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

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  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
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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

Conductor

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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
  • Member since
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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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.

  • Member since
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  • From: Maryland
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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

  • Member since
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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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