4mm OO Track Gauges
Gauges are of the roller type, and are designed to hold just the head of the rail.
Track Gauges are to the Double O Gauge Association Finetrack Standard, using a 1mm flangeway gap.
4mm OO Back to Back Gauges
Back to Back gauges are to the Double O Gauge Association Intermediate Standard (also known as the OO-BF standard) and are therefore suitable for ready to run models
4mm Tie Bars
These consist of two pieces of brass wire held in place by a plastic based insulating material, with a suitable gap between the two ends in the centre thus ensuring electrical insulation. The outer ends of the brass wire are formed into a loop (pigs tail) to enable them to be easily soldered to the appropriate switch blades. Due to their size and shape they provide a prototypical looking tie/stretcher bar. However, due to their size they should not be relied upon completely, especially where repeated use is made of the turnout using a non delicate operating system!
For additional strength and to ensure reliable operation (by whatever means is chosen), it is recommended that a more robust fixture be completed under the baseboard, using brass ‘dropper’ wires from each switch blade. These fit through a small hole in the baseboard and are then soldered to a piece of Copperclad, to which the main operating wire is attached. If you use this system, remember to scrap away some of the Copperclad between the two dropper wires to ensure that there is an electrical break to prevent a short circuitThis is just one of many possible solutions that can be considered when deciding upon a more robust operating system.
OO-SF - new products
For a brief summary and opinion by Marton Wynne from Templot - please follow this LINK
For a more detailed explanation on the advantages of using OO-SF - please follow this LINK
Why the Price increase?
The reasons for the increase in price are twofold.
The previous supplier Brian Tulley, had these gauges made as a project, which he funded himself. He was out to promote OO SF and was willing to work for nothing to achieve that. Clearly C&L can’t operate like that - for one thing we have no axe to grind regarding any particular scale, gauge or standard. We also have numerous costs that Brian did not have such as premises to rent, staff to pay and the need to make a profit in order to re-stock what we sell. Every product therefore has to make a contribution to our costs by making a profit between what it costs us to buy/make and its retail selling price.
The second reason is the increase in the cost of actual production.
This is a new venture for us and we have invested well over £500 in having a limited run of these gauges made. We could have obtained them for a slightly cheaper price had we purchased a lot more of each to start with. However, every pound that we spend on a new product has to be earned as profits, and so an investment of the level mentioned requires general sales of three to four times that figure in order to obtain just this small number of gauges.
Once we have some idea of how sales proceed, we may be happy to tie up a larger chunk of our profits in funding a larger order. However the market is likely to remain fairly small and so we will have to wait and see what happens. Unfortunately we have to pay the going rate for quality engineered products. If we were asking for 10,000, then the price would be far more reasonable, but for 50 it is extremely expensive, as the time taken by the skilled engineer in the setting up the expensive CNC machine is what costs the most, not how many we have made.
To achieve the accepted ‘mark up’ in the model railway trade a further £1.00 to on top of the new selling price of the Roller and Check Gauges would have been necessary and an additional £2.40 on the 3 Point Gauge. We have not priced the products at that level but instead have tried to pitch the price where we make enough to justify our investment in having the gauges made, as against the next to nothing that Brian used to make when treating his involvement as a hobby project.