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Is there a glue that will conduct electricity?
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mauricejg18704



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:24 am    Post subject: Is there a glue that will conduct electricity? Reply with quote

Laying some track and remembering that I need to solder the joints. There must be a better way. If only someone made a glue that conducted electricity. Soldering rail joints on track with plastic ties always gives me headaches. Too easy to melt the ties and even a little too much can cause problems, making the rail loose in the ties. Does anyone know of such a glue?
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Jordan



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know of any glue that can do that, but I'd go back a step and ask a question about the issue at hand - i.e. soldering to track....
First, by 'joiners' I take it you mean the fishplates? (yeah, I know... Joiners does seem a far better word!!! Rolling Eyes Laughing )
Why do you need to solder them? As they allow for rail expansion in hot weather, soldering them isn't ideal. To help them conduct the power better, I often 'crimp' them a touch with pliers once in place to make sure they're tight on the rail.
If I'm soldering wire to track, I remove a sleeper where I'm going to solder the wire (always to the underside of the rail) and I then run a file over the part of the rail I'll solder to. Next I 'tin' the wire and the rail - i.e. add solder to them seperately first, so they both have some solder on. This way you don't have to apply the iron to the rail for so long (thus not melting the sleepers and chairs - or, as I'm not perfect, not very much anyway!), and when you put the rail and wire together, a quick touch with the iron again melts the solder without applying too much heat to the rail.
If you follow best practise, as advised for DCC in particular, and solder feed wires to each length of track, it may seem like over-kill, but has the advantage then that the rail joiners are doing just that - joining rails, and not being relied on to carry 100% of the power as well, which means ballasting is slightly less fraught, with all that water & dilute PVA around... ....
Hope that helps and isn't a "Granny & Egg Sucking Moment".... Embarassed
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 354
Location: the land that time forgot

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Jordan says.....however, if rials have to be 'permanently' joined together, solder is best.....simply clean the are to which solder is to be applied, a bit of flux, and a quick 'in& out' wit the iron does the trick.

Plastic getting melted is usually very localised, and it is essential to cut away any plastic fixings from the area to be soldered together anyway......if only to prevent contamination of the soldered area?

To prevent heat from travelling to unwanted places, then heat sinks can be made and applied.

A bulldog clip placed either side of the area to be soldered, clamped to the rail top, helps.....and don't forget the 'wodge of wetted tissue' method either side as well.


If fixings are getting melted over half an inch or so, then the iron is spending too long at the site of application.....I have busily soldered joints recently, on Peco streamline set-track..without any degradation of plastic fixings whatsoever.

Perhaps the iron being used isn't powerful enough?

Essentially use a higher wattage than your instincts allow....less time spent at the site, than with a smaller, lower-powered iron.. as the rails themselves conduct heat away from the joint very quickly.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another way. Someone (and I cannot remember who*) produces fishplates with feed wires already soldered in place - all you need to do is extend the wires as required, if necessary by joing on another wire with a length of choc-strip terminal.

* you might enquire at The Engine Shed, Leytonstone - or look back at some of Chis Eliis's layout articles (or drop him a line), as he's commended these items several times.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

giles b wrote:
There is another way. Someone (and I cannot remember who*) produces fishplates with feed wires already soldered in place.


Or, as the difficulty seems to be arising from melting the sleepers, it's simple enough to solder wires to the underside of fishplates yourself before assembling the track. Wink
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mog



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all of the above Very Happy

Cleaning area to solder is hugely important, and s woosh of flux makes a world of difference too... lot less time spent with iron on rail.

I've seen those too somewhere, the pre-soldered fish plates.. Atlas I believe.. buggered if i can remember where!

And I did exactly as Bob suggested whilst laying track for my recent layout.. pre-soldered feeds to the fishplates before fitting them.
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davidbromage



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it best to solder feed wires to metal joiners, either undreneath before laying the track or to the side afterwards if necessary. Clean the metal with isopropyl alcohol first. Use a good liquid flux and a hot iron to heat the metal quickly, then just a little solder and remove the iron just as quickly. Never had any melted plastic.

Cheers
David
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mauricejg18704



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the answer to my question is: Not that any of you know of, or just plain "no". Pity, it sure would be handy.
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mog



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
That seems to be the sum of it!

Although - maybe you've identified a gap in the market?
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eastworld



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall seeing something called Silver Loaded Epoxy Resin many years ago - I think it was designed to conduct heat, but it might also conduct electricity?

Stu
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://sa.rsdelivers.com/product/rs/silver-loaded-epoxy-adhesive-10gm-2-vial/1863616.aspx

Quote:
Price on application

Probably not cheap.

Also needs 24 hours at (very warm) room temperature or heating to 100C for an hour to set. I think I'll keep using solder as an easier alternative. Rolling Eyes
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mauricejg18704



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, at least someone has thought of it,though it seems to be expensive. Besides the silver there is also nickel and graphite epoxies.
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alastairq



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be inclined to simply learn to solder................
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Travesti Reply with quote

williamsmith518 wrote:
joining rails...


The signature link is spam
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Bob Hughes
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mog



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw this on ebay and remembered this thread..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electric-Glue-Model-Railway-Wiring-HO-Train-Track-Freight-Motor-Car-RC-ON30-DCC-/231075055140?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item35cd258624
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