Flex Track- Radius Help??

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cheetah20, May 30, 2007.

  1. wickman

    wickman Member

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    If benchwork is already up grab a pencil and paper draw a rough sketch of a plan then draw it on the bench. For the curves simply get a length of wood such as a dollar store yard stick and drill one hole in the one end of the yard stick the follow the inch marks up to say starting with 14" then 16" and 18" ( I would imagine 14" is quite a large curve in Nscale) now thta you have a radius stick tool draw some curves.
    Go with flex from start to finish you won't regret it.:wave:
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    Go for it, Cheetah!! There are several threads on flex track installation, with various suggestions to ease your pain. :mrgreen: Also several threads on soldering technique. practice on scrap pieces first if you have not soldered before, otherwise its like any other solder job. :thumb: (In other words, use heat sink, minimum solder, hot enough to flow into joint, etc., etc.) Solder any joint that falls in a curve before installation to prevent kinks. If you are gluing the track down, don't do it until you have checked carefully for reverse :confused: superelevation. A very slight banking to the inside is prototypical, but banking to the outside looks like _ _ _ _!! :curse: :mrgreen: Shimming the ties is easier to get right if you can nail the track down.
  3. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    Thanx Gang ...
    you guys are the greatest........ :)

    Its been really tough in making decisions about any of this as so many of you have different (yet similar) ideas and thoughts which didn't help me as a new n-scaler.......
    its great when I get the go ahead from one of you !!!! ........lol

    Now..don't get me wrong..all those different postings from you guys.......
    I'm sure are accurate and have been experienced ......
    I know that, as most of you 'agree' with each other..... :)

    Again......Thanx
  4. wickman

    wickman Member

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    And if you need a good reliable online supplier Peco Track Ho Scale I've used him for all my flex track and a bunch of other stuff.:wave:
  5. wickman

    wickman Member

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    Ah darn just checked his site and he doesn't appear to have N scale :oops:
  6. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    OK...heres what I want to do..........
    the 3" spaces are for the ONE (upper) track...oval or circle...
    which I will need a slight incline before coming around to the 2nd level
    simple.......this will be my second train set anyways.

    **My main track will below which will take most of my table up
    strictly on ground level.
    something like this.....


    All I am worried about is the TURNS (radius) on both!!!!!!!
    will they work?

    Attached Files:

  7. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

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    If I understand that cut-through diagram, you're right-hand two tracks (on ground zero) are the two sides of a loop, right? If so, leaving about 18" centre to centre on those tracks, a curve radius of 9'', which is super-tight. I mean tight. Small locos will work, many won't, and all will look silly. Your entire 36'' width you started with was lots, but that 20'' you're effectively left with is not enough. Can you get the return track right at the back, behind the backboard? The backboard doesn't have to be at the back, remember? I have an 8x4' layout but have four tracks on each of two levels behind the backboard where the trains run around and for staging.

    Charles
  8. guyvanwettering

    guyvanwettering New Member

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    I think what the others are saying is that the sectional track is already preformed to certain radii. This makes it relatively easy to determine what minimum radius you can use for your particular situation. Sectional code 55 does not have to be " held in place " to maintain the curvature that you want. When I started modeling years ago I first started with sectional track and then integrated the flex track into the plan for unique situations.After a while I started using more and more flex. For quick setup to get your trains going you can't beat sectional track. For those sweeping curves and easements now that is where the flex track "flexes its muscles". You just have to remember that the flex takes a little longer to get situated than sectional. You can't build a 15 inch radius curve 180 degrees and pick it up and move it around on your layout with flex.
    The other asset that flex has is less track joiners meaning less places to derail and lose electrical continuity.
  9. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    OK...Charles.......
    again..I am not sure on the radius thing.....
    wonder what yours looks like??........
    Don't worry..wouldn't copy it.....want my own anyways!!!! :thumb:
    btw>>32" deep....and want 2 levels of track.....
    I guess I could overlap with the top track and the bottom going under.
  10. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    soooooooooooo gang
    hate to be a pain ....but may have to redesign my 2 track layout :(

    My "L" shape layout....


    so a good miminum radius with Atlas cars (engine + 5 = 6max)...is...???

    Attached Files:

  11. wickman

    wickman Member

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    Welcome to the club it actually took me 3 moths of planning in xtracad software to where I felt ready to start laying track , but ook at me now, now where'd I put that paint brush? sign1
  12. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    Don't have enough patience to learn that CAD program.......
    but IF I have to...I will .........
    I may be doing it the hard way,.
    but it won't take me any longer than 3 months.......I'm on it....... lol

    Everyone says my layout size is pretty good......
    so IF it is.....why I am having trouble with getting 2 tracks with a half decent radius? .....(my depths being 32" in size)
  13. wickman

    wickman Member

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    No need to learn any programs basicly you just have to get your radius's on the track calmed down a bit to where it'll work. You may in fact have to get some flex track and prop it in place and try it to see how it looks in real life. Pictures and drawing don't always do justice.:wave:
  14. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    thats exactly what I am going to do Lynn .....
    should get the track, control and engine this week........to test ...
  15. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

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    Hey Lynn..........
    found this layout that looks like it may be similar to mine :( ...
    I don't wanna copy off anyone....too funny
    and you commented on it.......
    http://forum.zealot.com/t119697/
  16. wickman

    wickman Member

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    LOL if you take a look at my plan you will see it is also very similar that why there called Dogbones , and are :wave:very popular . Most dog bone plans start off the same way with the main line then adding a passiing then off the passing siding is the rail leading into the industrial spurs. After all rule #1 is Thou Shalt Not Fowl The Main Line sign1