Gaps in between sections of Tubular Track

What do you consider an acceptable gap width between sections of tubular track ?  Mine are 1/8 to 1/16 inch. I try tapping them together but something else just pulls apart some place else.  At what point do you accept less than perfect and at what point does tire and wheel damage occur ?

 

Eddie 

Original Post

When I used tubular I would always wear gloves. Before putting track on layout I would put a piece in each hand and push together and take apart several times. This made it much easier to assemble when placing the track on the platform for assembly. I still had minute gaps at some sections but that never hurt any wheels or tires. My smallest diameter was 054.

Rod Miller

When assembling modular layouts, I accept gaps up to 1/8" before I start pushing rails to shorten the gap.  Curve modules are usually the problem as the track ends at the module edge and gets pushed in during transport handling.  I can slide the rails back into position using track pliers and a steady but firm push.

1/16" or a little more is no big deal IMO. It does not need to be perfect, just close. Straights are usually easy to get tight, but curves are more difficult. When you think about it, you are pushing a straight track pin into a curved track! 

Rod

We are never too old to learn something stupid....

romiller49 posted:

When I used tubular I would always wear gloves. Before putting track on layout I would put a piece in each hand and push together and take apart several times. This made it much easier to assemble when placing the track on the platform for assembly. I still had minute gaps at some sections but that never hurt any wheels or tires. My smallest diameter was 054.

Good idea. I accepted some on my GG layout, but we really shouldn't accept any on a permanent layout. There is no reason for them except, ultimately, sloppy workmanship (guilty). This stuff is designed to fit, and it will.

On a temporary/display layout? Sure.

BTW, the "gaps" will not harm wheels. Traction tires? Maybe a little. Sometimes. Maybe. Only on really high-mileage - or abused ("I pulled 1000 cars!") - locos.

I make gap fillers from some aluminum sheet that is about the thickness of the track metal.  Pieces of aluminum flashing will do.  I cut it to about 5/16 inch strips then cut of a piece the same width of the gap.  I use my fingers to wrap this strip around the track pin and then pinch it with a pair of wire cutting pliers to tighten it around the pin in the gap.  Adjust the 5/16 inch size if the gap is not filled or if it overlaps or just let the over lap get pinched together and hang down below the rail out of the way.

The small pliers may be called Nippers and have the wire cutting part on the end running perpendicular to the pliers and will encircle the aluminum strip.  The aluminum conducts electricity and is softer and easier to fit than tin can or other stiffer metal.  I have dozens of the gap fillers on the layout and fill sections with large gaps when I had to take the three sections of the layout apart each year to store and then reassemble.

This has reduced the click clap of the outside rails and has reduced the wear on the wheels and pickup rollers or slide pickups as well as improving electrical conduction.  I used used 027 gauge track of several manufactures as well as 28 Marx switches so gaps are normal.

Charlie

Add Reply

Likes (0)


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×