A Flextrack howto in the academy ?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Biased turkey, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I realised that a lot of threads are Flextrack related.
    Soon or later I expect to jump on the Flextrack bandwagon too. Do other members agree that Flextrack deserves its own sticky thread ?
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I am always looking for ways to improve my track work. Sounds good to me:thumb:

  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i beleive flex track is great,but if you dont know how to use it it can bite back (dont ask me how i know that!) but it probably should have its own sticky to prevent bad experiences.--josh
  4. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer


    Flextrack is ok but not a cure for all track issues.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One of the better flex track how-to's is the one with "truck topper tape" from MR some time ago. It is available as a pdf download from www.trains.com

    If you (or anyone else) would like to put something together for The Academy, I'd be happy to work with you... ;) :D

  6. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    For $8.95, you can download it. I beleive info such as that should be public knowledge. We pay high enough prices for the items we get, $100 for a loco, $100 for a set of freight cars, $200+ for track, $100+ for scenery and buildings, $150+ for DCC setup, + benchwork. Information should be FREE for all to use. :D
    Someone just starting out, may have already gotten a bad deal on some items off Ebay. Now they have to pay $8.95 to download a Pdf from Model Railroader to learn how to lay track? Give me a break:curse:
  7. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    You get what you pay for... you can buy the Atlas books, which have probably the same advice, for less. Or you can buy old how-to's like the old Kalmbach "Primer" books - they show up at flea markets for a couple of bucks. Or even old MR's. They seem to re-hash the same beginner articles every year in the December/January issues... that is if they can tear themselves away from their love-in with UniTrack. The advice hasn't changed in years... just how they present it.

    Or you can get it free, from places like The Gauge, and other sites like it. Of course the problem in getting it from here is that it doesn't come with the twenty-seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one....

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Nope... still free! -> http://www.trains.com/mrr/objects/pdf/mr_lc_6-03_flextrack_01.pdf

    Although others are "offered" for download at the aforementioned price... ;)

    I find a lot of the MR/Kalmbach books are reprinted content (on a given topic) from MR magazine. While it conveniently groups the related articles, I prefer to buy the back issues at $0.25 to $0.50 from my local club or train shop. The Index of Magazines at www.trains.com is handy in locating various topics over the years.

  9. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    So we shouldn't have a sticky about one of the topics that bites almost everyone, at some point in time? Flextrack isn't a cure for anything, but it is going to show up eventually on many layouts that want the 'flexibility' to have curves other than what one can get in sectional track.

    I'd like to hear more about your reasoning.
  10. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I'm glad you found that Pdf, and its free!
    Although, I'd have to argue with it. It says to remove 3 ties from the end of each piece for curves. Now you have a section of track, 6 ties long with soldered rail joiners, with nothing to keep it in gauge. It says that he removes the ties first and then adds the joiners and then solders. Without the ties in place to support the rail when soldering, the rails will be out of alignment and gauge.:rolleyes:
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I don't know that it is really enough ties mising to allow things drastically out of gauge. Perhaps a small amount, but that can be checked when it is installed. Soldering the pieces beforehand (i.e. when they are straight) will certainly give a better line to the curved track.

    Just be sure not to catch the rail or hit it on the floor after the ties are removed...! ;)

    However, if you put the sliding track on the inside, and allow the excess rail to go to each end, you can get away with only removing one tie (i.e. just enough to fit the rail joiner. It might be possible to not remove any ties if you cut the rail joiner down as well.

  12. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    What you've got to remember Andrew is that you and I are talking from experience with laying flex. This might be going in the Academy for new hobbiest to learn from.
    If you take 6 ties out of joint of flex and then bend to desired curve, it will kink and be out of gauge. Your looking at 1 3/4" ~ 2" of unsecured rail being bent. Sometimes just 1/2" makes a kink.
    As for cutting the rail joiners down, dont cut them in half and expect them to work well. When soldering a full joiner, the only points being soldered is the outside edge of the rail, and even then 90% of connection is electrical with hardly any strength coming from the joint. We're not welding rail, just attatching tin/lead mixture to the outside of it.:thumb:
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Hi folks,

    We're taking it easy on adding too many sticky threads to help the forum remain easy to read as the list of new posts pops up. I think you'll find that searching flex track using our search function will yield many threads pertaining to the subject.
  14. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Thanks for the link Andrew. I found it googling a few weeks ago.
    Imho, that article is good and informative but it's more about caulking and roadbed than about how to lay flextrack. There is just 1 pic dealing with flextrack and it's about soldering 2 flextrack section in a straight line.
    It doesn't mention the most frightening part for a newbie: how to lay 2 flextract sections in a curve.
  15. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Ralph, that's the problem, there are too many pictureless threads with diverging opinions about how to lay flextrack: The fixed rail must be on the inside part of the curve, no it must be on the outside part etc...
    Or: solder 2 sections in a straight line, then curve them, no no curve the 1st section keeping a few inches straight then solder te 2nd section and finish the curve.
    There is even less info about Peco flextrack, ( Peco website s.cks ) and I intend to use Peco flextrack ( I have nothing against Atlas ,I have some Atlas engines and boxcars and their sectional track has a goot quality/price ratio ) just because they have electrofrog turnouts.
  16. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Maybe there should be an controlled area in the reference section for such things. Not really the Academy, but similar. This, general wiring, general scenery, etc. Maybe. Or not!

  17. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    If there is a "solder shop" in the academy section, why not a Flextrack shop ?
  18. Chaparral

    Chaparral Member

    I can't spring for DCC.
    I'm looking forward to my inhertance so I change out all those offshore couplers and trucks.
    I'm running a loop till I steal enough grocery money to buy 8 turnouts.
    It's a TEENY loop - model railroad track is the same price as 100 lb rail.
    Now I find out that TEENY, but pricey, flex track loop is inferior, hazardous and downright unpleasant.
    Say it ain't so.
  19. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    I say we should have a sticky thread in the academy, I swear by flex track since I discovered it!!
  20. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Tell you what. I'll bring the question to the administration.

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