Lot's went into the decision. I came across a great article on the internet about the cost of hand laid vs flex track. They cost about the same IF you buy ties and rail. We'll, I have a ton of rail and ties here, so the cost went down dramatically. Also, nothing beats the look of hand laid On30 track. This is a very small layout, so the trackwork won't take long, and some of it can be done off the layout, which is even easier.
To me, neither Peco nor Micro Engineering track is quite right. Both are way to precision for a 30" line, and Peco ties are enormous while ME ties are too thin. Hand lay...makes it MY WAY!
Here are the specs:
Rail - code 83 weathered ME rail on main lines, code 70 weathered ME rail on the sidings
Ties - sugar pine, dimensions TBD
Spikes - ME micro spikes or medium spikes
Application - contact cement
I'm going to use the method that Glue Bob Wheeler taught me. He's a fantastic track man, and his work is excellent. He used Pliobond Cement in the tube so that he can cut a slot in the tube and run a bead of adhesive along the bottom of the rail. Once it dries he hold the rail on the ties in position and heats it with a 175 watt soldering iron which makes the glue pliable like a hot glue, and the rail is affixed in position. Need to adjust? No problem, just heat it back up. I've tried it at Bob's and it works, so that is what we'll do. Laying track should go fast. I can do one turnout in about an hour, so we're only talking a few weeks to get the mainline done.
I'll need to make a rail gluing jig, so we'll do that first. It is just a cradle for holding the rail while the glue sets.
Thanks Bob! Appreciate the help!