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Opinions welcome on this subroadbed idea

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Opinions welcome on this subroadbed idea
Posted by Mister Mikado on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 8:58 PM

Dollar stores and craft store sell these firm black foam sections 8"X12", 1/4" thick.  I'm thinking of lining my entire plywood table with them, then laying snap track on top.  Seems like this would be a very quiet layout.  I'll sprinkle ballast loose LION-style and slip a metal plate under when soldering.  What you all think?

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Posted by wvg_ca on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 9:34 PM

shouldn't cost that much to try ... might be okay??

if it's not, it wouldn't be too hard to replace with something different

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Posted by davidmurray on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 9:50 PM

You could also buy the thinest foam insulation you can buy, and cut roadbed out of that.  The thickness of roadbed does not matter, as long as it is all the same.  You would probably need to raise the scenry to get it higher.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 9:55 PM

 Worth a try - you might want to take a scrape piece of lumber and put some on and lay some track on it before you tackle your whole layout, to see if it will work out.

 It may depend on how squishy it is. I picked up some foam roadbed that at first glance looks like the Woodland Scenics stuff (on eBay, for a much lower price - and available in grey as well as black. Unfortunately it's all one thickness, the guy doesn't make a thinner version for sidings or secondary trackage), however compared to WS, this stuff is firmer, less squishy. I had no problem with WS, but for less and also being somewhat more dense, I am probably going with this.

 Not as cheap as the foam sheets you're talking about, so give it a try, I see even the craft stores sell a 9x12 sheet for 99 cents, so it won't be an expensive experiment. Who knows, maybe you have found yet another viable roadbed option. Instead of covering the whole layout, it probably cuts easily with a utility knife, and you could probably even rig something to hold a utility blade at a 45 degree angle to easily cut nice slopes on the sides.

                                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:51 PM

We used hundreds of those dollar-store 1/4" foam sheets making pieces of scale-armour for CosPlay costumes.

They are surprisingly easy to work with and durable.

I even used them for the gasket on the outlet of my spray booth blower motor.

BARGAIN!

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 12:53 AM

Is that the stuff known as EVA foam? Same/similar to the Woodland Scanics stuff?

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/Track-BedSystem

As long as it doesn't degrade over time I imagine it would be OK. You might want to see if you could get a larger sheet size and cut it into longer strips.

You would want to use a caulk or other adhesive method to secure the Snap-track as spikes would transmit the sound to the sub-roadbed.

https://www.amazon.com/Sheets-Craft-Cosplay-Thickness-1-10mm/dp/B07BSWRCQM/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=eva+foam&qid=1600235499&sr=8-5

 I have good results using gray 1mm EVA for replicating asphalt paving:

 Chem_pave-tar4 by Edmund, on Flickr

My layout track is "old school" with 3/4 plywood and Midwest cork. There's probably a few times I would have ruined a foam roadbed when I forgot to turn off the drip on my CMX track cleaning car Whistling

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 10:04 AM

Don't expect miracles in the noise reduction aspect of the foam.  It's better than track directly on plywood but I am sure there will stll be some noise.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:01 AM

dknelson
Don't expect miracles in the noise reduction aspect of the foam. 

My experience with any roadbed material is that all the noise-level-improvements go away as soon as the ballast is glued down.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 2:33 PM

Woodlands Scenics makes 5 mm (13/64 or around 6/32, it varies a bit between 4.5 and 5 mm in practice) thick sheets of closed cell foam matching the thickness of their foam roadbed. It comes in rectangular sheets and 5" wide by 24" long strips.

We use it in our yard areas and to make shaped cut out sections to go under turnouts. It can even support a manual turnout lever.

Works great. Does quieten noise effectively (don't know about the ballast effect) and quite probably it's the very same stuff you plan on getting.  1/4 inch is closer to 6mm so it's too thick to butt up against foam track underlay but you don't intend to do that anyway. 

Rigid foam is a lousy sound insulator unless the surface is covered with a material that can absorb the sound waves and pass them through for absorption by the foam. Sound reflects quite well off bare solid foam for the same reason it reflects off plywood.

The softer surface of the closed cell underlay type foam absorbs and dissipates noise. It is a very poor reflector of sound waves.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by eaglescout on Thursday, September 17, 2020 6:43 AM
I've just completed my second layout using the 5mm foam. I cut it with a razor blade jig I made at a 45 degree angle and make narrow strips like cork roadbed. Glue it down with Alex caulk. It works great, is inexpensive and I have not seen any deterioration in five year
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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:48 PM

Mister Mikado

Dollar stores and craft store sell these firm black foam sections 8"X12", 1/4" thick.  I'm thinking of lining my entire plywood table with them, then laying snap track on top.  Seems like this would be a very quiet layout.  I'll sprinkle ballast loose LION-style and slip a metal plate under when soldering.  What you all think?

 

I'm not familiar with the product, but I would want to be sure its dense enough.

At only 8 x 12 inches, I think lining the entire table top would fail the cost/benefit ratio in terms of time spent alying it and gluing it down all over. 

Preformed roadbed seems more efficient. 

I'm using the same product Randy will be using.  I've previously tested it on one section of the layout.  I've started permanently laying it and forming curves with it and it is working out really well.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:46 PM

 Good to hear - I only got like a 30' order to test first, but I haven't actually tried attaching any to wood and putting track down. I need to remember to pick up one of those small squeeze tubes of caulk - I don't want to open a full tube because it will still be a while before I need that much so it will end up going bad sitting around. But the time to order a large quantity is approaching.

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:18 PM

Mister Mikado
I'll sprinkle ballast loose LION-style

I don't like the idea of loose ballast, regardless of who thinks it's a good idea.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, September 18, 2020 8:38 AM

I found rubber caps for these caulk tubes which seal out the air as effectively as the factory seal. I haven't seen any for awhile but I bought mine from Lee Valley Tools years ago. Caulk in an opened tube but capped with one of  these stays useable for years, literally.

 

Waddya know, still there:

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/45858-nozzle-caps?item=25K8080

 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 18, 2020 10:40 AM

Lastspikemike
I found rubber caps for these caulk tubes which seal out the air as effectively as the factory seal.

I heartily 'second' this observation.  And note that it applies to glues as well as just caulk.  I kick myself for all the tubes I let dry out in the nozzle, even with factory 'caps' applied...

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Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, September 18, 2020 11:22 AM

Love the details!  Would the 1mm cork work for going between the track?  If not what size thickness is necessary.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, September 18, 2020 1:33 PM

 What do you need anything between the tracks for? You will be filling in the area between tracks with ground cover, vegetation, roads, buildings, etc. 

 Found those same caps on Amazon, have to give them a try. Seems some manufacturers have taken the obvious path and given them a slightly more colorful name, too. Part of the problem is, I never cut the nozzle to any of the marked bead sizes, even the smallest is too big for layoung roadbed and track. I nip off just enough to stick a piece of #20 wire in to puncture the inner seal. That makes it east to get a thin bead for the roadbed and track - and that's all you need. On the track, the caulk shouldn't ooze up around the ties, if it is, you're using way too much, and I can understand then saying there's no way to get the track off without damage after the caulk sets.I've been using the clear type, it comes out of the tube white but turns clear as it sets. When spread out, even before it sets, you can easily see through it to see a pencil drawn centerline for example. That's how thin a layer it should be. Not a big glob.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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