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Thread: Cleaning Flangeways - paved parking lots, etc

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    Default Cleaning Flangeways - paved parking lots, etc

    Hello all,

    Working on a medium-sized paved area on one of the clubs BendTrack modules.

    This area is going to have tracks embedded in the pavement for probably 14-16 inches. I plan to model the pavement outside the gauge with Plaster, Hydrocal or SmoothIt, sanded smooth then painted and weathered. Within the gauge, I'm running into some problems wrapping my head around how I want to proceed.

    Ideally, for the sake of visual continuity, I'd like to use the same plaster-ish material between the gauge, but that presents the problem of how to clear out the flangeways during/after the plaster pour. I was considering gluing some styrene strips (say, 0.040x0.080) on edge so their height doesn't exceed that of the railhead, then removing them once the plaster has started to flash off but before it's solidified. I'm concerned I'll do damage to the soft plaster during the removal, though. I'd also thought about cleaning the flangeways with a "jig" (shaped similar to an NMRA gauge) ??

    Alternatives include using styrene strip between the gauge, which would give me nice uniform, straight flangeways but may not finish to the same texture and colour as the surrounding pavement.

    Anyone have anything to add?

    AR
    Siderod (II)
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    By the time you paint it with a brush it should give you enough texture to match the plaster?
    If that fails, then roughen the styrene strips with some fine sandpaper for texture?

    If you fill it with plaster, then right before it starts to set up, have on hand an old truck with the older metal wheels with Pizza Cutter flanges and run it back and forth, the plaster needs to be firm but not dry to do this.
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    I think I just cleaned it out with a small jeweler's screwdriver as it was setting.





    Once it was dry, scraped down the rails a little better and smoothed out any rough edges in the surface.

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    I think this might be the only case where pizza cutter wheels would come in handy in N scale!

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    I think I just cleaned it out with a small jeweler's screwdriver as it was setting.
    Same here on my crossings - mini screwdriver or hobby knife.

    I've tried other insert methods and they tend to chip the plaster as its being removed.


    Try to leave your rails just a little bit proud of the roadway to make future track cleaning sessions easier. I have one crossing that has plaster essentially level to the rails and every time I use a track eraser on it I inevitably damage the painted plaster.
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbechard View Post
    Try to leave your rails just a little bit proud of the roadway to make future track cleaning sessions easier.
    Plus one on this comment. While I don't have trouble with a track eraser, my CMX cleaning car sometimes gets hung up on my crossing - I should have left it a little lower in relation to the tops of the rails.
    Cheers!
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    Yeah, leave rails proud, let it mostly set then just go in there gently with a little screwdriver head and slowly sand it down without cracking or chipping. Vacuum up the dust, paint, clean railheads, done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbechard View Post


    Try to leave your rails just a little bit proud of the roadway to make future track cleaning sessions easier. I have one crossing that has plaster essentially level to the rails and every time I use a track eraser on it I inevitably damage the painted plaster.
    Or how about covering your pavement with painter's tape as you clean your rails in that section?

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRedLn View Post
    Or how about covering your pavement with painter's tape as you clean your rails in that section?
    If your plaster isn't set below the railhead, then the painter's tape will just get all gummed up in the cleaning apparatus you use. Painter's / masking tape has some thickness to it, so even if you wanted to go that route then you'll need to ensure the plaster is slightly below.

    I have mixed in color in my joint-compound paving (a.k.a. drywall mud), so that if/when I do get any chips, they won't be exposing a white color. Road marking might get abraded off during rail cleaning, but the asphalt will still be gray if eroded away.

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone!

    I plan to use a straightedge to get the plaster level with the railheads, but sanding and an initial track cleaning will lower the plaster immediately next to the rails for ease of cleaning in the future.

    I think I may try the pizza cutter truck idea, followed with some cleaning up with a dental pick. It's a siding track, so I can have closer clearances that I'd be able to if this were mainline trackage.

    Thanks again for the replies!
    AR
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    Why not use some sheet styrene next too the rail, plaster up to it, remove when dry. Sand level to rail head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelWheels View Post
    Why not use some sheet styrene next too the rail, plaster up to it, remove when dry. Sand level to rail head.
    Do you mean put the styrene in place of the flangeway and remove it when the plaster has cured?
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    Quote Originally Posted by siderod View Post
    Do you mean put the styrene in place of the flangeway and remove it when the plaster has cured?

    Yes, sandwiched between the rail and plaster, keep the piece tall enough so the plaster stays off the rail head. 1/2 or 1inch should do it or whatever you can work with easily

    greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelWheels View Post
    Yes, sandwiched between the rail and plaster,
    Not a bad idea. I had thought of that originally, but was going to use pieces lower than the rail height so I could still use the rail-head as parallel blocks for a screed. Your idea means a bit more sanding, but less risk of damaging the plaster during removal.

    Thanks again everyone for the ideas!
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