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Timber Tracks - Painting Sleepers





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#1 wirey33

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 19:18

I'm just about to start laying my first Timber Tracks turnout and I'm wondering if I should paint the sleepers before I start attaching the chairs to so I can get a different sets of colours/shades for the rail, chairs, sleepers and then the ballast.

Would anyone like to share their experiences or show off their completed efforts ?

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#2 Gilbert

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 19:22

I've not tried timber tracks but I recommend staining wooden sleepers rather than painting and I assume its easier to stain sleeper pre-build? I use a variety of stains including shoes dyes in 100% IPA (sold as Servisol etc by Maplins and by C&L as a degreaser)
Chris

#3 brossard

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 19:22

I wouldn't. I did some and stained the timbers before gluing the chairs. The chair bond didn't seem great and the integrity of the point, especially at the tie bar was not good. It's probably a good idea to use PCB at strategic spots for strength. The retention of the slide chairs are also an issue with this method of construction.

John

#4 Gilbert

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 19:24

John
Thanks
I stand corrected. but would paint not have the same effect?
Chris

#5 brossard

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 21:11

Well, Chris, I think paint would be worse. With stain, it soaks in to the wood but the grain should still be there. As I understand it, the solvent melts the plastic and this flows into the grain forming a bond. Paint would seal the grain (I think) and you would end up with a tenuous bond of the chair to the paint. It's never a good idea (IMO) to glue plastic to a painted surface, particularly when the joint is load bearing.

John

#6 hayfield

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 22:17

I use spirit based stain before attaching the sleepers, had no problems to date. Stain diluted 3 parts white spirit to 1 part stain (Jacobean oak). Even left some sleepers soaking over night, no difference.

I would take a guess that paint would reduce the wood grain effect.

The only time I have had chairs coming away from sleepers is when I used a solvent which was not Butanone

#7 brossard

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 23:50

The stain I used was water based - maybe that's the problem. I think I'll stick to plastic turnouts.

John

#8 wirey33

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 22:55

Well, I've got myself some water based wood stain and the photo shows the results of the application on a couple of scraps of plywood. The larger piece was wiped with the stain on a cloth and hasn't given any depth of colour. The second smaller piece was dunked in the stain for an hour and the colour has a lot more depth. The actual colour is called Dark Walnut and I think it needs to be more black. I'll get some black stain at the weekend and try combining them.

I've also tried attaching a small piece of chair sprue to the stained plywood and after an hour it's rock solid.

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  • 133_3717.JPG

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#9 66C

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:51

Hi there

I used a mix of Humbrol matt black and brown diluted with a little white spirit to make it "flow". I think it is important that the colour - whether enamel, acrylic or stain - is absorbed by the timber rather than forming a coat on the surface. The solvent used for the chairs needs to get into the grain and the grain should still be evident.

It is much easier to colour the timbering before applying chairs and rail - as a friend of mine is discovering after doing it the other way round. I have had no problems with chairs adhering to the timber - plenty strong enough to hold the rail whilst being cut with a razor saw.

My chairs and rail have subsequently been coloured using acrylic paints in an airbrush - a mix of burnt umber, rust red and black varied according to the track location - running line or sidings, for example - this second stage of colouring means a distinct difference can be achieved between the timbers and other track parts. There has been remarkably little overspray on to the timbering.

The third stage of colouring on my track will be after the ballast is laid - and after all the signals and point rodding etc. - when the airbrush will be used again to apply the final weathering colours.

Edited by 66C, 08 March 2012 - 09:53 .

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#10 Steve Taylor

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 13:07

Rotring black drawing ink with a splash of brown diluted heavily in IPA. I went for a weak brew so i could judge the length of time to soak better. I believe Mr Rice in his book mentions using indian ink with IPA - don't it emulsifies badly. Could anyone recommend anything stronger than butanone for this sort of job. I see I'm not alone in finding plastic chairs on timber good for colouring individually but not too reliable for staying together.

66c - do you use steel or nickel-silver rail? I've found if N/S is primed before adding the chairs it grips better as well as giving a surface for washes etc and it has been suggested that i blacken the rail first to tone down the rail head.

Edited by twa_dogs, 08 March 2012 - 13:10 .


#11 66C

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 17:35

I used Plastic Weld for fixing Exactoscale chairs to ply timbers from C&L - plenty of grip and not as "nasty" as Butanone.

I used C&L nickel-silver rail straight out of the packet - no primer and the acrylic from the airbrush sticks well. Bear in mind that the rail will still move ever so slightly in the chairs after assembly due to expansion/contraction with temperature. Also the rail head will lose any colour if you use any type of abrasive cleaner.

Regards.
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#12 wirey33

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 18:11

I've used Butanone on my test piece and you'd need a 1:1 scale sledgehammer to break the bond between them.

I really flooded the area around the plastic piece and then pushed down for a few seconds to make sure the melting plastic was in full contact with the sleeper material. You can't be sparing with it !!

#13 scanman

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:43

Working in 4mm ('EM') I've used two methods for colouring - 1st is a stain (Jacobean Dark Oak) straight from the tin. Very dark! 2nd - Potassium Permanganate crystals dissolved in plain water. Gave a lighter colouring than (1) (see my 'Ambridge' blog)but quite good for sidings etc. In both cases I used 'MekPak' as a adhesive. so far, so good - although I do use rivetted ply for strength at critical points (no pun intended)

Regs

Ian

#14 darren01

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:04

HI
The other thing about timber sleepers is once you have stained them ,you must leave them for at lest 24 hours to dry, or the chairs will not bond very well.

Edited by darren01, 15 March 2012 - 03:04 .


#15 wirey33

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 23:13

Finally got my wood stains mixed and applied to the Timber Tracks template. I used a 50/50 mix of Black and Dark Walnut soaked for 4 hours.

The results are excellent colour but the wood stain gives a very glossy finish which will need to be dulled down with weathering powders.

Apart from that small issue, I'm very happy with the colour of the sleepers.

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  • Timber Tracks.jpg


#16 Gary White

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:06

I used water based stain once it was not very good then i got a recipe from one of our club members who mixed up stain with white sprit and it works well on sleepers

Gary

#17 trustytrev

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 18:05

Working in 4mm ('EM') I've used two methods for colouring - 1st is a stain (Jacobean Dark Oak) straight from the tin. Very dark! 2nd - Potassium Permanganate crystals dissolved in plain water. Gave a lighter colouring than (1) (see my 'Ambridge' blog)but quite good for sidings etc. In both cases I used 'MekPak' as a adhesive. so far, so good - although I do use rivetted ply for strength at critical points (no pun intended)

Regs

Ian

Hello,
Can you advise the mixing ratio of Potassium Permanganate to water ?Also do you have any images of stained timber using this method?I understand it gets darker the more soakings you give it.
Thanks.
trustytrev.

#18 hayfield

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:11

Finally got my wood stains mixed and applied to the Timber Tracks template. I used a 50/50 mix of Black and Dark Walnut soaked for 4 hours.

The results are excellent colour but the wood stain gives a very glossy finish which will need to be dulled down with weathering powders.

Apart from that small issue, I'm very happy with the colour of the sleepers.


Wiret

What timber Track fret have you?

#19 brian lewis

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:49

Hi.

As the creator of Timber Tracks, may I add my own experiences?

Most folk know I normally model in 7mm. However, as part of my downsizing operation, I sold 'Llaniog' my 42 feet layout and decided to go back to P4. So now I am building 'Tetbury' . Why? For two reasons:

1. Three of the buildings are already included in the Timber Track range - both in 4mm and 7mm. (hopefully, I have attached one and it should appear). And I will be creating kits of the other two, late Autumn 2012.

4sres 005 (Medium).jpg

2. Reducing the prototype track plan, I found I could build this, without any scale compromising, in 24 feet. (The baseboards being two straight, two curved, forming a 90 degree arc and one straight, which is the fiddle yard.

Now it seems logical to use P4 Timber Tracks bases. The great advantage, is that I was able to use the bases as a track planner, (I know there are computer programmes which can do this, but I just cannot master them). Once happy, I glued the bases in place and left them for a week. I then painted over everything with C+L Sleeper stain nand left it to dry. Now Richard & I are working our way up the boards, starting with the fiddle yard. Normally, I would have ballasted, before laying chairs and rail, but clearly, there is no point in performing this operation on a fiddle yard. So we just glued down, using Butanone. (Not Plastic Weld, because it flashes off too quickly. You want a slower acting solvent, which alows time for the dissolved surevace of the chairs to 'creep' into the sleepers and timbers). The bod is as strong as any other - solding to odd rivets, copperclad, etc. is entirely unnecessary.

Now we are moving up the boards. Ballasting is not my favourite job - I normally spend hours, getting ballast ouit from the crossing and switch blades. Also, in 7mm especially, you can get a build up of ballast immediately under the rails. But, ballasting before laying the chairs and rail, is an absolute joy. I doubt if anyone who tries this method, will willing go back to ballasting in the traditional way.

The above are my own experiences and I live in hope that they may have added something to this thread.

Regards

Brian Lewis

01 275 852 027
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#20 wirey33

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 22:07

Wiret

What timber Track fret have you?


It's a P4 B6 template.







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