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Materials for layouts

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  • Member since
    May, 2018
  • 12 posts
Materials for layouts
Posted by Payitforward on Monday, May 28, 2018 12:12 PM

Hello everyone. I wnat to fast track this becuase my time is so limited. I wnat more doing tham reading which gives me a headache. I just acquired some vintage sets of Linoels at shows, auction and yard sales. I want to build a layout ( somewhat simple ) that has two layers. A bottom layer that is 4'x8' and an upper layer 2'x5'. What is the best material to use. I saw some 2" thick rigid insulation that looks promising, but will wait to hear from the experts.

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
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Posted by dstarr on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 9:58 AM

Two inch foamboard is strong enough to support HO trains no sweat.  Not sure if it is strong enough to support Lionel (O gauge).  Might be, but I won't guarentee it.  The other thing about foamboard is that no kind of fasterner will hold in it.  Which means you have to secure your track with some kind of stickum.  Old time Lionel tinplate track might not take stickum very well.  Newer track, with lots of plastic ties will take stickum well.  

   Was it me,  I would go for Homasote.  It comes in 4 by 8 sheets, it takes track nails well, it has some sound deadening properties.  Homasote is quite soft, and will sag over time unless you put plywood underneath it. 

   You might want to think about that 2 by 5 foot upper layer.  If memory serves, Lionel's tightest curve requires 27 inches to make a 180 degree turn. (027 track) If you bend a 24 inch curve you may have trouble with derailments. 

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    March, 2011
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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 11:05 AM

Define vintage.  If it is postwar,  they are heavy. If it is mpc, that is light.  Big difference in construction methods.  My postwar layout is of the classic 3/4 inch ply and 2x4 construction. Of course i am working to make the entire thing era propper.    The question you have would be better answered on the classic toy train board

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 2,548 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 9:53 AM

The "best" material will be whatever you are comfortable working with and matches your skill set.

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All my privious layouts have been open grid frames with plywood roadbed because that is what I knew how to build and had the tools to get it done.

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My next layout will be on metal legs with a load bearing front beam and fastened to the walls on the perimeter. This is a change for me, but I know I can do it.

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As far as the equipment goes, that does not make too much of a difference in material selection.

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Have fun!

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    May, 2018
  • 12 posts
Posted by Payitforward on Monday, July 16, 2018 4:46 PM

Thank you. That sounds good. I'll have to check Lowes to see if they carry it. I would imagine it takes paint and coatings well.

  • Member since
    May, 2018
  • 12 posts
Posted by Payitforward on Monday, July 16, 2018 4:52 PM

Yes, generaly 1949 to 1955 and they are indeed very heavy. I'm reasonable handy with tools. You gave me an idea as I was in my mind struggling to get that 3/4 in the attic. lol I'm thinking sandwhich construction. I/4 ply 1 inch foam or bridging and 1/4 ply,

Thank you

  • Member since
    May, 2018
  • 12 posts
Posted by Payitforward on Monday, July 16, 2018 4:55 PM

This will be enormously heavy so it will require bridging. Thank yo all for replying. I can meld the suggestions together.

All of it sage advice.

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