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Solder Paste

1303 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Julian2011
I wondered if there was a good commercial product for aligning the inserted piece of rail, across baseboard joins, for a layout which would have to be put up and dismantled frequently.

Recently I saw Model Tech Rail Aligners and bought a set {4 pairs} to assess how well they might work, for the inserted track pieces. In short, they replace 3 sets of sleepers, on each end of the adjoining tracks. The rails, bereft of their sleepers, solder onto Brass strips on top of the aligning sleeper pairs.

They look to fit / match well and simply, too. The soldering method included an item new to me {but not new to many other users of solder}. It used a product called Solder Paste, which I had not seen before, not straight Flux, but solder bits in flux. It's use is shown in the Alignment Manual... https://bae8ca78-54b1-45f9-998d-b32...d/bae8ca_29e1272113ff41a584b70785ba2b1dc5.pdf

Have any of our members used 'one of' the variety of these products and maybe some advice about which might best suit the above kit and how to use it?

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Solder paste is useful when parts are being joined face to face because there is no need to pre-tin the surfaces. The product does dry up over time although it can be revived by adding flux.
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Likewise, solder pastes are very useful.

But for use in temporarily bridging baseboard joins by the method described, you might as well use resin cored electrical solder. (Advisable to have available at an exhibition for inevitable running repairs.)

And that's only if you choose this method for baseboard joints. What's wrong with a joint system that robustly and stably secures alignment of the base boards, which means that the track ends must align over the join? Soldered track won't prevent baseboard ends moving out of alignment if the baseboards are not stable. Think temperature variation, floor movement, 'nudges' from the viewers (watch the two metre tall 150kg man pass out and hit your layout on the way down - an event I witnessed!).
Thank you both, very much for the interesting comments and good to know it is deemed to be useful. It's clear now why the Solder Paste would be the better choice, in this circumstance and other similar ones.

The reason for the choice of some form of alignment system is because of the steep angle that most of the tracks cross the Board joins {Thin red lines}. Even at that, any slight discrepancy would take a lot of fiddling to make sure of decent running, I have Pattern-Makers Dowels and double bolts at every board join, which turns out to be pretty effective. I decided that track inserts {Blue track sections} would minimise the effect of any discrepancies. Initially, I was going to use the simple, well tried, sliding Fish-Plates idea at the ends of the inserts.

Slope Map Font Urban design Parallel

Having seen these Track Aligners, It occurred that I could leave the Fish-Plates as purchased at one end and use the Aligners at the other end, for simple - push together - board assembly. The matching Aligners on the connecting track, would, of course, be firmly fixed to it's board. From what you have said, the close fit of rail to Aligner would be much easier with the Solder paste - result! Thanks again.

NB. Just to tidy up a loose end - the Aligners have a small hole in the centre of each of the 3 sleepers, which could well be used to drill a matching hole in the board underneath, so a track pin could be dropped in, to keep the two Aligners snug.
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Good to see the layout is modest in size, that does reduce the problem set. The dowels and bolts should be enough to do the job of rail end alignments, even though oblique. (Probably teaching grandma to suck eggs , but assemble baseboards with 0.5 mm shim in joints, lay track, soldering what will be rail ends to brass screw heads at board edges, cut through rails over join using a razor saw, dismantle layout, remove shims, reassemble, perfect!)

All the best with exhibiting, and please report on the experience of using the aligners.
Julian Good Afternoon, I am using Flieschmann Profi Track Ho do you think with a bit of adaption the Train Tech would work for a Hinged flap , i can see how it would work for the lift up part but not the hinge side.
Good afternoon Babs,
I can see a couple of ways it might work, as the hinge end should lift away from the static rails and align perfectly every time it's lowered again, assuming that the hinge line is above the top of the rails. That should mean that the hinge end rails can be glued, or soldered to screws, to fix them to that end, in the way that many do. The additional advantage with screws is that their underside can be used to solder Bus connections to, so no problem with power supply.
Alternately, you might consider having the straight{?} track across the bridge loose, so that he normal Fish Plates at one end provide the alignment and power{?} with the other end using the alignment sleepers. I'm dubious about the second one, as vertical alignment at the alignment sleeper end, would need some form of clip, to ensure the rails didn't rise above the main fixed rails. Not impossible as a simple rotating or sliding clip would work, but not quite such an elegant solution as the first one.
{NB. It's ok when closing a gap, to connect 2 x separate baseboards, as the static rails can be extended slightly beyond their Alignment sleepers {5mm?}, so the sleepers on the loose track, tuck under them, to be held down, as the gap closes.}
A complete loose bridge, is also practical, with the track laid on it, normal fashion, such items have used small brass bolts to secure the ends and provide a power connection, too.
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Julian Thank you for your suggestions, most helpful.
I should have mentioned it before, but I assumed you would probably have seen it already. Did you note the very last page of their Instruction Manual, where they show the short overlap of the Alignment Sleepers onto the static baseboard, for vertical alignment, too?
Julian, I must have missed it. My attention span is very very poor at the moment.
Thank You.
Looking forward to seeing what you are proposing, you have lots of delightful rolling stock to run on it.
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