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After planning and then building the layout area and track base...I am finally attempting making the track.  Decided to build the staight sections first and seeing how it goes, and then later when I get my track bender I will do the curves.  All  are being built in six foot lengths which will be moved outside like sectional track and put in place.( I hope !
I have put together a jig for the straight lengths that seems to do the trick for me,  so far so good.

http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y113/reelroader/?action=view&current=DSCF2617.jpg
The ties I am using are Red Cedar fencing that is ripped into 7/16 X 7/16 inch strips,  then cut on a chop saw to 3 1/2 inch lengths.  After I have enough cut ,  I soak them in used diesel oil for several days...looks much like creosoted ties after that.  From what I have been told the diesel oil bath protects the ties for a long time,  we'll see. After soaking they are left to dry  for as long as it takes...usually three or four days...I do this outside, so drying time depends on the weather conditions.  The spikes I use are 1/2 inch black steel..using the black steel so they will rust into the ties and hold well,  lesson learned from others I have talked to.  For this effort I am using the ties without stips under them to hold them in place...which means four spikes per tie.  I figure doing it this way will make it easier in the future to remove a tie for replacing,  if the need comes for that,  which I am sure it will.
The track will be sitting on a concrete roadbed so it can't sag and will drain well.  I am concerned about it lifting with ballast getting under the ties,  so will fasten the ties with a clip of aluminum every four feet.  The ties well still be able to slide side to side a little...in case of any movement in cold or hot weather,  but not lift,  or so I hope!
So far I have 42 feet finished and ready to be tried outside.....just need to get the curved sections done and the weather to improve a little more.   

http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y113/reelroader/?action=view&current=DSCF2618.jpg

I have painted the rail ,  which is aluminum code 250 ( running battery RC ) but the rail I left out all winter to test is losing the brown paint... are there some spray paints that hold up better on the rail ?  This was not Krylon..next test will be with it and hope it holds up better !
Anyway...this is a real learning experience so far...slow going...but enjoying myself.  If it doesn't hold up as well as I figure it should,  I may not be saying that in the future.

Garry  NCGRR
 

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Great looking track work!  Did you use an auto-primer?

If you want the links to be live do this (Actually I have to put extra spaces in so it shows up)

< a href="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y113/reelroader/DSCF2617.jpg">link< /a>

So remove the space before the "a"  and "/a" above and it will look like this:

link
 

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Gary:
I made a jig to hand lay my straight track also. For my curves I marked 4 radii on a 2'x4' piece of plywood. Painted it white and marke 3 1/2', 4', 4 1/2',
and 5'. I have some plastic spacers that fit over the railhead that a friend gave me. I use slightly tapered spacers between the ties. He dosn't remember where he got them. Maybe someone else knows. I had to open the railhead slots a little. I made my own rail bender based on the plan that was in GARDEN RAILWAYS a feww years ago.
Did you spray your rails with paint or primer? I would think primer would bond better. I 've been thinking about checking with Michael's for brown Magic marker.
I've built about 120' of straight and 24 ' of curved track so far. I alternated 6 and 4 1/2" spikes per tie with 8 on the end ones. They have been sitting around being movd and knocked over while we added a second story to the house and repaired the damgae to the existing house and garage. They've weathered nicely. I havn't used any preservatives as the weather her is normally pretty dry.
I have limited space so I have to build a platform over one end of my patio and use styles over my walkways. It will be raised 16".
 

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I am handlaying my track (250 on cedar ties) and have not had any problems with ties coming loose, or paint flaking off after the rail has been placed. I spray a coat of Krylon Camo brown and then spike away. I don't use a jig as I look the random look of the ties. Most wood tie main lines are pretty equally spaced, but the branch lines, and yards are vary quite a bit on tie spacing. I've got over 200+ layed for 3 years now and have suffered no major problems other then ballast washing out with the rain. Next time I'm going with a concrete roadbed instead. My ties and rail don't seem to move much in the summer, but I can notice the gaps in the rail this winter. Nothing to major, with no gaps larger than 1/16th of an inch or so. 
 As for tie stain, I've used black leather shoe polish duilted 50/50. It doesn't seem to last to long, so I won't recommend it, but it looks like a very dark tie stain. 
When you've master handlaying track, next up is turnouts. I've made both #4 and #6's with precast frogs and points. I do use a jig for the turnouts as the tie spacing needs to be more accurate and I also use 8 spikes per tie.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
bnsfconductor.........just bought and tried a can of the Krylon Camo brown.....looks really good...much better than the color I used the first time...thanks.  Seems to bond better to the rails also....should hold up better than the old one did. 
    As for the ties.....I have found that the used diesel oil bath turns the ties dark...just like creosoted ties...and it stays that way ......at least one winter hasn't changed the look on them.  All I do is find someone with a diesel truck and get the oil when they make an  oil change...lots of it around.  Works well for me and not a lot of work doing it either.
   Will be trying my hand at making the switches once the mainline loop is finished....stay tuned !

Garry  NCGRR
 

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I have been using aluminum rail for years and spray painting it as I build the track. The paint always eventurally chips off. It's just really hard to get paint to stick to aluminum. The only thing I could recomend would be to wash the rail with detergent well than soak it in some vinegar to etch the surface a bit befor painting. Too much trouble for me, and I'm not sure that the paindt would stick anyway.

Terl
 
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