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Discussion Starter #1
I'm finally getting to work on my door track and I've got a couple of questions:

I'm using the 1" pink insulation board on top of the door to insulate noise. I can srew/nail the track down on the lover level, but how do you guys secure the track when the foam goes up for the over/under? there's 3" of foam, so I can't screw it to the table. Do I just use an adhesive like what I used between layers of foam?

Do you find that nailing or screwing down the track works best? I'll be going through and drilling out the mounting holes so I can flush mount whatever I'm going to use to secure the track.

Do you go so far as to try and fill the connecting gaps between TOMY track with something (what?) so they're less visible? I'm wanting to paint the track surface grey (rattlecan primer taken from another tip on this board) but when the track is lighter it realy shows the joints.

Thanks for the help. I'll start taking some pics and post my progress.
 

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Just realize that if you nail/screw your track down to the board under your foam, the noise will get transferred right down the screws to the table top. All the noise insulating foam will seem as if it isn't even there.

I have my track on a rug over plywood. Pretty quiet right now. I tried screwing down a few sections once, and the noise level on those pieces shot right through the roof. I decided to leave the track unsecured.

I guess if your hard base surface suppresses noise, then you could screw and/or nail into it without a large increase in noise.

Joe
 

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You might try a silicone caulk to hold the track in place. Use it sparingly, and the removal down the road won't be such a big job. It should hold the track in place fairly well.

As far as filling joints, I have no clue! I can't think of anything to put on them that will fill good, and not jeopardize the electrical connections, or the usability of the track if you decide to do the table over later..
 

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I would put countersinks in the track and use wood or sheetrock screws with the threads dipped in a good quality paintable latex siliconized caulk to secure the track to the foam. Thread the coated screws right into the foam, not the underlying wood. You may have to put some books or weights on the track to hold it while the caulk cures. Clean off any excess caulk with a damp cloth. Use the same caulk to fill the gaps between the adjacent 2-lane track pieces prior to painting. Yeah, using a light colored paint really makes the gaps "pop" which is why I did not paint my track, but filling the major gaps will help. If you were securing the track to wood then a lightweight vinyl spackle would work as filler.
 

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I was thinking about using modeling clay to fill the gaps too. It could be pushed into the slot to completely fill the gap then filled or sanded to smooth it. I wonder if it would hold up to the pin coming by all the time though.
 

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The other clay question is will it match the paint? If you stay with the black track, there is black clay NTx has tried for filling in gaps and spaces between tracks (side to side, not at the joints). He has a thread here in track building where you can find info. If you still want to paint the track gray, there is going to be another trick. You either have to match the paint to the clay, or paint the clay which may not be feasible. I would leave the slots clear of the clay...
 

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I was thinking about using modeling clay to fill the gaps too. It could be pushed into the slot to completely fill the gap then filled or sanded to smooth it. I wonder if it would hold up to the pin coming by all the time though.
Filling the gap inside the slot is not as easy as it sounds. You may well make a mess and/or gunk up whatever tool you use to sand it out (I tried plastic wood and used a grinding stone in the Dremel - bad move). Plus you'll never know when you've gotten it all out of the slot (down to the bottom) and whether you left any little ridges for the guide pin to hang up on.

I've been trying to figure out how to do this for a long time and still no good method has occured to me.

Joe
 

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Fixing track is a no-no, it expands with heat and then buckles. Let it "float". Easier, cheaper, better. If you need to fix the track to the table in critical places a dab of hot glue gun glue, comes off easily and leaves track perfectly clean like new.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fixing track is a no-no, it expands with heat and then buckles. Let it "float". Easier, cheaper, better. If you need to fix the track to the table in critical places a dab of hot glue gun glue, comes off easily and leaves track perfectly clean like new.
So I need to worry about track expansion? I should probally clarify that the layout will be indoors so not exposed to drastic heat/cold changes. I think maybe leaving the track blak for now will be the best bet. I just like the look of a grey track with a groove in it.
 

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Fixing track is a no-no
I don't think there is a blanket statement that applies in all cases. For decades, I've been running and racing on nothing except tracks that are screwed or nailed to tables. No problems as long as the table is stable. I did see one track that had problems because it was using a combination of sheathing materials for the top, from unpainted particleboard, plywood, to MDF. It was in an unheated basement and develop a really bad hump due to dissimilar expansion of the different sheathing materials. I suspect the hump occurred where a piece of track was spanning different materials. If you are dealing with humidity or moisture you should seal all of the wood surfaces with paint or polyurethane. Perhaps my experience is atypical and I understand the whole theory behind coefficients of thermal expansion, but I have found the benefits of affixing the track to the table to outweigh the detriments. I would be very interested to see a scientific experiment conducted on various test tracks under different environmental conditions. Yet another use for all those unused 9" turns.
 

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I wonder if velcro dots could be used to attach the track to the styrofoam surface? Those dots can really stick, yet you'd have some flexibility for future layout mods. Should be very good from a sound standpoint, too. Velcro doesn't transmit sound too well at all, and it'd only be transferring it to the styrofoam anyway, not the underlying wood. Just a thought... maybe there's experience with velcro used this way on the forum, but I did a quick search and didn't find it.
 

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Regarding Foam.....

All foam is not created equal. Certain caulks will eat foam (pink included), as will some glues and some paints. I have worked with many types... used lotsa foam in my layouts. Some can even seem to work, but then pull away from the foam rather inconveniently a short time later :freak: Hot glue "can" work too... or it can also be a royal pain. If you hold the heated tip too close to the foam, the glue is so hot it sinks right into it. Practice with a few pieces and be sure to read the labels of the products you are buying. I was less worried about sound. To be honest I was more worried about things holding together. nd
 

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And one other note.. Not all hot glue is created equally, nor are the gun temps!!! There are low and high temp hot melt guns, and depending on the manufacturer, the same types of glue sticks. Walmart has mini guns in both temps, and their mini glue sticks will work in either. The other complication with hot melt glue is the stuff hardens really fast! You gotta squeeze out a bead, and squish the track down quick, and be right on the money the first time. :freak: I just screwed my old track down.. Not sure how the next one will go yet. Probably a combination of methods depending on the substrate and how much of a headache I want to give myself. :rolleyes:
 
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