at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    Try to avoid ballasting turnouts at all.
    Wellllll, I wouldn't go that far. I ballast my turnouts, but keep the ballast well below tie-top level, and I'm sparing with it around the points. Nothing between the headblocks.

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    Good thing to be concerned about; biggest time waster is trying to remove bright white plaster from dark ties. You end up staining it. I use blue or green painter's tape wide enough to cover the ties and a bit beyond.

    Ditto what @Paul Schmidt says on waiting to ballast. Step 1: get the track to rock solid operation. Once the scenery goes in your view and your options are limited and any track work becomes a lot harder. Step 2: paint the track (so you don't have to worry about spray painting your scenery). Step 3: rock and ground work including stains, paints, and building foundations. Step 4: ballast. Step 5: horticulture and plant the buildings. Operate after steps 2 (dirty rail problems), step 3 (clearance problems) and step 4 (ballast fouling turnouts and rails) and get the track back to rock solid again before proceeding.

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    I am in the same camp as Paul. I ballast all of my turnouts. I have a fairly stiff 1/2” brush I use to clean the ballast off the top of the ties. While the glue is drying, I move the switch back and forth so the points don’t stick. Even after glueing, I take a tooth pick and go over the track making sure there are no rogue pieces of ballast affecting anything.
    Karl

    CEO of the WC White Pine Subdivision, an Upper Peninsula branch line.

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    use heavy glue and very little so as to not let it run into where it does not need to go . A little at a time saves turn outs. that would be my solution for turn outs

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    When ballasting around any turnouts, I apply a small amount of light oil to the points and anywhere else you don't want the glue to stick. Then being careful, I ballast and as the glue dries, keep working the turnout.
    Rodney

    Here is my build of my n-scale railroad
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...-50-8-quot-%29

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