To rivet or to Butanone!

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
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RobM
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To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby RobM » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:18 pm

OK, so a few weeks ago I started once again on the model railway. The last time, some 6 years ago the norm seemed to be rivetted track work. I had a load of pre punched sleepers (plus a load of other stuff) hidden away in the loft. I got my Templot working again and designed a small layout just to get me back into the swing of things. I ordered some more sleepers and rivets from C & L and made a start. I had cause to telephone C & L and was told that rivets were out and that Butanone was the preferred method. By this time I had rivetted up some 9 turn outs and some lengths of track. More stuff was ordered from C & L including some Butanone..........with a test this stuff is akin or better than my soldering!!! Anyway, since then within the last few days I've joined up with the society...............
Two questions..................
1. Is rivetted track 'obsolute' and now replaced with Butanone?......'fraid I may just go for belt and braces......
2. In my previous experiences of building a layout in the garage or even a loft is the difference in minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the year. In my past experiences during the real heat of the summer months the track just expanded and warped. At the moment the 'work in progress' is brought into the living area......I have to add that I do have a very, very understanding wife!!!!
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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Tim V
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Tim V » Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:17 pm

Riveted track is not obsolete. If you are happy with the technique, then go for it. It does produce extremely stable track, I have pointwork hanging up in my garage, still usable (but not by me - nickel silver rail they are that old!) that suffers from temperature fluctuations..
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

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RobM
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby RobM » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:25 pm

Should I be looking at steel.........although I've still got loads of NS......
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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jim s-w
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby jim s-w » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:48 pm

Hi Rob

Bit of a can of worms this one.

Steel looks better and its advocates say it needs less cleaning. My experience is it doesnt and it rusts. However I do make point of polishing NS rail and then banning abrasives so it just needs a quick clean with my (chemical) track cleaner. NS is yellower but you can get high bright NS now - not used it so I cant comment. With OHLE on the layout and my experience of steel it would have been personal suicide to use the stuff. If it were a layout I could get to to clean any rust I might have given it a try.

Also Steel is softer and easier to work - not much but a difference. Expansion of rail is not a problem but the retraction of everything else is what causes track to go ping.

Ply and rivet can work very well but you need to allow for it when track laying - building in some sort of soft track bed that will allow movement. I prefer to use the chairs as they are intended and to let the rail slide through them. Building a rock solid trackbed (sleepers superglued directly to the baseboard) so that I only have movement in a controlled direction. I have had repeated discussions with the advocates of soft track and I still dont understand how they stop the track slewing sideways - perhaps its just me being thick!

Worst case of all is definately a compromise - ie. glued chairs with a riveted chair every 5 sleepers or so. No denying that a plastic chair is weaker than a soldered rivet (not saying its not strong enough on its own) so what you end up with is rail anchored at the ends and weaker connections in between. Its pretty obvious where the track will fail.

I always use 2 droppers per rail (brass pins drilled through copperclad sleepers) on adjacent sleepers ensuring the rail is free to move from that point if needs be.

Finally - don't assume because ply is wood and sleepers are wood that one is the scale of the other - I personally find that lightly sanded plastic sleepering looks more to scale than ply but as I say thats just my opinion.

And last pece of advice - lay track when it's warm!

I hope some of that helps.

Jim

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RobM
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby RobM » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:53 pm

Tim......Thanks for that.
Jim.......All you say makes sense. Rigity of track certainly makes for a no no. Previously I had used PVA glue which sets rock solid. This time I'm using Copydex for laying the sleepers. This does seem to have a little more give, whether it is sufficient time will tell.
Hey, whats wrong with MS rusting......will save on having to paint the stuff on!!!..... :)
'lay track when it is warm' ......yeah, looking forward to those days.
Thanks to you both.....all advice is most welcome.
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

Andrew Ullyott
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Andrew Ullyott » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:26 pm

I tried ply & rivet and plastic chairs glued to sleepers with butanone on my D&E Layout Wheal Elizabeth which lives in the garage. I even tried all plastic C&L. I haven't noticed any problems with any of the systems. I laid the track on foam base (C&L again) which allows things to float around whilch helps.

I won't be using ply and rivet again, purely because of the time taken to cut and fix cosmetic chairs afterwards. Drove me absolutely bonkers!

Best of luck

Andrew

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RobM
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby RobM » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:43 pm

Thanks Andrew......
Yup.....half chairs are enough you drive you bonkers.....
In my previous experiences I had not 'glued' the chairs down....maybe that was part of the reason of the track going all over the place in the heat of summer.
All advice is taken on board.........
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

Elventhumbs
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Elventhumbs » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:19 pm

One further thought - the butanone method does enable you to re-align things if you don't get it right first time but don't notice until you try to put your first test vehicle through. :x A sharp knife blade will separate one from the other and you can then re-butanone the necessary bits.

I also found that I had the iron too hot and produced scorch rings round the rivets when trying to get to grips with the rivet method. As I was doing that more times than not, the plastic chairs and solvent looked like (and proved to be) better for my level of skill (or lack of skill).

Terry Bendall
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:19 pm

Over the years I have used a number of methods of track and turnout building and have not had any problems with any of them.

Rivets and plywood work well. It is cheap to do but slow and tedious especially if you fit cosmetic chairs. Very usful for complex turnouts where things are interlaced.

I have also used a mix of rivetted sleepers on every 4th one and functional chairs glued to ply sleepers for the rest. I think this method was devised by Iain Rice. Some people will say that it is not good because the rail is not fixed sufficiently, I have only used it on turnouts not plain track. This method was used on Staverton and it still works.

These days I use the P4 Track Co components. Best thing since sliced bread. Plain track stays firm and within gauge and turnouts go together easily and accurately with no need for tweaking. Obviously not cheap but a very good product. My personal view is that it looks better and turnouts go together better than the C&L components and the price difference is not much more. The only thing is I don't really like steel rail in spite of the plus points in its favour. I have just built a tamden turnout using P4 Track Co bits which worked well but one of the disadvantages was that some of the ready made crossings had to be extended. If I were to make these myself I would have made the rail long enough to avoid adding extra bits. Ravenscroft uses P4 Track Co parts and this has stood up well for the last two years.

On fixing down - very old fashioned. 1/8 inch cork glued down with PVA glue. Track glued down with PVA, then wired up and tested. Finally ballasted with granit ballast glued with dilute PVA and a drop of washing up liquid. I would rather get the track working before ballasting but I know some people like to lay the ballast at the same time. I find that PVS does not always hold the sleepers very firmly but once the ballast is in place nothing moves.

On the new layout being built by the Mid Sussex group the track is laid on 10mm thck camping mat - glued down with Evo-stick I think. This has been built over the last 10 years or more and is kept in a garage attached to a house. The plain track is C&L and the turnouts are ply and rivet. It seems to stay stable. All the layouts I have worked on have been kept in my workshop which is a wooden building in the garden which has insulated wall but still has a wide temperature variation. The track still stays stable.

Pulborough was built 20+ years ago and currently lives in an uninsulated shed in my garden. The plain track was I think the original C&L and all the turnouts are ply and rivets. It still works.

There must still be a lot of people who use rivets and ply sleepers because I still get asked to keep making the sleepers for the stores to sell.

Terry Bendall

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Hardwicke
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Hardwicke » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:00 pm

Just one point about the glue to stick the cork down. If there are temperature fluctuations, I have found that solvent free contact adhesive works very well. I think it is Ronseal brand from my local Wilkos. The PVA dries to a brittle if well stuck down skin and can suffer from lifting. I had this problem on a previous layout 15 years ago in the fiddle yard. After 2 years storage in the shed the track lifted from the cork and the cork lifted from the chipboard. The same layout has not had any problems with rusting whoever and uses steel track.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

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Hardwicke
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Hardwicke » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:02 pm

Oh and if you use P4Track, the best way to lift the chairs is to use a flat chisel shaped blade - Exacto sell them. They can be used to break the seal across the whole of the chair, evenly, so that it does not (always) destroy it.
Builder of Forge Mill Sidings, Kirkcliffe Coking Plant, Swanage and Heaby. Still trying to "Keep the Balance".

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: To rivet or to Butanone!

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:28 pm

Rob,

You mentioned that you were going to use Copydex to secure the track to the underlay, which I would caution against. It works fine (I think) until such time that you need to do something with it such as cut or drill it. In my case, this was drilling the dropper wires, which of course took place within weeks of it being laid. You are bound to need to do something similar for point rodding, droppers, signs............... etc

As the stuff is elastic it strings around the drill bit and pulls off in big patches - it was bl**dy irratating having track/ballast looking as if it had mange and meant that I had to go over it all with PVA and spot reballasting. Something similar happens when it is cut, although not quite so severely.

For what it is worth, I use steel rail on ply rivet for turnouts (I just don't trust myself to get these right first time) and then the rivet on every third sleeper for plain track. I did however wash the track very vigourously the moment it was solder up to remove the flux and then dried it with paper towels - this stopped any rusting and I have not had any subsequent problems with this.


Mark
Mark Tatlow


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