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Old 27-10-2017, 09:29 PM   #1
peter oates
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Default Basic questions from a newby

Hi, I'm a newby called Peter.

This may sound a bit basic, but it has me stumped at the moment. I'm starting a layout in N gauge, never done anything like this before. So, I've bent the track to a semicircle, and the inner rail is now 30mm too long -

1 What is the best way to chop off the extra rail length - sidecutters (it deforms), hacksaw (fiddly), bite it ???

2 How do I stop the shorter rail disappearing into the sleepers when the track tries to straighten out, and will it slide back out again symmetrically. Do I have to fasten the track down straight away - not really ready for that.

Any tips would be appreciated
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Old 27-10-2017, 10:01 PM   #2
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Xuron track cutters are highly recommended for easy track cutting
Example. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XURON-TRAC...wAAMXQRPRTJD4V
Minimum clean up with a small file may be needed.

There are two versions, one is for cutting the track from the side, as you would do before laying the track and the second version is for cutting track that has already been laid.


You could also use a Dremel type rotary cutting tool but these can cause heat build up and melt the sleepers.

Pinning the track down is probably the best option straight after cutting to length.
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Old 28-10-2017, 11:16 AM   #3
Footplate1947
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I always cut track with a cutter like the one above but cut it slightly longer and clean up cut with fine file to the correct length..
Just a tad longer you don't want to spend the afternoon filing.
John
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Old 28-10-2017, 11:20 AM   #4
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Sometimes you may need to wiggle the track a bit to ensure the rails are in the right place. N gauge rails are just a snip to deal with for a pair of rail cutting shears!
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Old 28-10-2017, 01:50 PM   #5
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I've always thought flexi track is quite difficult to work with especially if you try to bend it into a tight curve. I use set track for tight curves. A Trackestta makes working with flexi track a whole lot easier, it is a curved piece of metal that fits in between the rails. You slide it along as you pin down the track. If you do a google image search you will get an idea of what it looks like.
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Old 28-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #6
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Xuron cutters are the way to go, I was initially rather hesitant about using them but after a couple of clips. Confidence has grown !

I have learnt;
Small bits of rail fly off at great speed, so it is wise to cut the clippers and rail under a cloth to prevent accidents.
Cut with the flat side of the clippers towards the Length you want to use , the cut is cleaner and quicker to clean up with a needle file.
If cutting a rail in to two halves, it is easier to cut the rail twice (per side) and get a clean ends with the flat side of the clippers.
Don't use the clippers for any other jobs or wire cutting, the blades seem to degrade or malform. Kept just for rails, the clippers seem to last years.

Rgds
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Old 30-10-2017, 09:27 AM   #7
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http://www.modelrailwayforum.co.uk/s...t=12391&page=3
Post 24. (See pic)
Holding the curve.
I used push pins for a cork type notice board.

I actually found tracksetta to be invaluable. I only used two forms. Straight and 12".
The 12" was useful for curve off of point, the straight was also handy for aligning two separate pieces of track prior to pinning.

It's 50:50 though, some swear by them, others say you don't need them.
I'm a fan. My track laying process would've been a bigger headache without these tools

Take note of chuffchuffs advice re rails.
The smaller off cuts are literally ballistic! They could seriously damage your eyes.
Be extra careful.

(Edit)
After setting out with push pins.......
You can temporarily pin the track by strategic placing of pins (not through the sleeper)
(track pins like peco, gauge master etc.)
My first board has been done this way, the track has been off a couple of times, returned to the same position, without removing any pins.
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Old 30-10-2017, 12:14 PM   #8
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Hello Peter - when I planned my layout I did a dry run first and temporarily pinned track by using drawing pins between sleepers. This way the track doesn't get damaged and you can make slight alterations too if need be.
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Old 30-10-2017, 12:45 PM   #9
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I used Tracksetters recently when building my baseboard extension. I had to do a 180deg turn to a pair of tracks already fixed (and unmovable) on the main board. The challenge was to ensure that the tracks were far enough apart to stop overhanging coaches from colliding whilst making the radii as large as possible with no kinks. It also had to look right. It took a long time with me temp fixing and lifting several times before I was happy with the result. The Tracksetters were a definite help on this job!
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Old 30-10-2017, 12:49 PM   #10
Footplate1947
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This may sound bit silly but when laying flexitrack, sometimes it can be a bit stiff and sticky in the chairs on the sleepers. I keep a spray bottle with some water and fairy liquid in it and dampen the lenth of track to free it up and make it nice and flexible when bending it to shape. Find it makes it easier to use.
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