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Hand laid track. A gluey mess

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  • #16
    Fantastic. This is what I aspire to. I will try making some spikes at work this weekend. I usually have free time for such things then.

    I have supplies, but have already ordered the resupply. I guess you keep this stuff on hand if you live by mail order.

    Baby steps.

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    • #17
      I've hand-laid most of my current layout, including 30 turnouts, and almost all of it (except the open-deck bridges) is spiked. But I'm using Micro-Engineering "small" spikes and code 70 and 83 rail. I also laid about 40 code 100 switches (many of which are still in service) at TMRC when I was in college, again all spiked, mostly using Rail-Craft (long gone, but the best I've ever used) small spikes.

      But a couple of years ago I spiked a 3-foot spur in code 55, using M-E "micro" spikes because flanges would have bumped "small" spike heads and it was tough. I bent almost half the spikes I picked up, and had to drill a number of #78 holes in tough ties. So the next time I use rail lighter than code 70, I will get out the glue and the soldering iron. A couple of years ago a guy posted for a while about doing super-detailed hand-laid track in N scale, drilling 4 spike holes per tie, so it *can* be done, but it's not for me.
      James

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      • #18
        The ME "micro" spikes are too soft and will bend from 35% to nearly 50% - pending the tie material. ME "small" spikes work well enough provided you don't mind the size appearance, and you're using rail code allowing flange clearance. The Proto:87 Stores etched spikes are super small, super tough, and have a reverse taper for holding in the ties alone - don't require sub-roadbed penetration. These are the ones most of the N scale handlaid trackwork that's spiked is done with. I've made my own spikes out of 0.015" piano wire and laid close to 200 ft. of track - it's the Stephen Hatch method discussed on the "handlaidtrack" yahoo group. Angle of spikes depends on the spikes used and the rail base profile. Gluing with Barge is far better than GOO - Barge is chemically activated (MEK), GOO is thermally activated. Barge however doesn't work exceptionally with wooden ties (acceptable - not exceptional).

        There's skill in hand laying track. It's not really hard - but take the time to develop your process. Functional, you only need to spike every 5th to 7th tie on the straight and gentle curves, every 4th to 5th tie on tighter curves. Vary the spacing - don't get too mechanical in the counting.

        Study and review resources, practice, and soon it will fall together naturally.

        -ed-

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        • #19
          quote:


          Originally posted by emccamey


          There's skill in hand laying track. It's not really hard - but take the time to develop your process. Functional, you only need to spike every 5th to 7th tie on the straight and gentle curves, every 4th to 5th tie on tighter curves. Vary the spacing - don't get too mechanical in the counting.

          Study and review resources, practice, and soon it will fall together naturally.

          -ed-


          I was spiking every single tie. Inside and out. But then It seemed complete overkill. So, now I am working an in/out every other tie rotation.

          With a little time this morning, there is road bed I set down last night. It is dry and now I am off to practice. I am using just a scrap piece of 1X4, some left over road bed.

          Unfortunately, I don't have a camera of quality that will show what I am doing. Pictures to follow, I hope.

          Thank you to all.

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          • #20
            quote:


            Originally posted by luvchikn


            Just for the record, what are the size of cross ties and switch ties? Is the cross section 6X8? And what are the lengths?I have a bunch of NE strip wood in various sizes. And staining in different color I&A is genius.

            The whole reason I want to do this is to get away from the uniform look of flex track. I have 2 piano jigs. One is mainline and one is "looser" for branch lines. I found by accident if you lay the ties in the branch line jig and tap the jig with a finger, very random tie placement occurs.

            Has anybody used Proto87 track system? The detail (tie plates!) is amazing.

            I am very intrigued. Thank you all for input.

            Bobby


            OH, I am working with HOn3 with a dual gauge transition area.


            Again, thanks so much.

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            • #21
              Well, good morning.

              I was able to cut 183 spikes from the .015 piano wire during a one hour TV show. I cannot imagine cutting 1000 an hour. However, I will get plenty of practice. ALL of my contemporaries have advised me that spikes can be purchased.

              There has been much enjoyment the last 24 hours. I cannot tell you how much the summer cut into my train time. The links provided by Rick are jammed packed with information. A second read and a third helped me find little things.

              I took some pictures of the first attempt. A buddy took some clear detail shots. As soon as I figure out how to resize them on my new Mac, I will post. I think this thread is probably done.

              Much thanks to all who posted to get me going in the right direction.


              Bobby

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