hand layed tracks

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by 13Mtrainer, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. zedob

    zedob Member

    arn't that the truth. Ever try and bend code 40 flex? I never did use that stuff after the first trial.

    I've handlaid my share of track and unless you are looking for that uber rustic look and in any scale larger than HO I'd stay away from it. I don't mind doing it, I just don't care for the look, in HO scale. I modeled narrow guage at a time when code 70 flex was the standard and I wanted the 55 look. Then Railcraft(?) or Micro engineering came out with thier small stuff that looked great, but had the flexability of re-bar. Talk about milking a cow.

    I just started modeling standard guage and just ordered some CV strips and ties to use on my shelf layout, which I'm rather anxious to try out.

    I do like the flexability availed when handlaying a turnout, but if the CV TOs work like they say they do, I doubt I'll be handlaying anymore. Well, even with the CV stuff, you still are kinda handlaying track.

    However, I DO like the twig tie trick. If I were building an O scale logging line, that would be choice.
  2. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Some of you i'm sure have seen this link but some may not have.
    If youve seen it heres a chance to check it out again.If you havent seen it and are just now thinking about handlaying.Heres a great bit of information.

  3. jon6516

    jon6516 New Member

    Hand laid track looks the best. But it is only worth the effort if it is done in an area that it can be viewed with no effort. If you have to look for it, you will do better with a good flex track that has been doctored up and if you have track work that you can’t see use the cheapest track that will hold a gauge. Now switches can be hand laid also. Stub switches on a logging line are wonderful to view, but can be difficult to operate and maintain. There are wonderful new tools out there to make hand building a switch a less involved project. You can also get per built or kits if you don’t mind waiting for manufacture to get off their asses and fill their orders. (I once waited 6 months for a HOn3 code 55 3 way stub, before canceling my order; it took me three months of evenings to teach myself to scratch build that same switch for the same cost, less if you don’t count the mistakes I made.). Again a good DCC compatible can be used where you don’t need the “lookie see” or where your going to screw up you scenery maintaining that switch. Never use cheep switches, ever. As for using a DCC compatible switch? If your current layout is not DCC, conceder the work you will have when you do, and from my experience with my last layout, you will. I waited 10 years to move into my new layout (House) and start from scratch rather try to modify the existing mess I had.

    If you still want to hand lay track, look on e-bay for a Kadee “Spiker”. It is less involved that that little pliers and tiny spikes, also search for all the old magazines that any articles on track-work / hand-built / hand-laid / switches.


  4. KCS

    KCS Member

    Go check out the Proto 87 site. They have by far the best track detail yet. I thought Central Valley had some great track. That track can be laid easy including tie's, tie plates, rail and spikes. The tie plates have to be installed one by one and put the fun into hand laying track. I have close to 15' of it now that I was able to build in about a days time but I built it as a "panel" on the work bench to be installed on my future layout. It's really cheap too.
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I'll have to disagree with you on a couple points KCS. I bought a pack of the tie plates and scale spikes and agree they are the best looking track I know of. But fun and easy they are not. (Subjective, I know!) And cheap? I honestly don't recall what I spent, and I'm not saying its very expensive, but not cheap. But worth the money if you have the desire. I wanted to make it work for me badly, but my eyes just weren't up to it. 20 years ago I think I would have done a good job with it. I just had to try, as I wanted the best appearance possible, just for highly visable scenes. I wound up using his spikes without the tie plates on an industrial siding. The scale spikes are awesome. I did bend quite a few tho! I just couldn't see the holes for the spikes in the tie plates once the rail was in place! My eyes actually started to hurt after a half dozen plates. Not a problem with the product I know, but I just thought others with aging vision should be aware!


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