Topics

Advices on pre-weathered rail


Seb J
 

Hi guys !

Any advices on Micro-Engineering pre-weathered rail, related to hand laid track, turnout construction, wheels electrical pick-up, does it solder easily to copper ties, and so on !?
Would look nice I guess, but I wonder if the chemical process can be an issue regarding to quality of operations ? Thanks for your advices.

Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
Sebastien
--
Cordialement

Sébastien Jubault
Vice-Président
AECFM - Chemin de Fer de Rillé


Bill Lugg
 

The little bit I've used it, I find you need to clean the weathering off where you're going to solder (joiners, ties, etc.) and the rail head for operation to be dependable.  The look of the finished product is not bad though.

HTH
Bill Lugg

On 12/20/19 1:46 AM, Seb J wrote:
Hi guys !

Any advices on Micro-Engineering pre-weathered rail, related to hand laid track, turnout construction, wheels electrical pick-up, does it solder easily to copper ties, and so on !?
Would look nice I guess, but I wonder if the chemical process can be an issue regarding to quality of operations ? Thanks for your advices.

Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
Sebastien
--
Cordialement

Sébastien Jubault
Vice-Président
AECFM - Chemin de Fer de Rillé


Craig Linn
 

Like Bill said, you just need to clean off the weathering for spots you will solder to as well as on the top of the track. 

I’ve used this method on my HOn3 layout and was taught by David Stewart of A&O fame. He has used this on 1.0 and 2.0 layouts. 

Hope this helps. 

Craig

On Dec 20, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Seb J <sebastien.jubault@...> wrote:


Hi guys !

Any advices on Micro-Engineering pre-weathered rail, related to hand laid track, turnout construction, wheels electrical pick-up, does it solder easily to copper ties, and so on !?
Would look nice I guess, but I wonder if the chemical process can be an issue regarding to quality of operations ? Thanks for your advices.

Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
Sebastien
--
Cordialement

Sébastien Jubault
Vice-Président
AECFM - Chemin de Fer de Rillé


Dusty
 

I had a bit of code 55 weathered on hand so I decided to use it to build switches. Clean the bottom real well and solder away. Sounded great. The problem I encountered was conducting the heat from the iron thru the top of the rail base to completely liquefy the solder to get the optimal bond across the base of the rail on top of the ties. That coating kills the heat transfer. I only tried it once so perhaps I screwed up somehow?

Dusty Burman 


Lee Gustafson
 

Dumb questions was the top and the bottom of the rail clean? Did you tin the bottom of the rail? Or did you tin the PC board? If yes to the 3 dumb questions then yes the weathering does prevent heat transfer. 

Lee Gustafson 


On Dec 20, 2019, at 4:07 PM, Dusty <dustburm@q.com> wrote:

I had a bit of code 55 weathered on hand so I decided to use it to build switches. Clean the bottom real well and solder away. Sounded great. The problem I encountered was conducting the heat from the iron thru the top of the rail base to completely liquefy the solder to get the optimal bond across the base of the rail on top of the ties. That coating kills the heat transfer. I only tried it once so perhaps I screwed up somehow?

Dusty Burman 


Russ Norris
 

Dusty, I just finished building a couple of #6 switches using code 55 rail and Fast Tracks tools and jigs I borrowed from my good friend, Dave Trimble.  I started using Tix flux to solder the rails to the PC ties, but had trouble getting the solder to hold.  I changed to Carr's Orange flux and the difference was immediate.  The switches turned out fine, but I did take away a few tips for good solder joints:

First, use a good thin solder.
Second, use an appropriate flux.
Third, use a HOT soldering iron.
Fourth, when soldering the rail to the PC ties, weight the rail to ensure a tight connection.
Fifth, place the tip of the iron against the web of the rail to put heat as close as possible to the joint.  
And last,  keep pressure on the joint until the solder cools.Fifth

There's  nothing new about all of this.  It's what works for me.


On Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 5:07 PM Dusty <Dustburm@q.com> wrote:
I had a bit of code 55 weathered on hand so I decided to use it to build switches. Clean the bottom real well and solder away. Sounded great. The problem I encountered was conducting the heat from the iron thru the top of the rail base to completely liquefy the solder to get the optimal bond across the base of the rail on top of the ties. That coating kills the heat transfer. I only tried it once so perhaps I screwed up somehow?

Dusty Burman 


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Mark Kasprowicz
 

Hi Sébastien,

I've tried this and gave up! Trying to work through the coating is tedious and non productive nd I've tried fluxes like Carrs Orange and dilute Phosphoric acid. So you end up scraping the coating off but it takes time and seems to me to be against the whole concept. Even after scraping some soldered joints which look OK turn out to be dry (cold).  Personally I think that weather track is best suited to Pliobond track laying not soldered.

Season's greeting to you as well.

Mark K
Oxon, England.


Russ Norris
 

I forgot to mention that I also scraped off the bottom of the rail- not to difficult for a switch, but it would get tiresome for anything more extensive.  I just rubbed the bottom over a sheet of Emery paper


On Sat, Dec 21, 2019, 6:37 AM Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:
Hi Sébastien,

I've tried this and gave up! Trying to work through the coating is tedious and non productive nd I've tried fluxes like Carrs Orange and dilute Phosphoric acid. So you end up scraping the coating off but it takes time and seems to me to be against the whole concept. Even after scraping some soldered joints which look OK turn out to be dry (cold).  Personally I think that weather track is best suited to Pliobond track laying not soldered.

Season's greeting to you as well.

Mark K
Oxon, England.


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Mark Rosche
 

In my HOn3 days (now model in Sn3), I would use the weathered rail on straight and curved portions (all hand laid but not glued or soldered) and non-weathered for turnout building (soldered to pc board ties)...to get the rails to look uniform after installing a turnout, I would treat the turnout with the ME Rail Weathering Solution (which is what ME uses to weather their rail, albeit in bulk) and the entire section would look as it was all one type of rail...removing the weathering from the tops of the rails was easy...400/600 grit wet/dry sand paper is your friend...

Regards,

Mark

Don‘t take life too seriously...no one gets out alive anyway....


Mike Van Hove
 

Hi,Good morning Troops:

I’ve built over 100 Turnouts, using the Fast Tracks Jigs and Tools.

I have used both Weathered ME and Unweathered ME Rail.

Either one works just fine, altho the Weathered requires an additional step.

Both types need to be pristinely clean in the area to be soldered, however you MUST get the weathering off before soldering.

You only need to remove the weathering from the very bottom of the rail, anything else is just wasted effort.

I use a 6” very fine file to remove the weathering.

Place the rail, bottom side up in your Panavise, very lightly tighten the vice.

I prefer to “Draw File”, rather than straight across the rail.  You won’t catch the rail and jerk it out of the vice, that way.

2 or 3 strokes of the file is usually all that’s required.

Another thing I’ve done, when building a batch of turnouts is I use my 1” X 30” Belt sander with a very fine (220) grit belt.

This only needs a brief touch to the belt to really get the rail clean.

(I also use the belt sander to do some of the rough Point shaping and to relieve the Stock Rail where the Point lays in.)

I then do the final finish shaping with a fine file.

Either type of rail is do-able, the Fast Track jigs make for very good repeatability, they look great, function vey well, and once you get going, you can turn out several Turnouts at a session.

I know this sounds sarcastic, but I mean no harm.

Have you made use of the excellent (free) Tutorial videos that Tim has made available on the FastTacks Website?

When I bought my first jig from him, several years ago, he included a DVD with all the steps in great detail.

It’s well worth the time to view the entire DVD.

Remember the words of the famous old geezer, Socrates:  “RTFM”.

Mike Van Hove

Columbia, Missouri 

On Dec 21, 2019, at 6:07 AM, Mark Rosche via Groups.Io <m_rosche@...> wrote:

In my HOn3 days (now model in Sn3), I would use the weathered rail on straight and curved portions (all hand laid but not glued or soldered) and non-weathered for turnout building (soldered to pc board ties)...to get the rails to look uniform after installing a turnout, I would treat the turnout with the ME Rail Weathering Solution (which is what ME uses to weather their rail, albeit in bulk) and the entire section would look as it was all one type of rail...removing the weathering from the tops of the rails was easy...400/600 grit wet/dry sand paper is your friend...

Regards,

Mark

Don‘t take life too seriously...no one gets out alive anyway....


Mark Rosche
 

I believe that means „Read the Fine Manual“ 😇😂🤣

Regards,

Mark

Don‘t take life too seriously...no one gets out alive anyway....

On 21. Dec 2019, at 16:39, Mike Van Hove <vanhovem22@...> wrote:


Hi,Good morning Troops:

I’ve built over 100 Turnouts, using the Fast Tracks Jigs and Tools.

I have used both Weathered ME and Unweathered ME Rail.

Either one works just fine, altho the Weathered requires an additional step.

Both types need to be pristinely clean in the area to be soldered, however you MUST get the weathering off before soldering.

You only need to remove the weathering from the very bottom of the rail, anything else is just wasted effort.

I use a 6” very fine file to remove the weathering.

Place the rail, bottom side up in your Panavise, very lightly tighten the vice.

I prefer to “Draw File”, rather than straight across the rail.  You won’t catch the rail and jerk it out of the vice, that way.

2 or 3 strokes of the file is usually all that’s required.

Another thing I’ve done, when building a batch of turnouts is I use my 1” X 30” Belt sander with a very fine (220) grit belt.

This only needs a brief touch to the belt to really get the rail clean.

(I also use the belt sander to do some of the rough Point shaping and to relieve the Stock Rail where the Point lays in.)

I then do the final finish shaping with a fine file.

Either type of rail is do-able, the Fast Track jigs make for very good repeatability, they look great, function vey well, and once you get going, you can turn out several Turnouts at a session.

I know this sounds sarcastic, but I mean no harm.

Have you made use of the excellent (free) Tutorial videos that Tim has made available on the FastTacks Website?

When I bought my first jig from him, several years ago, he included a DVD with all the steps in great detail.

It’s well worth the time to view the entire DVD.

Remember the words of the famous old geezer, Socrates:  “RTFM”.

Mike Van Hove

Columbia, Missouri 

On Dec 21, 2019, at 6:07 AM, Mark Rosche via Groups.Io <m_rosche@...> wrote:

In my HOn3 days (now model in Sn3), I would use the weathered rail on straight and curved portions (all hand laid but not glued or soldered) and non-weathered for turnout building (soldered to pc board ties)...to get the rails to look uniform after installing a turnout, I would treat the turnout with the ME Rail Weathering Solution (which is what ME uses to weather their rail, albeit in bulk) and the entire section would look as it was all one type of rail...removing the weathering from the tops of the rails was easy...400/600 grit wet/dry sand paper is your friend...

Regards,

Mark

Don‘t take life too seriously...no one gets out alive anyway....


LARRY KLOSE
 

I’ve laid about 60 feet of code 55 ME weathered flex and 11 prefab stub turnouts in Sn3 with leads to every length of rail (the track is sold by PBL but made by ME). It took scraping the joints clean, a good flux and solder containing lead. I first used non-leaded solder and getting a good joint required enough heat to endanger the tie strip and the underside of the frogs on the turnouts where the leads are soldered. A friend suggested using lead solder and I had no more problems. The lower melting point and easier flow Into joints did the trick. Be sure to use gloves and have good ventilation when using it to protect health.

Once laid, the lower strength of lead solder is not a problem—there’s no significant shear stress on the wiring. Since I’ve laid this track about 4 years ago I have had only one cold joint and that was one of the early ones with non-lead solder.


Larry Klose


waynecohen49@...
 

I’ve had good success using a “fiberglass eraser” to remove the weathering.  It removes the weathering quickly and gets into the corners of the web. Some of my soldered rail joints are over 25 years old and none have failed.

The down side is the residue - little fiberglass splinters.  Keep a mini vac handy.

Your experience may differ, of course.

On Sat, Dec 21, 2019 at 3:58 AM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:
I forgot to mention that I also scraped off the bottom of the rail- not to difficult for a switch, but it would get tiresome for anything more extensive.  I just rubbed the bottom over a sheet of Emery paper


On Sat, Dec 21, 2019, 6:37 AM Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:
Hi Sébastien,

I've tried this and gave up! Trying to work through the coating is tedious and non productive nd I've tried fluxes like Carrs Orange and dilute Phosphoric acid. So you end up scraping the coating off but it takes time and seems to me to be against the whole concept. Even after scraping some soldered joints which look OK turn out to be dry (cold).  Personally I think that weather track is best suited to Pliobond track laying not soldered.

Season's greeting to you as well.

Mark K
Oxon, England.

--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

--
Wayne Cohen


Mark Kasprowicz
 

I'll pass on a tip I learnt here for anyone who picks up a fiberglass splinter in their skin. Cover the affected spot with white glue, wait until it dries and peel it off. Might need more than one attempt but it works.

Mark K
Oxon England.