Laying Track

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Starman, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Starman

    Starman Member

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    I was wondering if there is anything else that you can use to nail down the track besides useing track nails.I don't have a hobby shop real close to where i live and i want to see if i can use anything else to do this with. I don't know if small regular nails will work or if you have to use track nails.I have laid the track out on a 4x8 benchwork and i have been trying to run it without it being nailed down but i run into a lot of problems keeping the track together.If anyone has some ideals of what i can use in place of track nails please feel free to let me know .I do have a hardware store in the area and hopefully i can get something from there.Please help a newbie with this problem.announce1
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    If the wood is soft enough, you can actually do this:

    1 - lay out your track.

    2 - pin the track down using pushpins (the colorful ones you use for bulletin boards).

    3 - ballast the track. After the ballast and glue dries, you can take off the pushpins.

    The glue and ballast will do a surprisingly good job of keeping the track in place.

    Good luck!
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Starman: What gauge track and what type are you using?
    If it's sectional track in HO, any small nail that will go through the hole in the tie should do. You want a short one; the ones called "cigar box nails" are usually suitable. Watch out for the surface you're putting them in.
    Don't put nails too far in. They should sit a little above the tie, otherwise the tie bends in the middle and either breaks or pulls the rails together.
    A lot of us use nails or spikes on the outside of the rail, pushed in by long-nose pliers. The we add ballast with glue and that holds the rails.
    Some of us glue the track down.
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hi,
    You can use construction glue (in the tube-type) to glue the track down, Just lay a THIN bead, sprad it out with a spatula, lay the track down and hold it in place withthe push pins described above. Let it sit overnight, take the pins out & you've got some nice solid track!! If you don't like your set-up, you can slip a thin blade under the track and lift it off, and do it all over again.
  5. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Thank you all for the imput,now as far as the glue do you have to use roadbed or can you just lay it out on the plywood,and can you buy the construction glue at any hardware store or do you have to get it at some where like a lowe's or a home depot.Sorry to be such a pain but i want to do this right the first time and i have a lot of question that i need to ask,but this is the first one that i need to take care of.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I would use roadbed over plywood. Plywood is not friendly to nails - the glue is harder than our nails. However, a lot of roadbeds don't take nails either, or at least don't hold onto them well.
    You should be able to get the glue at any hardware store.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    You can lay it directly over the plywood, but it's kind of noisy and roadbed makes it look a little better too. I layed all my yards directly on the plywood and used roadbed on the main line.
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I used both Liquid Nails and/or Elmers Carpenters glue on both my roadbed and my track. Just be sure you have the track and roadbed where you want them, because it won't come up very readily when the glue drys.
  9. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Kitchen, bath caulk "adhesive" clear might be best in your case. So far it's been great to use for me. Especially if you make a mistake. It's easy to pull up using a scraper.
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

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    I agree with jflessne and now use latex caulk. I started using Liquid Nails and found the caulk much cheaper and more forgiving, but holds just as well.
    Doc
  11. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Sorry i did not have a chance to reply yesterday but i am doing this from work and it is hard to get back to this, the caulk sounds the best for less money and my other question is do you have to use roadbed or can you just glue it to a sheet of 4x8 foam board.I am modeling in HO gauge.
  12. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    I strongly encourage you to use foam roadbed. For the sake of noise reduction alone. (May help a little.) It's not that expensive and somewhat resilient to mess ups also.
  13. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I suggest roadbed under your track. It dampens the noise. Also there is the appearance aspect of using roadbed. Real railroads use some sort of roadbed except for occasional sidings and temporary logging spurs. Even in those occasions there is roadbed of some sort, even if it isn't visible. The key word here is topography. When have you ever seen a plywood flat landscape?
  14. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Ok roadbed it is,and you are right i have never seen a flat plywood landscape.I will try to get some of this done over the weekend if my work time will permit me to do that.Also can you recommend a good program that will allow me to make a copy of what i have done so far so i can post it on here to get some feedback on what i can or cannot do to make this better.I want to add about 5 more feet to what i already have because i have a lot of track left and i want to be able to use as much of it as i can.
  15. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Remember Starman, It's a hobby. There is nobody but you pushing to get a certain amount finished by a certain time. You should be having fun while you are building your railroad empire.
    I'll leave the photo copying to someone with more experiece than I have. I'm still running W98 on a low capacity computer so I don't dare experiment with transmitting photo's.
    There are several other threads on the roadbed question that you might want to check out. Have a great week and enjoyable weekend
  16. jcoop1

    jcoop1 Member

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    I will agree that "Adheasive Caulking" is the way to go.

    I use it all of the time, You can change things if you need too.

    the only way to go.

    my $.02
  17. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    If you have it written out on paper and you have a scanner it's fairly easy....if not you could try Atlas software to design your new layout. Easy to make changes etc.