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I'm having problems getting these pins through the sleepers on Streamline (code 100) track.
The instuctions supplied with the pins advises to grip the pins with a pair of fine pliers near the point, and push through the sleeper, no need to drill a hole. This seems impossible. I've also tried tapping the pin with a small hammer, but the pin always bends.

Has anyone had similar experiences with SL-14 pins, or am I missing something? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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I'm sorry I can't be more helpful but I have always had to drill holes in the Peco sleepers. Of course with a mini drill this only takes a couple of seconds each hole. Don't struggle with the pins as you are doing now because that way lies accidents and damage, either to the track or yourself. I have just tried a couple of pins doing as Peco advise and sure enough they do go through the sleeper but it requires a VERY firm grip on the pin and a not inconsiderable pressure. I can't see that youngsters would be able to cope at all.
 

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Your tools should work however the method may need to be modified. A pair of fine pincer plyers and a lightweight pin hammer should do the job although you may need a tap tool also if your hammer head is wider than the gap between the rails. Hold the pin at the head end with the plyers whilst tapping lightly with the hammer. Remove the plyers and hammer home and use the tap tool if required.

You do need steady hands. If not then pre drill holes.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Anticipating the problem that you are having, I use a completely different technique. I use Hornby track pins which are shorter and place them at the sleeper ends. Since I plan to ballast the track in the longer term, all I need is something to hold the track in place. The fact that I use code 75 probably helps. The only problem I have had so far is longitudinal movement in hot weather, so I add a couple of pins either side of a sleeper between the rails. Some of the photos in my blog entry "Back on track" show how this works out in practice.

David
 

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Most set track has holes pre-drilled, you then rest the pin into the hole and give a good whack!

However flexitrack does not have these holes
You can use a 1mm drill to drill your own holes, or do what I do

Get a piece of card and insert the pin into the card
Position the pin onto the track and whack
Remove the pin, then remove it from the card
Replace a new pin into the track hole created and drive it in with another clean whack

Using the original pin, repeat the process
 

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My baseboard surface is Sundeala, pins don't even reach this and bend soon after entering the sleeper, following the instructions on the pin packet.
Far easier to drill a 1mm hole first as previously suggested
 

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QUOTE (Howzatt @ 21 Jan 2007, 22:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm having problems getting these pins through the sleepers on Streamline (code 100) track.
The instuctions supplied with the pins advises to grip the pins with a pair of fine pliers near the point, and push through the sleeper, no need to drill a hole. This seems impossible. I've also tried tapping the pin with a small hammer, but the pin always bends.

Has anyone had similar experiences with SL-14 pins, or am I missing something? Any help would be much appreciated.

Personally, I cannot think of anything which makes track in the scenic section of a layout look more unreallistic than track pins!
I glue track down, usually with EvoStick or Bostick. Once ballast is in place (usual PVA method), this holds the track even more firmly (apologies for grainy pictures - these were taken about 5 years ago) (all mainline curves are 5 foot radius, code 75 track):

http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/AshRoad7.jpg
http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/AshRoad12.jpg
http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/AshRoad13.jpg
http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/012.jpg
http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/007.jpg

The finished product (ballasted track):

http://www.brma.asn.au/Gallery/Plowmang/003.jpg
http://mrol.gppsoftware.com

I have used pins in my fiddle yard, always in the ends of sleepers. Never had a problem with Peco pins going through into cork. If they are put through the middles of sleepers, the sleepers tend to curl over time and gauge narrowing occurs.
I wouldn't touch Sundeala - the most unsuitable material for model railway baseboards ever invented. Only suitable for what it was invented for: picture boards.

Graham Plowman
 

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Well Graham, they do say that one man's meat is another man's poison. This is obviously true when you and Sundeala come together.

Personally, after building layouts for over 45 years, including private, club and exhibition layouts, I have recently started a new layout in a spare bedroom at home. Having in the past built layouts using a flush boarded door, Plywood, MDF and most other materials known to man, I have for the first time ever used Sundeala board.
I have to say that I have found it to be the best surface I've ever used. I wish that I had opened my eyes to it's advantages a long time ago and saved myself a lot of hassle.

Having said that, if you think differently so be it, just don't knock it in a post to a newcomer without giving your reasons. With a reasoned argument, an informed decision can be made by anyone reading your post, not a snap decision made on a dismissive statement.

At the end of the day, we all think differently and are never all going to agree on the best way to do anything,

PS I agree about the way track pins look, but for ease of track laying, I pin, ballast and then remove the pins before painting. Probably the best way for an inexperienced modeller to proceed.
 

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I have been using Jarvis Track Pins from hattons as they are like the old hornby track pins which you can't get any more and the Jarvis ones are great as they are long enough to go through the sleeper,cork and into the ply tops than the new hornby track pins,but for Flexi i have to drill through the sleepers as it makes far easy than trying to push the pin through the sleeper and damaging the track in the process but all track will be removed on the scenic sections once ballasting has been done.
 

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I use Sundeala baseboard and I was laying some track yesterday. I use a pusher tool which grips the pin in its shank magnetically. The pin protrudes enough for you to align it over an undrilled sleeper and then to push down on the handle to insert the pin. However, this works best going into a drilled hole with Flexitrack code 100 - I drill the hole with a 1mm bit (placing the track on some waste material first, not in situ) using an Archimedes type drill. Be careful not to over-push with the pusher tool as you can bend the sleeper downwards with too much pressure. I bought the tools at Ali Pali last year and I think they are still readily available.
Regards
Charles
 

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I had planned to remove all track pins after/during ballasting, but I believe that the track needs to be well secured to the baseboard for extensive soak testing (and playing!) before it is safe to ballast.

Thanks for everyone's interest, it is much appreciated.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 22 Jan 2007, 17:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Has anyone tried the Draper Pin Setting Tool for pushing the track pins in?

Yes - not a bad tool once you get used to it - still better to predrill flexy track sleepers though, especially when using a soft track base.
 

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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 22 Jan 2007, 23:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well Graham, they do say that one man's meat is another man's poison. This is obviously true when you and Sundeala come together.

Personally, after building layouts for over 45 years, including private, club and exhibition layouts, I have recently started a new layout in a spare bedroom at home. Having in the past built layouts using a flush boarded door, Plywood, MDF and most other materials known to man, I have for the first time ever used Sundeala board.
I have to say that I have found it to be the best surface I've ever used. I wish that I had opened my eyes to it's advantages a long time ago and saved myself a lot of hassle.

Having said that, if you think differently so be it, just don't knock it in a post to a newcomer without giving your reasons. With a reasoned argument, an informed decision can be made by anyone reading your post, not a snap decision made on a dismissive statement.

At the end of the day, we all think differently and are never all going to agree on the best way to do anything,

PS I agree about the way track pins look, but for ease of track laying, I pin, ballast and then remove the pins before painting. Probably the best way for an inexperienced modeller to proceed.


Hi Jeff,

My experience of Sundeala has been as a member of several clubs and being called in to assist several fellow modellers with board construction problems - to rescue them from Sundeala.

The problem with Sundeala is that it is highly absorbant to asmospheric moisture and any water based substances placed on it (eg paints, plasters, wallpaper paste etc). This causes it to suffer badly with warping. The most common problem seen by modellers is that it sinks in the middle and curls at the edges, creating 'humps' across board joins. It is virtually impossible to rescue a layout once it gets to this situation.
Some people say that bracing it more frequently than usual prevents the warping but this negates the cost point benefit on which the decision to use the product in the first place was made on and it often doesn't solve the problem either. I was a member of one club who braced Sundeala with 4x1 timber and this still wasn't enough.
Sundeala is designed for picture boards where its property of readily accepting pins is ideal.
It is not a suitable material for building model railway baseboards and unfortunately, a certain print magazine pushes the stuff as the 'holy grail' of baseboard materials.
Why shouldn't I knock it to beginners ? It is our responsibility to help and guide beginners so that they get the best advice so they can enjoy the hobby rather than fall into the same traps that others have fallen into before them. I think it is dishonest to sell a material which is not the right material for a job because beginners will become frustrated with it when they can't control the warping and probably dessert the hobby.

If you are happy with it and it works for you, then that is good, but I have seen too many layouts ruined by this stuff to accept that it is suitable for model railway baseboards.

In my opinion, the best materials for baseboard construction are 12mm ply with cork track bed. The latter readily accepts pins for those who want to go down that route. Cost wise, it adds up to the same as Sundeala with lots of bracing.

Graham Plowman
 

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QUOTE (Dynamite26 @ 22 Jan 2007, 17:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>........ damaging the track in the process but all track will be removed on the scenic sections once ballasting has been done.

Are you sure you're not really Dr. Beeching? The Withered Arm will return!! (Very TIC)

Regards

John
 

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Thanks for the reply Graham, you clarify a number of points with which I would not argue.

As with most things, a little knowledge is often dangerous. I too have seen other layouts where the use of Sundeala has caused a problem. I would say that these have been caused by ignoring one of three guidelines that are necessary to use the material with success.
1) If your layout is subject to frequent atmospheric changes, don't use it, the changes in humidity will cause it to distort.
2) Follow the instructions included with every pack of "Sundeala Hobbyboard" (as supplied by model railway outlets) and condition the surface before use.
3) Prime the surface of the board with a non-waterbased sealer or paint before using plaster or wallpaper paste on it.

In my case, my layout is a permanent one, in a spare bedroom, where the conditions do not vary significantly. I am also careful to prime any scenic areas, rather than building on top of the untreated board, thereby avoiding any possible absorption of water.
If my layout were intended for exhibition, or even to be housed in an outbuilding that is not kept at constant temperature, I would totally agree with your preferred option i.e. 12mm Ply.

As for the magazine mentioned, I does amaze me that they advocate the use of Sundeala without giving proper guidelines on it's use and even claim to use it themselves, without clearly giving preparation details.
If you and I are talking about the same people, they even sell a booklet on building baseboards without mentioning how to properly condition the surface.

Thanks for giving a clear reasoning behind your dislike of Sundeala, I hope that reading our posts will be of help to someone thinking of trying it for the first time.
 

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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 23 Jan 2007, 23:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>3) Prime the surface of the board with a non-waterbased sealer or paint before using plaster or wallpaper paste on it.

Just to add to the above advice I would treat both sides of the board to make the material more stable.
 
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