Tips

Tips for Cutting Super-Flex-Track

1. Use a heavy-duty rail ripper or modeler's saw to cut the track to length.
2. Remove a few ties from the end of the track by cutting the web (the plastic piece between the ties) with a knife.
3. File the end and underside of the rail as well as the web so a rail joiner can fit easily.

Clean trackwork is essential for enjoying smooth and trouble-free operation. Care, patience and a creative imagination are the elements to a successful model railroad empire.

(Tips from Trackwork and Lineside Detail For Your Model Railroad, 2000, Kalmbach Publishing Company.)

For more about Super-Flex Track, click here.

Steps To Successful
Electrical Wire Soldering

You'll find the act of soldering takes less time than it takes to read these instructions! First you must tin the soldering iron, then tin the wire.

*BE CAREFUL! A soldering iron can cause burns or start fires if left unattended.
*CLEAN the tip of the cold soldering iron with a small file.
*HEAT the iron and apply flux. Apply a small amount of solder to the iron
to cover the tip. (This procedure is called tinning.)
*TWIST the ends of each stranded wire to be soldered, so no wires stick
out. If the wire is not pretinned, proceed to tin the wire by dipping the ends into the flux paste and touch them with the tinned tip of the soldering iron. The hot solder will flow from the iron to the wire. Copper wire will take on a silvery clean as the solder flows.
*REMOVE the heat and let cool. The wires are now tinned. (If you use
pre-tinned wire, this step is not necessary.)
*CLEAN the tip of the hot iron with the damp sponge and re-tin. When
cool to the touch, take the two wires to be joined and lay them side by side in your hand with the ends even. Twist the tinned ends together as tightly as possible.
*DIP the twisted ends into the flux paste. Touch the hot tinned iron to the
twisted wires until the solder flows and unites the wires. You may need to apply more solder.
*REMOVE the heat and let cool. Don't move the wires until the solder
solidifies, usually after several seconds.
*FOLD the joined wires back on themselves and cover with electrical tape.
*UNPLUG the soldering iron upon completion of soldering.

The plastic insulation covering the metal wires serves at least two purposes. Insulation prevents bare wires from touching and causing a short circuit and the different colors available aid in identification of the wire, which makes the job of wiring easier. For example, wire covered in black insulation can be used for the common (c) connections while green insulation can denote connections to the control (gapped) rail, etc.

Insulation must be removed from portions of the wire prior to installation. Wire strippers in various sizes are commercially available and are the easiest way to remove insulation. Another way to strip wire is by using wire cutters. Be careful to cut only the insulation and not through the wire itself. This method may take practice to perfect.

Painting Tips

To paint fine detail, whittle a toothpick down to a very fine point and dip it in paint then carefully apply. This can be used for any small details such as painting cast on windshield wipers or fuel filler caps. It also can be used to change car lettering - such as making a 3 into an 8. (Courtesy of Dave Ferrari)

Did You Know?

The Atlas Master Generator, Item #335, (one component of our award-wining DCC system) can also be used as an auxiliary power supply for accessory lighting and a general purpose power supply for turnouts, switch machines and more! For more information on the Generator, please click here.

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