The On-Line Magazine of Rideable Model Railroading
  NUMBER 121


November 25, 2008   

2008 Warren Schroeder and Discover Live Steam.  This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.

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Make a Set of Switch Points from Angle Iron
for $10

Written by Warren Schroeder


Being very dissatisfied with the quality and cost of cast aluminum points I decided to make a set of points from angle iron. I used x iron so that it would fit inside the web of my rail (fits top of the foot and flushes with the top of the head) as you will see in third photo. If you use Club rail you may need 1" iron. It must fit in between the foot of the rail and top of head.

1. Begin by cutting a section of iron to approximate length (30" in my case).

2. Next drill three mounting holes in the rail you are going to join (remember to position hole low on the web towards the foot so mounting bolts will not catch wheel flanges). Then cut or grind down a 3-4" section along the top edge of the iron such that it will fit snugly under the railhead as shown in the next two photos

3. You can now drill through the iron for the mounting holes. I first clamped the iron to the rail to hold the position tight, then on to the drill press. Using the holes in the rail as a guide, I drilled through.

4. Next you will bolt the rail to the iron. BUT before you do so you will need to cut a notch in the opposite side as shown. This is essential to allow the iron to flex as you throw the rail.

5. Because the angle iron is positioned inside the web the top of the iron will not sit parallel with the top of the rail unless you place some thin to support the iron. I use some 1/8 bar stock as a shim and shown mounted on the first two ties. You should probably put some at least one at he other end of the points and one in the middle.

6. Oh yes, one more thing (you purists may not like): You will not be able to use track screws along the inside edges of the rail foot for most of the length of the point. To solve this I drilled through the foot (on the outside) and put the screw through it. This shows one screw in place and one hole ready for the screw.

7. Finish off by attaching to the throw bar and your $10 points set is ready for service!! Enjoy!


Written by Warren Schroeder

Editors Note:  Information contained in this article is for reference only. 
We at and our authors are not responsible for any loss that might occur from the practical application of ideas presented here.



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