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Discussion Starter #1
Alright folks, new question:

What's the best and neatest way to attach Atlas Code 55 track (flex track, cross-overs, and turnouts) to cork roadbed? Unlike Atlas Code 80 track, Code 55 track does not have pre-drilled nail holes. I'd like something that goes on and looks clean, but that also does a good job of adhering to the ties without filling in all the gaps between them and without gumming up all the turnouts.

Thanks! This modeling stuff is turning out to be even more fun than I'd anticipated.

TimW
 

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Hi Tim. I am using all code 55 on my layout. I found that when first laying track, it helps to have a single starting piece using an extra-strong adhesive, because as you build track off of that piece (especially if using flex track) then it can take the pressure of you forcing bends on the next piece up against it. So I used Liquid Nails on the starting pieces for entire track runs.

But for the rest of the layout, Elmer's glue is perfect because it dries clear and thin, and has a "strong enough" hold to keep the track in place for a long time until you finally get to ballasting it. But if you make a mistake and have to re-lay track, Elmer's is also much more forgiving to clean up than Liquid Nails.

In both cases, the key to not filling up the space between ties and "gumming up" those areas is to use very thin spreads of the substances. My technique involved making a line of the adhesive down the center of the cork roadbed and then using a toothpick or paintbrush to spread it out thin. N scale track doesn't need much to adhere to!

Use foam nails going into the cork on each side of the track but then criss-crossing over the track (in an "X" shape) to keep the track held town tight and flush to the adhesive while it dries (usually 24 hours, 48 is better if you have the patience :D)
 

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If you use foam then you need to glue.
I used nails so I can easily modify it later. If everything is to my liking then I glue the track and ballast with a glue mixture. I used Peco track it also doesn't have any holes. I made a jig with a hole in it to drill holes into the track and turnouts. I then drill a slightly smaller hole into the wood and use a Atlas track nail to hold down the track. That way you just push the nail down to the top of the tie. You can remove the nails after the glue dries.
 

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Track adhesive

Alright folks, new question:

What's the best and neatest way to attach Atlas Code 55 track (flex track, cross-overs, and turnouts) to cork roadbed? Unlike Atlas Code 80 track, Code 55 track does not have pre-drilled nail holes. I'd like something that goes on and looks clean, but that also does a good job of adhering to the ties without filling in all the gaps between them and without gumming up all the turnouts.

Thanks! This modeling stuff is turning out to be even more fun than I'd anticipated.

TimW
Most flex track does not have nail holes, as some Atlas low end track does. The giant nail heads sticking up out of some of the ties isn't realistic. So most modelers glue their flex track down, rather than using nails or spikes. What kind of glue varies from person to person. Latex caulk, in small amounts, is quite popular. Some use contact cement, double-sided tape, and latex house paint have also been used as track adhesives. I use Micro Engineering code 55 flex track, and glue it down with contact cement.

I agree with Overkast, that a thin layer of whatever adhesive you prefer is key to not having adhesive get up between the ties. I disagree about using Elmer's glue to hold track down, though.
Elmer's is very useful for many model railroad tasks, its a good adhesive for porous material, including wooden benchwork, most scenery materials, and cork roadbed. However, it is not designed to bond to plastic. (the ties) I have tried the "glue track down with Elmer's glue" idea. It does form a weak, temporary", bond" of sorts, but the track will come loose very easily.

I strongly recommend NOT gluing turnouts, or crossovers, down with any adhesive. It's extremely easy to get glue into the moving parts of a turnout, and gum it up, or even render it permanently unusable.

Instead let the turnouts "float" that is be held in place by the track that connects to them. Turnouts, and crossovers, are expensive, and relatively high maintenance items, compared to ordinary flex track. You may need to remove one someday, for major repair, or replacement. If you glued it down, it's nearly impossible to remove it without doing serious damage to it. If it's not glued, then you only need to slide the rail joiners out of the way and lift it up.

have fun;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is excellent advice, TF. I sort of felt that Elmers might not do the job. I know there's a Liquid Nails product the "pros" at Model Railroader use all the time. Does anyone know what that product ID number is?
 

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Liquid Nails Two different kinds

That is excellent advice, TF. I sort of felt that Elmers might not do the job. I know there's a Liquid Nails product the "pros" at Model Railroader use all the time. Does anyone know what that product ID number is?
TimW;

I don't have a product ID number but you shouldn't need one. Liquid Nails is a common adhesive sold at Home Depot, Loews, and similar outlets. There are actually two different types of liquid nails, and the difference is important. The types are (plain old ordinary) Liquid nails, and Liquid nails FOR PROJECTS. The first, regular liquid nails is solvent-based, and can harm the extruded foam commonly used as a scenery base on model railroads. It may also be harmful to some plastics, possibly including the plastic tie strip on the bottom of flex track. I'm not at all sure about the possible harm to track, but the damage to foam is well established. By contrast, the Liquid Nails For Projects is water-based and won't harm foam. So, if you use Liquid Nails, make sure to get the "For Projects" variety. Liquid nails is a fairly pricey adhesive. It is typically sold in caulking gun type large tubes, though you may be able to get it in smaller size containers. I use Weldwood brand, contact cement. It works very well, but can be messy. It is sold in small plastic bottles with a brush attached to the inside of the cap. Brush a thin layer of either adhesive onto the roadbed you want to attach your track to. The track it self can be pressed down against the adhesive, and held in place with weights or pins, until the adhesive sets up. The Weldwood contact cement sets in only a few minutes, I have never used Liquid Nails to fasten track down, and I haven't used it for any purpose in many years, so I don't know how long it takes to cure.

Ordinary latex caulk is a very good track mounting adhesive. It's much less expensive than either Liquid Nails, or contact cement. It also comes in several colors including brown and gray which can blend in fairly well with dirt, or ballast, respectively. It is also available in clear, which won't show up much at all. Latex caulk lets you remove the track, intact, if you decide to change its location. A putty knife, sprayed with WD-40 can be slid under one end of a piece of track, and gradually slid along until the track comes up.

NOTE:

I just looked back through your other thread about starting construction on your new layout. In reading through the responses I noticed another bit of advice from Overkast, that I'm going to have to disagree with. I mean no offense to Overkast, I don't know the man, and have zero reason to pick on the poor guy. However, one of the things he suggested you might try, if you have problems with derailments on your turnouts, is an old, and very bad, thing that many, (including me when I was a "newbie") have tried, and,by doing so, have, unintentionally, made things worse, instead of better. That is; filing the frog of a commercial turnout.(any brand)
There is simply no good reason to ever file a frog, and several good reasons not to.

First all of the "being a bit sloppy on clearances", issues of commercial turnouts; can, and should, be cured by adding plastic, or metal, shims, (depending on the frog's material.)
ADDING, not removing; with a file, or any other tool.

Regardless of brand, all commercial turnouts have what I think is intentionally-designed-slop in the width of their flangeways, and the depth of their frogs. Why? My theory (and that's all it is.) is that the manufacturer's intent is to accommodate as wide a variety of wheel gauge errors, and different wheel flange depths, as practical.

The turnout manufactures don't want to have their customers be unhappy with the performance of their product. They know that all the wheels out there are not all going to be exactly the same gauge. They also know that wheels have been made with different flange depths. So faced with trying to build a "one size fits all" turnout, they left some extra room in some areas.
This is why you often see cars, when going through a frog, drop a bit, and then pop back up. The wheel actually falls into the too wide, & too deep, center area of the frog, and then hits the frog point which causes the wheel to jump back up. Sometimes a modeler will file the tip of the frog point down in an attempt to lessen this up and down movement. (that's what I did.)

What should be done is to add shims to the bottom of the frog until it meets the bottom of the "flangeways" tab on an NMRA gauge. Then the wheel's flange will support the rest of the wheel when it rolls across the open area at the middle of the frog. Shims added to the inner surface of the sides of both the frog, and especially the guard rail, flangeways will keep the wheel on course, and help prevent a wheel flange from getting between the stock and point rails and "picking the points" thereby causing a derailment.
As Overkast quite correctly points out, filing the points thinner, also helps prevent "picking the points" type derailments. So does filing a notch on the inside of each stock rail where a point can recess into the stock rail. Many commercial turnouts now come with these features.

Another reason not to file frogs, has to do with the construction of many plastic frog turnouts. They have four short rails embedded in the plastic of the frog. These rails are of two opposite electrical polarities. If you file away any plastic, you are likely to expose the tops of those rails. When a metal wheel comes along, it can short the two rails. This type of filing is an accelerated version of the old "worn plastic frog top" that can be temporarily fixed with nail polish trick, that's been around forever.

So don't file any frogs. It can't help, and it may very well hurt.


regards;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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I had to drill nail holes in Atlas code 83 flex track. I have never used adhesive to lay HO scale track. That might be fine for N scale given the weight and loads placed upon it. It might also be fine for HO scale if that is what you want to use.

Nothing beats nails for absolutely fixing the track where you want it. Need to make a change or addition like I'm getting ready to do? No problem. Carefully pull a few nails out, measure and cut your new track to fit and install.

There's no adhesive residue or caulk to have to scrape off of the sub roadbed to lay new roadbed or track.

Atlas and other companies offer track specific nail sizes with just enough of a flat head to hold the track. They don't look like 16 penny nails between the ties.
 

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Nails or glue or spikes or solder

I had to drill nail holes in Atlas code 83 flex track. I have never used adhesive to lay HO scale track. That might be fine for N scale given the weight and loads placed upon it. It might also be fine for HO scale if that is what you want to use.

Nothing beats nails for absolutely fixing the track where you want it. Need to make a change or addition like I'm getting ready to do? No problem. Carefully pull a few nails out, measure and cut your new track to fit and install.

There's no adhesive residue or caulk to have to scrape off of the sub roadbed to lay new roadbed or track.

Atlas and other companies offer track specific nail sizes with just enough of a flat head to hold the track. They don't look like 16 penny nails between the ties.
MichaelE;

More power to you, and keep on nailing! As you mentioned, each of us gets to choose how they want to fasten their track. You point out some advantages of nailing vs. gluing. Some folks hand lay their track with individual ties, (usually glued down to the roadbed) and spikes holding the rails onto those ties. I make turnouts, crossings, and the like, using all double-sided PCB ties soldered to a larger piece of PC board, and with the rails soldered to the ties.

To each his own, that's one of the things that makes this hobby fun. :thumbsup:

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:


Scratch bulit all rail crossings.jpg
 

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I had to drill nail holes in Atlas code 83 flex track. I have never used adhesive to lay HO scale track. That might be fine for N scale given the weight and loads placed upon it. It might also be fine for HO scale if that is what you want to use.

Nothing beats nails for absolutely fixing the track where you want it. Need to make a change or addition like I'm getting ready to do? No problem. Carefully pull a few nails out, measure and cut your new track to fit and install.
If you're using extruded foam boards and either cork or foam roadbed, nothing FAILS quite like a nail.

That said, I have always used adhesive latex caulk to fasten down track, and never had a moment's trouble. Used sparingly, it's actually quite easy to remove track with a putty knife.
 

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I had Elmer's glue holding down the code 55 track on my layout firmly for nearly 4 years before I finally got to ballasting it. It's not as weak as the hype makes it out to be. I actually prefer it over liquid nails because liquid nails is absolutely going to ruin your track if God forbid you make a mistake and need to pull it up again. And once you ballast the track, all the additional Elmer's glue you pour into it holds it in lock tight for good. Trust me, theres nothing wrong with using Elmer's.

But yes, to each their own indeed.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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