Published: 12 May 2016
When I was planning to build my garden railway (many years ago), I was thinking about using flex track. I wanted to create flowing curves, and the available curves from LGB and PIKO were not the exact radius I needed. So I got myself a track bender from Massoth to – hopefully – make life easier. In this short review I will share my experiences with the device.
Article Number: 8105001
Product Description: Track Bender G Scale
MSRP (2016): € 239,00
Why did I buy Massoth’s track bender? It was widely available at a reasonable price, and I already had good experiences with other Massoth products. There are some alternatives, but the Massoth track bender seemed the best choice to me.
How does it work? Well, on the top side, there’s a lever mechanism to adjust the radius setting. The ‘bending magic’ happens at the bottom of the device, which I’ll show later.
The black knob makes it easy to slide the device forwards and backwards.
The desired track radius is set using the black knob on the side. The white indicator show coarse adjustements, the black knob is for fine-tuning.
The indicators do NOT show a specified radius, so you cannot set it ‘900 mm’ for example. The idea is to bend a certain radius and think “Yeah, this looks good in my garden, I’ll write the numbers down so I can reproduce this curve later if I need to”.
Massoth’s track bending device bends both rails at the same time. On the bottom, we find six ball bearings which roll against the web of the rails. One of the bearings is black, more about that later on…
Each rail slides between three bearings. By adjusting the black indicator knob on the side of the device, the center bearing will move left/right to increase/decrease the desired radius.
The white things slide on the rail head. They will probably wear out after some time, but Massoth already included four replacements in a small plastic bag.
After bending my first few sections of track, I noticed one of the bearings was broken. Maybe it was my fault, or maybe it came like that from the factory, but I contacted Massoth and they sent me a new bearing (the black one, probably a newer type?) within a few days. Great service.
Then I could started laying down some track, and it was a pleasant experience. The first thing you’ll notice is that you really need to bend the track in small steps. It’s very tempting to turn the knob too far too quickly, but it will cost a lot of effort to slide the device forwards and backwards, and you will probably also damage your device (maybe that’s the reason one of my bearings broke). It really is a rookie mistake to bend too much too quickly. Just take it easy, step-by-step.
Massoth’s track bending device is an essential tool if you’re working with flex track. It works great, and I have zero complaints about the device. The broken bearing may or may not have been my fault, but Massoth’s quick customer service has more than made up for it.
And yes, it’s expensive, but it really is an investment in the quality of your trackwork. If you think it’s too expensive to buy yourself, you may consider to rent one (some shops offer this service) or to buy one together with some G scale friends.