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To those of you that have assembled Llagas rails and ties. Specifically, I will be assembling Llagas code 250 NS NG rail and ties. I have read it is difficult to slide the rail through the ties. Is the Martin Tie Tool worthwhile, or does a jig to hold the tie-strips work just as well? On curved sections, is the tie-tool more beneficial than a jig? If the Martin Tie Tool is an easier way to go, do you use one or two - or more? If you have used a jig, can you add pic's and/ or suggestions to build one?

Any tips in assembling the rail & ties (beyond WD-40 or dishwashing liquid)?

Thanks
 

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RE: Assembling Llagas rails & ties

Taper the rail at the "feed" end.
Either use the tool or make a 1X4 board with blocks nailed down.
Weasel-Juice (40) works, as does armour-all.
 

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I have Llagas Creek code 215 NS SG track, but I assume my method should work for what you have also.

I routed two 1/8-inch wide by 1/8-inch deep grooves 1.75-inches apart in an 8-ft long board to hold the rails upside-down, to make getting the 4 tie sections started easier. I even did 8-ft Radius curves 1.75-inches apart in a wide board to do my curved sections. (Actually one curved groove was at 8-ft 7/8-inch and the other at 7-ft 11&1/8-inches.) I stuck a nail in the end of the groove to keep the rail from sliding out as the ties are pushed on. I made a "compass" to hold the router at the two distances. (First time I ever had to make a fixture in order to make a fixture to make something!) Push the ties on just a few inches first and after getting 2 or 3 sections on, then push the first one half way down and do a couple of more, then push those half way down and push the first ones all the way to the other end. Keep working at it this way and the rails will stay aligned better.

I used a small file (the one on my Swiss Army knife) to taper all the edges of the foot of the rail at one end to make it easier to start the ties onto the rail. A couple of swipes on the bottom, a couple on each edge and a couple on the top on each side of the webbing. Do all your rails this way while you are at it.

I also wet a rag with "Armour All" to slickify the rail. Again, do all the rails at once.

Once a 4-tie section is started it is easy to slide it to the other end. The "tool" makes it a bit easier, but if you are VERY careful to keep the ties perpendicular to the rail they will slide easily with just your hand... it is just hard to push on 4 ties at once and keep them aligned nicely so they don't bind.

Since the Train-Li (however one pronounces it) was not available back then, I made my own rail bender and prebent the curved section rails. Once I got it adjusted to do the right curve, the rails just fell into the curved grooves (the weight of the rail was enough to make the rail fit the two different curvatures!).

Good prep made the assembly a pleasure to do and 176-ft of track was assembled in an easy Saturday afternoon.
 
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