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Old 11-21-2019, 04:39 PM   #1
Millstonemike
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Track Screws

I plan on using Gargraves track for my layout build (in addition to tubular). I bought these 2 mm x 12 mm pan head screws as an alternative to #4 x 3/8". I think they'll look better. They definitely require a #1 Philips bit for driving them. Gargraves wood ties may still require pre-drilling but I'll bet the these can be driven right through the plastic ties w/o problems.

Screws.JPG
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:59 PM   #2
Don F
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Have you seen the countersink trim screws? They have a small head with a square drive. They are black, and come in two lengths that I'm aware of. You do have to be careful if using a mechanical means to drive the screws, so as not to split the ties.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:16 PM   #3
Pingman
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Interesting--a fatter, silver screw head will look better than a smaller, black screw head when used with GG track?

Can't understand why folks will go to the trouble of using GG flex track and then use large head (typically wood) screws to hold it in place when far less conspicuous fasteners are available.

Likewise, using two drills--one two drill a pilot hole/countersink; and, a second to drive the screws--makes securing the track a quick operation without split rails.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:13 PM   #4
Millstonemike
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Originally Posted by Don F View Post
Have you seen the countersink trim screws? They have a small head with a square drive. They are black, and come in two lengths that I'm aware of. You do have to be careful if using a mechanical means to drive the screws, so as not to split the ties.
Haven't seen the trim screws (though I know the benefits of square drive).

My take is this: The round "wedge" under a countersunk screw's head would tend to split wood. And trying to pre-drill and then countersink screws this size is difficult at best. The only tenable way I see is to pre-drill & countersunk track ties on a drill press using it's depth stop. And then manage the actual screw's insertion depth while attaching track to a layout.

That's why I think the pan head screws are better. They may be somewhat forgiving as the head's flat underside would press on a tie, not force it apart.

I was pleasantly surprised testing a # 1 Philips bit. It drove these small screws without any slippage.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:08 PM   #5
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Drilling gargraves with a combo drill bit/countersink is no problem. I used #4 flathead Phillips screws on our club and home layout.
If you ballast, you can take the screws out. I use a marker to blacken the tops of screws.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:14 PM   #6
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I've been using the black ones that Gargraves sells lately. PN 807-5 is #4 X 1/2". PN 809-5 is #4 X 1".
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:05 AM   #7
Millstonemike
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Drilling gargraves with a combo drill bit/countersink is no problem. I used #4 flathead Phillips screws on our club and home layout.
If you ballast, you can take the screws out. I use a marker to blacken the tops of screws.
I never had much luck getting a consistent countersink with larger screw sizes (8s, 10s, etc.) using my hand-held drill and a countersink combo bit. And my smallest combo bit seems too large for a #4 screw.

To Lehigh74's post, all the screws on the Gargraves site are pan head. So maybe I not the only one that lacks the finesses.

Any trade secrets you care to share?
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Old 11-23-2019, 07:58 AM   #8
Lehigh74
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I used to use flat head screws (still do sometimes) that are smaller than #4. Never countersinked, rarely split a tie. I used a 1/16” drill and #0 Philips or very small flat screwdriver. The #4 screws are easier to install with a 5/64” or 3/32” drill and #1 Phillips driver. The black screws with new track are fairly inconspicuous. When I remove old track, it is sometimes hard to find the smaller screws.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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I use #4 screws i bought from Ebay. I countersink the ties. Countersinking the ties is very quick and easy. I drill a pilot hole thru the tie first and then countersink it so it sits slightly below the top of the tie. I'll finish off the screws by covering them with some kind of putty and then paint. Then I'll ballast the track.

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