Posted By Jerry Barnes on 12/31/2008 11:47 AM
If you are getting the Llagas track, buy it with the ties already on, they are a PAIN to get on the rails.
Sorry, Jerry, I'd have to disagree!
The cost differential between paying them to assemble the track ADDED to the cost of shipping "TRACK", versus shipping a box of "Ties" (in a small box) and a tube of "Rail" (in a small diameter tube... yes the long tube is extra expense for shipping but is cheaper than the just-as-long-box to ship assembled track), is substantial.
If you create a fixture to hold the rail upside down the correct distance apart and spend a few seconds with a file to bevel the ends of the rails and put a little wax on the rails, they slide on easily. The Tie Tool also helps pushing the sets of 4 ties on by holding them parallel and uniformly spaced.
Also, I had all the same uniform curves on my line so I pre-bent the rails in a single-rail bender. I don't think the dual-rail "Track" bender was invented yet back then so I would have had to disassemble the track down to individual rails anyway to bend them, thus negating the work done by the vendor assembling the track and wasting that payment and the extra cost of mailing "Track" instead of "Ties" and "Rail" separately.
It took me longer to make an 8.5 ft radius compass (adjustable to 8-ft 4-inches and 8-ft 5.75-inches) to hold a Dremel router to cut two 1/8 inch wide slots in a 1"x12"x8' board and adjust the rail bender to the correct setting, than it did to bend the rails, bevel the ends (with the file on my Swiss Army knife) spray Armour All on a rag to wipe the rails and assemble the curved sections (two 17-ft diameter loop backs, or 720-degrees of curved track).