Question for IronHorseman...

racedirector May 17, 2004

  1. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Over the last little while I have been trying just about every method known to man for hand laying turnouts. One I haven't done yet and am interested in trying (for the experience) is using hot glue.

    Ironhorseman, do you actually use hot glue for hand laying turnouts or do you use more "traditional" methods because of the need to stay in gauge...?

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  2. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Bruce,

    I use hot glue on everything except the switch points. Once you get the stock rail laid out where you want it, it is easy to set in the closure rails and frog, using track gauges. You can keep the parts that you don't want to move from moving by placing a heat sink between the glue gun and the protected area. I use a 1.5 inch socket for that purpose. Do not apply glue in the area where the switch points contact the stock rail.
    If you find that you have laid something down in the wrong place .. just heat up the rail with a standard pencil soldering iron and push it to the correct location. I think you will find that handlaying turnouts this way is not only fun .. but easy. Most likely the biggest problem you will have to overcome is getting too much glue on the bottom of the rail base. It just takes a little practice, so don't get discouraged. If beads of glue are evident between the ties, just heat the rail up good and the glue will run down to the roadbed.
    Let me know how you are doing as you progress. You'll find that each turnout that you build will improve in smoothness and appearance. [​IMG]

    [ 17. May 2004, 15:08: Message edited by: Ironhorseman ]
     
  3. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Bill, I was hoping you would say that! :D

    I am very interested in using hot glue everywhere - I have tried spiking and pc board construction for both turnouts and track and while these have both been successful, I am looking to try everything before settling on a particular method. You see I am on a really tight budget (have to buy another car this month - the last one died!) so the most cost effective method will win....

    Even in my turnout construction I have been trying things and have learned how to file point rails so notching the stock rail isn't needed. Gleened that information from a very helpful modeller on the handlaidtrack yahoo group!

    I will be buying a glue gun on the weekend and will report back on my progress....

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  4. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    I too would like to know how your hot glue experiment turns out. I tried it once, and wasn't able get anything in gauge or even to attach the rail properly to the ties, so I gave up. Maybe I should have had a little more patient.
     
  5. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Bruce .. it will be helpful to file a notch in the hot glue guns' nozzle .. making it easier to move the gun along the base of the rail. The speed of application depends on how thick you want the glue.

    Jesper .. were you applying glue along the entire length of the rail, or just in certain spots? I can understand having problems keeping the rails in gauge if you did not use at least two gauges .. and a heatsink. [​IMG]
     
  6. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    I tried to apply along the entire rail, trying to apply a thin layer, but no matter what I tried, I ended up having blobs of glue that I had to remove to get the rail smooth to the ties.
    Then I wasn't able to properly attach the rail, using a 40W solder iron. I didn't use a heat sink, but use my 3 point ME gauge to hold the rail while heating it with the iron, but I had a hard time getting the glue to melt evenly, so one part of the rail would be attached to the tie, while the rail 3 ties down would sit 'high' on it's glue. And it got even worse when I tried the second rail, I was using 2 3 point gauges to hold the rail, but I soon gave up.

    I think my problem was that I wasn't able to apply the glue thin enough, or if I applied it thin, wasn't able to make it stick to the ties, and then I just ran out of patient.

    Jesper
     
  7. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    I also tried using Barge Cement, but didn't like that either. I still have to try spiking, but so far I prefer PC ties (probably because that's what I was used to in N)
     
  8. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Jesper,

    Yes, it is a royal pain when those big globs of glue adhere to the rail base. It took a while for me to get the "stroke" of the glue gun to lay an even, thin coat of glue .. just takes some practice.
    As for smoothing out the glue humps, I use a hotter soldering iron than a 40 watt. I'll place the rails in their approximate position by using the three point track gauges (3 of them). Keeping the heat sink at the end of the track that has already been set in correctly, I'll slowly slide the iron over the railhead, watching the glue melt onto the ties. When I get to the point where I encounter a track gauge, I'll move the heat sink up to that point and slide the gauge farther up and continue by repeating the steps noted above until reaching the end of the rail.
    Afterwards, I like to go back with the track gauges and make minor adjustments to gauge and smooth out any vertical curves. You can feel them better than see them if the glue has been completely melted on application. Normally, the globs of glue will melt down between the ties leaving a glossy appearance. But ballast will cover it.
    I'm making an assumption that you were using wooden ties. Is that correct? [​IMG]
     
  9. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    >>I'm making an assumption that you were using wooden ties. Is that correct?

    Correct. Maybe I will give it another one day. Right now I'm 'busy' working on my first Jordan vehicle kits and a FOS craftman kit, so that will keep me busy for the next couple of month.
     
  10. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Well I got myself a glue gun today. Boy, not easy this hot gluing rail thing. [​IMG]

    Bill, you are right about the thickness bit and Jesper you're right about the difficulty in getting the whole rail covered. After about my fifth try (on test track) I got a reasonable result. I found the trick was to not only file a slot in the gun but also to keep the gun as vertical as possible. Pulling the trigger with just the right amount of pressure is another tricky bit.

    My first attempt had too much glue on there. When it melted it looked like tie plates as it squidged out from under the rails.

    Still, I have only had a few goes so far and I look at this as a challenge to be overcome....

    I will try again later and see what happens.

    BTW Bill, you wouldn't happen to have any pics of the process would you - I work better with "visual" aids :D

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  11. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Gosh Bruce .. I sure don't :( But ya know.. It would be a real challange to take pics while trying to hold a length of rail while trying to slide the glue gun along it. :D

    You are right about keeping the gun vertical. Seems that I omitted that important little bit of instruction ... sorry.

    By the way, you can also try to apply glue in short lengths along the rail that might resemble dashes: ( - - - - - - - - ) Saves glue and still holds the rail to the ties similar to how spiking every sixth tie would do. [​IMG]
     
  12. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    Do you get a particular type of glue stick?

    From what source?
     
  13. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Wayne .. I just use a 4X5/8 inch stick that is carried at our local hardware store. They seem to work just fine.

    And correct an earlier post about it being important to keep the gun vertical .. I should have worded it as keep the gun at a right angle to the rail. [​IMG]
     
  14. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, that's what I found. Will be trying some more today....
     
  15. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Hang in there Bruce .. you will master it, I'm sure [​IMG]
     
  16. jkristia

    jkristia TrainBoard Member

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    and when you do, let me know, and maybe post some pictures of the process (I know you only have 2 hands, but maybe someone can help you with the pictures [​IMG]
     
  17. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Hey Bruce ... are you still with us??? Howz the layout coming along? [​IMG]
     
  18. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Bill

    I am still kicking and screaming but no progress on the layout. Inbetween times I have switched to On30, moved from the bedroom to the lounge room to nothing at all. I was going to move into our garage but recent discussions with the boss have stopped this also as we are looking at moving in the next 4-6 months. I'll definately be including layout space in the selection criteria for the next house [​IMG] So for now I am building my kids (5 & 7yrs) an 8x4 layout with flextrack.

    Cheers
    Bruce
     
  19. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    I can understand the dilemma Bruce. Hope your new place will have enough room for your layout. Have you abandoned HO altogether for On3? Handlaying rail for On3 seems it would be much easier .. or, have I heard that On3 will actually run on HO gauge track??

    Anyway .. good to hear from you mate. Keep in touch.

    [​IMG]
     

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