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Nailing down micro engineering or peco flex track (HO Scale)

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  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • 121 posts
Nailing down micro engineering or peco flex track (HO Scale)
Posted by NILE on Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:04 PM

What are the best techniques for nailing micro engineering or peco flex track?  I have always used atlas, but with the lack of avalibility I have gone on to other brands.  I don't want to glue (or other adhesive) the track as I will have to pull it up someday.  (3-4 years)

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 4,946 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:44 PM

Just go to a good hardware dealer and buy some 20 ga  1/2" nails. Much cheaper that way, but also more difficult to find. Big Box stores call it quits at 18 ga, which is a little too heavy.

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 6,734 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Saturday, February 16, 2013 4:05 PM

I pre-drill holes through the tie, roadbed, and into the plywood using a bit that is just slightly smaller than the nail shank.  This gives a tight fit but the nail is easily inserted.  I use a nail set and small hobby hammer to very lightly tap the nail home leaving it very slightly higher than the tie - about the thickness of a sheet of paper.  Even if I over tap, it's so light that it doesn't destroy/distort the tie and I can back the nail out a little.

The size bit is dependent on the nails themselves and not all have exactly the same diameter.  I use the black track nails because they are mostly invisible against the dark ties.  If you use the lighter brown ties then you may need to daub the head with matching paint.

Good luck

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 17, 2013 3:34 PM

NILE

What are the best techniques for nailing micro engineering or peco flex track?  I have always used atlas, but with the lack of avalibility I have gone on to other brands.  I don't want to glue (or other adhesive) the track as I will have to pull it up someday.  (3-4 years)

If you use latex caulk, it will come up easier and with less damage, than nails!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have changed the radius on at least one corner (just by slipping a drywall knife in between the cork and the track and yes it is the more fragile type, mine beginning Shinohara code 70. To re-glue, I used ACC as I didn't even disconnect the ends. 

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: US
  • 1,620 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, February 17, 2013 6:25 PM

One visual advantage of ME flex is the lack of unrealistic nail holes in the centers of the ties.  Nail heads kill trackwork aesthetics. 

Much of the ME track I have has pre-cored holes adjacent to the rails, but you have to drill through them from below.  It doesn't take long to drill all the holes in a section of flex track.  Use ME small spikes or equivalent if desired to maintain alignment, or install track with caulk or other adhesive.  I use DAP acrylic latex sealant for most of my track.  It's quick, easy to remove if you want to rearrange something or recycle track, and requires no mechanical fasteners except for some push pins and/or weights while the caulk dries.

Here's ME flex installed as I described.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Northeast
  • 558 posts
Posted by GraniteRailroader on Sunday, February 17, 2013 10:14 PM

I found that while laying large amounts of flextrack, a finish nailer that will accept 20 gauge sized nails works perfectly. Granted, the benchwork was done with 1/2" ply, so at the lowest air pressure they barely shot through and required to be set with a hammer and punch.Turning up the pressure wasn't an option because they would shoot through the ties.

(Previous) 1:1 Scale railroader - N Scale Modeler

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