Pin Nailer for Laying Track

Sierra9093 Nov 18, 2022

  1. Sierra9093

    Sierra9093 New Member

    1
    4
    2
    IMG_20221118_033224_7.jpg IMG_20221118_033142_3.jpg IMG_20221118_033324_9.jpg Hello, a few months ago I posted a method of laying rail with a pin nailer. I have since expanded on the idea as well as refined it. I like to nail my rails because gluing is messy and too permanent. When you have to move it or modify it, there is a lot of work in scraping and refining the usually scarred area, plus you can't use the track again. So I used to use track nails. But the problem with using track nails with the little track hammer is when you miss, and you hit the rail, you can knock it out of alignment, hence derailing issues. This isn't that bad an issue, as railing is easily replaceable. But on switches, crossing, and other specialized track, missing the nail becomes expensive, especially when you are installing a $100 Walthers 3-way. So I developed this method, and it works great. I made a little doo-dad to put the nailer at the right height from the track, and also to help is centering. The first one, which I showed, was just carve out of something I had hanging around the workbench. This time I really thought about what would really do the job and with the help of my buddies at Tradesman Fastener & Tool in Redford, came up with a little gizmo that does the trick. See photo. We came up with a little brass thing. I bought a few, and used a radial saw with a thin cutting disk to cut a tool to my scale. It took a couple of tries, but eventually, I cut to one that worked.

    Also, I am perfecting a method for joining track without track joiners. I flux both sides, butt them together, and apply heat, and wala, there's your joint joined. So far so good and I haven't had any come apart. I have yet to refine them, but I am thinking when I do, the joint will be invisible. Will try to keep posted.

    One more thing, when you pin nail the rails, if and when you remove them, usually if you take care, they will just pull up over the nail, and leaving the nail. Before when I removed track attached with track nails, it had a tendency to bend and warp, sometimes snap the tie. Cheers!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
  2. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    674
    250
    28
    I just use Atlas track nails. I don't like adhesives either.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  3. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

    433
    233
    19
    i just use DAP adhesive, cleans off quickly, and the track is reuseable ..
     
  4. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    2,737
    4,318
    69
    Yay for you guys. I have never understood gluing track down, either.

    However, I don't use a tack hammer to nail it down. I drill a hole with my Dremel and push the nail in with a needle nose pliers. It may seem like an extra step and seem like it would take longer but it doesn't. Time is saved by not having to "swing" that hammer to gradually get the nails in. And, it's safer.

    Doug
     
  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    3,719
    6,788
    81
    Avoiding the hammer hitting the thumb part is definitely a plus...;)
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    3,608
    3,262
    87
    You got my curiosity up. So which brand did you get? Most I've found on line are rather expensive and the affordable one is pneumatic, so that drives up the price.
     
  7. glenng6

    glenng6 TrainBoard Member

    17
    17
    13
    I see you are using cork for your roadbed. Personally, I use Homasote and track nails. I pre-drill just enough to penetrate the painted surface. I modified a needle nose plier, with my Dremel, to cut a cross pattern in the ends of the jaws. It holds a track nail perfectly straight and allows me to push the nail most of the way in. With the nail in place I release the jaws, close them and use the ends of the jaws to complete the insertion. I "never" use a hammer to insert nails. This, I am sure, can work with cork, just as easily.
    When I need to remove a nail, I have a pick for that. I took a pick with a flat, round end and ground it down until very thin. To remove a nail I place the pick next to the nail head and apply a little pressure. The tie will flex and I can slide the pick under the head. Using the end of the pick I lift the nail head slightly. I then use pliers to remove the nail. No fuss, no muss, no damage. Glenn IMG_6237.jpeg IMG_6237.jpeg IMG_6237.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  8. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    674
    250
    28
    For plywood or OSB, I use a PIN vise to create a hole, otherwise I bend a lot of the nails. For Homasote, predrilling isn't needed.

    This is on Homasote:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is on OSB:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
    wvgca likes this.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    65,644
    16,516
    653
    I quit using track nails. I seemed to damage ties too often, if needing to rearrange track. I just use simple half inch brads, and dab a bit of flat black on the head. Good enough for me these days. My focus is operation, not beauty.
     
  10. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    674
    250
    28
    To avoid damaging ties, just don't drive the nails in too far. Stop while there is a little space over the tie.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  11. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    3,608
    3,262
    87
    I do have a pair of tweezers that are slotted as displayed by 'glenng6'. Only it is larger and has two cross slots. Maybe when I do get around to it that will suffice if I can get the pins. I also have tinny drill and pin vises. Perhaps these will be sufficient.
     

Share This Page