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Plywood - Sleepers & Timbers

Availability Update

The timbers in 4mm and 7mm should be with us on Tuesday next week so will hope to send out any outstanding orders on Wednesday 29th. The sleepers in both 4mm and 7mm should have been made by the end of next week and so we hope to have them in stock by 4th August

Updated 24th July

Please note

1) Sawn versions

Sawn version of sleepers & turnout timbers will not be re-ordered. What we have shown is what we have left in stock and when these are gone there will be no more available. Therefore if you intend to order sawn versions please order only the number currently shown as being in stock. The reason for this decision is that originally the sawn versions only came about by accident following a mistake with the reading of our order by the supplier! We do not have the room, nor is there the demand to continue to stock sawn versions, and in any case the accuracy of the width was very hit and miss, as you would expect when trying to saw cut thin plywood in strips only 3.4mm wide!

Laser cut versions will continue to be ordered as normal. If the stock availability is smaller than the number you need, please carry on and order what you want and we will order in more stock. However, please be aware that there is normally a lead time of around 5 to 6 weeks.

2) Depth/thickness

We previously supplied 4mm sleepers & turnout timbers in two thicknesses (0.8 and 1.6mm) in order to match the plastic trackbases of both C&L and Exactoscale respectively. It is not always possible to obtain plywood sheets that are exactly these thicknesses and therefore there is some variation in the thickness of the sleepers/timbers supplied. The difference between the 2.8mm plastic sleepers and the 3.2mm of the plywood is in practice not worth worrying about, as this amount is more than likely to be lost/made up by the amount of glue that is used. Our advice would be to use slightly more on the plastic or to stick down a strip of thin card under the plastic sleepers prior to laying them.

We also need to mention that the quoted thickness is not always exactly achieved. Sometimes not is not possible to have everything exactly to the width/depth/height that modellers might aim for. For instance, some might vary by a millimetere or two. This is because the plywood manufacturers are unable to produce boards that are consistently the depth advertised due to the actual process of making up plywood boards by combining very thin sheets, each of which is likely to vary slightly, resulting in the final board also varying in thickness against the previous or following board that is produced. You may be aware that there are varying types of plywood which use different glues etc to bond the boards together. Unfortunately most of these are not suitable for cutting with a laser, as the heat loosens the glue! The type of plywood board that is suitable for cutting with a laser machine is the one that is most likely to vary in thickness slightly. It is therefore a case of either having a constant board thickness but having to use a saw which then means that the width can vary quite considerably, or using a laser to cut exactly the width that is required, but with a possible variation in the thickness. The thickness of sleepers/timbers can be concealed by ballast, whereas the width of sleepers/timbers is obvious at all times, and therefore we have gone down the route of using a laser machine with the boards that might vary in thickness.






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