P4 track building question.

Hi folks,
I am just getting to grips with doing some P4 trackwork for a future
layout project, and was wondering what you should use for soldering flat
bottom steel rail to copper clad sleepers?
Reply to
Robert Wilson
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On 02/06/2005 17:54, Robert Wilson wrote,
Hi Rob
Firstly, if you haven't done so already, you should join the Scalefour Society
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Apart from the obvious advantages, there is also a "lively" email discussion group, P4_talk, that can help with any number of questions.
To answer your question, personally I would use Powerflow flux with 145 solder, but whatever you do make sure both the rail and sleeper are cleaned well before attempting to solder. You can also use Green label flux quite successfully, but you really do need to make sure that the track is well rinsed after building, which really rules out building in situ. The same in fact applies to any flux, but some are less aggressive than others, so there is a lesser risk of rust forming. Any soldering that has to be done in situ can be neutralised using Carr's neutralising rinse, but I never seem to get on with that!
Reply to
Paul Boyd
I, on the other hand would use solder paint, still need to clean well but less messy, this should be used to build track off layout on templates where the assembly can be given a good scrub under the tap before painting then laying. If building in situ use the non-corrosive solder cream meant for printed circuit boards then you don't have to clean it off. Snag is the price so best to build off layout as much as possible. Solder paint from a number of sources including London Road Models and Alan Gibson, cream from C & L or specialist electronics suppliers. Links to all these on Keith
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
Hi Folks, Thanks for the info. I have already sent off my form to Mr Pearce of Teignmouth in Devon (the membership sec.), and I await the bumph in the post.
What i'd REALLY like to know is how are Len Newman and Andrew Jukes doing on their point kits for flat bottom rail.
I had a go at doing some flat bottom rail in steel the other evening (hence the orig post) amd realised that filing/grinding flat bottom rail properly would be really difficult without a surface grinder/miller with a mag chuck.
Keith Norgrove wrote:
Reply to
Robert Wilson
Does solder paint need heating? I've tried solder paste (which does) and conductive epoxy (which doesn't), but I found neither of them very satisfactory.
Reply to
I think they still have a list of bullhead items to get through first, but as soon as you get on P4_talk you can ask Andrew yourself.
I asume you are talking of the code 83 rail, what are you trying to file it with? You need a decent file medium cut around 10" long by 3/4" wide, needle files are just for polishing at the end of the job. To file the FB rail you need a block of ply or conti board type shelf material and cut a slot in the top surfacxe at right angles to the edge with a junior hacksaw or similar. The slot should just take one side of the rail foot so that the rail will lie down on its side, this makes it easy to hold while you file it down for switch blades or crossing vees. I've made F switches this way, the usual B or C switch just takes a few minutes. Keith
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
Yes, its essentially a paste of powdered solder and flux, has to be heated like any other solder, the heat should be applied to the larger of the parts being joined until the solder flows nicely, the joint should be as good or better than any other solder.
Solder paint and solder paste are just alternative names for the same thing, the flux used with these is normally acid based and needs to be washed off.
Solder cream is similar but designed for electronics assembly and has non-corrosive flux residue, hence is good for in-situ work where washing would be difficult or impossible.
Also doesn't have the advantage of near instant action which is the great benefit of solder.
Solder pastes and cream seem to suit some people and not others, IMHO it just needs care in preparation like any other soldering. All my track is made with it and some is now over 30 years old. Keith
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
Solder paste (and cream) are finely divided solder suspended in a cream or liquid. The liquid is usually based around flux. So, all solder paste gives you is tiny pieces of solder already in flux. But, that can be incredibly useful in depositing a small amount of solder and flux where its needed.
Solder properties vary (I think Carrs explain theirs). Some are very flat and cannot fill gaps. Great for some work, but if you've a hole to fill, or a butt joint to strengthen, then then are inappropriate. Others are good at filling gaps, but suffer from being a bit "thick", so will obliterate detail if used inappropriately.
If one treats the joint the same as any soldering job; clean, right flux and solder for the job, appropriate amount of heat ; then I cannot see where the problem lies ?
My soldering preference wanders all over the place. Some weeks I like paste, others its back to stick solder with liquid flux, and just occaisionally I use resin-cored from a reel (as used for electronics/electrical work). Similarly my flux preference wanders; usually its liquid acid with a brush (Carrs, London Road Models), sometimes its Powerflo. Only constant is my preferred soldering iron; Antex 50W temp controlled first, Antex 17W mains second, and resistance soldering third.
- Nigel
Reply to
Nigel Cliffe
Adding to what Keith and Nigel have written, watch out for the fluxes on some of the solder paints - they can be quite agressive and leave behind a residue which continually re-oxidises unless neutralised properly. I suffered from this using Carrs 188 paint when it first came out and Carrs (C&L) supplied a neutralising fluid which was said to prevent this.
But better to use the creams such as those which Carrs supply - they cost a lot more than paints, but the flux in these creams does not leave any troublesome residues.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
I would suggest that you email Len and Andrew, on snipped-for-privacy@p4track.co.uk Ask the question, I know what the answer will be, but the more people that request flatbottom turnouts the better chance we have of them being done.
Plain track is available as is the correct profile rail.
regards trevor
Reply to
Trevor Grout

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