I built a simple jig to aid in the construction of track panels. This shows the first
section of 7-1/2" gauge track that I've ever built!
The ties are plastic lumber 2x2's cut down from a 2x4 I bought at the local lumberyard.
These ties were relatively expensive - about $1.50 each - but I could accept the cost because
wanted to experiment with plastic lumber. I've found a plastic wood supplier supplier that
will bring the per-tie cost down to about 30 cents - comparable to pressure-treated wood!
The ties are actually 1.75" on a side, and I spaced the ties 4.25" apart to yield a simple 6-inches-
on-center pattern. I've heard that some people space their ties more closely, but I have a couple
thousand feet of track to lay and don't want to go bankrupt in the process!
The rail is "standard rail" bought from Cannonball Ltd.
I used #10 x 1" hex-head screws to attach the rail to the ties and added a small washer to give
the screws a greater contact area on the rail.
I also cut a pair of 1/8" deep x 3/4" wide notches in each tie to provide a sort of "tie plate",
which helps align the ties and allows the screws to rest flat on the top of the rail's foot.
(click image to expand it)