Ready to start

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by plbab, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. plbab

    plbab Member

    WEll the benchwork is done "it took on a life of it's own". Need to put plywood top on then foam what is best way to attatch track to foam? Is foam the right thing to use? Have not found homasote yet. Also how do you solder track without melting ties? Thanks
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    plbab, If I'm laying the mainline I lay AMI instant roadbed (self adhesive) on the foam then lay the track. For branch lines, spurs, yards etc. I glue the track (using Elmer's white glue) directly to the foam. If you clamp a hemostat to the rail it will work as a heat sink and cut down on the ties melting.
  3. plbab

    plbab Member

    Ok i am confused. How do you make the height transition from mainline to spur or branch if you use road bed for one and glue direct on the other?
  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    The transition between roadbed & sub-roadbed (the foam) is very slight, & should prove to be no problem, as long as you've done a good job laying the track.
    I put wet cotton balls on the rails on both sides of where I'm soldering, & never have a problem with ties melting.
    BTW - If you're new to soldering, it's a skill that requires some practice, & I would advise you to practice on a couple of lengths of scraqp track, before you lay into that $20 turnout...
    Good luck, & keep us posted on your progress.
  5. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I dont clamp any heat sinks to the track or use any wet cotton balls I just solder the stuff and have only melted one tie. If you do not touch your gun to the ties directly I think you will have little or no problem. Transitions from roadbed to foam can use a sanded wedge to support the track in the area the height difference is minimal but you still want to make sure you dont have any abrupt transitions. Always take your time, and the old welder's credo applies here too: "Be comfortable" If you are comfortable your work will be easier, neater and last longer.

    I knew a guy who would take three hours to position himself for a 10 minute welding job. Might seem excessive, but we never had to go back in and re-weld any of his jobs.

    Have fun too!:D
  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I use a 30 watt soldering iron. What I usually do is apply a little solder to the end of the wire first--it soaks it up by capillary action. Then I touch the tip of the iron to the top of the rail, right above where I want to attach the wire. I hold the wire in place, on the outside of the rail, until it sticks (usually just a second or two). If more solder is needed, I wait a couple of seconds to let the rail cool, then apply more. So far, I haven't had any noticeable melting!

    Some people do this to the inside of the rails, but my eyes aren't sharp enough and my hands aren't steady enough to pull this off!

  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Make sure you use resin flux applied to where you want the solder to flow. I prefer the kind that comes in a paste form, & apply it with a toothpick.
  8. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Plbab: two replies:

    when sodering I push a thin piece of metal or copper under the area that I am sodering, I also use Yakkowarners method of using wet cotton balls.

    when using risers I came upon a clever idea. To make the risers I use 1x4 wood cut to the aprox length that I will require to raise my roadbed. I then with the table saw or router cut a kerf about 2 to 3 inches long, about 1/4 inch wide along the lenght from the bottom in the center. This way when you put up your risers you sue a large flathead serew and a washer in the kert and then into your table. This way if you wish to make some adjustments all you do is loosen the screw a little make your adjustment then tighten again. Tahkes the flustration of taking the screws out and finding a new hole again. When you have things the way that they are to be you then take another small screw, I use 1 and 1/2 inch, drill a pilot hole somewhere in the riser and put this screw in, not it is secure. If for unknown reasons you have to adjust it again, remove the second screw, loosen the larger one with the washer adjust and just tighten again. Have used this for years and it sure takes a lot of flustration out of doing it and minimal changes can be made quickly and easily.


    We do not as yet have a digital camera, planning on one very soon, or I would attach a photo. Hope I explained it okey.
  9. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    PLBAB: I assume you are using foamboard for your base on top of the plywood. I used Liquid Nails glue to attach the foam to the plywood then I glued down my cork roadbed using the same. For the track I first pinned it down using small finishing nails to make sure everything lined up then picked it up putting Liquid Nails glue on track in very small amounts. Using the nails as guides I repined the track to the roadbed and let dry. As for soldering I use small heat sinks on the tracks and never had a problem with it!:eek:
  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    too true....... too true. If your going to have a lovely nice, fabulous meal.... what do you do? set the table properly first! ;)

    make sure everything's on it, the wine is chilled, the candles lit.

    Nothing worse that "stuffit, forgot the salt and peper" :mad:
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    When I solder drops ro rail I use a soldering gun and no heat sinks. The idea is to heat the joint and remove heat quickly. You won't melt ties if the joint heats quickly. Keep the tip clean. use flux (I use liquid) and tin both the wire and the rail. now just hold together and heat just till solder melts, pretty much instantly. If the tip is dirty it won't transmit heat well and this is when you melt ties.

  12. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Has anyone else picked up on the fact that we are apparently now dealing with either two Gary Pfeils or the one we have been communicating with has a split personality and he is just now coming up on the Gauge as a junior member:eek: :eek: :D :D :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    I'm sure there is an explanation, right???

  13. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I think I've figured it out. We have TWO Gary Pfeil's. One is Gary Herbert Walker Pfeil. He used to be president. The other is Gary Herbert Pfeil, his son. He's currently president.

    Make sense?


  14. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Sure there is. I've mentioned many times how computer illiterate I am. I've always posted from work where the internet access is provided with no knowledge required on my part. When I wanted to respond to a question from home I found I didn't know how to use my existing user name from my home address, so I just became a new member.

  15. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Me thinks the first successful cloning in Boonton, eh what;) ;)

    We then should be able to get twice as much good information from both Gary and his clone:D :D

  16. RI541

    RI541 Member

    Doesnt that violate the 6th day law, Maybe the laws are differant in Jersy?

    The way I solder my N-scale is I put the paste flux on the outside of the rails as to not catch any flanges then I put a piece of brass wire about a half inch long into the flux,then after my torch is heated I put a drop of solder on the tip then just touch the the joint, the solder just flows around the wire and rails making a nice neat and clean joint. Before I started doing this way I was melting ties like crazy. Now the hot tip is only on the rail for a split second.
  17. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    What's a torch?
  18. RI541

    RI541 Member

    Are you pulling my leg again?

    If not. its a butane tourch about 5-6" tall which lets you shut off the flame and just use the butane to keep it hot and it gets real hot fast. I've used it to solder copper pipes in the bathroom once.
  19. RI541

    RI541 Member

    this is what it looks like

    Attached Files:

  20. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Hey Errol and Woodie...... didn't you think a torch was what Americans call a flashlight:confused: :confused:

    I bet a guy could melt some ties with that thing. I know it would if it were in my hands:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    I don't understand the physics of the butane keeping the rail hot without a flame. Is this alchemy at work:eek: :eek:


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