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Thread: Switching from nails to glue/caulk partway through build

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    Default Switching from nails to glue/caulk partway through build

    This sounds crazy to me, but I made a mistake in building my layout and not sure how to remedy this.

    Initially, when I built the benchwork for my layout, I had to do it in sections, and in doing so, built things up little by little, laying things out with track nails. I did not intend on using JUST nails, but, since my track design was not clear yet, I needed to start laying track out and seeing how it all fit. Well, I needed to nail down some cork too underneath to see how it looked with that. And then need to wire up a little section to make sure it is working. And so on....

    Now, I am about 3/4 through with laying track and wiring, but have still been just using nails on roadbed and track, kind of forgetting about the gluing/caulking. My question, is it too late to go back and glue/caulk and if so, what would be the best way to attempt this, now that wiring is in, track and roadbed are in place, and I am more than halfway done. Am I good with just nails? I really don't want to rip out all I have laid so far as it took so much effort just to get it to this stage. Or is this something that I will just need to bite the bullet and redo the entire thing just to use glue/caulk?

    Any thoughts on a misstep this far in?

    Or is this even going to be an issue I need to address and I can just continue on?

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    If you can remove three or so track nails at a time, you should be able to use an old credit card/thin scrap styrene to apply a thin layer of clear adhesive caulk to the roadbed. You can reinsert the track nails part way to keep the track in place until the caulk dries.

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    Thank.you for this. To explain this, I initially had the thought that I would just nail it all down. Once I started reading more, I realized that was not the best way but just kind of continued on. My mistake, obviously. I will try this method to see how it goes. Excellent idea, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mingles View Post
    Thank.you for this. To explain this, I initially had the thought that I would just nail it all down. Once I started reading more, I realized that was not the best way but just kind of continued on. My mistake, obviously. I will try this method to see how it goes. Excellent idea, though!
    Hey, not a mistake, just really a technique that came to the fore within the past decade.

    I used clear adhesive caulk to lay the Slate Fork's track. Before that, on previous layouts, I'd use Walthers' Goo. Infinitely better to use caulk, although Goo did lend a certain, ah, psychedelic aspect to the task.

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    If the track staying in place, why do anything to it? I actually have never understood gluing track down outside of when it's ballasted. Yeah, I know about the "nail showing" argument but that's really just for photography.

    Doug
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    I think you should just leave it and ballast. Once you ballast properly, the ballast will hold everything in place.

    Sure, if you had to start over I would suggest water based adhesive caulking. But why tear things up at this point?

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    Having recently disassembled my layout I can tell you this, I will NEVER, EVER, EVER use caulk to hold track down again. EVER. Plain old white glue is the best for it.
    Last edited by ranulf; 7th Jun 2019 at 02:43 AM.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

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    I appreciate the replies. I did try to use the credit card method and while it will work, it was somewhat of a hassle to do, what with the nails being in the track and the roadbed. And yes once ballasted, it would be set in place. I think I may leave what I've done so far but then glue the rest that I still need to lay. If there is that much of a difference I notice, I can go back and use the credit card method described above.
    Last edited by Mingles; 7th Jun 2019 at 08:53 AM.

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    Default Glueing track

    [QUOTE=Mingles;561492]This sounds crazy to me, but I made a mistake in building my layout and not sure how to remedy this.

    Initially, when I built the benchwork for my layout, I had to do it in sections, and in doing so, built things up little by little, laying things out with track nails. I did not intend on using JUST nails, but, since my track design was not clear yet, I needed to start laying track out and seeing how it all fit. Well, I needed to nail down some cork too underneath to see how it looked with that. And then need to wire up a little section to make sure it is working. And so on....

    Now, I am about 3/4 through with laying track and wiring, but have still been just using nails on roadbed and track, kind of forgetting about the gluing/caulking. My question, is it too late to go back and glue/caulk and if so, what would be the best way to attempt this, now that wiring is in, track and roadbed are in place, and I am more than halfway done. Am I good with just nails? I really don't want to rip out all I have laid so far as it took so much effort just to get it to this stage. Or is this something that I will just need to bite the bullet and redo the entire thing just to use glue/caulk?

    Any thoughts on a misstep this far in?

    Or is this even going to be an issue I need to address and I can just continue on







    You should be able to gently lift small sections of track and using a putty knife, apply small amounts of caulk under those sections. Then just work your way around the layout , using the nails as a guide to lay the track down again.

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    Like others have said ballast is all that holds my track in place. Or you could use some hot glue to keep it in place.

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    Same here.
    My cork is spiked to the ceiling tile, the track is spiked to the cork, once the ballast it down I remove my nails and the ballast glue holds it all in place.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by ranulf View Post
    Having recently disassembled my layout I can tell you this, I will NEVER, EVER, EVER use caulk to hold track down again. EVER. Plain old white glue is the best for it.
    Don't mean to laugh at your misfortunes but...EXACTLY HOW MUCH CAULK DID YOU USE?!?! You're only supposed to draw a thin line down the track and spread/smooth it out into a thin layer. If you let the caulk partially dry before laying down the track, you don't even have to weight down the tracks to make it adhere.

    White glue can work, but if you're going to be saturating your track with wet water/alcohol during the ballasting phase, don't be shocked if the tracks come undone.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    @MetroRedLine I'm not an idiot. I did exactly that. Just a thin line spread out with a putty knife is all I used. With the fragile nature of code 55 track, and the absolutely ridiculous price of track these days, being able to remove it by simply soaking in soapy water strikes me as a much better option than trying to pry it up with a razor blade and putty knife and having rails pop out of the ties.

    Laugh all you want. And do it however you want too. I was just trying to save whoever reads this their own hassles in the future. But use whatever you think is best.

    It don't take a GED to be able to realize that by ballasting in very short sections and letting it dry in between ballasting sections the glued track won't move. But again, do it however you want.

    Out
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranulf View Post
    @MetroRedLine I'm not an idiot. I did exactly that. Just a thin line spread out with a putty knife is all I used. With the fragile nature of code 55 track, and the absolutely ridiculous price of track these days, being able to remove it by simply soaking in soapy water strikes me as a much better option than trying to pry it up with a razor blade and putty knife and having rails pop out of the ties.

    Laugh all you want. And do it however you want too. I was just trying to save whoever reads this their own hassles in the future. But use whatever you think is best.

    It don't take a GED to be able to realize that by ballasting in very short sections and letting it dry in between ballasting sections the glued track won't move. But again, do it however you want.

    Out
    Okay, so exactly which caulk did you use?

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Let me put my $.02 in here . I use caulk and Peco C80 on cork . I use Dap Alex Plus clear latex spread out on the cork in a thin layer . Then i use Push Pins to hold everything where i want it . With the layout im building right now , this will make the 3rd use of some of my Peco C80 track . This track was not painted . It takes me about 10 minutes or less to clean off all the caulking that came up with the track . I find that with a razor knife or a realy thin ruler i have , i can easily slice it off and reuse my track just like new . NOW maybe this is because i use Peco C80 track , but at this rate of reusing im thrilled to say the least . The method works extremely well for me with my choice of track . Im not a man with a lot of money these days , and have more time than money so i dont mind spending the time to clean up used track .

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    Let me put my $.02 in here . I use caulk and Peco C80 on cork . I use Dap Alex Plus clear latex spread out on the cork in a thin layer . Then i use Push Pins to hold everything where i want it . With the layout im building right now , this will make the 3rd use of some of my Peco C80 track . This track was not painted . It takes me about 10 minutes or less to clean off all the caulking that came up with the track . I find that with a razor knife or a realy thin ruler i have , i can easily slice it off and reuse my track just like new . NOW maybe this is because i use Peco C80 track , but at this rate of reusing im thrilled to say the least . The method works extremely well for me with my choice of track . Im not a man with a lot of money these days , and have more time than money so i dont mind spending the time to clean up used track .
    Everything Steve said, except my track is ME code 55. A thin layer of clear adhesive caulk spread thinly and held in place with T-pins works well, and the stuff comes up easily enough.

    If I'm really bored and inattentive, I'll leave the T-pins in place while I test run the new track. This makes me hone my troubleshooting skills looking for a short in my DCC system. You should try it sometime.

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