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Adhesives for Wiring a Slip Switch to Control a Model Railroad Turnout

Bert poses this question and hopes for feedback from knowledgeable model railroaders:

“I want to use a slip switch to control a model railroad turnout.  I have fabricated linkages using Evergreen Styrene and heavy florist wire.  The connection between the turnout points and the slip switch is two pieces of wire connected with a styrene tube forming one continuous rod.  Try as I may, I have yet to find an adhesive that will significantly bond the wire inside the styrene tube.  Even though I allow an adhesive to cure for 24 hours, after a few toggles on the switch, the wire becomes loose and is no longer attached.

Any thoughts on what adhesive I should pursue?  Thus far I have used Insta-Cure CA Super Thin, Maxi-Cure CA Extra Thick, Tamiya Extra-Thin Cement, and Red Baron Adhesive (Thin and Medium).

If the wire/styrene combo will not work, I’ll have use another alternative. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.”

5 Responses to Adhesives for Wiring a Slip Switch to Control a Model Railroad Turnout

  • Timothy Morloksays:

    Hi Bert. Have you thought about making a mechanical connection between the wires and the styrene? You could drill a small hole near each end of the tube and thread a small setscrew that is slightly larger than the hole to secure the wire inside the tube. You could also try scoring the wires to create a rough surface on the ends of the wires and use an adhesive/glue that melts the styrene so that it adheres to the grooves in the wire. Good luck with your project.

    • bert linkonissays:


      I like the suggestion to score the ends of the wire.

      Thanks, Bert

  • Geoff Staggsays:

    The only way I can think to get the adhesive to work would be to try and make a twist in the wire as it goes into the styrene tube so you aren’t trying to glue a straight piece of wire. ie some sort of spiral so that the wire can’t just pull out of the glue. But I have to say that a mechanical connection as Timothy suggests sounds a lot better.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Hi Bert
    I use piano wire for this at 1.3mm solid core we have it available at our craft stores here it is available in 1 meter lengths and i run this through flexible curtain wire at corners or at points i use model aircraft plastic quadrants screwed to the base board so that they can move. the wire if bent to a right angle it will fit in the holes in the quadrant.

  • Bernard Hallassays:

    If you really must use a metal wire to styrene tube, a combination of a spiral on the wire, or flatten the end 1/4 inch (Hammer!) and add a couple of holes in the styrene and force the wire in with some epoxy adhesive. The “wedge ” of wire should give a bit more grip on the wire, and the holes in the styrene give more grip for the adhesive.
    I think the idea of Piano wire in a flexible curtain “wire” is a much better idea, much more sound (pardon the pun).
    If you are using styrene for your mechanical linkage, it must be a straight line push/pull. Then why do you need the styrene? Why not use just wire? You shouldn’t need more than 1/32 inch wire (~0.75 mm) to operate your turnout anyway.

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