G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a problem. My joints are dirty down inside of the joiners. Is there a way I can spray something on them to clean down inside??? If not is there something I can do that doesn't involve ripping my track apart???

Thank you for your help,
Matt Myers
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Rather than spend time trying to clean the joints, which will not work well enough unless you take apart the track, solder jumpers accross the rail

joints. It sounds like alot of work, and it is. But the long term results are more than well worth the effort.

Drill a 1/8" hole into the side of the rail at each joint. Keep the holes about 3/4" to 1" beyond the joint. Clean the area around the holes with a

Dremel or your tool of choice. Take a piece of 14 gauge stranded wire, insulation stripped off it's entire length, and poke each end of the wire

through the holes you just drilled. Now using a butane mini torch, heat the rail and the wire and touch the heated area with rosin core solder. When

you see the solder being drawn into the hole you know it has made a good bond with the brass rail. The stranded wire will heat up much faster than

the brass rail, so keep more heat on the rail with the torch. You may get some melting of the plastic tie, but if your track is ballasted you'll

never notice it. You can use a 300 watt soldering gun, but it takes much longer to heat the rail.

All of the rail joints on my own railway are soldered with jumpers in this manner. I have never regretted the work it took.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
Yes, solder jumpers.

But, there is no need to go to that level of effort.

Clean the areas to be soldered really well with a dremel/wire wheel, or just scratch them shiny with a screwdriver tip.

I use 16 gauge "bond" wire so there is no need to strip it. Cut the piece to lenght to span the joiner. Put solder paste on the tips of the wire and rub it onto the track where you cleaned it.

I use a 325 watt Weller gun. Apply heat to the track and touch the solder to it until the solder flows freely. If you use 63/37 (instead of 60/40) solder, the melting point is a little lower so it flows quicker. I use my fingers to put the end of the cut jumper in place into the molten solder and let it cool a moment.

Now heat the rail on the other side of teh joiner and apply solder to the rail until it flows easy. Using a small screwdriver, push the other end of the jumper wire into the molten puddle. Remove the heat and hold the wire in place a moment (with the screwdriver) until the solder solidifies. Then move on to the next one. Once you've done a few, you don't even melt the tie plates. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
They solder jumpers at the Botanic. Not as neatly as Toddalin does. Dave has a big resistance soldering machine he hauls out that does it quickly.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,525 Posts
Matt, you did not say brass or stainless or NS or aluminum rail.

You did not mention brand of track.

I'll assume brass Aristo or USAT

There are inexpensive rail clamps that can be added without disturbing the track, and you can take a joiner off with a screwdriver, again without disturbing the track. Aristo makes new clamps that are inexpensive, and the 2 screws are pointing up.

Regards, Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Something I been meaning to try is "GunScrubber" by Birchwood Casey. Don't *think* it will eat the plastic, and it sure decarbonizes a gun fast.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top