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Passed Driver
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Hi All     Following on from my fiddle yard thread , I used toggles to secure the two boards together , fitted the copper clad, although I now think that brass screws could have been superior ? soldered the rails .Anyway so far so good, but, cutting the track over the joint isn’t going so smoothly . Would a Dremel have been better? Or maybe the Xuron track cutters ? It isn’t too late to begin again, but, it would be a PITA. As it is or was before I started cutting the rails, the wagons rolled along without a discernible bump at the joint.    Best wishes. Kevin

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Kevin, whatever method you use to cut rails, run a small file over all 4 sides to remove any burrs no matter how small they are.
I do assume that the rails did not alter from being level after you cut them? And how wide is the gap after you cut the rail - about 1-2 mm or 1/16th maximum ?

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Hi Ron.   Thank you . When I tried a dummy/ dry run with the copper clad, it went on like spreading butter on bread, so to speak. And no matter what I did, the rails were held firmly in place. But now I am doing it for real  , its not so straightforward . And cutting through the rails with a razor saw was no better. And now the two halves of one rail has a “bump”?   Best wishes. Kevin

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I always use a Dremel Kevin with a thin circular slitting saw works best if the track is not in place  if its fixed down you cant do it squarely  and get a perfect joint but to be fair its pretty good fit as you only talking a slight angle on a rail that is only a few millimeters thick plus the the dremel is good for taking of that extra 1-2 mm you made need to remove.
I cant say if a Xuron cutter is any better as i have never used one i would guess its the same as any cutter when brand new great but after a while big burrs and distorted rail i would guess

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Hi Brian.   Thank you.  The Xuron track cutters are simply a precise cutting pair of pliers. The job however still has to be cleaned up with a needle file. I prefer hand tools when working with fine tolerances , but, I have read about Dremel .   Best wishes. Kevin

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Actually thinking about there is a flexible attachment you can get with a dremel  which has a much thinner body than the dremel motor unit with that you would only get a very shallow angle on fixed down track i have one but never used it :brickwall

Brian

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If you're getting a "bump" then I'd be inclined to check the board alignment, pattern makers dowels are probably the best things to use, available on Ebay , Eileens Emporium and others.


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Hi Mike.   Thank you.   I am using the C& L pattern makers dowels . I don’t know where the bump came from , it was fine at first.  And I am using spring toggles, “c/ o station road baseboards” to be certain of no movement . Best wishes.   Kevin

Last edited on Sun Oct 7th, 2018 03:48 pm by Passed Driver

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Hi Kevin,

Dremel with a 90 degree head attachment and a thin cut-off disc. John (brossard) has a useful tip, lay flex track across the gap, cut, move the rails in to the desired gap, fix ends using copper clad or the heads of brass screws or good old epoxy.

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BCDR wrote: Hi Kevin,

Dremel with a 90 degree head attachment and a thin cut-off disc. John (brossard) has a useful tip, lay flex track across the gap, cut, move the rails in to the desired gap, fix ends using copper clad or the heads of brass screws or good old epoxy.

Nigel
Hi Nigel. Thank you . When you say “ Fix ends “ and “ Or good old epoxy “ does that mean you don’t prefer solder?I have already soldered the rails directly to the screws, but, of course if this fails I am open to all polite suggestions.
I am not keen on the idea of purchasing a Dremel for one job though. There is an “ old tip “ that I have read about placing a sheet of cardboard between the two boards, soldering the rails, and cutting them. And when one removes the cardboard the rails are closer together.    Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

It's all in the weak link. Lay track to the edge and the rail end is held in place by the chairs and whatever was used to glue the sleepers down. Fine for stationary layouts, anything modular that gets moved around will normally need something a bit more robust than white glue or sealant. Some observations based on (often bitter) experience with modules:

Copper clad always sounds like a good solution until the copper delaminates. I have had this happen when using Xurons. Best to do the last 2-4 sleepers with copper clad, not just the last one, and avoid Xurons. The torque generated will flex and buckle track. There are some neat commercial copper clad ties/sleepers available for HO that I have used with great success. $$$ though.

Brass cheese head screws are robust, the height can be adjusted, but the last sleeper will need patching in. The down side can be the smaller contact area compared with copper clad.

Epoxy used for gluing the last few sleepers and the rails to the chairs is more robust than pva or CA. The underside of the sleepers needs keying.

The weak link is the chairs. Code 100 HO/OO chairs are robust tabs, once you get down to code 83 or 75 not so. A knock is more likely to displace the rail than the sleeper unless soldered or spiked.

As long as the sleepers are firmly attached rail spikes at the ends work well.

Most modular systems use removable sections of track, anything from 2" to 8" long. Weak link is the relatively loose rail joiners. Long sections need a power supply.

The gap left by a cut-off disc does not affect running.

What do I do now? For straight track, to the edge then back a tad so when the board is stood on edge the rail is not quite in contact with the floor. Think paper sheet thickness. Two copper clad ties on each side epoxyded to a piece of wood glued to the top, not to the cork underlay. I use single sided copper clad and rough up the bottom with # 80 paper. Rail spikes just in case (drill holes and epoxy). For curves I lay the track over the joint, solder to the attached copper clad, then cut with the Dremel. Most modular standards do not allow curves within 6" of the edge, and I try and avoid them at home. Most copper clad is thinner than regular ties/sleepers, I use wood glued to the baseboard not the underlay to get the correct height. Modules that travel need protection, I use a piece of thick corrugated cardboard taped over the ends. 

You can avoid all of this by using track sections over the joint. Especially in fiddle yards where you do not need gravel.

just use what works best for you. We all have our own pet schemes.

Nigel




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Hi Nigel.   Thank you. My first attempt was copper clad, using a new ish Antex 25 watt iron. Then I made a “ Big “ mistake, I arttempted to cut the track with a Zona Razor Saw , wrong,  the track went every which way as much as I don’t want to purchase a Dremel for one job, it looks as though I must bite the bullet, My second attempt with brass screws didn’t go any better. At a recent model railway show, I visited the “ C & L stand “ to get a supply of their copper clad sleeper, but the isolation gap was too wide for my liking    Best wishes.  Kevin.   PS recommendations required.

Last edited on Thu Oct 11th, 2018 08:26 pm by Passed Driver

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Hi Brian.    After another failed attempt at cutting the track, it looks like I will have to follow your lead, and go Mechanical, not maniacal,:lol: and purchase the correct equipment to do the job of cutting the track “Over Baseboard Gaps” . Of course all safety equipment too.  Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

I have a Dremel and use it often for a variety of tasks, even some model railway related. Please think very careful before you buy one as they can be very dangerous. They can tend to run away from the wary and spin at very high speeds, therefore they must be treated with great respect and a reasonable amount of skill to avoid a trip to A&E. 

You also need a firm and very steady hand, otherwise the workpiece and operator are both in danger.

Dremels were not around when we all first started in model railways. In those days, I used a junior hacksaw and needle file to great effect and still do. I would recommend you try one again on your track before spending money on something you may find bites you! 

Before hacksawing, clamp the track in a home made clamp before you cut it. My clamp was made with an offcut of timber batten about 2'' x 2'' x 3''. Cut with two shallow cuts with the hacksaw (or tenon saw for greater accuracy) across the width of the block, to hold the two rails down. Fit it over the track, press down with left hand, cut the track with the right, using the edge of the clamp as a guide.

Be safe and enjoy modelling at you own pace.

Best,

Bill

Last edited on Thu Oct 11th, 2018 07:45 pm by Longchap

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Hi Nigel Thank you again. I have a “ Piercing Saw “ that I have used to good effect on sheet brass, but, nickel silver track is a whole new ballgame . I also have a junior hacksaw, but I thought that a junior hacksaw blade would be too coarse, and bounce along the track.   Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Bill. Thank you. I was in a rush to reply I wrote my reply to Nigel instead of yourself. Best wishes Kevin 

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Hi Kevin,

Bill is right, a Dremel is not for the faint hearted. Tidy workpkace, eye protection, work gloves. the disc/blade/bit in the pointy end is at 8000-36000 rpm. That said, I use mine for everything.

A piercing saw with metal blade works fine on nickel silver rail, which is just a fancy name for a brass alloy. I use one for the places where the Dremel will not go.

You can always use the Xurons (eye protection), cut slightly over long, then solder, file gently as required. Less noise and happy neighbors.

Nigel

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Hi Nigel.   Thank you again.  I have a junior hacksaw as well which I am very familiar with, the blade of which , being deeper is less likely to go astray. The “ rail spikes” that you mention ,I have read about using them when laying out the rails for track building .   Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin,
Every modeller will have their preferred preference when it comes to bridging the gap. What works for some will not work for others. This could be down to a lack of or different tools available.
I would say that it would be best to bridge the gap with straight track if you can.
That said I have 4 areas on my layout with gaps - needs must for access and window maintenance. Some have a slight curvature and some also have point work.
My preferred method is brass screws to which the track can be soldered to and the use of a thin disc in a Dremel.
Works for me but that said, no matter how accurate you may be with your alignment, sods law will dictate that there will be a slight rise after you have made the cut.
Get the file out or try and live with it. If it doesn't derail your stock then it may just be worth while living with it.

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Hi Gary.  Thank you for your reply . I only have one gap and that is between the Inglenook and the fiddleyard, not a regular occurrence you understand, Just a gimmick to give me more variety. I tried both ideas, the copper clad first, and it worked for the dummy run, but, when it was on the baseboard the rails became detached when I tried to saw the. Then I tried the brass screws which seemed perfect at first? But failed . If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.Best wishes. Kevin 

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Kevin, this is what I had at one stage for my lift up, cut with a  dremel type using the long flexible power drive cable.
track was pinned & glued  prior to cutting



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Hi Ron. Thank you for you reply. When I did my Joint it was like your setup with a fishplate, and it was only glued down. The length of rail from the gap to the fishplate went its own way? And failed because of the Peco chairs??Next time i am going to cheat??? By installing the first length of track, and soldering it down fingers crossed. Offering up the adjacent track, close to the edge and carefully filling it down. I can’t help thinking if I had built my own with soldered sleepers or had planned to have a joint in the first instance I wouldn’t have this problem. Best wishes Kevin 

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Crompton 33 wrote: I use Copper clad solderd on the end of the rail , Pin to baseboard cut the copper only in the middle. Drill small hole in baseboard for wire. solder wire to copper clad each side of track. Then i use computer D connector under the layout.Hi Crompton 33.  Very good advice,but, how do you cut through the rails? I am doing a similar job, I soldered the rails to copper clad and the dummy run worked fine. When it was on the baseboard it was a different story. I tried cutting the track with a razor saw and they came away from the copper clad, likewise using a junior hacksaw. I was considering a Dremel, but have been advised against it, as they can be dangerous? and I would not want to visit A&E too often .   Best wishes Kevin 

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You asked this same question just the other day Kevin in your own thread and received several responses, the 14th post I think, gives the same response as Trevor's above. 

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=15786&forum_id=6&page=1

There are only so many methods of cutting rail to choose from (saw, snippers or rotary) and if the track is already laid, you absolutely must support it when using a saw, as the rail will easily become separated, as you know from your own experience. 

A hand saw is perfectly adequate, provided it has a good quality blade and in good condition. Try a new blade, but not one from the pound shop, as quality really counts with hacksaw blades when you need a precision cut. 

You could also consider cutting the rail before laying the track and get a perfect cut, neatly filed to suit your gap.

The secret isn't so much which tool to use, but trying to find what suits you the best and then you will get better at it the more times you do it. Good luck,

Bill


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Hi Bill.  Thank you. I took your advice, sorted out a piece of wood, and cut two grooves with a fine saw to fit over the rails, i visited my local “ Screwfix “ and purchased some junior hacksaw blades at 32 tpi, which I thought should be fine enough.With my block of wood as suggested by your good self and my junior hacksaw fitted with a brand new blade, I proceeded to cut, very slowly, and “ Whamo “ “ Kapow “. That made a right mess of that. Back to the drawing board.    Best wishes Kevin 

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Passed Driver wrote: Hi Bill.  Thank you. I took your advice,... “ and purchased some junior hacksaw blades at 32 tpi, which I thought should be fine enough...

Hello Kevin,

32 TPI is way too few teeth for N scale rail and I would not be happy using it for Code 100 in HO or On30 either. Surely there is a shop you can get a Razor Saw such as a Zona or Atlas from somewhere near you?   Atlas saws are between 150-400 TPI.  Zona ones come in various sizes as well but the higher the number of teeth, the easier it will be to cut.  Just do not try to cut steel with it as it will kill the blade, particularly with the Atlas saw!

Cheers

Trevor 





Last edited on Wed Oct 17th, 2018 01:02 pm by xdford

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Kevin, your track cutting question and answers moved to here

Cheers


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Hi Nigel.   Following your advice, I purchased some #400 grit paper, I had both turpentine and meths already. Today I cleaned up the copper clad and rails then I soldered them together. I knew that somewhere I had the piercing saw blades , in a safe place but I didn’t find them until I purchased another set. Which leads me to another question, the teeth are so small I cannot see which way they are pointing, even running a blade acrylic ones fingers. Both ways they feel the same annoying little prickles . Please advise. Best wishes Kevin 

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H Bill.  Another reply. After successfully cutting the track with a suggestion from Nigel, on soldering,  across the baseboard joint with a Razor Saw and Chubbers idea of a block of wood, with two grooves, to hold down the track. I have two tracks across the joint, but, one of the “rails “ of one of the tracks is now uneven, strangely enough the other rail is okay. My next job is to sort it out, but I don’t want to rip it up and start again, instead, if possible I would prefer to pack the rail “Bodge “with something, but what??? Or would it be better to bite the bullet, and do a proper job.Any advice accepted. Best wishes Kevin 

Last edited on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 11:59 am by Passed Driver


                 

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