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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always thought that rail clamps were mounted with the screw heads facing out. They are so much easier to tighten that way. The ballast was expected to cover them up anyway.



But lately, I've seen some layouts with the screw heads on the inside of the track. It looks like a real hassle to me.



Is there a right or wrong way? Is it personal preference? Is it which ever you can reach better?



Looking forward to your comments.




Michael
 

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Heads out. I find that heads in makes you have the driver at too much of an angle, although a ball-end driver helps a lot. I am assuming here you are talking Hillman or Split Jaw with hex socket head screws.

I run DCC and the power is always on the rails. So, heads in often made some sparks as the driver shaft hit the opposite rail... a piece of heat shrink helped.

Regards, Greg
 

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I generally prefer heads out. However, on my double tracked back straight which is next to the cedar fence, I use all heads facing away from the fence. Sometimes on switch placements [especially in my double crossovers] it is easier to place a joiner with heads in, instead of heads out. My drivers are all ball end. Both standard hand drivers and 8" long drivers for use with a right angle drill are used. I have a mix of Hilman and Split-Jaw joiners.

JimC.
 

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Heads out. Honestly, in the ballast the railclamps disappear! It's just easier to tighten them that way (and to use a ball headed socket!)
 

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I agree that orienting the screw heads to face out is easier and that's what I typically do. BUT, the clamps will work perfectly well whichever way you orient them. It truly is your preference that counts.

Llyn
 

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Depends on which side of the track I am on and if it is easier to get to. Some of my clamps both face the same side of the track so one side faces in. There is no set rule.

One piced of advice. Get your self some kind of real sharp scribe. If you have have to remove the clamps sometimes the hole for the hex wrench is full of BALLAST. You have to clean it out.
 

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I have mine all heads-out except on switches where you couldn't get to the heads otherwise and where I connect track power. My layout is a raised ladder type, so it fits well and looks nicer to have the wiring inside the ladder.
 

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If it's split jaw then heads out. The long side when tightened will keep the rail even and smooth.
 

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The splitjaws I use are mostly heads out. The VersaClamps I use on my indoor layout are always heads to the top - that's the way they are constructed.
 
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