question about solder technique

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by eckstara, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. eckstara

    eckstara New Member

    is this done before track is laid down, piece by piece as you go, or after gluing/nailing is complete?

    is joiner removed?

    file only on top and inside edge of rail - correct?

    finally question, any hints/tips on soldering n-scale track?
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    have soldered track both ways seems easer to solder after you know that there are no problems with track.
    the joiner is left on .
    the object is to keep joints neat without too much solder, but it is good to make sure that rail joints are aligned lighty file top and inside .
    have never soldered N scale track but make sure that joiners are tight and the joint is clean.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Once you know the joint is good, I would use a bit of liquid flux applied with a small paintbrush to the outside of the rail. Hold the iron touching the joint then place the solder to the track until it flows under the rail joiner on both rails. Remove the solder first then leave the iron there for a second or two to allow the solder to flow. If you do it right, you won't get solder on the inside or top of the rails, and you won't need to file. If you do get some solder where you don't want it, use the iron to heat it up and rub it off with a cloth, not your fingers.:eek: If that doesn't do it, use solder wick to remove the solder and start over again.

    I do this with N scale and it works fine.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I like to solder flex track before bending it. I have gone without joiners, but in most cases and for most people, it's probably best to use them. Best to stagger the joints, especially on curves. Be fast and the ties won't melt :O and it's a good idea to check the gauge after soldering.
  5. eckstara

    eckstara New Member

    thanks for the help. saw a jig tool that squares up the two pieces with a open slot for soldering that i may try. from what i can tell, need to focus mainly on curves and trouble spots, not the whole track.
  6. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I'm not so fast so I use a couple of metal clips from Radio Shack as heat sinks on either side of the joiner.
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Usually that would indicate you need a heavier iron, but if the clips work for you, why tamper with sucess?
  8. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    OK, I'm slowly getting it. Relative to feeder wires -- are they attached to the joints in between the rails so that the solder fills the rail joints and provides the electrical connection for the wire to the rail, or are the feeder wires connected to the rails at some other point along the rail -- halfway down the rail? Also, when soldering the joint, do you place the iron/gun on the top of the rail, on the inside of the rail, or somewhere else? I've seen lots of feedback about using higher watt guns and putting the gun on the top of the rail -- What about if you are soldering the feeder wire along the rail at some other point than the joint. I tried to put the soldering gun on the side, and metled everything. Arghhhh! (Gosh, this must really sound ignorant to some of you guys -- sorry). I have been practicing on a test piece of track and have melted everything every time. If I am supposed to attach the feeder wire to the track at some point other than the joint, how can I solder it without melting everything? Will metal clamps on either side of where I am soldering really help? I'm currently using Atlas wired rail joiner connections at both the near and far points of the track (nothign soldered) -- with all the talk about 20 guage feeders and 14 guage main bus, these Atlas rail joiner with wires must be 30 guage -- they are tiny. I probably need to rewire with larger wire but can't seem to get the soldering and wiring positioning correct. If I were ever able to solder feeder wire to the track, how do I connect the feeder wire to the bus wire running under the table. My setup is a new DCC layout, got a new engine, and noticed that it went appreciably slower on the extremity of my layout than near the power supply -- I haven't had a chance to try my older engine on the layout which I don't remember having a problem, but the new loco was visibly slowing down at the exremity, and we are talking 8 ft. Even if it is a problem with the new loco, I'm beginning to feel that my current wiring is insufficient. Sorry that there are several questions embedded in my message -- How to solder, and how to wire. Thanks in advance for some help.
  9. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    How do you solder track before forming the curves? I just laid approx 300' of flex track with 30" min curves and the offset of the rails required trimming of both the rail and ties. Do you trim them before soldering?

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