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Discussion Starter #1
How are guys dealing with (what I think is an inherent) gap between tracks on a 4 lane set-up? For example, in the pic below, I am talking about the gap between the 6" radius curve and the 9" radius curve.



Do you not worry about it, or try and equal it around the layout?
Do you try and adjust track joints to fill it?
Do you fill it with something else?

I don't have my track screwed down yet which is adding to the issue for me, but with a T-Jet, it seems any gap can cause the car to deslot. I think there was a thread here somewhere that discussed this issue, but I could not find it.

I was thinking if some weatherproofing foam could be used. I found some 3/8" wide stuff in my garage, sticky on one side. I stuck it to a track flush at top, then trimmed the excess from the bottom side. Seems like it would work, but it would also be a lot of work to do this on each and every track piece.



How are you all dealing with this situation?
 

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i didnt do anything i think ill try servo tape but when i drive my aw baja bronco it wrecks where the split is unless a go super slow
 

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Model Murdering
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Here's my two cents

Tyco Arm is probably right. "Black RTV" automotive silicone is probably the ticket. It sets up quick and has minimal shrinkage when cured. The trick will be squeegee-ing the joint smooth and level with a minimum of over "spooge" on the track edges. Be sure to mask carefully. Do one section at a time. You'll have to wipe it smooth quickly as you go as it will skin up fast. I'd develop a technique on some junk track first so you know what to expect. I think alcohol can safely be used for smoothing and cleanup. Be sure and test it elsewhere first! Hotter solvents will melt, scar and generally ruin your beautiful new track! I'd try one of those cheapo sponge paint brushes dipped in the alcohol as a trowel/squeegee to smooth, wipe up any excess, and hopefully leave a slight texture as the RTV will cure out glossy and stand out kinda weird if you dont knock it down. I've heard of guys using joint compound or fix-all but that's messy and requires sanding and track painting. Good luck Scaf!
 

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actually joint compound and fixall are pretty easy to use, at least for other home projects.


i wonder if you can add black dye/color to fixall or joint compund, so all you would need to do is spooge (is that a word?) the stuff into the cracks, and wipe the excess off with a wet towel.
 

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Model Murdering
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Hi Mike welcome home, Spooge is a "Billism" not a real word! It encompasses anything that must be mixed, troweled, squeegeed, or leaks on my shoe. LOL. I was just trying trying to help Scaf avoid the sanding/dust issue on that squeeky clean set up he's got going. Not to mention the wet technique on or around the track. Let alone the futility of sanding near the track edge without scuffing it using the dry technique. The gaps were minimal in the pics, so like Tyco Arm I thought the silicone would be the less evil solution.

The guys that I've read about, using water base compounds, have indicated shrinkage, sanding and mess. They are of course working on routed tracks or sectional systems where all joints are filled. From my twisted angle (model railroading and drywall work in general), joint compound has a high shrinkage factor, and will eventually crack lineally along the track edge. Fix-all although more resiliant is more difficult to shape.

In retrospect the joint compound is easily dyed and also easily shaped by wet sponging once the shrinkage is re-skimmed, yet I still have issues with getting water near those new rails. A good tight mask would be a good idea.

OT: I'd like to hear more of your impressions of the Fray!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am going to put this task on the back-burner for now. I'm reluctant to do anything that I can't easily remove if I decide that it isn't giving me the result I was hoping for. That is why I was thinking about some foam material, especially if it did not have an adhesive side.
 

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"spooge" - The word of the year!!! - Love it.



What about these gaps?

And will what I'm trying to do work? The stagger looks right but I do not have an way to check and if is not exactly 3'' the alignment won't be right...
 

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Model Murdering
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Is it my imagination or will it fit better the other way? Probably a trick of the lens.

Until I got a good set of antique dividers at a garage sale, I had used one of those cheapo drafting compass' from the dollar store. Works OK for keeping your spacing if your not trying to split milipeters.

Dean if you liked "spooge" how about "Schlevarnic", pronounced schla-var-nik. It is of course any clear or amber schlock used for preserving wood and attracting bugs when used out of doors. It was coined one afternoon after a few pints, and a swarm of aphids mistook my glossy freshly sprayed table top for a good place to get drink. It is a combination of shellac and varnish.

There were a few other words used that day too. None of which I can repeat.
 

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Fill in the Gap with Black Modeling Clay!

I use black modeling clay to fill in the gaps on my four lane track>

Advantages:
Pliable
Cheap!
Right Color
Not permanent, easily removed
Easy to reshape.

Works Great!
 

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I use the modeling clay that stays soft. Just plain old modeling clay.

FYI, Play-doh hardens when exposed to the air. That may be another way to go.
 

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Once upon a time...

Years ago I used the following product to make turn borders on a little track I built...
The product is a water based wood filler. Sandable, stainable...
I found out real quick to get the surface as close to smooth as I wanted the first time. Trying to sand a big lump smooth was no fun..
I imagine that black water based paint could be added.
Tape off the track on both sides of the gap and carefully slather a bit into the
crevice with a plastic spreader....
(Dang... The picture isn't that big on Elmers website... lol)
 

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You do realize there are plastic and steel clips made to hold the curves together don't you? They are "U" shaped and hold the curves quite nicely...
 

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Well I've used the basic silicone caulk available from your local MEGA hardware store. Once it set, put on a coat of paint to match the track color. Didn't seem to have any issues or problems running the cars, magnets or sliders. Plus when I changed the layout, It peeled off easily and the track cleaned up without any major problems. Ready for the next layout. Granted most of my gaps were 1/8" or less. :thumbsup: rr
 

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rodstrguy said:
You do realize there are plastic and steel clips made to hold the curves together don't you? They are "U" shaped and hold the curves quite nicely...
These are a bit thick and prone to coming off. I use lexan body reinforcing tape underneath instead but with that chicane I wanted to find something to fill the big gaps (and see if anyone else has done it and worked out the stagger)
 

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clear vinyl report covers have a silp on Plastic binder.
It could be cut down to any height and fitted over the track lips as clips...It should hold the track pretty tightly. cut each full 11 1/4" piece to height, then cut into smaller blocks whatever sixze will fit without hitting cross ribbing.

I havent tried this but I happened to have 1 sitting on my desk when i read this and it seemed the ideal solution.........these report cover pieces act like a clamp. Inside max diameter is perhaps a shade over an 1/8 "
Scalextric 1/32 track has little metal clips that do exactly what this plastic would do for HO it seems to me.

Cost........about 12 cents........worth experimenting?? :)
 
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