Soldering flextrack

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by JKountz, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    Hey guys, Im getting ready to put together a new layout using flextrack so I did a few searches here and read where some made references to soldering the track together before making a radius with it?? Are the standard track connectors not enough to hold them properly or????? Could anyone describe the soldering process to me please? Im well experienced with soldering but I dont know exactly where and what these folks are soldering? Do you still use the connectors AND solder?? Help!!


  2. billwv

    billwv Member

    Hi Jim,

    I am sure others will post in more detail, but until then:

    Rail joiners are used to join sections, then these are soldered, primarily to insure good electrical conductivity. Joiners alone can become loose over time.

    In order to insure good electric, most recomend positive feed to every track section, either by a soldered feeder wire or soldered joiner to a section with positive feed.

  3. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    Hey Bill, thanks for the info but if I may be more specific. I guess what I was asking was do you solder the tops then grind or smooth the joint or put a dab on the bottom or sides?? Where exaxctly should the solder be in the connectors?? Many thanks Bill, and where in WV are you?
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    i just solder the joiners at the bottom web.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If your layout is subject to wide variations in temperature, you will need to leave every other joiner or every third one unsoldered to allow for contraction and expansion. Also if you melt some ties at the ends of the sections, you can just stain some wood ties to blend in with the plastic ties and replace the melted ones. Once ballasted, you won't be able to tell which ties are plastic and which are wood.
  6. billwv

    billwv Member


    You solder where the rail ends and joiner all join at the outside rail edge, just enough for good electric contact, at the bottom of the rail. Try to be quick and careful to not melt ties.

    See above link for some photos, and how to solder feeders and joiners, note last photo in particular.

    This is a widely discussed subject, and I am sure there is how to with photos out there but I can't seem to find them right now.

    Hope this helps.

    I am from Wheeling.

  7. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I solder all joiners on curves. I get the lengths precise, then let it straighten out, and solder the joiners to the rail on the outside. That way, when you curve it back there is no kink at all.

    I also use a clear silicon caulk to glue the rail down. A tiny bead, spread with a disposable covered finger. Pin the track in place for 30 minutes or so and remove the pins. Easy to adjust the track when putting it down and will pop loose if you ever need to move it.

  8. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    Thanks everyone, Ive been practicing this morning with some scrap track and I think Ive got it now. I did melt a few ties the first few times but my last few attempts I didnt. Flextrack is new to me but I think Im going to really like it once I get it down. I like the idea of having fewer joints and the ability to run curves easier. Thanks again to everyone its greatly appreciated!

    Bill, Im in Augusta, WV over in Hampshire Co. Nice to meet you.
  9. billwv

    billwv Member


    One trick I use is: at joints I remove the last one or two ties, solder the joints, then when the track is down; file the tops of the removed ties and slide them back under the rails. After ballast, etc, everthing looks great; and no worry of melting ties.

    Good luck. Like everything else, you'll be an expert by the time you're done!

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Another trick to use is if you look at the bottom of the track, you will see plastic spacers cast between some of the ties. If you cut out some of the spacers on each end, you can slide the ties together to clear the end of the rail. Solder your rail joiners, then when it has cooled off, slide the ties back in place.
  11. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    I read this wrong at first, and wondered at having disposable fingers... I need all mine!
  12. Kurgan

    Kurgan New Member

    Forgive me if this is a lame question, but are you using rosin core or acid core solder. I assume rosin core, right?

  13. billwv

    billwv Member

    Yes, Rosin Core solder for electric work.


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