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Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 4:31 AM

Changed the title/subject of the thread to more accurately reflect the current status of the project.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:12 PM

Back from a week in Portugal (business trip) and making progress on the layout
Photos of the mainline track as it leaves the yard/loco service area and heads around the center platform. I have turnouts for a siding that will help service spurs for a large number of industries around the center platform area.
 
 
 
 
I'm using FastTracks 40" radius Sweepsticks while gluing down the outside track of the helix. 
 
 
The inside track has been soldered and dry placed.
 
 
I altered the turnout where the mainline splits into the inner and outer helix tracks from being a left hand to a right hand turnout to resolve two 'S' curves.
 
 
I temporarily installed a scrap piece of 1/8" masonite as a proof of concept/test for enclosing the helix (eventually). It seemed to be fairly sturdy but I may try a piece of 3/16" masonite to see how that does.
 
 
I test fit a couple more 1/2" plywood roadbed arcs to see how the spacing when the helix makes a complete circle and starts covering the lower levels.
 
 
A good use for cheap Publix root beer: Gluing down the inner helix track.
 
 
I installed a plywood panel where booster station #3 is located. Booster #3 will power a DCC Specialties PSX3 and PSX-AR. The PSX3 has three power districts: helix, upper level left, and upper level right. The PSX-AR will power the upper level return loop and staging tracks.
 
 
I have started working on the helix track power bus infrastructure.
 
 
Each half of each track (inner/outer) of each level in the helix will be an occupancy zone. There are 4 1/2 laps/levels for the helix so there will be 18 occupancy zones within the helix (and 3 occupancy zones for each the helix entrances (lower/upper)) for a total of 24 occupancy zones. Each occupancy zone requires a track power bus. For the helix I plan to use 9 different 12GA wire colors (brown, gray, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple, pink) paired with white on the left half and paired with black on the right half for the track bus (18 total color combinations).
 

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, May 23, 2016 6:51 AM

Onewolf
I'm using FastTracks 40" radius Sweepsticks while gluing down the outside track of the helix.

What kind of glue are you using?

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, May 23, 2016 7:06 AM

carl425

 

 
Onewolf
I'm using FastTracks 40" radius Sweepsticks while gluing down the outside track of the helix.

 

What kind of glue are you using?

 

 

I'm using DAP Alex Plus clear caulk.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, May 23, 2016 7:40 AM

Onewolf
I'm using DAP Alex Plus clear caulk. A

That's what I've been using as well.  I just can't get it out of my head that something more permanent would be better in the helix.  After all, ease of removal is always touted as an advantage when talking about holding down track with caulk.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, May 23, 2016 7:48 AM

carl425

 

 
Onewolf
I'm using DAP Alex Plus clear caulk. A

 

That's what I've been using as well.  I just can't get it out of my head that something more permanent would be better in the helix.  After all, ease of removal is always touted as an advantage when talking about holding down track with caulk.

 

Yes. I am considering swiching to something more permanent as I discovered how weak the caulk bond is when I cut the double gaps for the occupancy zones on the current helix tracks. I ended up tacking down every other tie for 12 ties in either direction adjacent to the gaps.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, May 23, 2016 8:06 AM

Onewolf
cut the double gaps for the occupancy zones on the current helix tracks.

I've been using a blob of 5-minute epoxy that comes up to the rail base when I need a gap on a curve.  I put it down and let it cure before cutting the gap. It may be overkill, and it'll take a little extra effort to hide, but it works.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, May 23, 2016 10:40 AM

If your track is coming up, you may be using too little. If you can see through it when wet, this is the case. If it is not to be ballasted as in a helix, then you can use a bit more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 23, 2016 4:40 PM

Onewolf

 

 
carl425

 

 
Onewolf
I'm using DAP Alex Plus clear caulk. A

 

That's what I've been using as well.  I just can't get it out of my head that something more permanent would be better in the helix.  After all, ease of removal is always touted as an advantage when talking about holding down track with caulk.

 

 

 

Yes. I am considering swiching to something more permanent as I discovered how weak the caulk bond is when I cut the double gaps for the occupancy zones on the current helix tracks. I ended up tacking down every other tie for 12 ties in either direction adjacent to the gaps.

 

OK,

If you are going to use a caulk type product to install track, you need to use adhesive caulk like PolySeamSeal or Phenoseal. in the construction business these two products are used to install marble or solid serface wall panels, counter tops, back splashes, etc, and I have been using them to install track for more than a decade with no failures.

Alex Plus caulk has no real adhesive properties, it is just painters caulk.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, May 23, 2016 5:24 PM

hate to disagree but been using that caulk in construction for as long as its been made, including glueing up moldings. Was in the trades for a long time starting back in the 70's. You must be confusing this with regular painters caulk, never use that stuff, even for painting!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 23, 2016 5:37 PM

rrebell

hate to disagree but been using that caulk in construction for as long as its been made, including glueing up moldings. Was in the trades for a long time starting back in the 70's. You must be confusing this with regular painters caulk, never use that stuff, even for painting!

 

Here is a link to the DAP web site - nothing adhesive about ALEX plus - it is just caulk.

http://www.dap.com/dap-products-ph/alex-plus-acrylic-latex-caulk-plus-silicone/

You are welcome to use it however you like, but I do construction too, restoring million dollar historic homes, and would not "glue" anything with ALEX plus.

My house, which I restored 20 years ago and which was featured on HGTV's Restore Amereica 2003.

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 23, 2016 5:49 PM

Here is the thing, ALEX plus has silicone, that makes it not stick to other slippery plastics very well. Last time I checked, the ties on flex track are slippery delrin type plastic.....

We actually only use ALEX plus for painting, for everything else indoors we use the two products I listed above. We don't do any work with vinyl siding or windows, all our siding work is cement board and AZEK, so we use OSI QUAD outdoors.

We don't use pure silicone caulk for anything - that stuff is terrible.

But what do I know, we just spent a year restoring a 1908 Edwardian home.

I will just shut up now, since my 40 years in construction apparently means nothing - but my track is not coming loose.........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, May 23, 2016 11:28 PM

Hey, we used to joke that the whole city (Baltimore) would fail if the caulk did. My first independent project was a Victorian on millionaires row in Baltimore, a 4 story that I did most of the work in, including rebuilding stain glass windows, a floor with 1/8" inserts as part of the pattern, coved ceilings, like most everything, was just a shell when I bought it, kinda miss it but like California better. Sure wish we had cordless tools back then!

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Posted by Onewolf on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:35 AM

Alex Plus may not have a strong adhesive, but it did remove the top layer of Homasote when I had to pull up about 6ft of flex track in a yard area.  I will switch to a stronger adhesive for the rest of the helix because I really don't want that track moving. At all. 

Thanks for all your comments/replies.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by lifeontheranch on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:10 AM

FWIW I have used these 5 different caulks over the past year and a half laying Walthers Shinohara 83 track.

  1. DAP Alex
  2. DAP Alex Plus w/Silicone
  3. Loctite 2-n-1
  4. DAP Dynaflex 230
  5. DAP 3.0

DAP Alex had too short of a working time and had minimal adhesion to the plastic ties. Would not use again.

DAP 3.0 was easiest to tool and had the best adhesion. Clearly the superior product to work with but was very expensive. Would use if building a small layout.

Loctite 2-n-1 was the most difficult to dispense and was lacking in tooling compared to the others although it did stick well.

DAP Alex Plus w/Silicone is the best choice if on a really tight budget. It tools OK, sticks good enough, and is very inexpensive.

DAP Dynaflex 230 was my choice for best well rounded performer - moderate price, very good tooling, excellent adhesion.

 

 

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Posted by Goosetown on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:15 AM

Maybe it's a good time to share this link:  http://www.thistothat.com/

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:52 AM

I will look into that site.

 

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Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:04 PM

Onewolf
I will switch to a stronger adhesive for the rest of the helix because I really don't want that track moving. At all. 

Have you seen this?  He holds his helix track down with screws and washers.  I'd do this myself except that my plywood is only .4" thick which I don't think would hold screws well.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, May 30, 2016 6:35 AM

lifeontheranch

FWIW I have used these 5 different caulks over the past year and a half laying Walthers Shinohara 83 track.

  1. DAP Alex
  2. DAP Alex Plus w/Silicone
  3. Loctite 2-n-1
  4. DAP Dynaflex 230
  5. DAP 3.0

DAP Alex had too short of a working time and had minimal adhesion to the plastic ties. Would not use again.

DAP 3.0 was easiest to tool and had the best adhesion. Clearly the superior product to work with but was very expensive. Would use if building a small layout.

Loctite 2-n-1 was the most difficult to dispense and was lacking in tooling compared to the others although it did stick well.

DAP Alex Plus w/Silicone is the best choice if on a really tight budget. It tools OK, sticks good enough, and is very inexpensive.

DAP Dynaflex 230 was my choice for best well rounded performer - moderate price, very good tooling, excellent adhesion.

 

 

I bought and tested some DAP 3.0 (clear) and DAP Dynaflex 230 (clear).  The DAP 3.0 is extremely thick and harder to 'squeeze' out and it is very tacky and its useful  'tooling' time is maybe 5 minutes at most.  It holds the track on the painted plywood extremely well.  The Dynaflex 230 is much easier to dispense and easier to work with. It has a much longer useful tooling time and it appears to hold the track very well once thoroughly cured (24+ hours). 

At this point I'm using DAP 3.0 in the 12" sections on either side of double gaps and Dynaflex 230 for the rest of the helix track.

Thanks to all the contributions/opinions for this helpful discussion.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by lifeontheranch on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 1:36 PM

Is it possible the DAP 3.0 you received was out of shelf life? I found it easy to dispense and tooling time was about 20 minutes just as the data sheet states.

The 3.0 does stay tacky and then rubbery for quite some time. It took several days for it to feel like "normal" dried caulk.

My experience with the Loctite product sounds like your experience with 3.0. Maybe shelf life issue is reason for both.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 9:18 AM

What about good old Atlas track nails?  I noticed you were using Homasote under the track and in a helix, the nail heads showing would be inconsiquencial.  They can be removed with a pair of needle nose too if need be.  So far I've never had any track come loose using them.

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 11:43 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Here is the thing, ALEX plus has silicone, that makes it not stick to other slippery plastics very well. Last time I checked, the ties on flex track are slippery delrin type plastic.....

Sheldon,

FWIW, I have used the DAP Alex Plus w/silicone on my Atlas Code 83 trackwork - both straight and curved sections (including flex track) - and it held it quite well.  Like Onewolf, it took a bit of effort to pry the track back up off the cork roadbed or foam insulation.

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 2:46 PM

tstage

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Here is the thing, ALEX plus has silicone, that makes it not stick to other slippery plastics very well. Last time I checked, the ties on flex track are slippery delrin type plastic.....

 

Sheldon,

FWIW, I have used the DAP Alex Plus w/silicone on my Atlas Code 83 trackwork - both straight and curved sections (including flex track) - and it held it quite well.  Like Onewolf, it took a bit of effort to pry the track back up off the cork roadbed or foam insulation.

Tom

 

The track that I have installed using adhesive caulk will not come up one piece........

The very first articles I read 20 years ago about gluing track in this way all suggested products like I listed, not "regular" caulk.

You are all welcome to use whatever suits you, the OP indicated a problem, I suggested a cause and solution based on my experiance, both as a modeler and a construction professional who uses these products all the time.

PolySeamSeal has been rebranded and is now Loctite 2 in 1, and I still consider it to be best product for this job and for most all kitchen and bath caulk/adhesive applications.

15 years later, all the track on the oldest parts of my layout is rock solid..

Again, I would not use Alex Plus to "glue" anything, but that's just me.......

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 3:48 PM

riogrande5761

What about good old Atlas track nails?  I noticed you were using Homasote under the track and in a helix, the nail heads showing would be inconsiquencial.  They can be removed with a pair of needle nose too if need be.  So far I've never had any track come loose using them.

I'm not using homasote in the helix so I'm installing track directly onto bare (painted) plywood.  I used track nails to affix the track to homasote in the hidden lower return loop and staging track areas (And coming soon in the upper return loop/staging tracks.)

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

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Posted by superbe on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 3:49 PM

When I laid my roadbed and track I used regular DAP watersoluble caulk as well as GE CAULKIT putting a bead down the center line of the roadbed and track. I then spread this out with a putty knife.

Months later when I had occasion to alter my track it was no easy thing to get the track and roadbed loose. Keep in mind that in our modeling world there is little or no horizonal or vertical force on the track. If a problem occurs it is due to using too little caulk, but it doesn't take much either.

I also used this same caulk to glue foam pieces togther as well as attaching plaster rocks.

Bob

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 4:26 PM

superbe

When I laid my roadbed and track I used regular DAP watersoluble caulk as well as GE CAULKIT putting a bead down the center line of the roadbed and track. I then spread this out with a putty knife.

Months later when I had occasion to alter my track it was no easy thing to get the track and roadbed loose. Keep in mind that in our modeling world there is little or no horizonal or vertical force on the track. If a problem occurs it is due to using too little caulk, but it doesn't take much either.

I also used this same caulk to glue foam pieces togther as well as attaching plaster rocks.

Bob

 

Respectfully, no horizonal force? What about the metal piece of rail bent into a curve that wants to be straight?

I'm really sorry I commented on this subject, but I have been laying flex track on homabed roadbed with adhesive caulk for over 20 years now.

DISCLAIMER - been building model trains for 45 years, never, ever considered track that has been installed and ballasted to be something to be taken up and reused. I hand layed the track on my two previous layouts before using adhesive caulk and flex track on this layout. So I have never tried to take up a piece expecting to reuse it

But then again I don't change my mind much about how I want things once I figure them out in the first place - so I'm happy with track that will not move.........

And yes, I'm the same guy who had a big controversy on here years ago about how I put Intermountain wheel sets in Kadee metal trucks and a bunch of experts told me I was doing it all wrong, and what I was doing simply could not work, despite my resuts with 800 freight cars......

I think I'll just go back to my train room, also in custom built out building, and leave all you experts to it.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 5:32 PM

Okay, Sheldon - I'll throw down the gauntlet:

Take a scrap piece of Atlas Code 83 track you have laying around, squirt a bead of DAP Alex Plus Latex Caulk Plus Silicone on a scrap piece of wood, spread it out 1/32-1/16" thick the width of rail ties and the length of your track piece, press the track down into the caulk, lay a brick on it, and leave it overnight (or 8 hours).

Come back the next day, remove the brick, and report back how difficult it was to peel it up.  No, it won't be as good as the adhesive you used to glue down your track but...you might be surprised.

Worth an experiement to shut up the "experts"...

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by superbe on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 10:35 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 

Respectfully, no horizonal force? What about the metal piece of rail bent into a curve that wants to be straight?

Sheldon  

I don't know how you lay your track , but when doing mine especially curves I use T pins to hold the track in position thus eliminating any horizontal force. 

Bob

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, June 2, 2016 6:52 AM

Onewolf
I'm not using homasote in the helix so I'm installing track directly onto bare (painted) plywood.  I used track nails to affix the track to homasote in the hidden lower return loop and staging track areas (And coming soon in the upper return loop/staging tracks.)

Ah, my bad.  Thought I saw you used Homasote there.  But since it adds another half inch layer thus less clearance, then I can see why it was left out.  I do use track nails on plywood too.  I know many object to it because they bend a few nails - so do I but it's not a big enough deal to stop me from doing it.  Usually I get it the second time around if I bend a nail.

I really like the option of being able to remove and/or revise track during the early stages, so thats why I prefer not to use adhesives thus making track basically permanent from the git-go.  With nails or spikes, they can be pulled up pretty easily no risk of damaging track having get it up from being glued down.  Of course some object to track nails also cause they aren't prototypical.  No problem, just pull them out after the track is ballasted and a tiny dab to fill it and nail heads be-gone. 

In areas were visibility is not important, I just leave them. I can re-use the track after pulling the nails out.  95% of the track on my present layout was carefully salvaged from a 14x26' layout I had nearly completed and had to dismantle in 2000.  I stored all the track carefully in bundles and long boxes and pulled it out for this layout - it just required some railhead cleaning.  The saved track included 6 expensive #8 curved turnouts and other specialty turnouts - sure saved me many hundreds of dollars.  For some thats not a big deal if they have plenty of disposable income but for me with limited train budget, it was a big help.

Tom Yes

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, June 2, 2016 9:09 AM

Liking nails because of removability, that is why I use 2" foam, I can T-pin the track in place and run trains, then take up and caulk it pemanent.

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