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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put together a temporary layout outside using the Aristo SS track and their stock track joiners. I screwed the sections together using included screws ... boy was that a painful experience. It didn't help that I have difficulty seeing things that small when I don't have the magnifier on my work bench.


I only lost one screw in the grass but ... there were more than a few choice words when the joiners holes and the track holes wouldn't line up vertically.


What is a good replacement for these things? Are there any that should be avoided?

By the way, I didn't use any anti-seize compound, how long do I have before I will be grinding the screw heads off with a dremmel grinding wheel?


Thanks

Tom Bray
 

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Hi Tom,

Like you I initially found the small screws a pain, but after a while it does seem to become much more easily done. I put on my reading spectacles for this job.
They say practice makes perfect.

Each spring I just check on the tightness of the screws on my layout - and it doesn't have to be all done in one day so need not be a drudge. I did lose a few in the beginning, when assembling the track, but soon found the need for a plastic or similar shallow lid /tray to catch errant screws.


There are rail clamps which can replace the screws, which I do not use (more expense), and I know some of the guys here use them. I will leave them to give you details.
 

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Tom,
If I had endured the sheer torture of trying to utilize those dinky screws I would have given up on large scale altogether! I went with the railclamp solution. Yes, it's relatively expensive but the benefits of track alignment and continuity outweigh the price costs. The railclamps are easy to install and they can be removed and re-used again and again. There are two brands that I would recommend, Hillman and Split-Jaw. It's a bit like Ford and Chevy as they are both very similar but with decent quality so it's really a matter of personal choice. As to the other brands, I personally don't have experience with them so I will let others comment.
 

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There are 3 approaches to surviving those accursed screws:

1. Use something to make the tip of the driver sticky. I use a kid's school glue stick. It also helps to keep a tiny allen wrench on hand for reaching tight places like around turnouts. Pick up a bag of 50 extra screws for a couple bucks. That makes loosing them a lot less painfull. Slip a piece of paper or even a paper plate under the track while you put in the screw so you can find it when you drop it.

2. Forget the stinking joiners and use rail clamps. That's a little pricy for me, so I just use a rail clamp where I can't get to the screw or I cut a stainless rail.

3. Forget the screws and leave the joiners loose. Bolt the track down and solder jumper wires. They do this at the Chicago Botanic.
 

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This is the second thread about the same thing at the SAME time.

Try a search on clamps, I just invested a fair amount of time answering on another thread and updating my web site page.

Regards, Greg
 

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Once you settle on the configuration of your layout, solder 3 to 4 of the sections of the sectional track together using the supplied joiners as a sleeve. Then connect those longer sections together using Rail Clamps. For the last 6 years this has worked for me and cut down on my cost for the clamps.

Russ
 

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I put model airplane glue on the screwdriver tip to hold the screw. I haven't seen the need to use any anti-seize stuff. When the train stops at any particular spot I just tighten down the loose screw. My layout is fairly small so the track problems are few.
 

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Just put a dab of grease on the end of the driver and it will hold the screw while inserting. If you really what to eliminate using the screw buy some Spit jaws clams that fit on on the rail after removing the rail joiner. Will eliminate your problems. Later RJD
 

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I got tired of hearing from customers about having problems with the screws so I figured out a tool to hold them from the center hex so you can get them started then you can use a allen to make them tight ....... off the top of my head I do not remember the price but something like 9.99 or 10.99 or something like that ....... we have sold them for years now and I have never had anyone say anything but how great is was and how much it helped ........ you can still have some trouble if the hole in the rail is not drilled right but we sell the taps to so you can make your own hole if you need to .......
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This isn't the only forum that I use regularly. Trying to mine information out of a forum, especially if you don't know the key words can be very frustrating. One of the problems with the search function on the forum is that it isn't smart enough to do a good cross reference. If you use the wrong term that others are using, it can get pretty frustrating.

The other thing is that by asking a question in a different way, different answers show up. The answers above have me looking at possibly using the stock joiners at least initially, instead of purchasing several hundred dollars in clamps. Most of the time I find a question almost answered in a previous thread but it tends to be dead, waking it back up doesn't always produce good results.


After realizing that clamp returned better results, I did find these sites (none of them produced the same information I got above though):

Aristo-Craft Track Thread
http://www.mylargescale.com/Communi...postid/24590/ptarget/24606/Default.aspx#24606

welding brass rail (this one has good information but doesn't pertain as much to SS rail)

http://www.mylargescale.com/Communi...postid/77613/ptarget/77613/Default.aspx#77613


my track keeps having dead spots all suggestions melcome (This has several good pictures as well as information)

http://www.mylargescale.com/Communi.../tpage/1/view/Topic/postid/16386/Default.aspx


There are probable more, but this is a good start for anyone who finds this thread first.
 

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Hi again Tom,

As I mentioned earlier in the thread I have used and persevered with the Aristo track joiners and screws: quite happily.

Since starting the hobby around 3 years ago I have bought track and rolling stock in order to get my railroad up and running. Is is now, as far as I am concerned, well stocked with a good variety of locos and cars and highly enjoyable (weather permitting). **


Last year I decided to set up a better methods of operation which was the Aristo TE for track power plus a TE battery car as an second string to my bow. I feel now I can improve my railroad by buying the items which took second place in the first instance.

These items may well be track clamps for certain areas which are not as easily accessed. So once you feel that you have a reasonable amount of stock to run your railroad there are many improvements one can subsequently make. I guess it is a matter of what priorities you make.
 

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You sure would be better off using rail clamps in the long run. I started out the same way and just kept replacing as time and money permitted. You'll be glade you did. Later RJD
 

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Don't waste your time with the screws...rail clamps...otherwise you will have nothing but fustration trying to fix electrical problems....It is the best investment you can make...
 
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