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>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
 

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>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
 

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>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
 

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>Nickel/silver rail has an expansion coefficient of 15ppm per degree celsius, so if you allow a temperature range of 40 degrees, one metre of track will expand by 0.6mm.
Thanks for that information. It's a lot less than I have been allowing for.

David
 

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>Carve the chairs
For an illustration of what Mark means, see the photo under step 2 of my blog entry "Back on track". This shows an insulating rail joiner but the principle is the same for metal joiners and you don't have to dig as deep into the sleeper to clear the underside of the joiner. The last photo in the blog shows how it turned out at the end.

David
 
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