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                                       C&L Chairs on wooden sleepers
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2016 14:32
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from:
LSWRArt
Antibes, France

 

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Many years ago I was with a S4 group in Cambridge and we built some track with chairs glued to wooden sleepers.  It all looked great until the night before our first show when we decided to slop on some paint and thinners gunk to stain the sleepers.  ALL the glue melted and we had a panicked hour trying to simultaneously re-gauge all the track and hold it in position while the gunk dried.
So this time in 0 gauge I have been building track with C&L plastic chairs on wooden sleepers.  To avoid the risk of the same problem I thought I would do it the other way round.  I found some almost black wood dye and put a few coats on the sleepers and then glued the chairs down.  It was fine for a few months then chairs started coming loose.At first I thought it was the glue not sticking to the plastic so I tried various different glues, none of which worked reliably, until I realised the problem was the wood dye.  Nothing sticks to it long term.  it's like Teflon!Having built a lot of track and several turnouts I am rescuing the situation as it occurs by sliding the loose chairs out of the way, grinding off the dye with a burr to expose clean wood and then glueing the chair back in position with Evostick.  It is extremely tedious and much more difficult to do in situ, but apart from ripping the whole lot up I do not see another solution.Next time it will either be plastic sleepers, or use a water based paint on the sleepers after glueing the chairs in place with a non water based glue.Hopefully this will help others avoid the same mistakes.Arthur   
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2nd message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2016 16:42
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from:
wcampbell23
Hamilton, Scotland, United Kingdom



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Hi Arthur

I have very successfully used plastic chairs on wooden sleepers. The sleepers are stained with diluted Humbrol enamels and then the chairs attached with Plastic Weld - not glue!

Subsequent weathering has mostly been done with airbrushed acrylics.

Regards.
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3rd message | this message only posted: 19 Jun 2016 08:40
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Arthur

I have use/used diluted Colron spirit based wood stain for years without any problems, using Butanone as the solvent. My old club used Colron water based stain again diluted without any problems. I/we stain the timbers first

What solvent and dye did you use
John
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4th message | this message only posted: 19 Jun 2016 18:41
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from:
LSWRArt
Antibes, France

 

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Hi John,
As I was living in France when I started on the track construction (as separate modules) I used Syntilor wood dye.
I initially tried Butatone and that did not work at all. I thought some of the glues were OK as they appeared to work, but then lost their grip after some time had elapsed. The joints were brittle and flexing the track when laying, or expansion or contraction after laying breaks many of the joints.
So I blame the French!
Arthur
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5th message | this message only posted: 19 Jun 2016 21:32
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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LSWRArt wrote: I initially tried Butatone and that did not work at all.Arthur,

That is surprising since it is the recommended solvent for use with C&L chairs and I believe most people find that it does work well on plywood.   Was it full strength Butanone - also known as 100% Methyl Ethyl Ketone?    I find, when gluing plastic chairs to plywood, that it helps to apply a bit of pressure after the solvent has been applied to the joint.  I use the points of tweezers with one point each side of the rail pressing down on the outer edges of the chair with just a slight bit of movement back and forth to bed the melted plastic into the grain of the wood.


Also,  as an aside,  I've been laying a load of plastic tieplates for a US style layout using Butanone to stick them to ply ties (sleepers) and I've started using a hypodermic syringe instead of a brush and it is so much easier to apply the solvent.   The fumes from the Butanone are much reduced and it doesn't evaporate in the syringe.  You can get syringes and a pile of blunt needles of various diameters from Ebay for a pound or two.  I don't think I'll ever use a brush again for the job.

Jim.

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6th message | this message only posted: 19 Jun 2016 22:34
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Jim,

Nice idea with the syringe/needle. Any idea what size needle you use ? Just wondered if there was an optimum size.

Lucky we have Ebay to buy these, round where I live buying lighter fluid for cleaning gets a stern look from the shop staff............

Thanks
Rob




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7th message | this message only posted: 20 Jun 2016 07:30
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Rob Manchester wrote: Hi Jim,

Nice idea with the syringe/needle. Any idea what size needle you use ? Just wondered if there was an optimum size.
 
Rob,

I've just had a quick search through Ebay to see if I could find the item I bought - three syringes + 50 assorted blunt needles - but with no luck.  However there are many collections of blunt needles available and also syringes.  My syringes are 20ml size but I don't think that's important.  I only load up about 1 - 2ml at a time.  About the needles,  my assortment probably covers about 14G to 26G.  I started off with a larger diameter,  probably around 16G,  but found that it was difficult to regulate the amount I applied.  I then changed to a much finer gauge - probably about 24G - and found that I could regulate the amount much better.  I hold the needle tip out of contact with the pieces to be joined,  apply gentle pressure until a small blob of solvent appears at the needle end,  then touch that to the joint.  Using this method I can regulate the amount of solvent I apply.  Placing the needle in contact with the joint,  then applying pressure to the syringe can dump too much solvent since you can't see how much you are applying.  My needles are also quite short - about 1" long.  I think longer needles would make placing the needle tip accurately a bit more difficult,  but YMMV. :D

And it does really speed up tracklaying since I don't have to go through the cap off/brush dip/cap on/apply solvent rigmarole every time I want to stick some chairs or tieplates - and there are much less fumes.   The Butanone lasts very well in the syringe.  I haven't done any evaporation tests but I suspect that it is extremely low.   I load up the syringe with my 1 - 2ml and that load can last for many days if the use is only occasional.

Jim.

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8th message | this message only posted: 20 Jun 2016 08:04
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from:
LSWRArt
Antibes, France

 

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The syringe is a really good idea.I have a few plastic syringes that I acquired somewhere.  Does the Butatone not melt the plastic?
Perhaps I was not applying enough pressure when I tried Butatone.  It was the real stuff from C&L.I did a few chairs at a time and then put a heavy weight (nicked from the kitchen scales) on top, so perhaps the Butatone had already evaporated and I should have done just one chair at a time.
How long did you need to hold each chair before the Butatone had gone off and you could move on to the next one?
Did you have the chair in its final position along the rail and then slightly lift the rail and chair to get the needle between the chair and the sleeper?Thanks,    Arthur  
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9th message | this message only posted: 20 Jun 2016 15:42
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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LSWRArt wrote: The syringe is a really good idea.I have a few plastic syringes that I acquired somewhere.  Does the Butatone not melt the plastic?
Perhaps I was not applying enough pressure when I tried Butatone.  It was the real stuff from C&L.I did a few chairs at a time and then put a heavy weight (nicked from the kitchen scales) on top, so perhaps the Butatone had already evaporated and I should have done just one chair at a time.
How long did you need to hold each chair before the Butatone had gone off and you could move on to the next one?
Did you have the chair in its final position along the rail and then slightly lift the rail and chair to get the needle between the chair and the sleeper?Thanks,    Arthur 
Arthur,

I often wonder what plastic is used in syringes.  I've used them with Butanone (100% MEK),  Acetone, IPA and Dichloromethane (Plastic Weld) and the syringes seem unaffected.

When I first started laying plastic chairs on plywood sleepers I did get a few chairs which didn't stick.  I then developed my system of applying a bit of pressure and slight movement as the Butanone is applied and that seems to have given me pretty well 100% success ever since.   As I said earlier,  I use a set of tweezers to apply the pressure with a point on each side of the chair round about where the bolt heads are.  When the glue is applied,  I press down and also move the chair back and forth at the same time.  This back and forth movement is very small - almost imperceptible - and I think it helps bed the plastic into the grain of the plywood.  I hold the chair with pressure applied for a second or two after the wiggle.   The Butanone softens the plastic soon after it is applied - within a second or two.   I tend to stick down about five chairs at a time then apply some pressure with a weight on the ones just done as I move on to the next five.  I've got a lead weight which I move along the track as I stick the chairs down.

The Butanone is applied with the chair held in position on the sleeper.   It wicks its way between the chair and the sleeper without the need to lift it.  In fact,  I suspect if you lift the chair,  the solvent might not get under all of the chair.

I stick my chairs or tieplates onto untreated plywood and apply staining, etc when the track is laid.   In the past I have used Colron Dark Oak to stain the plywood and recently have started using IPA coloured with shoe dye.   The small test I did with plastic tie plates stuck on with Butanone seems to have survived the staining with the IPA mix - done about three months ago.

Jim.

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10th message | this message only posted: 21 Jun 2016 21:39
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Jim,
Many thanks for the reply re the needles/syringe. I will order some to try out next time I am building track. The glues I use for plastic kit modelling of military subjects come with needle type applicators and they work very well and don't clog between uses.

Rob

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11th message | this message only posted: 22 Jun 2016 08:16
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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LSWRArt wrote: The syringe is a really good idea.I have a few plastic syringes that I acquired somewhere.  Does the Butatone not melt the plastic?
Perhaps I was not applying enough pressure when I tried Butatone.  It was the real stuff from C&L.I did a few chairs at a time and then put a heavy weight (nicked from the kitchen scales) on top, so perhaps the Butatone had already evaporated and I should have done just one chair at a time.
How long did you need to hold each chair before the Butatone had gone off and you could move on to the next one?
Did you have the chair in its final position along the rail and then slightly lift the rail and chair to get the needle between the chair and the sleeper?Thanks,    Arthur  

Arthur
Whilst I cannot help with syringes, and feel no need to use them as a small brush works fine for me. Using weights (especially with 4 mm components seems a bit over the top. Admittedly when using plastic on ply I flood the join with solvent, I have found a light bit of pressure for a few seconds is all that is needed, or if fitting a half chair light pressure with a probe, holding the chair in to the joint rather than pushing it into it.
I would guess it was either the type of dye/paint you used and or too little solvent that gave the problems. Remember though that with plastic and ply the joints can be broken by sliding a scalpel between the two or a sharp knock 
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12th message | this message only posted: 23 Jun 2016 06:37
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from:
Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Hi,
Can't help wondering if the "dye" had some sort of polish in it. I've used water based fence paint without problem, both before and after glueing the chairs down.
These days I use a bowpen to administer the MEK, which is much cheaper on Ebay.
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13th message | this message only posted: 23 Jun 2016 08:20
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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Borg-Rail wrote: Hi,
Can't help wondering if the "dye" had some sort of polish in it. I've used water based fence paint without problem, both before and after glueing the chairs down.
These days I use a bowpen to administer the MEK, which is much cheaper on Ebay.
You may well be right that there is something either in a product labelled as "dye" or in the product used which has clearly caused a problem. It's that those who use "stain" rather than "dye" seem to not have the same issue.
Having said that the joint between plastic chair and ply sleeper/timber can be broken (which is sometimes a benefit, unlike plastic to plastic which welds its self together
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brian.b
Crowborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Arthur,

I read somewhere some years ago that giving ply sleepers a coat of Polypipe solvent cement makes a thin coat that the plastic chair can bond to. It looks unsightly when first applied with a brush but dries flat and works well.I have had no problems but, if needs be, then the joint can still be broken with a sharp blade.
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15th message | this message only posted: 24 Jun 2016 14:55
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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brian.b wrote: Hi Arthur,

I read somewhere some years ago that giving ply sleepers a coat of Polypipe solvent cement makes a thin coat that the plastic chair can bond to. It looks unsightly when first applied with a brush but dries flat and works well.I have had no problems but, if needs be, then the joint can still be broken with a sharp blade.
Hi Brian, Arthur.
I experimented with this technique some years ago, admittedly on unstained ply timbers and can confirm (by destructive testing) that it does produce a much stronger bond between the two. The Polypipe glue appears to soak into the surface of the timber and dries to leave a very thin film of plastic which is well keyed into the surface wood grain. I only coated the area I was intending to bond the chairs to and allowed the Polypipe cement to dry thoroughly before gluing the chairs with Butanone solvent. The only down side with this is the strong fumes of the solvents used. Good ventilation is a must.
Tony W.

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