I knew I liked it but…

It’s been a year and a half since I wrote My morning coffee, trackside. That was my last blog post about my previous layout and a little while after I wrote that post I took the layout apart. When I took it apart, I carefully prised the entire top, track, wiring, and all, and stored it in our shed. I didn’t save the layout out of some belief that one day I’d resurrect it but more as a long term test to see just how well it would hold up in a typical uninsulated garden shed. During the time in the shed the layout endured two full Island winters, one and a half really hot summers, and all the weather that comes in between.

On several occasions, Lance Mindheim has talked about using white glue to stick down flex track*. I hadn’t tried it before and this layout was my first applicaton to try his advice. I was immediately pleased at how well it worked when I first stuck down the track. That level of satisfaction doesn’t even compare to what I discovered last week: man, does the track ever come up nicely!

The track I used was Micro Engineering, N scale, with code 55 rails. It’s delicate stuff. As one last test of how well white glue works to stick down track I figured I’d try lifting it back up. I can’t begin to describe my surprise as the track started to lift up almost perfectly. I’ll admit that I worked by very carefully sliding a putty knife along the base of the ties.

I took some photos to illustrate just how well.

Sometimes we try something and find it so successful that it feels almost evolutionary. For me, using the cheap white glue I bought in the grocery store’s school supply aisle is just how I plan on sticking down track pretty much from now on.

I was so delighted, I figured I’d share my story.

*such as in this blog post: http://lancemindheim.com/2015/12/is-it-worth-it/

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6 comments

  1. It depends on the quality of the white glue. A market leading brand is likely to be more viscous (a former neighbour who was a joiner would only use the leading brand, but always diluted it slightly before using it) whereas the sheep stuff you found is slightly less viscous, as a result of thinning out with water.

    If you think about it, flex track is an ideal candidate for the “little and often” school of application of our. Each joint between a tie and the roadbed can be very weak, but it is the combined imact of all of them which makes the track stay in place.

    Simon

    1. I agree. This is a great example of where the cheap stuff just worked. For serious woodwork, the proper glue is the only way to go and I agree with your joiner friend’s attitude completely.

      Nice to be surprised.

      Super to hear from you.

      /chris

  2. Track on the two finished sections of my own N scale South East Kansas Railroad (www.thewaybill.blogspot.com) has been secured with glue for quite some time (one going on 10 years, and like your layout, stored outside occasionally) with no ill effects. I used Aleene’s Original, which seems to have a bit more tack than the “usual stuff”. Yet, when I needed to replace a feeder, that section of track was easily removed.

    I’m pretty sure I saw Aleene’s at Michaels in Charlottetown when we were visiting a couple of weeks ago!

    1. Good morning,

      I’ve read about others using Aileen’s glue before and have seen it in some of the local craft stores here so it is something I could try. I haven’t and have no excuses. I’m curious.

      Thanks for the notes on how well the glue performed outside. When I put my layout in the shed it wasn’t protected at all. It was stored on things, between things, and not always in the safest way. I wasn’t intentionally hard on it or abusive toward it but I wanted to know how well it could perform if really ignored. I’m pleasantly surprised at just how well it worked out in the end.

      Cheers

      /chris

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