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Caboose Ground Throws on Foam

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Caboose Ground Throws on Foam
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 12:50 PM

A couple months ago I removed all my Caboose ground throws from my yard because I wanted to go with over-center springs on my turnouts. 

The springs are working out OK, but they're not as trouble-free as I would like. So I'm thinking of going back to the ground throws.

Thing is, my yard is laid on pink foam (with cork roadbed). I held the throws in place using small nails through the base, but the foam and cork combination did not hold them securely. I never tried using an adhesive.

For those who use the ground throws with foam, how did you adhere the base of the throws to the foam or cork? Caulk, superglue, or...?

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 1:11 PM

I had this leftover 8' strip of plastic molding that cost $1.00 at Home Depot. I just cut little bits off, hit them with the gray primer, caulked them to the foam and caulked the Caboose ground throw to the plastic. A little weather powder dirties them up nicely to look like cement. 

Brent

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 4:23 PM

Shims undneath made from scrap corkboard sheets, then I raided the sewing drawer for straight pins. Use the small "brad style" head ones, not the brightly colored plastic ball ones, as they fit perfectly and are all but invisible when painted. No adhesive needed.

Held with zero issues for over 5 years, and only came out when I purposely pulled them out to dismantle the layout for a remodel. 

Ricky W.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 4:41 PM

I glued cork pads down and just screwed the throws to them, no problems yet after a year.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 6:38 PM

Hello All,

Pruitt
...the foam and cork combination did not hold them securely.

I have a similar situation with PECO PL-11 solenoid-type switch machines.

Trying to securely attach them to foam didn't work.

I ended up taking small strips of Luan Plywood; 5mm thick, that fit under the throw rod and extended out to hold the switch machines.

These "platforms" are attached to the track and not the roadbed or base. This ensures a solid connection between the turnout and the switch machine of choice. 

You can model these platforms as cement for the modern age or ballast over them for other eras.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by cowman on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 6:46 PM

I've also seen a block of 1/4" plywood cut, similar to the plastic strip above, attached to the foam with a compatable latex caulk, small screws or nails used to hold the throw.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 7:14 PM

Mark,

I used Fast Tracks turnouts w/live frogs on my last layout and I switched them using the Caboose Industries (CI) 220S ground throws for the electrical connection.  They were affixed to a 1-1/2" long* inverted section of cork roadbed that mated with the beveled edge of the cork roadbed that the track sat upon.  A 3/8" or 1/2" OD clearance hole was enough to pass the 3-contact array through for wiring the ground throw from underneath.

*[Edit - After musing on it some more, Mark, I believe I used a 1/2 width of cork roadbed so that the flat side pointed away from the track and the bevel side mated with the bevel of the track roadbed.  You can then choose how long you need the inverted cork section to be for supporting the ground throw.]

IIRC, the cork was affixed to the extruded foam, as well as to the beveled surface of the track roadbed with DAP Alex Plus Latex Caulk.  The CI 220S ground throw was affixed to the 1-1/2" long inverted cork with the same but I also drove track nails into the cork using the two holes in the base of the ground throw.

I never had an issue with those ground throws moving or shiftng at all with the Alex Plus and track nail combination.  And they felt solid everytime I engaged or disengaged them.  Using the inverted cork for mounting the ground throws also meant there was no shimming required, as it was the exact same height as the track roadbed next to it.

FWIW,

Tom

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 11:19 PM

Thanks everyone. I used the inverted cork mounting pad method, and attached the ground throws with 1/2" small nails through the mounting holes in the base. 

Maybe the nails weren't long enough - the throws kept coming loose and I had to constantly re-seat them. Maybe I'll try the caulk in combination with the nails on a few and see how that works.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 3:03 PM

Don't use nails, use screws, unlike track the nails will wiggle free from movement of using the throws.

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, September 16, 2021 4:09 PM

rrebell
Don't use nails, use screws, unlike track the nails will wiggle free from movement of using the throws.

I never thought about screws. I just assumed the threads in a size small enough to use wouldn't grip either the foam OR the cork well enough to be worth considering. Have you used screws for that? I'll give them a shot.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 16, 2021 4:20 PM

Mark,

You could oversize the holes in the ground throw somewhat to use larger screws.  I would opt for a wood screw since it has coarser threads and will bite into the cork better.

Tom

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, September 17, 2021 10:04 AM

I do use little brass wood screws with what looks like a pan head.

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Saturday, September 18, 2021 8:41 AM

Timely topic as I'm coming up on doing the same in my yard.  I have a box of coarse drywall screws but they are way too big for this work.  If I could find scaled-down small versions of them they might grip the foam really well. 

Andy

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, September 18, 2021 9:12 AM

It is the cork you are securing to my way. I used to use plywood pads but the tiny brass screws head slots would strip out, even with pre drilling.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 19, 2021 12:50 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
 If I could find scaled-down small versions of them they might grip the foam really well. 

Hi Andy,

These guys might have something suitable:

https://www.microfasteners.com/

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, September 20, 2021 9:00 AM

Forgot what I used but the shank fit thru the hole already in the ground throw.

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 20, 2021 10:14 AM

I couldn't find any screws small enough locally (welcome to the boonies!) so yesterday I picked up a box of brown 1" panel nails. I drilled out the holes in the base of the ground throws to 5/64" for the nails to fit, added a dot of caulk to the base and put a couple of ground throws back in place. The panel nails are ring shank nails, so they grip very well. Even without the caulk having dried, the ground throws seemed secure.

We'll see how they hold up over the next few weeks. If they're good, I'll do the rest of the yard the same way.

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Posted by mikeGTW on Monday, September 20, 2021 11:19 AM

This is what I use since I use homasote  not foam  I glue the blocks to the homasote 

But you could also glue or use caulk to fasten them down   

Then the tiny screws and I use a small amount of elmer's glue under the ground throw  been there for years no problems 

And that's finger nail polish  have red and green

 

 

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, September 20, 2021 12:47 PM

You know I never thought of basewood even though i have lots around. One thing I like about cork is if you miss the mark slightly the cork seems to reseal a bit to allowfine adjustments.

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