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Discussion Starter #1
I am starting a new layout and need around 200' of HO code 83 NS flex track. I pretty much decided from a lot of reading that Micro Engineering has the most realistic looking ties as far as size and spacing goes. I am well aware of the stiffness issue and it doesn't concern me. I will buy or make a track curve shaper tool that Ben at CTValley describes in Reply 8 of https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=187492

Now the choice seems to be between their MEC 16-083 Weathered and MEC 17-083 Non Weathered track. I have not seen closeup clear colored pictures of either track. The weathered is $.04 per foot more at Model Train Stuff in bundles of 33 pieces so price is not an issue. It would save me another job by having pre-weathered tracks. FYI, I will be using Peco turnouts but that is for another thread once I settle on track.

I would like to hear comments on this issue.
1. Does Micro Engineering's weathering look reasonable?
2. Is it durable during installation?
3. Is there a reason NOT to use the Weathered track?

LeRoy:dunno:
 

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Micro Engineering track whethered or not

I am starting a new layout and need around 200' of HO code 83 NS flex track. I pretty much decided from a lot of reading that Micro Engineering has the most realistic looking ties as far as size and spacing goes. I am well aware of the stiffness issue and it doesn't concern me. I will buy or make a track curve shaper tool that Ben at CTValley describes in Reply 8 of https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=187492

Now the choice seems to be between their MEC 16-083 Weathered and MEC 17-083 Non Weathered track. I have not seen closeup clear colored pictures of either track. The weathered is $.04 per foot more at Model Train Stuff in bundles of 33 pieces so price is not an issue. It would save me another job by having pre-weathered tracks. FYI, I will be using Peco turnouts but that is for another thread once I settle on track.

I would like to hear comments on this issue.
1. Does Micro Engineering's weathering look reasonable?
2. Is it durable during installation?
3. Is there a reason NOT to use the Weathered track?

LeRoy:dunno:
Homeless;

1. Yes, the rails look pretty good. Like all plastic ties, the M/E ones could use painting in my opinion, but they are OK without it.

2. Yes. In fact the weathering is somewhat difficult to remove. You have to file, or sand, it off the ends of the rails if you want to solder a rail joint.

3. I buy not only the code 55 N-scale flex track, but also loose rail. I buy both un-weathered since I paint my track and solder all the rails of my scratchbuilt turnouts to PC ties. Building turnouts is the reason I buy loose rail. Weathered rail will not solder unless you remove the weathering. For this reason, I specify un-weathered rail in my instructions for making turnouts.If the only solder joints you plan to make are for occasional feeder wires and possibly a rail joint, or two, then weathered track will be fine for you.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Wye at Black River Junction.jpg

Scratch built turnout parts.jpg

Painted turn out 1.JPG
 

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weathering has to be removed for soldering, either feeders or making switches / turnouts ..

how much soldering do you intend to do ?? in my view, it's worthwhile to get from the start,
 

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I generally buy the unweathered version and weather it myself with a paint pen.
 

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I've used both and liked the unweathered better for the reasons given above.
I would strongly recommend using Peco turnouts, they are a very good fit to ME track.
Also use ME rail joiners not Atlas, Atlas joiners are a little big for ME track.

Good luck with the build and have fun.

Magic
 

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I use CV ties and weathered ME rail. I even make my own turnouts using weathered rail. Since I never get around to ballisting, I'm not sure why I bother with weathered rail, but I still like the look! I use a piece of 600 grit black sand paper and sand the bottom of the rail until its shiny, I think I could do this procedure in a more methodical way and save some time. With just the bottom scrubbed off, it solders easily to PC ties and rail joiners. Also I think it glues to the CV ties better. In the picture you can see how shiny the unweathered rail joiners are compared to the weathered rail. I'm also tempted to paint and weather the ties before gluing the rail down.
20170103_103652_001.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you

Thank you Traction Fan,
I plan on always soldering two sections of track together and adding dropper wires at that point.

Thank you wvgca and Lemonhawk,
I will sand the bottom of the rails with 600 grit paper.

Thank you CTValleyRR,
I forgot about the paint pen. That is a great idea for dressing up the soldered areas.

Thank you Magic,
I plan on using Peco turnouts and/or making my own.

Thank you Lemonhawk and traction fan,
Both of you have renewed my interest in hand laid switches.

LeRoy
 

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MicroEngineering also sells bottles of the weathering chemical, so you could always weather your track *after* you finish all the soldering. I have one bundle of the weathered track and I'm not really a fan of the color, so I use paints on mine.

Hand-laid turnouts are awesome. If you're willing to put the time into them, they can be much more reliable that commercial units, be built to any configuration needed for custom track work, and if it breaks you know how to fix it. Not to mention they're only about 1/10th the cost!
 

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M-E weathering solution

MicroEngineering also sells bottles of the weathering chemical, so you could always weather your track *after* you finish all the soldering. I have one bundle of the weathered track and I'm not really a fan of the color, so I use paints on mine.

Hand-laid turnouts are awesome. If you're willing to put the time into them, they can be much more reliable that commercial units, be built to any configuration needed for custom track work, and if it breaks you know how to fix it. Not to mention they're only about 1/10th the cost!
Homeless;

Shdwdrgn has brought up something I forgot to mention, the weathering solution. I've attached a photo of it below. Also attached is my method for making turnouts. That's probably a "Re-Run for you, but I send out a lot of files, to a lot of people, and I'm old, and working harder each day to achieve total senility! :confused: So I don't have a clue who I sent what to! :smilie_auslachen:
The weathering solution is expensive, and the nice folks at Micro Engineering have thoughtfully packed it in a nice tall, narrow, bottle so you can spill it more easily and then have to buy more. I foiled this fiendish capitalist plot by making the wood bottle & brush holder from a scrap piece of 2x4 lumber.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Wood no spill holder.JPG

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
A Big Thank You

Sorry for the delay of my response. I have been rather busy these last couple of days and didn't get to your Replies.

I owe a A Big Thank You to all of you for your Replies.

Shdwdrgn, I didn't know about the bottle of weathering solution. I will look into that.

Traction fan, I already had a copy of your How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf paper. I have read it several times and am ready to give it a try. Thank you for those great instructions.

LeRoy
 
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