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Well-Known Member
Does anyone have knowledge of and/or experience with track nailing tool? ...possible different tools, and usability??

I'm looking at laying track on both balsa roadbed, and in some cases no roadbed on top of 3/4 plywood.

I had been considering (and still am) adhesive caulking products,...but I'm not so sure about their 'accuracy and time to cure' properties, ....and all the weighting needed.

Plus I would like to follow my paper patterns,...maybe without removing those patterns before attaching the tracks. Nailing seems to be an attractive alternative. I have a contractor friend who has mentioned these hand held small brad nail drivers on several occasions.
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Gandy Dancer
I've always used a long-nose pliers. Some folks have modified the pliers with a notch ground into them to to keep the nail shank from slipping to the side while pressing the nail in.
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GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
I have a curved rachett hemostat that I use.
Like this:


I also have a couple of straight ones.
Like this:

I used them when I was doing a lot of small soldering as they are resistant to solder sticking to them. They're under $3.00 from every vendor I've seem them at online. I've had mine for over 35 years.
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Section Hand
Beiland: While it maybe a little more time consuming, I drill a small pilot hole with a pin vise for the Atlas track nails and have had great results. The pilot hole hold the nail and I use a center punch to drive the track nail home and a tack hammer to strike the punch. I don't drill the full length, but maybe 3/4's of the length of the nail. A sharp drill makes for fast progress.

The drill should be a in slightly smaller in diameter of the drill bit you are using.

I'm not sold on using any type of adhesives to hold track in place. Besides the hassle of weighting down the track as the adhesive dries I don't think the track could ever be recovered for another product when using an adhesive.




Well-Known Member
For hand laying ,
Kadee spiker guns are available used but they're expensive around $300 - $500 , and I believe they are specific to the rail code , for code 100 you need a code 100 spiker.

For flex , I have used an upholstery tack hammer and or a finish nailset , or if its on Homasote , an old screw driver with the blade cut off and then the end drilled with a steel bit to make a "cup" in the end , and then just push the nails in .

Now days I use foam sub bed, and neoprene roadbed , and just hot glue or contact cement the roadbed down and then hot glue the nails. Its easier and there's a lot less stress on the benchwork.
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Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
I had a Kadee Code 100 spiker and I loved it! Whatever possessed me to sell it now is beyond me?
Oh how I wish I had kept it!


Whiskey Merchant
Kadee used to make a spike gun for spiking track as GeeTee mentioned. I started my layout hand laying track as I had moved from N scale to HO scale and chose to go with code 70 track. Kadee no longer makes or services them. Mine had plenty of use as I had lent it to a club and another modeler. It had been sent back around 8 or 9 times for repair and finally I got a notice that because of patent issues, they would no longer sell them and would no longer repair them. They had different size heads for different size rail. Here's a photo of some track that I laid using Homabed roadbed. I would normally spike about every 6th or 7the tie.


The spike gun would cut out the center part of the staple giving a spike on each side of the rail. You might search on ebay to try to find one. I don't believe that spikes are available any longer either. I really liked it but with Kadee no longer repairing or selling the tool. I completed the layout with Shinohara code 70 flex track and turnouts.

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