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Foam board

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  • Member since
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Foam board
Posted by willyboy1973 on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 6:38 PM

I am getting back into the hobby after a lengthy hiatus in layout construction, and am interested in using foam board as the base for the layout and trackwork.  Can anyone tell me where to obtain the board in the Tampa area?  I have been unabel to lacate a supply in the area. Also what thickness are most of you working with?  It seems like 1 inch is the most common.  I plan to lay the foam over 1/2 inch plywood, and it seems like Liquid Nails is the prefered adhesive, but if there are any other ideas I will be glad to listen.  I am working in HO. Thanks.

Tags: Foam
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  • From: Enfield, CT
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Posted by Doc in CT on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 6:59 PM

 You are looking for Foamular (the Owens Corning name) or the DOW equivalent (the blue stuff).

Try

CEMIX building materials  (formally Rinker)
9609 Palm River Road
Tampa, FL 33619 
David Leonard Phone: 813-621-7988  DLeonard@rinker.com

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

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Posted by cowman on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 8:26 PM

It is called extruded foam insulation, it can be pink or blue, depending on manufacturer.  Around here (New England) it  comes in 1/2", 1", 1 1/2", and 2" at the local lumber yards and big box lumber places.  I know many folks in warmer climbs seem to have a hard time finding it, though I would think it would be as good to insulate a house to keep it cool as it is to keep a house warm, but what do I know.  A number of folks use it with only a skelleton frame, as the 2" is quite strong on its own.  There do seem to be some sound issues, (see a couple or recent posts).  Where it is used a lot, you can often pick  up some pretty substantial pieces at construction sites.  Even small pieces are useful to turn into dirt piles (track ends), loads and all  sorts of bumps in your scenery. 

If you use Liquid Nails, be sure to use For Projects, as the other types tend to eat the foam.  Personally I have found cheap latex caulk to work just fine for foam to foam, foam to wood, foam to cork and track to cork.  A very thin layer is all you need.  I seal the tube by pushing in a long sheetrock screw, then taking some saran wrap, folding it over so it is several layers thick, put it over the end and secure it with a rubber band.  I have had times when it was several months between uses and it has come out of the tube with no problems.

Good luck finding some,

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Posted by duckdogger on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 11:01 PM

Dense foam is great as a subbed and is easily configured into whatever scenery effect you need with a foam cutter  (hot wire or hot knife).  I also use a stiff wire brush and Sur-Form tool.  It's easily colored with cheap latex paint.

A very good adhesive is PL300, a blue colored  product in a caulk tube.  It has a high viscosity and unless warmed, can require a lot of squeeze muscle to get it out of the tube.  All it takes is a thin layer - I lay down a 1/4-inch bead and then sread it with a spatula

Trains. Cooking. Cycling. So many choices but so little time.
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Posted by KEKALIGHTING on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 5:02 AM

I get all of my blue foam in 2 inch depths at a place called Whitecap.  I live in lakeland and have had a hard time finding this stuff.  Here is a link to where the stores are located in Tampa.

http://www.whitecap.com/

At the top of the page it has the locations tab just put in your zip and the stores will come up in your area.  They also have 1 inch, 1/2 inch and i think a few more sizes.  They call it extruded foam perf board and they sell it by a 4X8 sheet.

Hope this Helps

Frank

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Posted by ratled on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 8:08 AM

Welcome back to RR'ing!  I too was like you over a year ago getting back in and looking for foam.  I can't help you in locating it out there but if the big box stores aren't caring it your area look under builders supply, construction material etc.

I used 2" foam (actually two layer of 2" foam) so that I could have some depth to carve some terrain features in it.  I tried Liquid mails (too expensive), cheap latex chaulk (still too expensive and caused bumps) and finnaly went with yellow construction glue ($10 for a gallon).  I'm happy with it.

On a side note, the next layou t will NOT have foam in it.  It's expensive - a sheet of 2" foam 2' x 8' was almost $30... I have 10 sheets.  I did use mine over 1/2" ply that rests on a 1"x3" frame of cabinet grade ply ( a great way for frame work)

Hope this helps

ratled

Modeling the Klamath River area in HO on a proto-lanced sub of the SP “The State of Jefferson Line”

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Posted by RDG1519 on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 8:23 AM

For whatever reason the 2 inch blue Dow is hard to find in Houston. The aforementioned White Cap had it and this is a great place to visit for other wood, hardware stuff.

Chris

Great grandson of John Kiefer, Engineman Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, 1893 to 1932
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Posted by 4020deere on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 8:56 AM

I don't live in your area, but Lowe's carries 2 inch extruded foam board as well as the blue 1/2 inch kind as well.  I use both on my layout.  I like the 2 inch for the base and building up large hills/mountains, but use the denser blue board to fill in and make subtle changes in the terrain.

Michael E. Maurer

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 10:04 AM

 Willy,

Nice to see someone who lives in my neck of the woods! 

Lowe's carries the 2" blue foam board.  My wife's cousin, who is rebuilding his layout, just bought 8 sheets at the Lowe's just east of I-75 on Causeway Blvd.  If they don't have it in stock, they will order it for you.  I'm not sure, but I think the price is in the 20-25$ range for a 4' x 8' sheet. My 2" foam came from leftover throwaway materials on a construction site.

BTW: Do you visit Happy Hobo Trains on Waters Ave?  Also, the Suncoast Model Railroader's Club in Largo?

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by BIG JERR on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 10:24 AM

SCARCE,out in so cal too. checked white cap on line says they stock but are they a contracter only type store ???? guess I could call and ask , also thought of taking a field trip north till I found it and mix in some r&r .....other then that scarce out here...J.W.

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Posted by ham99 on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 11:09 AM

 

4'x8' pink foam in 2" thickness is around $22 here in the midwest.  I use carpenter's yellow glue for foam to foam or foam to wood.  I can always remove/change it after a brief soak with detergent water.  In face, I just finished moving the base of my engine house -- needed to move it 1 1/2" to make room for another service track.  I'll reuse everything.
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Posted by RFinch on Wednesday, August 05, 2009 4:01 PM

 In my area, Martinsburg, WV, the local Lowes store stopped carrying the Dow blue foam insulation board and now carries GreenGuard extruded polystyrene insulation board in 2" x 4' x 8" sheets for approximately $30/sheet.  As far as I can tell by looking at the spec sheets on the two products they are essentially the same.  I'll be using the 2" foam glued to 1/2" plywood with clear DAP ALEX PLUS acrylic latex caulk available at my local Walmart for approx. $2.00/tube.

Bob

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Posted by KEKALIGHTING on Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:03 AM

Whitecap will sell to anyone no contractor liscense needed.

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Posted by BIG JERR on Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:10 AM

hey,thanks for the info on white cap...J.W.

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:22 AM
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Posted by Grampys Trains on Thursday, August 06, 2009 3:10 PM

Hi Willyboy: Welcome to the forum. This may seem old fashioned, but here's an alternative to foam. Cardboard strips, hot glue gun and glue, and plaster cloth, all available anywhere.DJ.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, August 08, 2009 9:38 AM

 I recently finished my layout on two inch foamboard.  The board was left over from a remodeling project, and thus free to me.  Solvent based Liquid Nails is said to eat foamboard.  My hardware store has a bewildering variety of Liquid Nails, none of which say "Safe for foam board".  I used PL300 which is so marked.  No problems.  Latex caulk also sticks well.

   Foam board will NOT accept fasteners, everything must be attached with adhesive, ballast, track,under table switch machines.   The edges of the stuff are soft, and leaning on it will dent it.  I made wood frames of 1 * 4 to protect the edges with bottoms of 3/8 inch plywood.  The bottoms stiffen the frames and give something to sink screws into.  

  Foam board can be worked with ordinary wood working tools.  A circular saw gives a nice clean straight cut.  It can be carved with a steak knife.   

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Posted by nucat78 on Saturday, August 08, 2009 10:37 PM
Geez, sounds like I ought to borrow somebody's truck, load it up with foam sheets and head south. The stuff is all over around here but almost always pink. About $20-$22 for a sheet of 2-inch., less when on sale. I like the blue half-inch or even 1 -inch for backdrops - you can be lazy and take a long time to get around to painting them (if you paint them at all...)
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Posted by CTValleyRR on Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:12 PM

dstarr

Foam board will NOT accept fasteners, everything must be attached with adhesive, ballast, track,under table switch machines.   The edges of the stuff are soft, and leaning on it will dent it.  I made wood frames of 1 * 4 to protect the edges with bottoms of 3/8 inch plywood.  The bottoms stiffen the frames and give something to sink screws into.  

Au contraire.  Fasteners go into foam board like a knife into warm butter.  It's getting them to STAY there that's the trick. Smile

Seriously, I protect the edges with 1/8" hardboard (glued on with PL300).  I find 1x4 to be overkill. I have braces in the benchwork every 3' or so underneath.  It's a simple matter to run a strip of 1/2" plywood out from your braces if you need to mount a switch machine, for example.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

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Posted by kcole4001 on Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:30 PM

nucat78
Geez, sounds like I ought to borrow somebody's truck, load it up with foam sheets and head south. The stuff is all over around here but almost always pink. About $20-$22 for a sheet of 2-inch., less when on sale. I like the blue half-inch or even 1 -inch for backdrops - you can be lazy and take a long time to get around to painting them (if you paint them at all...)

 

If you want to make a good return on your investment, bring that truck up here (Nova Scotia). The average price I find around here is $1.44/sq. ft. for 2" thick, and it's most commonly sold in 2' X 8' sheets.

I guess I gotta wait for a big sale, since I need a lot of the stuff to insulate my garage train room.

"The mess and the magic Triumphant and tragic A mechanized world out of hand" Kevin
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Posted by willyboy1973 on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:58 PM

Thanks for the reply, sorry I'm so late in responding.  After all the hoopla I have decided to go back to the method I always used, which is Homasote over plywood.  When I contacted Lowes they would order the foam from South Carolina, and of course I would pay for shipping.

I have not been the The Happy Hobo, but have been to the Suncoast MRR Club several times on their open hoouse events.

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