how to lay flextrak

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by flare_951, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. flare_951

    flare_951 New Member

    :cry: I just got 20 30" long flex-trak and I don't know where to buy spikes or how to lay it.

    please help,

  2. The spikes should be available at the LHS that you bought the track from.

    As for laying the track, need a little more info on what your putting down?
    Corner's etc....And what your laying the track on? Cork roadbed,foam, homosote etc...
  3. flare_951

    flare_951 New Member

    Hello all,
    I have atlas flex-track and all types of laying exept straight...

    as for checking the LHS, it is 60+ miles away and i'm not old enough for a drivers lisence yet so:curse: ...

    as for what i'm laying it on it's cork on 3/8" plywood.

    thanks for any help you may provide,
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The flextrack doesn't use "spikes" rather they use rail nails. These are small black nails that come in two sizes, the longest is about 1/2". Your flextrack has a hole in a tie about every four inches. Once you have your roadbed (most people use cork) glued in place, then get your turnouts (switches) located, and start on one end and join the rails to one turnout with rail joiners, line up the flextrack on the roadbed and then use the rail nails to secure it in place. Theres a bit more to it than that, but we can discuss the details as you go.
  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Though I model in HO, the method I use for laying flextrack can be used in N.
    I glue the cork to my sub-road bed. After that, I lay the track down and hold it in position with "T" pins. I then ballast the track using a 50/50 mixture of Elmers White glue with a drop of Dawn. Before gluing the ballast, I give it a good heavy spray of 70% rubbing alcohol.
    When the glue has set, I pull the "T" pins, clean the rails of any stray ballast.
    Whats good about this method is, if you want to make changes, you soak the ballast with water. You won't ruin the track trying to pull up the nails.The track can be used again.
    If you do go the nail route..Try not to push the nail in hard, you may break ties, or even ruin the rails.
    I'm sure there are guys here with better methods, but this is the one I use.
  6. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I do not use either spikes or rail nails.

    Go to your local dollar store and pick up some white glue and some push pins.
    In the picture, the bottles of dollar store gravel hold the track down on a straight section.

    Attached Files:

  7. davidmbedard

    davidmbedard Member

    Use glue......white or acrylic type. It is far superior to nails.

  8. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I did something similar to Will, but used cheap acrylic caulk to glue my track to the cork roadbed and T pins to hold it down until it dried.
  9. Trains

    Trains New Member

    You will have to drill a small hole for the nails. They are very hard to push into the plywood. For the curves it is best to sodier the jounts together. Maybe there is a club close where you could get someone to help?
  10. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    I would stay away from track spikes. If you put them in too tight, your track will go out of gauge, if you don't put them in hard enough, your trains will hit them! I use a latex contact cement. Paint it on the track and the roadbed. After an hour, it's dry and you can lay the track and it won't move. You can set it where you want, and if you don't push it down too hard, you can re-adjust it. Once it's where you want it, just press it down. If you want to take it up, all it takes is a Sharp utility knife. The ones with the long, replaceable blade. I've had my track down for about 3 1/2 years, and it has never moved, unless I have taken it up!
  11. Auzze

    Auzze New Member

    Try using tissue tape.. It like a very thin double sided tape.
    You should be able to find it at walmart.

  12. skipgear

    skipgear Member

    I will second SD90's suggestion for contact cement. I however used a different product that makes it go a little quicker but it is probably more expensive in the long run.

    Hit the local craft store and look a product called UHU Creativ'. It comes in a tube and they have different versions for different applications but the product I use is foam safe. I have been using this to assemble flat panel foam RC aircraft for a while now and decided to try it on the trains. I am making a small display layout out of some left over sheet foam that I had from some packing.

    I used it for both the cork road bed and the track laying. It allowed me to lay the cork and roadbed in as small as 6" radius with no pins, or tacks to hold things in place. Everything else I have tried required pins and weights to especially on the roadbed to keep things flat while the glue dried.

    Spread a thin layer of clue on both surfaces, the thiner the better, it will cure quicker. Either allow to set for about 5 minutes or you can speed things along with a hair drier. Start at one end and start laying the track. It seems I could get smoother corners and transitions in both the track and the roadbed using this method.

    The first picture is one evenings worth of work. The second two are after the second evenings worth of work. The contact glue makes thing go together fast although I am now using white glue on the rest of the foam landscaping just because of the amount needed.

    Attached Files:

  13. [​IMG]
    Flare 951,
    Gluing the track works best for me also. No matter which type of glue that you decide to use....[​IMG]

    Nice little display layout, I'd like to see some more photos as you go along...[​IMG]
  14. skipgear

    skipgear Member

    extra7000 - Thanks. It is mainly something to build for experimenting and learning different techniques before I start on my primary layout. I am building this to fit in a display case at the hobbyshop that I work part time at. It is in two modules that will bolt together so it is easier to get in through the doors of the case. Size is 17" x 42". Min radius is about 6.25 so I am limited in what I can run on it but the little 0-6-0 in the first picture makes it around nicely. I have to stay with 33-40' cars which fits in fine with the steam era equipment that I have. Also tested an older atlas/rivarossi 4-6-2 pacific and it ran around fine.
  15. :thumb: :thumb:

    Good report, know it's gonna work out fine.
    Keep us posted.....:wave:
  16. flare_951

    flare_951 New Member

    Thanks for the help, now if could only get my dad to build my "real" bench work:p ...
  17. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Why wait for Dad? You can do it flare :thumb: :D
  18. flare_951

    flare_951 New Member

    He won't let me!

  19. ajroland

    ajroland Member

    I have two questions. I noticed the use of cork on top of foam. Does this reduce sound? I was thinking of putting my track straight onto the foam and then carving ditches. Second question, if you glue the track down and then want to add a turnout at some point in the future, how hard is it to pry up a section of track, does it take the foam with it?
  20. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    At first I was using the cork just because it would be easier than digging ditches, :D but then I noticed that it did help with the sound.

    As far as changing track, I have changed a couple of sections already. Since I used ordinary White Glue, it was simply a matter of light pressure under the ties, a couple of difficult areas needed a spritz of water to loosen the glue. :thumb:

Share This Page