Micro engineering flex track

Kevin Anderson Nov 23, 2013

  1. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I picked up some ME weathered flex track. Any tips on how to use this stuff? Ie: soldering, gluing, etc.... I plan on laying some of this Monday.


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  2. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    There are many youtube videos. I'd recommend looking at four or five of those from different users. At least, about laying flex-type track. ME track is very difficult to make a nice curve. It's much worse if it is the weathere kind.

    What some guys do is to fashion curvature templates and press the flex into the concave side of the templates that are themselves clamped to the bench.
     
  3. robwill84

    robwill84 TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen at least one member here or on another forum recommend soaking it in very warm water for forming curves. According to him, it loosened the track up quite a bit and allowed easy curving just like Atlas track. I don't have any experience with it first hand, but the basic idea makes sense. Could be worth trying.
     
  4. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    Ok so what is a good glue? I am using Elmer's right now.


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  5. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Kevin - I'm not familiar with the Micro-Engineering flextrack, what is it about the ME track that makes it worth the trouble? Not being critical just curious. After reading the post about the Rapido 'bendy track' I would be moving in that direction.
     
  6. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    As for gluing flex track of any kind down, I would very strongly recommend you get some DAP Alex Plus with silicone, but get the clear stuff. It is white when extruded from the tip, but it will dry very slightly yellowish clear.

    You nip the nipple tip so that it leaves an orifice about 1/4" or less, and then lay a bead over the centreline you have previously drawn to ensure your curves are going to be accurate. Spread the bead thin with a throw-away unsolicited credit card or a plastic spackle spreader. Apply the length of track with joiners, use two or three track nails driven into your roadbed to help it stay put, and place some soda tins on their sides along the rails to keep it down and at grade. If you ever need to remove the tracks, the nails should have been removed long since, and you just slide a bread knife under the ties, keeping the blade edge forced somewhat downward as you saw gently to help prevent snagging on the ties.

    There are many soldering videos for track. Go to handlaidtrack.com or Fast Tracks and watch the streaming videos of Tim Warris soldering components of his turnouts. Many youtube videos are out there showing how to lay flex on a curve and to solder the joints.
     
  7. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I got a good deal on the ME track that is why I am using it.


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  8. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Yep that would work for me - thanks
     
  9. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    I'm using ME code 70 flex track on parts of my own layout, and have been using a thin layer of white glue on top of the foam surface. So far, so good......I did have to work the track a bit to get the curves I wanted, but with a little time & patience it came out just fine. I also picked up ME track on a good deal, and needed some code 70 for some less-than-well-maintained spurs.
     
  10. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    I found the best way to curve this stuff is to make a jig (or in my case use a wall) then take a small/thin piece of wood like a shim and then rub the ties. This will cause the track to bend and you will then be able to make the curve you need and it will keep the shape.


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  11. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    I have some ME code 70 flex track and agree with the others who talk about it being hard to bend and get a smooth curve. I was lucky in the fact that a yard was also in the plans for my expansion, and ended up using it for straight track in the yard. I went and used Shinohara code 70 flex for any trackage that had curves. A lot less frustrating. There is a parking pen available for weathering track, which is what I used to have the Shinohara match the ME track.
     
  12. FLG

    FLG TrainBoard Member

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    I tried standard white glue once and found it will release its bond if you get it wet again. So if you put the track down and then put on the ballast with the standard soaking techniques everyone uses; the track will come off, bend, move, etc.
     
  13. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    ME flex is nice because it holds its curve even in heat changes and stuff like that. you cannot hold both ends and bend it into a curve like atlas, you have to work your way through the curve when laying the track. I did some handlaying on a coal dock once with ME code 55. talk about fun! you need really stable hands to get that stuff remotely straight.
     
  14. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

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    Geep_fan read my earlier post on bending the stuff. A lot easier and faster using a small block of wood like a shim or something.


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  15. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    I had kind of the same problem with curving the Atlas track with concrete ties. I came up with kind of hokey fix, but it worked really good.
    I got a very good piece of half round molding from the lumber yard (3/4" wide X 8' long, glued and screwed some little wooden blocks to the out side every 6-8 inches. The blocks had small holes drilled in them that small screws would slide thru, and screw into the sub-roadbed. I would then bend the contraption around the curve, screw the screws in to secure it, and simply slide the ties up to the wood and nail or glue in place as needed. It worked really good and gave the curves easment too. Got it to bend around 30" radius curves w/o breaking. I could then lay the thing on it face and slid the ties up to it for straight track as well. Cost me 3-4 bucks to make it.
    I will try and take some pictures and post them so you can see what I am talking about
     
  16. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    I don't know about the bending properties of ME track. But why is everyone using white glue to adhere delrin plastic ties ? I have spiked all my flex and switches to cork or directly on ply (yards/sidings). When I get into ballasting the spikes will be pulled out and the ballast will hold the track snuggly in place. To make a change I'll soak the area as ballast does have white glue in it. Or, does foam board not hold spikes ? Never used it either..
     

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