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How Many Track Nails/Spikes to Hold a 36" Piece of Flex Track Securely?

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, April 06, 2018 1:27 PM

railandsail

Straight track challenge? 

A metal straight edge laid acainst the ends of the ties, or against one rail doesn't take care of straight track?

 

 

Brian,I still use the old eyeball to ensure my track is straight and a ruler to ensure my industrial sidings is at least 2 1/4" from the main track. 

Larry

SSRy

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, April 06, 2018 7:53 PM

BATMAN

 

Helped a guy do a rapid disassembly of a layout with a 500' mainline, plus yards and siding. He had used caulk. I pried up one bit of track at a turnout and the whole 500' just peeled up off the cork like a magnet would peel off the fridge. There was no residue on the track because he put such a thin layer of caulk down and it had held fast for the years he had the layout. All his track had been soldered together so we just snipped the track either side of the joiners and had it boxed up in no time. Of course, each piece of flex was a tad shorter for doing that, however, it was all completely reusable.

A very thin layer of paint held the track firm, a very thin layer of caulk will do the same. If there is caulk residue on the track, you used too much.

 
Any idea of the type of caulk?
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Posted by SouthPenn on Friday, April 06, 2018 10:31 PM

Doughless

 

 
railandsail

 

Doughless

The forum often talks about the best way to paint rails too, and I've had success with brush painting.  Why not affix and weather at the same time?

Get some masonry paint tinted rail brown.  Brush two coats onto the roadbed.  Lay the track. (I don't really use a centerline, eyeball usually works for me, but I'm not not submitting it to the mini-cam test)

Have a pan of water handy.  Use a smaller chisel edge brush kept wet to thin the paint.  Paint the rails so it flows into and underneath the ties and blends with the roadbed paint.  Secure the track with soup cans and let dry over night.

There is a greater than 50% chance I'll have a big mess on my hands, but hey, experimenting and testing is part of the fun.

Again, I was really impressed with how well standard latex house paint held the track to the roadbed when I spilled it.  If it was rail brown and not olive green, I wouldn't have been so upset at myself for spilling it. 

 

 

Yesterday I was doing a little painting with some Mahogany colored latex paint, and decided to just give it a little informal test of adhesion. I brushed some onto the surface on some scrap masonite board I had, and put a weight on it for a couple of hours.

Like you Doughless, I was surprised at adhesion,...just thin layer of latex paint that I imagine the track could be detached from with a good scraper tool.

 

 

 

Its an option.  Afterall, as everybody points out, its the glue and ballast that makes the track and roadbed a permanent bond.   

Brushing on or rolling on the adhesive (okay paint) seems a lot easier than shmearing thick caulk with a credit card or fiddling with nails.  It only needs to hold good enough until the ballast is applied.  We'll see how it works on homabed roadbed when I start building. 

I used latex paint to 'glue' down ties for hand laid track. Worked great. But, if you want something that will allow easy removal, use nails or white glue. I would consider paint 'glue' as a permanent solution. Six months after using the paint, I tried to remove that section of track. The rail came up fine, but none of the ties were reusable. Most broke in half.   

South Penn
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 5:22 AM

Although this is far from my first layout, I am still learning as I go about track laying techniques, especially since I remain determined to lay laser straight track.

One thing that I am finding about is that it takes more nails than I would have thought. On my last layout, I drove nails down in the center of the ties and used 3 or 4 per 36" section of track. That's enough to hold the track down and in general position but way short of holding the track straight. I have been nailing every 6 inches, or 6 per section, but that is not enough to eliminate wiggles. It looks like one nail every 3 inches is required, or 12 nails per section.

Another thing that I am learning is to drill the pilot hole almost the full length of the nail. The nail still grips the plywood but with a nearly full depth pilot hole, it is easier to remove the track if relocation is necessary.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:43 AM

 

 

 
Doughless

The forum often talks about the best way to paint rails too, and I've had success with brush painting.  Why not affix and weather at the same time?

Get some masonry paint tinted rail brown.  Brush two coats onto the roadbed.  Lay the track. (I don't really use a centerline, eyeball usually works for me, but I'm not not submitting it to the mini-cam test)

Have a pan of water handy.  Use a smaller chisel edge brush kept wet to thin the paint.  Paint the rails so it flows into and underneath the ties and blends with the roadbed paint.  Secure the track with soup cans and let dry over night.

There is a greater than 50% chance I'll have a big mess on my hands, but hey, experimenting and testing is part of the fun.

Again, I was really impressed with how well standard latex house paint held the track to the roadbed when I spilled it.  If it was rail brown and not olive green, I wouldn't have been so upset at myself for spilling it.

 

 

Brian

Yesterday I was doing a little painting with some Mahogany colored latex paint, and decided to just give it a little informal test of adhesion. I brushed some onto the surface on some scrap masonite board I had, and put a weight on it for a couple of hours.

Like you Doughless, I was surprised at adhesion,...just thin layer of latex paint that I imagine the track could be detached from with a good scraper tool.

 

So today I experimented with detaching the track from those two samples I had made up. A broad bladed scraper made easy work of it on both samples.

The latex painted (adhered) track practically popped right off leaving virtually no gross material on the underside of the track.

The caulked down track also came up rather easy,....and clean. It appeared to be the best adhesion, and the 'flexibility' of this particular caulk seemed to be a real advantage.

The caulk I used was DAP Alex Plus, Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, 35 yr warranty. ...cheap at Home Depot.

 

Fixing track after the fact with caulk is easy - just put a little caulk on the putty knife and slide it under to re-adhere the track.

 

Randy

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:47 AM

The caulk I used was DAP Alex Plus, Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, 35 yr warranty. ...cheap at Home Depot.

BTW, that caulk is for outdoor use also, and is waterproof, so putting wet water ballast over it should not be a problem. And it states it is 'permanenty flexible' and water clean up.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:15 PM

railandsail

The caulk I used was DAP Alex Plus, Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone, 35 yr warranty. ...cheap at Home Depot.

BTW, that caulk is for outdoor use also, and is waterproof, so putting wet water ballast over it should not be a problem. And it states it is 'permanenty flexible' and water clean up.

 

Well, I know others have said they use inexpensive basic caulk like Alex Plus, but I don't trust it.

I have seen what happens to it in buildings after a time. used for the wrong purpose, or to hide too big a gap, and it separates from one surface or the other.

Still going to use PolySeamSeal adheasive caulk here. The plan is for the current construction effort to be the last, and to be moveable and expandable, and to some degree reconfigureable......without taking up much or any track. Never really reused track from a previous layout before, no point in starting now......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, April 07, 2018 3:14 PM
PolySeamSeal caulk

Let me make sure I have the correct product. You never know these days with all the deceptive names and advertisements.

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/pss_seal_ap/overview/Loctite-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Adhesive-Caulk.htm

...and a 12 pac at HD for $35
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-10-fl-oz-White-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Sealant-12-Pack-2154751/302330251

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:22 PM

railandsail
PolySeamSeal caulk

Let me make sure I have the correct product. You never know these days with all the deceptive names and advertisements.

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/pss_seal_ap/overview/Loctite-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Adhesive-Caulk.htm

...and a 12 pac at HD for $35
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-10-fl-oz-White-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Sealant-12-Pack-2154751/302330251

 

Yes, that is the stuff, but I use the clear for laying track. Much thicker than Alex Plus, designed to caulk tubs, showers, counter tops, glue solid surface panels to walls, counters and their back splashes into place.

And works great for laying flex track. Spread it thin with a plastic disposable putty knife.

Now as far as taking track back up with no trama, well not from homasote you will not, likely not from any surface.

But I am now a little tired of saying, I have never tried to reuse track from one layout to the next. But then again I have only built four layouts in 48 years........

I don't get bored, I know what I want/like, and I do good work............

No need to keep starting over......the current restart will be modular for relocation and easy expansion/reconfiguration.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, April 09, 2018 8:53 PM

Reusing the track is not so important as being able to reuse the turnouts.

And there are those of us who 'modify' their layouts while they are under construction.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, April 09, 2018 9:21 PM

railandsail

Reusing the track is not so important as being able to reuse the turnouts.

And there are those of us who 'modify' their layouts while they are under construction.

 

I don't caulk the turnouts, too much risk of the caulk getting in the "works".

They are held by the surrounding track and by one or two nails. I do solder all my rail joints.

Well, I'm an engineering type, draftsman, electrical designer, residential designer, historic restoration consultant/carpenter, by training and trade. So I try not to make a lot of changes AFTER doing the work - it is a death spell in my current line of work as a high end remodeler and a historic restoration contractor. That's why people pay me to plan their projects....because it is less expensive in the long run......

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:10 AM

I suspected you did NOT chalk the turnouts.

BTW, I have befriended another contractor (Ancient City ----) here in St Augustine, and he verified your choice of chauking.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:48 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I use adheasive caulk, commonly used in construction to seal solid surface countertop and shower seams, attach solid surface materials to cabinets and walls, etc.

This is my prefered product:

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/17/40/pss_seal_ap/overview/Loctite-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Adhesive-Caulk.htm 

It is applied to the roadbed in a small bead, then spread with a plastic putty knife to a very thin film to cover the complete top of the roadbed surface, in my case homasote. It is much thicker in consistancy than "regular" caulk, and in this application a little goes a long way.

It is a very strong WATER PROOF adheasive and the goal in this case is for it to not squish up between the ties, atleast not very much.

But it has a long enough working time, similar to any caulk, to allow adjustments to be made.

Regular caulk is not adheasive, peronally I would not use it as such.

In my work I use this PolySeamSeal product all time, it is one of our prefered products for caulking tubs, showers, countertops, etc.

Sheldon 

This sounds like the product I should use to glue two layers of 1/8" thick masonite together. I will be gluing the two faces that are their 'rough sides' of each layer of masonite to the other (rough-to-rough). This double layer masonite will then be painted with a good sealer coat of paint on all external surfaces and edges.

BTW, these masonite pieces are my 6" wide, curved strips that will become my 1/4 inch roadbed of my helix structure. Just finished cutting a lot of 'quarter-of-a circle' curved pieces using a router. I was really pleased with the number of these 'quarter-circle' pieces I got out of a 4x8 sheet.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, April 27, 2018 11:04 PM

railandsail

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I use adheasive caulk, commonly used in construction to seal solid surface countertop and shower seams, attach solid surface materials to cabinets and walls, etc.

This is my prefered product:

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/17/40/pss_seal_ap/overview/Loctite-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Adhesive-Caulk.htm 

It is applied to the roadbed in a small bead, then spread with a plastic putty knife to a very thin film to cover the complete top of the roadbed surface, in my case homasote. It is much thicker in consistancy than "regular" caulk, and in this application a little goes a long way.

It is a very strong WATER PROOF adheasive and the goal in this case is for it to not squish up between the ties, atleast not very much.

But it has a long enough working time, similar to any caulk, to allow adjustments to be made.

Regular caulk is not adheasive, peronally I would not use it as such.

In my work I use this PolySeamSeal product all time, it is one of our prefered products for caulking tubs, showers, countertops, etc.

Sheldon 

 

 

This sounds like the product I should use to glue two layers of 1/8" thick masonite together. I will be gluing the two faces that are their 'rough sides' of each layer of masonite to the other (rough-to-rough). This double layer masonite will then be painted with a good sealer coat of paint on all external surfaces and edges.

BTW, these masonite pieces are my 6" wide, curved strips that will become my 1/4 inch roadbed of my helix structure. Just finished cutting a lot of 'quarter-of-a circle' curved pieces using a router. I was really pleased with the number of these 'quarter-circle' pieces I got out of a 4x8 sheet.

 

Brian, I think regular construction adheasive would be a better choice for Masonite.

But, I'm at a disadvantage here. I dislike Masonite and would not choose it for any model railroad building purpose.

But again, I design, restore, build, renovate and remodel houses for a living, and I have built plenty of model train layouts. And I am not interested in trying to reinvent either process.....

Masonite is messy to cut, flimsy, and does not hold fasteners well, we don't use it for anything.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, April 28, 2018 10:27 AM

 That's why after I used Polyseamseal caulk the first time, I couldn't find it again, Locktight branded it with their brand. Last layout I ended up using a DAP latex adhesive (not the Alex Plus with silicone) which woorked just as well. 

 I've alwys used the clear, but I want to try using the grey - since the ballast I use is grey. Although the shiny cured caulk didn;t show through anywhere I ballasted on the last one anyway. Around switch points though, painting the roadbed grey and using grey caulk may look a little better where the ballast is kept sparse to prevent problems.

 Masonite works fine for fascias - I use fender washers on screws so they don't pull through. Drilling hols for controls is easy enough. I had the sheets cut at the store before I brought it home, let someone else deal with the big mess. Besides, that was before I had my truck so I couldn't haul a 4x8 sheet of anything. Going to need too much for the new layout, so I am going to have to make some sort of ripping jig. Need it to cut plywood to use as dimensional lumber as well. Just cut it outside, though I'm still trying to figure out what I will do with plywood. FOr 4' lengths I can just cut it right off the back of my truck, but to make 8 foot pieces I'm going to have to get the full sheets moved. Not a one man job, not with 3/4" stuff. Of course, when I find a real lumber yard that has actual good plywood and not the garbage at HD or Lowes, they probably also have better quality dimensional lumber and maybe I won't make the benchwork all out of plywood. 

                                  --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Saturday, April 28, 2018 2:06 PM

Why use any track nails/spikes?  The challenge is are you going to drill holes in the track with a pin vice and drive the spikes?  I only did that in one area and it was a great way to ensure nothing moved. To also prevent that, I used elmer's glue to glue down the track.  Further preventing it from moving was wet/water once I ballested the track. 

What I fear from chaulk is the challenge of lifting up track.  With elmer's you can easily remove it with water.  Don't ask about the challenge of doing that once ballested.  Ugh!

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Posted by freeway3 on Saturday, April 28, 2018 3:21 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Masonite is messy to cut, flimsy, and does not hold fasteners well, we don't use it for anything.

I couldn't agree more.  What do you use for your fascia board?

Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, April 28, 2018 6:36 PM

freeway3

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Masonite is messy to cut, flimsy, and does not hold fasteners well, we don't use it for anything.

 

I couldn't agree more.  What do you use for your fascia board?

 

Well, I'm not into the free form curved fasica thing, so I use beadboard plywood.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, April 28, 2018 6:44 PM

I find masonite is not good for much, EXCEPT! spline roadbed. This layout was a test for that and it was a complete success. It does not age well when used for anything else. Even pegboard tatters up before its time, IMO. Not sure if I'll use it for fascia or not.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, April 28, 2018 8:20 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Brian, I think regular construction adheasive would be a better choice for Masonite.

Sheldon

 
I was thinking that as well. How about just one of the Liquid Nail's products?
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, April 28, 2018 8:38 PM

railandsail

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Brian, I think regular construction adheasive would be a better choice for Masonite.

Sheldon

 

 

 
I was thinking that as well. How about just one of the Liquid Nail's products?
 

Yes, the one labeled for paneling.

Sheldon

    

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