Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to tune some of my rail joints on my atlas code 100 flex track and am having issues with the track making smooth transition through the rail joints. It’s all soldered joints so it’s not an issue there. It’s more or less the joint almost kinks. I have almost perfect track on my inner loop but am struggling to get the track work right on the outer loop. Anyone got any tips or tricks so I can get this correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,477 Posts
when i do a curve, it always soldered while it's straight .. i -might- use a couple more filler ties, but it's easy to get level .. then it's curved after it's soldered together ..one length at a time
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,160 Posts
A lateral joint-kink in a curve could mean the ends aren't being tweaked along with the rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I’m almost tempted to replace the outer loop with micro engineering track so it’s easier to make the curves a little bit smoother
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,627 Posts
Have you ever worked with ME flex track?

As WVGCA said, always solder the track before bending the curve. The joint will be so smooth you won't even hear the wheels roll over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have micro engineering track for my roundhouse. It tends to be shapable and hold a curve. If I was to solder all the rail together straight the curve would be somewhere around 12 or 13 feet long so that would be a multiple person lift so it didn’t bend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,627 Posts
That's not what we mean.

Leave about 8" to 12" of straight track while tacking down the curve and solder each pice of new track to the straight section, then curve it around and repeat.

You probably know this already having worked with ME track, but you'll need some sort of form to get that track smooth around a curve. You'll be there all day trying to get the minute imperfections out of the curve as you form it.

Bend it in one location by hand and it also bends in another location in the opposite direction.

I love the stuff for straight runs, but I did not, and would not use it for wide curves without a template or form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
"... without a template or form." I was gonna say, would a template or form help? I just bought some metal ones and they seem ok. But I haven't actually used them yet except for boomerangs. (joke)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
When you curve flex-track, it will curve nicely outside of your two hands, but the last three+ inches on each end won't curve much at all. The last inch will be almost straight. And that's how kinks happen, or why the middle of curves comprising two joined lengths of flex have a straight part in the very middle, nearest the joint.

You can do this one of two ways*; staggering the actual joints inside one of the two pieces of flex, or using track nails to horse the final two inches into a reasonable curve, and then soldering that way. Ballasting will help to retain it because the ties will be embedded and retained.

*There's a third way, but it involves a mechanical roller and forcing the rails through it. I would highly recommend you learn how to do the staggered joints and solder them once they are shaped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,213 Posts
Metal ones?

"... without a template or form." I was gonna say, would a template or form help? I just bought some metal ones and they seem ok. But I haven't actually used them yet except for boomerangs. (joke)
Severn;

If by "some metal ones" you mean track gages made by Ribbon Rail, yes they will help.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
Yes the name did not come to me then, and I didn't want overly advocate something I've only fiddled with to date and not to solve this particular problem. There's nothing wrong with them. But i think they could be a little longer or I should have bought two of each. I got several though a few inches radius apart but not every interval available. And so i would imagine this kind of thing could help to enforce a curve for this issue. There is at least one other brand of these kinds of things out there and you can make your own as well...but out of wood or some other material. The ribbon rail are I think cut low grade steel about the thickness of the rail itself and a few inches long. I bought mine from model trains stuff because they had them for in stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,897 Posts
I would say that a good curve radius template is a very good tool to have on hand when making any kind of a curve, because it just makes things much easier. You can also get a pack of Fast Tracks' Sweep Sticks -- wooden templates that fit together like sectional track, allowing you to make templates of varying radii.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
I don't believe this has been cited yet:
Flex track has one rail which slides through its holders (usually fake spikes), while the other rail is fixed in place..Is it possible you soldered a slidable rail to a fixed rail ??
Also when it does get bent you want the slidable rail on the outside of the curve. And when you are attaching it to existing track, do solder them together.. Then curve it around and solder it (all with joiners of course) to the other existing track...
Finally, I don't think ME has code 100. It's too tall to represent 1:1 scale rail. Plus, the ME will make it harder to get a perfectly formed curve. So it's a trade-off..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The sliding rail I always put to the outside of a turn. Makes it easier to keep things neat. I’ll give stagger another attempt but I think that’s rather tacky myself. Especially when you have to remove the ties and then glue them back together in multiple places over a few feet of curve and hope you don’t have the rail raise from it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
All you need to do is to use a small file to scrub down the fish plate and spike details so that the tie doesn't lift the rail there when you slip it back under the soldered joint. Once you learn how to do this, it goes rather quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
All you need to do is to use a small file to scrub down the fish plate and spike details so that the tie doesn't lift the rail there when you slip it back under the soldered joint. Once you learn how to do this, it goes rather quickly.
Added to this, in HO you can use (I think I used on prior layout) 3/32" x 1/16th" hobby wood which is very close to the size of the plastic ties then stained if you want..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
The sliding rail I always put to the outside of a turn. Makes it easier to keep things neat. I’ll give stagger another attempt but I think that’s rather tacky myself. Especially when you have to remove the ties and then glue them back together in multiple places over a few feet of curve and hope you don’t have the rail raise from it
If you a referring to me, I am saying do not stagger them. Keep the outside rail of each 3' section the sliding rail.. If you are staggering them it could be the reason for your problem....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,189 Posts
The sliding rail should always be on the outside of the curve, but the solder joints for the sliding rail should be staggered from the solder joints of the non-sliding rail by 3-4". The sliding rail from one piece of track will slide right into the ties of the other piece of track. Then only the ties under the solder joint need to be removed.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top