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3 Ways to Cut Flex Track for your Model Railroad



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do you need to install flex track on

your layout but you're not quite sure

how to make the cuts in this video we'll

look at three different ways you can cut

flex track so you can produce the size

pieces that you need to fit your layout

so these are the three ways that I like

to cut flex track oh when I'm installing

it on my layouts so the first way is you

can use a miter box and a razor saw put

the track inside it here you get a nice

smooth cut when you do this but it is a

little bit harder to use there is also

the risk because of the teeth on the saw

they kind of you know sometimes snag on

the track itself you cannot you have a

tendency to sometimes rip the rail out

of the ties especially with this micro

engineering track that has various small

spike details on the side you can easily

rip the track out of those using a razor

saw and so what I like to do a lot of

times if I'm using a razor saw and a

miter box like this is use a quick grip

clamp and use that to help clamp the

track and really their rails very

tightly into here to help prevent them

from kind of rotating back and forth

when you're making the cuts the problem

of obviously as you can you can't lay

this flat on a workbench but you can put

it off the edge and still make a nice

cut that way and that is one way that

you can do that but look at that here in

a minute

the most common way probably and the way

that I typically do it most often as

well is to use a pair of rail nippers

this makes cutting track very easily you

can just quickly make cuts through the

track that are pretty nice at least on

one side and you can cut through a hole

you can make a whole bunch of cuts very

quickly do a lot of times do though we

need to take a file and touch off the

edges

after the cuts are made a lot of times I

have little burrs or things sticking out

that might possibly cause a derailment

issue and really the bigger problem

though is just that after you make the

cut a lot of times the edges are a

little bit too rough and it's hard to

get the rail joiners on so if you touch

up the corners a little bit with a file

it does make it a lot easier to slide

that rail joiner on now the third way

that I typically cut flex track is to

use a dremel rotary tool and this

produces a really nice fast cut it also

tends to prove some nice cut on both

sides of the cut if you use rail nippers

one side of the cut looks nice the other

side you know and the waste side of the

track has a very kind of jagged II you

know mushy looking cut it doesn't look

very good yet to cut it again if you

want to use that piece of track

the dremel tool though bruce's a nice

flat cut on both sides typically

produces the nicest cut in terms of

needing the least amount of filing

afterwards so this is also a really good

way to to make cuts however sometimes

it's just not as handy if worried about

AC power and so depending on where

you're working this might be a

limitation just you know from that end

but they do you make battery-powered

Dremel tools as well so that isn't an

option to consider so we'll go ahead

here and look at using these three

different techniques for cutting flex

tract you can kind of get an idea of how

each of those work and what the finished

product looks like so if you are going

to cut flex track with a razor saw and a

miter box again I do recommend that you

use a clamp if you can or some other

device to help hold the track from

bending when you're trying to cut it now

of course if you have a clamp in there

you can't obviously keep this on the

workbench easily so you have to kind of

extend this off the edge when you're

doing the cutting if I think I can go

ahead and do your cutting and get a nice

smooth cut okay so finally I made the

cut through again it's a little bit

slower using the saw the cut though does

tend to be pretty nice and flat again II

do you have to do probably a little bit

of filing on the edges there but those

for the most part work out pretty well

so that's one option for cutting track

option number two again is to use rail

nippers and so that's my preferred

method of cutting crack however if you

are going to use the rail nippers again

I do like to make sure I go ahead and

remove these sections of ties that are

in the way of where the cutting is going

to be ahead of time so you're not trying

to cut through the plastic which cuts

and sometimes I can kind of shift your

your nippers in there we are trying to

make the cut again to help the tract and

twisting I do like to use and clamp on a

quick grip clamp to help as tight as I

can to help keep the track from twisting

as you're trying to make the cut again

the rail nippers do have one side where

the blade is angle the other side where

it's flush you want to make sure the

flush side is pointed towards the area

where you want to keep the track so

the waste side gets the angled side and

decide to keep gets the flush side you

make the cut perpendicular you get a

nice cut

with minimal filing needed typically but

you do have to clean up the bottoms

usually a little bit so you need to have

a nice flat file that you can use for

cleaning up those edges whether it's

from the saw or from the rail nippers

and so you want to make sure you get the

bottoms the tops if they need it but

typically it's not going to be a problem

for the table let's be more of an issue

for the size and for the bottoms so the

third way I used to cut track is a

dremel tool and using a cut off to

scribe there you can very easily go

through the the rail however again these

cutting discs do tend to melt the

plastic ties and so just like using the

rail nippers if there's a section that

you know that you're going to be cutting

through and you know you're not doing it

with track it's already in place I have

to go through but in cut away the ties

where I'll be cutting and so I'm not

going to melt the tries because then it

just it looks you know for the most part

pretty bad and so I don't cut into the

workbench someone use a scrap of wood

put the track on top of that so when I

use a dremel tool I'm not going to be

cutting into the workbench itself and

just into this scrap of wood if I cut

too far and when using the dremel tool

it's important to let the dremel tool do

the work don't force it through too

quickly

just let it easily cut its way through

the track without really trying to force

it through

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so very easily you get a cut all the way

through I did actually on this piece

leave a little bit of a bottom there but

this gives you again a very nice smooth

cut and in fact for the most part out of

the three methods this probably produced

the cut that was the nicest in terms of

needing the least amount of filing I

mean if the most part it feels smooth to

the fingers and I could probably go

ahead and just use it as it is I'll go

ahead and touch up the corners a little

bit just to make sure there's no little

burrs there but this provides a very

nice smooth cut if you go ahead and use

a cut-off tool on the dremel again don't

do it too fast let it go through

smoothly and you get the I cut that

basically looks like what you get it on

the end of flex track when you buy it

fresh and one thing with the Dremel too

is well because it is cutting straight

through I'm like the nippers which

produce one side it looks nice one side

that looks kind of goofy you can

actually use both sides of the cut and

you're gonna have a nice cut on both

sides and so don't worry about finishing

the other side whereas if you use the

rail nippers you're gonna end up with

one side of the track that looks you

know pretty bad and so you have to go

ahead and make another cut there if you

want to use that section of track with

the dremel tool if you cut through the

track both sides of the cut are going to

look equally flat and good and you can

use both of those sections without any

further work besides a little you know

filing on the edges around the nippers

are really fast and you can get really

nice cuts with them as well I'll be

Center one side and this is a really

handy way to make the cuts using the

miter box and the saw is probably the

hardest way it's also the slowest way

however like the Dremel you do get a

nice smooth cut on both sides and so you

are going to be able to use both sides

the track on both sides of the cut

without any further cuts being made to

it so anyway those are three ways you

can cut flex track for your layout let

me know in the comments below what your

favorite way of cutting flex track is

and what tends to work best for you so

anyway that's all for now and I'll see

you in the next video

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