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Author Topic: nailing down tracks, any tricks?  (Read 2688 times)

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« on: May 27, 2008, 04:52:52 PM »

so im new to this whole n-scale size and am trying to figure out how to nail down the tracks. i bought the bachmann h and n size tacks and am trying to use those but there has to be an easier way then using a hammer and just banging these things down...please tell me there's an easier way...!
i tried 4, 2 i had to painstakingly pull out with my fingers after bending them and the other 2 i got almost all of the way in and then they bent over. thankfully the train can go over them though without an issue.

i guess that leads me to another question...are there any tricks to pulling the nails and tracks up? i was just wondering what i will have to do if i decide i want to rearrange the layout.

if it makes a difference i'm using a mix of EZ-track and track with no roadbed.

i wasnt sure how this would work with my son, he is only 4 going on 5 but man can he handle these little guys... he puts them on the track easier than i can...   Grin

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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 05:41:35 PM »

Little to no need to nail E-Z Track down until you have a track plan you want.

Then you can use adhesive or nails. Better choice maybe adhesive but the type depends on the material to which the track is being attached.

If using nails, use needle-nose pliers, small tack hammer, and nail punch - with a fine flat point.  Do not drive nail down to the point of pressure on the tie.

BTW -- If user names are annoying to you then use your real name. The one you are now using will get your posts ignored by some and I will ignore them in the future.

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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 06:42:56 PM »

wow, what an interesting reply.  Huh?
first, thanks for the tip.

second, im sorry if my UN bothers you. It's a carry over from a few other boards as i have a common name and this one always sticks but then again i guess ny UN bothers you so much you will ignore it in the future so i guess you arent reading this.

thanks for your time anyway.

Hi, I'm nobody, and nobody is perfect.

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 09:17:26 AM »

I prefer to use needle nose pliers, and no hammer. If the materiel you are fastening the track to is soft enough, you can just push the nail in with the pliers. It's a lot easier to control the nail that hitting it with a hammer, plus it's quieter and the layout doesn't suffer catastrophic earthquakes.



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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 10:21:30 AM »

thanks Kevin, i guess i should have posted it originally but i'm using a sheet of plywood. are there better materials to use as the base of the layout? i was thinking of laying a piece of that pink insulation foam on top of it and using that but i'm not sure how it would hold up. its pretty hard but soft enough that i could use your suggestion plus it would allow me to dig down into it a bit if i want to have any depressions for shallow areas. i wish i could remember exactly what it's called but i got it at home depot. ive also seen another version that has a aluminum foil like wrapping on it but this doesnt have that, it is just plain foam. it's nice too as it cuts great with a hot foam cutter  Grin

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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 01:11:17 PM »

What are you using to build up the non-EZ Track?

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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 02:15:47 PM »

for right now nothing. it is just a temporary setup so i just use a piece of EZ track then non EZ then EZ etc...

when i start to lay the track officially i will either get cork roadbed or come up with something different, possibly the same pink foam cut down to roadbed size.

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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 04:58:37 AM »

One thing that I would do quickly, is to make up my mind what kind of track that I wanted to use and stick with it.

You mention that your current track plan is only temporary, so you might get away with it for now, but you would still be better off sticking with one type of track.

If you are going to use nails, you need a tack hammer, a nail-set a small, but durable screwdriver and a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Woodland Scenics sells a very good glue for track and roadbed.  If you use flextrack, you will still need a nail here and there to hold the track  in place.
I do not know if it works well with E-Z-TRAK, UniTRAK or whatever Atlas or the other manufacturers call their track-cum-roadbed lines,  My only use of any of that track are test loops:  one made up of E-Z-TRAK and one made up of Kato UniTRAK.  I do not keep the test loops anchored.

Kato does sell an adapter for its UniTRAK line so that you can use flex or sectional track (also generically called 'snap track', although I believe that Atlas does have a copyright on that name) with it.  I do not know if Bachmann, Atlas or any of the other manufacturers sell similar adapters for their track-cum-roadbed.  Further, I do not know if Kato's and B-mann's track is compatible. I own both; I simply have never tried to affix one to the other.

If you do decide to go with track-cum-roadbed, you should consider painting and weathering the roadbed; it will look much better.  Kato's UniTRAK comes with the rails blackened.  You can paint the other track; a rust color is best.  Take care lest you get paint on the contact surfaces, which would be the tops and insides of the rails.  There are track-painting tutorials available in various places on the web; several publishers also have such tutorials in their lines of 'how-to' books and magazines.

If you do decide to go with flex and/or sectional track (when I use the term 'sectional' I mean track alone, not the track-cum-roadbed, which also does come in sections), you will need to use ballast.  For that, the basic things needed are Elmer's, Ballast, a water spray bottle, some brushes and pushers for spreading.  There are also ballasting tutorials out there.

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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 10:28:52 AM »

thanks brokemoto.
the only reason i am using both right now is because i bought a couple of starters and some came with EZ while some came with sectional. i'm having a hard time deciding as i really like EZ because the roadbed is nice and it stays together well but there is a good bit more freedom with sectional as i can use flex track.

i'll need to grab a tack hammer. my regular hammer is too unwieldy.

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 06:12:47 PM »

I used a hot glue gun Grin Grin Grin
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