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My apologies if I could have found this answer by searching the forums: I have full and half sections of Lionel tubular track, but I sure could use a few quarter-length straight sections. Short of cutting it myself, does anyone make 1/4 length sections? Thanks.

Joe,

No, but rather than use such short sections, I would buy one of the long sections available (they are about 3 feet in length) and cut it down to the length of one and a quarter sections. Less joints, more stable than very short pieces..

Pick yourself up a Dremel tool and cutting wheels, makes cutting track easy and us useful for many other projects too. 

@Lionelski posted:

Joe,

No, but rather than use such short sections, I would buy one of the long sections available (they are about 3 feet in length) and cut it down to the length of one and a quarter sections. Less joints, more stable than very short pieces..

Pick yourself up a Dremel tool and cutting wheels, makes cutting track easy and us useful for many other projects too. 

My first layout had these little oddball tracks in everywhere and it caused me nothing but headaches until I replaced them. Lionelski is right. 

I need the short sections due to the peculiar nature of my portable modules. They are sized to accommodate a 4-car Lionel R-27 set but also to be able to negotiate the clearances from my attic down to my driveway.

I cut the sections with a razor saw starting from the underside almost all the way through, then finished cutting from the top of the rail with a Dremel and a cut-off disk.

Any tips for making those little crimps in the rail to hold the pins in place?

Thanks.

Track Pliers are what you need. Back in the day, Lionel made separate pairs for 0-27 and O, numbered ST-342 and ST-384. Several years later they dropped the distinct pairs and went to a single pair, ST-384.

You can get modern production pliers under that same part number. Forum Sponsor, @Harry Henning of Henning's Trains sells them:

https://hennings-trains.shopli...-for-lionel-o-s.html

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Last edited by bmoran4

Got the pliers, they seem to work OK, but they don't put that sharp little pinpoint crimp in the side of the rail head that the track has from the factory, which would prevent the pin from ever pulling out.  The pliers' effectiveness seems to depend on the muscle I apply to it, and sorry to say, I'm not amply endowed in that department.

The stock ties got a bit loose after all the sawing. Is there any way to re-crimp them to the foot of the rail?

Thanks.

You can most definitely use the pliers to crimp the pins. As for the strength needed, I'm guessing you were trying to get the crimp with pure force rather than using a "technique". There are two ways I accomplish this:

The first involves using the pliers in the same plane as the rail and compressing into the pins groove:

The second way is to use the pliers like you would be reforming the rail, but get an end right at the groove on the pin and give it a gentle twist each direction.

As for tightening the tie on the rail, a hammer, punch and backing will be all you need. Since my punch set came with multiple punches, I use one of them for my backing as it fits in the recess of the tie.

 

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Got the pliers, they seem to work OK, but they don't put that sharp little pinpoint crimp in the side of the rail head that the track has from the factory, which would prevent the pin from ever pulling out.  The pliers' effectiveness seems to depend on the muscle I apply to it, and sorry to say, I'm not amply endowed in that department.

The stock ties got a bit loose after all the sawing. Is there any way to re-crimp them to the foot of the rail?

Thanks.

Joe,

Crimp the web tight, just under the pin, with a pair of "cutting Pliers".

Don't saw to cut the track (without a jig that will always loosen ties and may then cause a short at the center insulator). Use a Dremel type tool to cut track.

Since you have already loosened the ties, put a small block of wood in the indented part of the tie for support, thereby avoiding distorting the tie, and push the tabs down with a screwdriver. Test the repaired track for shorts before using.

I bought this little item for $30 on sale at Harbor Freight last year. 

Drill Master 6 in. 5.5 Amp Cut-Off Saw

Although I wasn't sure how good it would do with track, I figured for $30 it was worth the gamble.

IT WORKS GREAT!  Way better than I imagined.  I'm using Gargraves flex track and Ross switches on my layout build.  After forming the curves with the flex, you have to trim the ends, this makes short work of that job, and they're all truly parallel.  It would cut your tubular track like butter and give you perfectly straight cuts.

I've also used it to cut 2" steel tubing, it's up to the challenge of cutting almost any reasonable metal piece up to around 2".

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I bought this little item for $30 on sale at Harbor Freight last year. 

Drill Master 6 in. 5.5 Amp Cut-Off Saw

Although I wasn't sure how good it would do with track, I figured for $30 it was worth the gamble.

IT WORKS GREAT!  Way better than I imagined.  I'm using Gargraves flex track and Ross switches on my layout build.  After forming the curves with the flex, you have to trim the ends, this makes short work of that job, and they're all truly parallel.  It would cut your tubular track like butter and give you perfectly straight cuts.

I've also used it to cut 2" steel tubing, it's up to the challenge of cutting almost any reasonable metal piece up to around 2".

I've also used this to trim Glenn Synder shelf pieces also.. 

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