For the past month or so while laying down some Gargraves track I noticed the inside rail on the curve section was cut square on one end, but was cut shorter on the other. I thought it odd and went along putting the track down. Yesterday though I received an order for some additional track and noticed the new track was cut the same way. So why do they do cut it this way?
I think it's because they are all three rails are cut the same length then when they are bent into a curve each rail is then a different length because of the bend. You'll probably have to square them up with a dremel tool or hack saw.
You will also notice that due to the cutting machine, the ends of the tracks have a slight dip to them. If you connect two straights, place a straightedge on the top of the rail. You will see that the joint dips down. I sometimes will place a shim at that point so when I screw the track down, it will reduce the dip.
I also have a small one inch continuous belt sander which I use to true up the ends of the track.
I don't trim on a curve at all. I will square it up at the next switch or well into a straight section. As the inside and center rails grow, I will start the next section on to the curve and go to the end and tap all rails back with a wood block, threading them into the ties of the peice before. I bend as I go against a jig for the curve, bending and screwing as I go and always tapping the rails back to keep the previous joints tight. When finished, none of the joints line up and this helps keep the curve from kinking. Each rail joint has 2 rails with no joint along side and this way it makes a smoother curve.
Gary you have a good point. You get what you pay for. I was hoping there was a reason for it, rather than poor quality. What would it take to square off the ends? I'm finished buying track for now, but in the future it will be Ross.