Track at joints

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dr5euss
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Track at joints

Postby dr5euss » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:07 pm

I have one joint on the Warley layout, and I've cut the track with the Dremel and driven in a screw below each rail on either side of the joint.

I tried soldering to it but the solder doesn't stick. Do I need to solder the screws at the joint? The main boards are aligned with hinges, I'm just wary the track will shift over time.

Thanks,

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Postby Simon Andrews » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:12 pm

Have you cleaned and fluxed the parts George?

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Postby dr5euss » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:14 pm

I used flux, didn't clean them though. The screws are a golden colour, like brass, so I dunno why it won't stick :?

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Postby shortliner » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:16 pm

Take a file to the top of the screw and the base of the rail, George - many of the current screws seem to have some sort of coating

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Postby dr5euss » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:26 pm

Just had another go, and gave it a rub with the track cleaner. It definitely got rid of the gold coating, but the solder still won't stick to what's beneath that :(

Are there any other possible methods, or could I just put a couple of track pins in the last sleeper?

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Postby shortliner » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:35 pm

Copper clad sleeper with an isolating slot in centre, epoxied in position and then soldered?

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Postby dr5euss » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:39 pm

Uh oh, soldering again :) Mmmm, haven't got any copper clad, so that's a trip to the model shop next weekend.

I could possible get to B&Q after school one evening, will the screw method work if I use 100% brass screws?

I'll make some scenery in the meantime :)

Thanks,

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Postby cookie » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:42 pm

dr5euss wrote: will the screw method work if I use 100% brass screws?

Hi George

You should have no problems with 100% brass screws, I've used the same either side of a hinged flap on my HO layout. Needed a surprising amount of heat though...

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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:52 pm

I think you probably have "Brassed" screws George, these are brass plated steel, and usually coated in a resin/plastic coating. If you try and remove the coating then you also tend to remove the brass plating, as it is very thin, and steel needs an acid flux to make the solder stick to it.
Solid brass screws are OK George, just remember that they too will have a coating on them if they are modern ones.
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Postby greengiant » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:58 pm

George, you must make sure they are solid brass screws, rub the tops with emery paper so they are bright, plenty of flux and a big hot iron, 40w will be enough, tin with tops with solder. Clean your rail underneath and the sides, emery paper will do. Then plenty of flux and solder the rail to the bar with plenty of heat and all will be fine. Some of mine are done this way, others have been made with brass bar the size of a sleeper, glued and screwed to the baseboard, track soldered to the bar, then the bar is slit with a wizzy disk, the resultant gap filled with filler, painted sleeper colour and job done.
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Postby dr5euss » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:34 pm

Hi,

I got some 100% brass screws from B&Q today, used all the advice above and it still won't stick to the screws :shock: :x

Do I need to do this, or can I just pin the sleeper at the end, maybe leave 2 inches or so loose so I can jiggle them when I get there?

BTW, I tried with a butane powerd soldering iron, a 25W Antex and a soldering station of my brothers which is something like 40/45W, and it just won't stay put :(

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:43 pm

Did the solder stick to either the rail or the screw George, might give us a clue to the problem. Also did you use a flux, or just a multicore solder :?:
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Postby dr5euss » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:48 pm

Hi Steve,

It sticks to the rail, and kinda flows over the screw. Then I come back 5 mins later, give it a sideways 'twidge' and it just comes right off the top of the screw.

I gave the head of the screw a rub, with a track rubber and file, then fluxed it and still it wouldn't work.

I only want to make scenery... :( :wink:

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:58 pm

Track rubber :?: :?: :?: Keep them well away from anything you want to solder, in fact throw it in the bin, more trouble than they are of use.
If the screw is brass, I would say there are two possible causes. Either the track rubber left a deposit, or you are not getting enough heat into the screw. Best I can suggest is to clean up the screw again, get the most powerful iron really hot and try getting solder to stick solidly to it. If you achieve that, then bring the rail into contact with it and apply flux and hot iron. Keep a light pressure on the joint until the solder has cooled, otherwise you will get a weak joint. Good luck.
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Track Joints

Postby Catweasel » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:10 pm

Just out of curiousity George,what size soldering iron are you using. I haven't seen any mention of it.
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Postby dr5euss » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:35 pm

Henry, not sure what you mean? It's 40/50W and about 8/9 inches long?

Sorted :D :!:

I took the old screws out, got some new brass ones and cut lots of growves on the head of it with the Dremel cut off disc (leaving the cross so I could screw it in) then screwed it in halfway.

I filled the cross with solder and tinned the top, and realised I couldn't get the screwdriver in :lol: :oops:

I had to screw all 4 in with pliers then, which was as fun as it sounds :|

Then, with the heads tinned, I just got the iron, turned it up, fluxed, and it went like Swiss clockwork, top stuff :)

George

PS. Guess where my track rubber is, Steve :?: ;)

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Postby Jim Snee » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:41 pm

Hi George

I am not an expert in soldering. But I have done a bit.

The bigger the piece of metal you are soldering to, the more heat you have to put into it.

If they are flat head screws, make sure that the slot runs in the direction of the rail - it will help key the solder it.

Or, put the screws in, tin them by putting the hot iron onto the screw head and leaving it there until the protective covering blister - and then push the solder onto the iron and screw head until you have a good blob on there. Now put your rail on to the head, put your iron on the rail and press down. The blob should melt and take the rail. Take the iron away and let it cool completely. Then clean away any excess solder with a small drill or similar.

Not the text book way I know - but when we had large electrical components that had been coated - it got the job done.

Alternatively replace the screws with two brass pins set to the outside of the rail and solder those on.

TTFN

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Postby Steve Bennett » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:56 pm

dr5euss wrote:PS. Guess where my track rubber is, Steve :?: ;)


:lol: Glad to hear it, damned things should be banned :lol: well, for use with anything electrical anyway.

Glad to hear you got it sorted.
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Track

Postby Catweasel » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:21 pm

Glad to hear it George. I use a phosphoric acid flux (12%) for soldering.Just clean well afterwards! Made it years ago. The iron I normally use is a 25 watt Antex.
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Postby dr5euss » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:41 pm

I dunno what my flux is, oh I do, it's Carr's Yellow Flux for brass, nickel silver and something else.

Makes a nice lemony citrussy nasal fragence when you put the iron on, I take that to mean it's doing something :)


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