Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all hope your all well just found some flexi never used it before was never needed layout not big enough o well. but now i have flexi whooo bigger means better i think, but dont no where to start with it? got any advie for me how to use it it bends an twists the sleepers fall off, but cant figer out howe to join it? need some help in this area thanks guys
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
>bending flexi

Here's my advice for what it's worth:

1) Only bend it when it is flat on the baseboard. This gives it support and it can only move in two dimensions. You are less likely to give it a "twist" which is how the sleepers come off.

2) Start bending at one end and work gradually towards the other. You will probably need to pin it in place as you go. See my blog entry "Back on track" for how I do this.

3) If you are using code 100 track you will find that the track wants to "unbend" itself quite rapidly. This is normal. Pinning it in place will stop prevent it unravelling and trains will travel on it perfectly well. I find that code 75 is less inclined to unwind but needs more careful handling to avoid the sleepers coming off; on the whole I find 75 easier to lay.

>joining
Each flexi track system has rail joiners which must be purchased separately. When you are joining on a curve, the inner rail will protrude because it has a shorted distance to travel than the outer one. You will need to trim it to length to match the shorter outer rail and probably remove a few sleepers as well. Don't be tempted to try and have mismatched lengths - I did many years ago, it isn't worth the grief it will cause you later.

My flexi track system of choice is Peco Streamline. It flexes well. I have used Wrenn and Lima in the past. The Lima was a complete joke and didn't flex at all. The Wrenn was ok but still not as good. I have not tried Hornby but wonder if it has quite the same flexibility as Peco does.

I hope this helps

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
QUOTE (dwb @ 5 Nov 2006, 13:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>whole I find 75 easier to lay.
Having tried both I can whole heartedly agree.

QUOTE You will need to trim it to length to match the shorter outer rail and probably remove a few sleepers as well.
A Xuron track cutter is excellent for this. Unlike some other methods of cutting track, it produces a clean cut which doesn't need filing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,497 Posts
If you cannot get an Xuron track cutter, an Xacto razor saw can be used - this also has many uses for other modelling needs. But any kind of saw needs a guide - a piece of 19 by 25mm wood (3/4 by 1 inch) by 50mm (2 inch) long. Two saw cuts are made in one of the longer faces the width of the rails apart. These are placed over the track and the end used as a guide to the saw to keep it square to the rails.

Regards,
John Webb
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Cut out template "track settas" from sheet board with typical profile curves along one edge to help you lay the track. Push the track into the "track setta" and fix before moving on to the next section.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
>A Xuron track cutter is excellent for this.
Seconded. Most model shops I have been to recently have them somewhere on the shelf - current price appears to be around £11. It's a different world compared to using a saw. They are well worth hunting down.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Chris,

If you are laying a curve, you will probably find that you get a better and smoother curve if you cut some of the plastic webs between the sleepers right through. This allows the track to bend more easily. This is particularlly important with sharper curves. Do not be tempted to make your curves too sharp however.

Colombo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
QUOTE (Colombo @ 5 Nov 2006, 19:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Chris,

If you are laying a curve, you will probably find that you get a better and smoother curve if you cut some of the plastic webs between the sleepers right through.
If you have to do that the curve is probably too sharp. It will almost certainly be less than Peco's minimum recommended radius (which I can't find at the moment).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
QUOTE A Xuron track cutter is excellent for this. Unlike some other methods of cutting track, it produces a clean cut which doesn't need filing.

Sorry Mark I disagree with this. I use a Xuron and also use Peco Code 75, but I have found that I cannot get the rail joiners to join without filing. I have had too many cut fingers and bent rail joiners to try and join without filing. The only time I don't file and where they rails join without any real difficulty is on points and on un cut lengths of track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
To get a really long smooth curve (4-5ft radius for instance) get hold of a 3ft X 3inch long length of thin ply which will easily assume the curve you want, drill a couple of small holes, one at each end, and thread a piece of string between them just like a kids bow and arrow, With this at the right tightness, you can draw beautifully smooth even curves. You can also press your flexi-trak against it to get the right curve. Remember to undo the string when you put aside until the next need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Dooferdog,

You can also draw long curves using a length of plastic curtain rail or plastic electric conduit box, if you have any about. To get transition curves, you need an extra pair of hands.

Colombo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
A ready to use, off the shelf product is the Tracksetter range of track laying guides available in OO/HO and N.
For those not up to date, Tracksetter is available with far more radii than before.

10" straight
18" radius
21" ..
24" ..
30" ..
36" ..
42" ..
48" ..
60" ..

£4.00 each or the full set of 9 for £28.80 from The Signal Box

Whatever you do, don't do it by eye alone, however hard you try there will be kinks.

A common practice is to avoid lining up the joints in mid curve, because this is where kinking will be harder to overcome. Staggered joints between inner and outer rail will help in that regard. Soldering is often recommended too.
All the best books and online advice recommend this method.

Peco code 75 and Tillig Elite look the best.

Good luck!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
>A common practice is to avoid lining up the joints in mid curve, because this is where kinking will be harder to overcome. Staggered joints between inner and outer rail will help in that regard.

How do you maintain the gauge if you have staggered the connection? I would argue against staggering as my previous experience of it has been bad. With code 100, I place track pins against the outside edge of the sleepers in the vicinity of the join to keep it aligned. Once the track has been ballasted I take the pins away. I find with code 75 it doesn't really want to kink in the first place, so little needs to be done.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
QUOTE (Oakydoke @ 6 Nov 2006, 11:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Soldering is often recommended too.
While it does make it easier to lay, you need gaps every metre or so for expansion. I've only soldered pieces if I would otherwise have two gaps much closer than 1 metre.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
QUOTE (Mark Thornton @ 6 Nov 2006, 20:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While it does make it easier to lay, you need gaps every metre or so for expansion. I've only soldered pieces if I would otherwise have two gaps much closer than 1 metre.
Agreed

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
I invested in a large diamond file, for removing burrs from track ends. This is really useful, and works well with the Xuron track cutter. When making large radius bends solder rail joiners to each rail to assist with the bend.
That way you'll get a really smooth bend with no kinks. (no I'm not talking about doing away with expansion gaps).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
If your'e going to put in a long curve using two lengths of flexi track, join them first and solder the join, so that there is no loose connector-only joint in the middle of a long curve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,467 Posts
QUOTE (Oakydoke @ 6 Nov 2006, 21:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A common practice is to avoid lining up the joints in mid curve, because this is where kinking will be harder to overcome. Staggered joints between inner and outer rail will help in that regard. Soldering is often recommended too.
All the best books and online advice recommend this method.

Peco code 75 and Tillig Elite look the best.

Good luck!


Staggered joints are not used on UK prototype railways (and haven't been since about the 1960's) because they cause uneven rail wear and they cause uneven motion/roll of 4 wheeled vehicles which results in derailments.

Graham Plowman
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top