Few more questions...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by hiscopilot, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Ok, I am starting to figure so much out. BUt still many silly little nit picky questions.

    First, when you start to laytrack on your layout, where is the best place to start? Obviously I should draw it out and lay the track out to make sure everything "fits" before laying it right??

    OK, is the foam roadbed stuff bad? I picked some up cheap, but its not cut and really it looks like the cork stuff is better, should I invest with some of that and where is the cheapest place to get it?

    if I am running several loops and engines on a DC track, I need to isolate the sections correct? Are the plastic rail joiners the correct way to do it?

    When I am laying the permanent track I should soldier the pcs together right? Do I still use rail joiners to help line up the track?

    I could keep going and going! LOL

    Thanks for all of the help!
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hi, Hisco:wave: , First off, I always heard the best place to start laying track is the yard. That is a critical area, and if it doesn't fit right, nothing else will. And yes, it is best to test fit your track plan if you can. If nothing else, draw it 1:1 and tape it in place first, then trace.
    As far as the roadbed goes, I have always used cork, so I can not comment on anything else.
    If I remember right from your other posts, your using dc, right? Then yes, you will have to have blocks in your wiring. During assembly it is best to go ahead and put in insulated joiners now. Other wise, you would have to cut gaps later, and find something to fill the gaps as a insulater.
    Soldering is the best way to ensure good electrical contact around the whole layout. It does not take long, and is easy to do. There is a good tutorial here on how to solder. You should use metal rail joiners first, too keep the track in line and avoid kinks at the joints. A big pluse if you don't want derailments. When you use the metal joiners, don't wiggle the track trying to get the joiners to fit. That will allow the track to move and cause a kink. Just push the tracks straight together.
    Hope this helps.

  3. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    thanks That answers so much for me! :)
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    For foam roadbed, do you mean Woodland Scenics? This has a slice in it, but not all the way through. On curves you need to cut it all the way through and lay the halves separately. I put mine down with non-toxic, non-solvent green contact cement, but this is unforgiving of errors. Used the same cement to put the track down. The foam roadbed does not take nails or spikes the way cork does.
    I usually only solder joints if they're going to come in the middle of curves, but I put lots of feeders in.
    Plastic rail joiners are for keeping the rails apart; they don't do so well lining the rails up. Definitely avoid thhem in the middle of curves if you can.
    If you can find sheet cork and can cut it at an angle, that might be cheap.
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Soldering your track on straights can cause problems with expansion and contraction from environmental variations. My reccomendation, like David's, is don't do it.

    Some folks report no problems like this. It may be that if the track is tacked into homasote rather than glued down, the track nails allow a little movement. I don't know. I do know that my track has experienced both kinks and joint separation due to this.

    I would start by setting up a loop of track flat on the table and seeing one train run. Flex track curves can be temporarily tacked in place so they don't kink. Get a feel for the track pieces. No matter how much drawing you do, you will likely make adjustments as you go, so never feel the design is "cast in stone".

    I hear the foam roadbed is OK, but I would use cork. It will hold pins better and does not "crush" as much if there is any pressure on the track. You can use white glue on it.

    Use a sharpie marker to draw the centerline of your track on the foam (or other) base. You will use this line to guide the center of the roadbed when you lay it.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Sorry to be wordy, but I think the yard area is not the best place to start if you are not familiar with the switches and track-laying. The yard trackwork needs to be as bullet-proof as possible, because operations there involve a lot of reversing over switches, and repairs and adjustments are more difficult because of the congestion.

    I would get a mainline down and tested before going much further. You will learn a lot laying that first loop.

    I've used the WS roadbed on N-scale, and not really that happy with it. It is partially cut down the center, like David said, if you look closely. Other folks like it fine!! The diversity and possibilities are what make this hobby so great!
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    An easy inexpensive way to put gaps in your rails for blocks, is to lay all of your track with the standard rail joiners. Then cut your gaps in the rail where you need them using a Dremel cut off tool. Then save the little plastic clips that come on the bags of bread from the grocery store. You glue the corner of the "bread clip" into the slot with a little acc (super glue). After the glue sets up, cut the bread clip near the top of the rail and bend it to break it just to the inside of the rail. Finally use a small file to shape the bread clip to match the rail profile. The plastic insulator will be almost completely invisible.
  8. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Just what i needed!!! Thanks!!! I was dreadding pulling up rail to insert plastic rail joiners, this saves me some time and bent railjoiners.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The best part is the plastic is at the right price, if you can rescue the clips before they hit the trash!
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If you are using flex track, often the best palce to start is to lay out all the turnouts. Then it is a matter of connecting the turnouts with flex track. The only caution you need here is to watch for "impossible" curves created by having turnouts at awkward angles and/or too close to each other. But if you are working from a scale plan, you should be ok.

  11. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Hmm another issue, what if i've already laid snap track down w/ regular joiners. What is teh best way to get that track up w/ out yanking out all the rest of my track or bending the track at rediculous angles.
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are going to replace the snap track with flex, just take your dremel or rail nippers and cut out a section of snap track. For instance if you have 4 sections of snap track together and you want to remove them to replace them with flex track, make 4 cuts in one piece of snap track, 2 in each rail, about 1 inch apart. When you lift out the section of track you cut, you now have 1 inch to play with to remove the rest of the snap track.

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