I'm sorry I don't mean to resurrect an old thread and I've searched everywhere but I'm new here at the forums and in the stages of building a HO 100ft AFX 4 lane track and would like to hone my rails to the proper depth for smooth running.
At this time there seems to be no way to contact Slottech.net to inquire about getting a rail honing tool. I can't quite grasp what Eric said about making a rail hone tool myself and I have tried to search google with the paramaters "machine file,hone, .015 shim" but nothing is coming up in google that pertains to what Eric said to search for.
If anyone has a rail honing tool I could buy or perhaps even post a few photos of what it looks like I think that would help me out a lot.
It would be greatly appreciated if maybe one of you more knowledgeable folks could help me out with a better description of what to search for to make my own honing tool too.
Maybe try a search on hone, file separate. It can be just a file about 1 inch wide that will work also.
a diamond hone can be expensive but will make a much finer cut, you will need to cut the file with a grinder or cut off wheel long enough to go across lane and both shims. not to long or you will hit the next lane rail. You do not want that, one lane at a time.
The shim stock can be found on a machinist tool web site along with the file.
you glue the shim stock to the file. the shim stock will glide along track surface and file will be set height .015 above track surface.
What slotech sold is the same design. You are making a u shape to go over the rails at set height.
After you file the rail, 800 grit paper will smooth it out the cut surface.
Can't help with pictures or a link. I was able to make my own with not much more info than that.
I did a 60' four lane continuous rail track in about week. fingers hurt pretty well after 20 minutes so its a process.
Last edited by Eric Peterson; 06-23-2016 at 03:59 PM.
In the process you will generate heat/friction. You will find both track and rail expand. Because of this don't stay in the same place to long. Its better to work one area a few times than trying to get it all at once.
You can do a section and the file will begin to free up. let the section cool and you will see it needs to be hit again. That is from the expansion. When you touch the section cold and the file does not hit, that is when your done, takes a few times. The plastic expands and swallows the rail, once cooled the rail shows what height its really at.
Glue your rails before you file.
If all fails in your search, ask I will make one to help.
Thanks a bunch Eric, your reply explains things very well !! :-D
I'm used to sore fingers and hands from sanding so I know what you mean about how they start hurting after a little while especially trying to work and control small surfaces. I'll take my time for sure.
I also appreciate your offer to make a honing tool for me but I think your explanation paints a pretty good picture on how to do it now.
Having hand honed my vintage lock and joiner track, I know two things for certain; plus something I'd try.
1. It was totally worth it.
2. If I had it to do again, I'd make an ergonomic handle for the hone, to reduce hand fatigue. Like Eric Peterson said, it doesnt take long for your fingers to start barking. This tells me that something like a small autobody hand block would be in order, to provide long term comfort.
a. I'd also consider some type of guide to help keep you tracking. Perhaps an arrangement using a regular old guide pin to keep you from kiting off.
Like anything, the proper tooling always makes life easier.