Track soldering

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Woodie, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    OK guys,

    I've got the soldering iron, and the solder, and the track. Using Peco HO Code 75 flextrack and joiners.

    Do I butt the rails up tight in the joiners? Leave a little gap to "drizzle" the solder into?

    Any hints here guys?

    taa. TOOT :D :cool:
  2. Pete

    Pete Member

    Hi Woodie
    I usually butt them up snug. Solder won't easily fill gaps in the rails, as it tends to 'run downhill' while in liquid form.
    Work quickly - it shouldn't take you more than 3 seconds for each joint. Track joint, that is.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Don't "drizzle" solder anywhere. You need to heat the two rails enough to melt the solder and draw it into the joint. Don't forget flux as well.-
  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    A couple of suggestions. Make sure to use a rosin core solder and not acid core. I like the liquid variety since it flows easily between the rail and coupler. I also use a couple of large electrical clips as heat sinks. Placed on either side of where I'm soldering, they help keep the ties from melting.

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  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I always use track gauges on each side of the joint, as close as possible to the rail joiner.
    I heat the rails at the top of the joint and apply the solder down where they go into the rail joiner (i.e. at the ends of the rail, as far down as possible.) Heat the rail until the solder sucks into the rail joiner. Apply either on the outside of the rail, so it doesn't interfere with the flanges, or on the far side of the rail, not the viewing side, the file down the extra solder.
  6. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Leaving gaps won't do any good if you solder. Think about it - gaps are for expansion and contraction - but if you solder, the track cannot do either. I learned that it is wise to not solder some joins if you have a layout in a place where expansion and contraction can happen. I had much expansion and contraction on my garage layout in Indiana where we had temperature and humidiy extremes.

    When I solder track, I make sure the rails are butted up tight, tack it down with push pins if needed, attach heat sinks on both sides of the joint to avoid melting ties, then apply flux and solder (apply sparingly).

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