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Concrete roadbed to trex ties adhesive?

3609 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ClassTimeSailer
I'm new to the forum and think I can contribute to some of the discussions (12 years of building{and rebuilding} our garden RR. But for now, I am looking for a good glue for the following application.

I am gluing 9/32 X 3/8 inch DIY trex ties to a concrete roadbed in Southern California. I am then hand-spiking LLagas Creek code 250 using medium (not stainless) steel spikes. I want an adhesive that will last and last.

These last 4 years, the ties had been glued down using various liquid nails products -- the "with polyurethane" varieties seemed to work the best. But in high traffic areas -- two large dogs racing through a return loop to meet the neighbors -- the ties needed regular regluing.
This last week I picked up all the track and ties in the loop, wire brushed the cement and brushed on some quick crete sealer before replacing the ties. They seem solid but...when I try to pick one up from the end and pry, it will come up and with it the film of sealer that I thought should have soaked into the concrete. (By the way, liquid nails is doing a nice job of holding trex ties to a trex ladder system on another return loop.)

The trains are running again but before I glue down the ballast, I was hoping that some one here could give me some ideas for a more permanent concrete to trex glue. The spikes hold well in the trex.

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Here in the desert we have to allow for expantion and contraction. Here is what I do

I get some plastic anchors

The piece of wire is from a spool of wire one would use to wire rebar together. You can get it at Home Depot

I drill a 1/4 in hole in the concret roadbed every 2 or 3 feet. Insert the plastic anchor then bend the wire over the tie.

I then mix my ballast in a mixer with portland cement The mixture is dry. I add color to the mix to tone down the gray I then use this mixture to ballast my track.

After everything is in place I wet the ballast and when it dryes everthing is held fast. Wash outs are a minamum

If I need to work on the track or replace sections because some local gentry has stepped on the track it is very easy to remove.
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I have used DAP brand premium latex caulk to glue wood ties and Aristo track to concrete. It has held up very good.

I'm very interested in your trex ties. I'm thinking of using them also. How long have you had them? Did you predrill for the spikes? What kind of spikes? Did you ever try screws instead? What color did you use or did you stain, color or seal them? How long are they? Could you post a picture?

I e-mailed the following to you, but put it here for others too.

I am happy with the Trex. Almost 5 years now and they are holding up well. No signs of rot (We do live in southern California â€"Dryâ€"but automatically water 3 or 4 days a week). My ties measure 9/16 inch wide (like LLagas Creek 1:32 ties) by 3/8 inch tall (to take the 3/8 inch long medium LLagas Creek ties). The spikes go in nicely and hold well. I push them in with a pair of needle nose pliers. There is no pre-drilling necessary. There is NO splitting. Occasionally, I will bend a spike during the process but this is due to my poor pushing angle or how I held that particular spike in the pliers. I just remove itâ€"straighten it outâ€"and put it back correctly. I use two spikes per rail every 3rd or 4th tie. I dipped the spikes in Dark Walnut stain but after the first year in the garden, they returned to about the same color as the original. I don’t remember the name of the color but it is about the color of LLagas creek plastic. If I need to cut more, I will not bother with the stain. I used the trex for a Ladder system rail bed for part of my RR and used the self starting deck screws to hold it together and they work great on the 1 x 2 and 2 x 2 inch pieces.

The only thing I am having trouble with is gluing the ties to the concrete portion of my road bed. Liquid nails holds the trex ties to the trex road bed better than to the concrete road bed. I glue the ties down first and then spike the rail like they do on indoor smaller scale models. I have only had to reinstall about 15% of my track after 5 years due to the glue failing on the high crossing traffic (dogs and children) portion. When/if I have to reinstall another or same portion, I will try not to be so cheap and lazy and try an epoxy product.
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