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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy some of the older members here may remember me. The layout in the mountains northeast of Durango Colorado.

Well I'm married now, have a 17 month year old son, and we have a house in Lake Forest California.

We are working on our backyard and I "reserved" a section that used to be a garden I think for a garden railroad.

I have lots of old LGB track that used to be for my Christmas tree layouts. So that is a good thing. But I must have been away for a while as I'm having trouble finding rail joiners anymore. Did everyone go out of business?

Since I'm using LGB track I need 332 brass joiners. I'm primarily going to use battery power, borrowing some unused locos and rolling stock from Colorado. However I will still have track power in case anyone ever comes over with a track powered loco.

My main concern is finding 4 "bridge" joiners for a removable 3 foot bridge. It needs to be easily removable since it blocks the pathway to the garden. And I like rail joiners in general from my other Colorado layout.

Here is a preliminary layout of...the layout :LOL:







I will be making a raised bed garden so the layout is going to be raised, not ground level. The layout is very simple and will go around the garden plants and vegetables. The bricks sort of show were the raised bed posts are going.

Anyway, good to be back here and although I'm not technically a beginner I am for an actual garden railroad.

Oh and for anyone interested, a pic of my son MacArthur. This layout is going to be a project we'll work on together:

 

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Welcome back Matt. I remember your RR and the great pictures. Congratulations on the Marriage and the new train buddy.
Rick
 

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Hi Matt! welcome back!

Did you want LGB joiners, or how about rail clamps? RLD Hobbies makes his clone of split jaw ones...

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Matt! welcome back!

Did you want LGB joiners, or how about rail clamps? RLD Hobbies makes his clone of split jaw ones...

Greg
Oh goodness, yes I meant rail clamps not joiners. Sorry. Wow I have been away from this too long.

Now I’m trying to figure out if I should use over the joiner clamps or not.
 

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I believe the wisdom is that for optimal conductivity, it is best to remove the stock slide on joiners and use rail clamps on the actual rail. The dark side to that is, with LGB track, it is a pain to remove the joiners and tie damage may result with poor technique. Aristo and other track brands have joiners with small screws, so they are easy to remove.

Jerry
 

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LGB joiners are easy to remove IF you use a screwdriver and spread the joiner from the top, then use a strong needle nose plier and pull the joiner straight off. No tie damage when this is done.
 

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Yes, over the joiner clamps don't usually fare as well as the right on the rail ones.... hardly anyone make them any more anyways.

Greg
 

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As you are now in Lake Forest, you are in Orange County Garden Railway Society Country. In fact, we have several members living right near you.

OCGRS Website

Bridgemasters is owned and operated by a couple OCGRS Club Members and is also located in Lake Forest. They buy up "estates" and have beaucoup stuff in inventory, probably including rail clamps of sorts. They also have the best prices, (especially on used equipment for Club members). If anyone can help you out, they can. And of course we are allways looking for new members.

BridgeMasters Web Site
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As you are now in Lake Forest, you are in Orange County Garden Railway Society Country. In fact, we have several members living right near you.

OCGRS Website

Bridgemasters is owned and operated by a couple OCGRS Club Members and is also located in Lake Forest. They buy up "estates" and have beaucoup stuff in inventory, probably including rail clamps of sorts. They also have the best prices, (especially on used equipment for Club members). If anyone can help you out, they can. And of course we are allways looking for new members.

BridgeMasters Web Site
Very Cool, thanks for the information.

I really like BridgeMasters items. Loads of their stuff for the Colorado layout, and one item already to go for this new layout; single track viaduct.

 

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Check out "Uncle Herms Track Joiners" on Ebay. I recently bought a 10pk and they are reasonably priced (IMO) for rail clamps. www.trackjoiners.com

I do not have any kind of affiliation with them.... just a user of their product.
 

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I swear that RLD was making a clone of SplitJaw, but no... I just checked.

oops, in a different part of his web site:

The "split" part gives better alignment in my opinion, and you can disconnect one rail and leave the clamp hooked to the other one, a big advantage during installation and maintenance.

Greg
 

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Just one thing I want to add about feeders to remote areas of track. This fall during the last run of the year (not really but I will get into that at a later time. hint:battery), I discovered an issue due to a loose Aristo hex head screw that caused the loco to stop past a section of track. I tightened the screw and all was well but it started me thinking that with several feeders spaced around my loop, that shouldn't have happened. I recalled that when I connected 2 of the feeders I attached them to the screws on the underside of the Aristo track (I think someone out there suggested this). I was careful to encapsulate the connection in silicone caulk. I suspect that these connections have failed. Come spring I will be out there to replace those connections with traditional soldering to the side of the rail. At least I made all of my other jumpers and connections using the solder to the rail method. Part of the learning process.
 

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Agreed, electrical connections where you can see them.

I use a much larger connection, like the SJ power connectors, much more resistant than the contact area of a 2mm hex cap screw.
 

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I discovered an issue due to a loose Aristo hex head screw that caused the loco to stop past a section of track. I tightened the screw and all was well but it started me thinking that with several feeders spaced around my loop, that shouldn't have happened.
Do you just have some feeders out there with the track sections screwed together at the joiners? That is not a long-term solution and will only get worse over the years. You need to solder jumper wires just beyond each of the rail joiners, except where you have placed block insulators. Alternatively, rail clamps are may be used, but the jumpers are a better solution and far cheaper, though more work.
 

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After 7 years of use, this is the first time I have had an issue. All of my track is sectional. While flex track may have resulted in fewer joiners, it was unavailable at the time and just getting the Aristo sectional was hard enough. I chose Aristo over LGB largly because of the hex screwed joiners. The thought of getting down in the dirt and soldering jumpers across every joiner is not on my to do list. I don't see this as an ongoing issue. I have no problem doing the occasional soldered jumper and yes I may consider rail clamps, if I can get them. All of my Piko turnouts have soldered jumpers since they do not use screws at the joiners.
 
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