soldering good or bad??

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NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Hey everyone I want to know what everyone thinks?? I've been told it's not a good idea to solder all of my joints together on a layout but to use the railjoiners alone and then solder some feeder wires to the track. Now I plan on the feeder wires but I didn't know if whether I really should go ahead and apply some solder to the railjoiners. I already have layed about 15' of track, if it is recommended should I solder the track before I lay it on the layout or afterwords.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
A lot depends on the humidity where the layout it is. The more humid, the more likely the bench work will expand and contract.

So you have a balance between expansion and conductivity. Joiners can loose conductivity. If you have a feeder wire on each piece of track, you don't need the solder (unless it is a curve and you are soldering to keep the curve smooth.)

I go a little heavy on the feeder wires at one every 3-4 feet. Others, especially those with bigger layouts, go as much as 12 feet between feeders.

You can always solder later, but it gets harder once the ballast goes down.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Hey everyone I want to know what everyone thinks?? I've been told it's not a good idea to solder all of my joints together on a layout but to use the railjoiners alone and then solder some feeder wires to the track. Now I plan on the feeder wires but I didn't know if whether I really should go ahead and apply some solder to the railjoiners. I already have layed about 15' of track, if it is recommended should I solder the track before I lay it on the layout or afterwords.
Nick;

Chip is right about the expansion and contraction. If the layout is in a climate controlled area, generally the problem isn't that pronounced.

This is what did on my older layouts and am doing on my new one. I laid the track, soldering only the curves to eliminate any kinks. Then I ran every piece of equipment thru the track. If it went thru the joints without problems I left them alone. If there was a problem, I soldered the joint and worked on it with a file until anything causing a problem was eliminated. On some of my layouts, there maybe was a soldered joint every 15-20 ft, while on others, almost all were.

For me operational reliability of the track is a lot more important than appearence. Maintanence is bad enough on a layout and anything that can cut down on that maintanence is good.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Alright thanks guys, I did do some test runs with some equipment of mine and no problems on the pieces of track I've laid so far. Lately been putting together a truss bridge kit and finished it last night, plan on finishing up the weathering on it today.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Alright thanks guys, I did do some test runs with some equipment of mine and no problems on the pieces of track I've laid so far. Lately been putting together a truss bridge kit and finished it last night, plan on finishing up the weathering on it today.
Just remember that the joiner connections that are not soldered will deteriorate over time. I'm not saying that you will lose conductivity, but it is possible. What I'm saying is that you can't assume if it works now, the same will be true a year from now.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I've also heard a minor tip. Use a jumper wire between connections that joiners hold, and are not soldered. it looks real too, as rr's use them across gaps too.
 

Steve B

Firefighter
I'm with everyone else, i solder flex track together for bends so i don't have any kinks, i also tend to solder long straight lengths together but try to avoid soldering to turnouts.
It's a touchy subject at present, i got a super duper soldering tool for track and it was C-R-A-P, damn thing went cold if i as much as held it near the track, it went in the bin and out came the old one.
 




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