Block insulation question

Hi:
I'm putting together a little DC HO layout for the 1st time in decades, and to create blocks, is it better to use the insulated nylon rail joiners,
or to use the normal metal ones, then slice the rail where I want and glue in some thin styrene as I've read that others do?
Wayne
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Hi:
I'm putting together a little DC HO layout for the 1st time in decades, and to create blocks, is it better to use the insulated nylon rail joiners, or to use the normal metal ones, then slice the rail where I want and glue in some thin styrene as I've read that others do?
Wayne
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Do you want a blue Chevrolet or a red Ford? They both get the job done, neither is "better." The insulated joiners are much quicker, at the expense of being more visible and non- pototypical in appearance. You might spend a bit of time afterward painting and otherwise disguising them so they are not so visible,--or not. The thin styrene method uses your time up front making a neat, nearly invisible joint, but better in initial appearance. Both are fine, good, correct, and what we all use. Whatever your method of choice, it's the "correct" one to use. Carl

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Carl Saggio wrote:

One occasionally not so minor problem with cutting the gaps after installing the track: If the gap is one a curve, the flex track can spring outwards as it tries to straighten itself, creating and angular joint. This will encourage derailments.
To prevent this, over-bend the flex before install it, to the point where you have to bend it outward to match the curve you want there. Then, before cutting the rail, drill pilot holes through every 2nd or 3rd tie for 6 to 8 inches on either side of the gap, and drive in long pins (not nails). This will hold the track in place.
HTH
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Hi:
I'm putting together a little DC HO layout for the 1st time in decades, and to create blocks, is it better to use the insulated nylon rail joiners, or to use the normal metal ones, then slice the rail where I want and glue in some thin styrene as I've read that others do?
Wayne
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Wayne L skriver:

If you use fexible tracks, the piont of isolation is not allways, where the normal metal joiner canbe replaced with the nylon (plastic) ones. So my recommendation is to just put everything togehter with metal joiners test the layout and then cut/isolate wherever it is needed.
Klaus
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Klaus D. Mikkelsen wrote:

I totally agree with Klaus here - metal joimers, then cut and fill. Two reasons. Plastic joiners are flexible, and if you use them between two lengths of track with curvature, they will allow the track to kink out of alignment. Secondly, depending on the temperatures in your layout room, I have seen rail expand through the plastic insulator to cause a very-difficult-to-locate short circuit. Caused quite some hubbub in the subbub.
Steve Magee Newcastle NSW Aust
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Klaus D. Mikkelsen wrote:

I totally agree with Klaus here - metal joimers, then cut and fill. Two reasons. Plastic joiners are flexible, and if you use them between two lengths of track with curvature, they will allow the track to kink out of alignment. Secondly, depending on the temperatures in your layout room, I have seen rail expand through the plastic insulator to cause a very-difficult-to-locate short circuit. Caused quite some hubbub in the subbub.
Steve Magee Newcastle NSW Aust
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Why won't cutting the rail cause the same effect?
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Mark Mathu wrote:

Cause, when you cut 'em, you cut 'em on the straight bits where there aint no curves. :-) Oh, and solder all fishplates on curves, too. Leave them to slide on the straights for expansion.
Steve
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The length of unanchored track is longer where there is a railjoiner. The "cut" should be between ties and the length of unanchored track is shorter and the effect is less pronounced.

We stopped soldering the railjoiners a couple of years ago. The joiners are for alignment only. Each section of track gets its own powerdrop.
Flex track is woven together so that joints don't occur directly across from each other where ever possible.
Paul
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Hi:
I'm putting together a little DC HO layout for the 1st time in decades, and to create blocks, is it better to use the insulated nylon rail joiners, or to use the normal metal ones, then slice the rail where I want and glue in some thin styrene as I've read that others do?
Wayne
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Hi:
I'm putting together a little DC HO layout for the 1st time in decades, and to create blocks, is it better to use the insulated nylon rail joiners, or to use the normal metal ones, then slice the rail where I want and glue in some thin styrene as I've read that others do?
Wayne
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Ok, we got your question. If you don't see your post, that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't get posted. If you're really wondering if it posted, search for your name on Google Groups.
Puckdropper
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interestingly, I didn't see his original post either, only the responses.
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Thanks for the advice Steve, Klaus and Mr. Puckdropper :-) Metal it is!! Which brings me to a 2nd question and request for advice. For my little quasi permanent layout, will the metal rail joiners maintain good contact through the coming years, or should I solder them?
Wayne

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Either solder them or run feeds to each section of flextrack.

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Wayne L skriver:

If you want the layout to fuction in many yeas, solder a wire to each rail. The rail itself will allways move a little and if you solder the joints, the solder will eventually break from the movements.
Im a part of a group running a small exhibision layout (150m2) We have bad experiance in soldering of joints...
Klaus
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As long as the metal joiners are tight, they'll hold the rails together and transfer power effectivly. If they're loose, all bets are off. They'll loosen if you're track's not secure.
Here's a tip: If your joiner is loose, place it in a pair of pliers with the top and bottom parallel to the face of the jaws. GENTLY squeeze the pliers and the joiner will hold tighter to the rail. You may want to turn the joiner around and squeeze it again as the pliers don't apply even pressure.
Puckdropper
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Wayne L wrote:

Ford or Chev? (Or Holden :-) ) Personally I only use rail joiners to align rails, wouldn't trust them as far as I can throw them to conduct electricity. Soldering a feeder to each track is my preferred way to go. Soldering rail joiners is again just to hold rails in alignment.
Strange isn't it, all the comments re this. I've had far better reliability with soldered joints, others swear at them where I swear by them. Whatever floats your boat, I reckon.
Steve Newcastle NSW Aust
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