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Using foam board as under layment

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Using foam board as under layment
Posted by corsiar on Monday, May 27, 2019 4:39 PM

I just finished building the benchwork for my layout using 1 x 4 with a 3/8 partical board top. Was planning on gluing 1" thick pink insulation foam board on top of the particalboard then laying track on that. Since my track plan is flat and wont be going below the cork roadbed is it even worth it to mess with the foam? 

 

This is the latest track plan. A little different then the one I orginally posted in the easement post.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, May 27, 2019 5:20 PM

That foam would give you the opportunity to carve out a creek, or a ditch, or any other ground features that would be below track bed level.

It's also easier for setting trees, pole, etc.

If you plan on having none of that, then there's no reason for the foam.

Mike.

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Monday, May 27, 2019 5:22 PM

Hm... yes. LION tried thaat. Track nails will not stick in a foam base. I tried that, I figured all I needed was for the tracks not to slide. So the nails held the track just fine until I got the idea to use reed switches for my signal control. It was a simple matter to put magnets under the cars...

 

... and pull up all of the nails. Not a bproblem if you glue down your ballast, but the LION does not do that either.

 

LION used SUPER MAGNETS salvaged fro old hard drives.

 

Magnets wook good, but are so strong that they interfere with the operation of the locomotive motor.

 

So yeah, the foam is cheap, but also cheap is accoustic ceiling tiles or sound proof underlayment used for flooring.  The underlayment is quite a bit like Homasote but cheaper and easier to cut.

 

Oh Well. Thems is the ideas of the LION, your wildebeest may vary.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by corsiar on Monday, May 27, 2019 6:15 PM

Will track nails hold the track good enough in the foam for testing before ballasting the track? 

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Monday, May 27, 2019 6:37 PM

 I use foam,notthing under it, glued/caulk to benchwork. Very easy to drop wires,plant trees,ect. Just use a sharp pointy thing,push down.

I cut paper clips in half, = 2 U s, pin the ouside ties. Some of my track stayed like that for years.

The only time I really needed track pinned was with flex track on curves. Once you apply and glue the ballist, the track aint going anywhere. Most of mine is not even glued/nailed. As of now none of my yard is pinned, just sits there, no issue.

You may not need anything just to test

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Posted by BuchananBucks on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 2:43 AM

My railroad is a shelf style (2’ wide) pike built from pre-primed 1x3 boards, topped with 3/8” luan and 1/2” pink foam board. I glued the foam board to the luan with beads of PL-300 foam board adhesive in a 6”x6” pattern. I used the same to glue the cork roadbed to the foam board and spread it the width of the roadbed with a putty knife. I then used PECO track pins (nails) to nail down PECO track and the adhesive holds the nails just fine.

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Posted by Nevin Wilson on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 5:50 AM

My last layout had 2 inch thick pink foam as a base.  I then glued cork and the track with adhesives.  The only problem is that the surface of the foam isn't completely flat.  It isn't enough to be noticable until you can't get rolling stock with good wheels to stay at the spots you have switched them too.  Without the brakes of the prototype they cars roll to the low spots which was often 3-4 inches away from where you wanted to place the car.  This is something to consider.  I'm thinking about going back to plywood for my new railroad.  foam is absolutely great for scenery: very easy to carve and make it look realistic.  

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Posted by Bigjim7 on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:48 AM
I would use the foam. As mention it will give you the choice of making creeks' ponds' ect which really give a sense of depth. Easy to use' just use pin's to hold roadbed and track and caulk or glue to hold. Nice plans.
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Posted by Erie1951 on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 7:10 AM

If using just cork roadbed on top of plywood, is that enough to deaden the train sound or would the cork on top of the foam be better?

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 7:25 AM

I don't bother with foam at all and just use track nails or ME spikes.  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 8:58 AM

Nevin Wilson

My last layout had 2 inch thick pink foam as a base.  I then glued cork and the track with adhesives.  The only problem is that the surface of the foam isn't completely flat.  It isn't enough to be noticable until you can't get rolling stock with good wheels to stay at the spots you have switched them too.  Without the brakes of the prototype they cars roll to the low spots which was often 3-4 inches away from where you wanted to place the car.  This is something to consider.  I'm thinking about going back to plywood for my new railroad.  foam is absolutely great for scenery: very easy to carve and make it look realistic.  

 

 

LION has several sheets of white foam hidden in the power house.

It used to be part of the roof system on the library buillding. For whatever reason (probably leaks under warranty) it was torn up again and replaced.

This fom is very uneven, with rollong tents and stuff. I saved it because I want to use it as the ground level above my subways. I thought that its deformities looked a lot like Seventh Avenue outside of Penn Station. Where is not street, it will play host to the TALL BUILDINGS.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:00 AM

How would you put wires through the board top?  Count me in for using foam.  I have 2" foam resting on L-girders with 1x4s spaced every two feeet across the top.  Foam has a lot of advantages as others mentioned.  Go with it!

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:01 AM

Erie1951

If using just cork roadbed on top of plywood, is that enough to deaden the train sound or would the cork on top of the foam be better?

 

 

 

 

Why you want to dezden the sound? LION will put microphones under the table to amplify the sound of the subway trains racing through the tunnels.

 

ROARING (That's what trains do!)

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:04 AM

In foam, just push a hole through it with a bodkin (ask Steve).

Pull the wires out to the facia, do all of your wiring there, and then mound a finished fascia over the wireways. No need to go under tables. Believe me, a time will come when you will not be able to go under the tables any more, and then you will thank me.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:58 AM

Lion,

I wish I had read about your wiring before I started my layout last year.

I wired under the table.  I used terminal strips to make connections, which does make it somewhat easier.

However, it still means crawling under the table and working over your head, trying to rest your arms every minute or so.  I almost hate to do any new wiring because of the sore 67 year old muscles.

If (when) I do this a second time, all the wiring will be pulled through to a covered fascia like you suggest.

John

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:13 AM

York1
I wired under the table. I used terminal strips to make connections, which does make it somewhat easier.

Terminal strips?

 

LION uses no terminal strips.

Terminal strips are far, far too expensive.

LION uses nails. Him printed the paper so that nails can be identified

As seen here the panel is only half wired. Thes cables go out to the layout on the fascia where there are identical placards for these wires. I must still connect the GRS tower to these terminals, and swuitch machines, relays and signals to the other end of these wires.

The white wires came from cables in a 1920s vintage pipe organ which was removed from the church in 2001 when we did opur renovation. The man who bought the pipe organ just cut the cables and left them behind.

There is no plastic or rubber used in the construction of these cables, just white colored waxed string wrapped around each sonductor. The wires were bundled in ropes of elecen conductors, (A full octave on the organ), and there were six robes in a cable again made with waxeed paper and braided cotton strands.

As I said elsewhere LIONS are cheap. I had six of these cables and when I ran out of the the abbot gave me permission to get 200' of cat-3 25 pair cable. : )

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Roger282 on Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:19 PM

I would say "Yes" to the foam top.  I built my N-Scale layout on a flush door.  I glued a 4" thick slab of pink foam to the top (36" X 84") and glued the cork roadbed directly to the foam, then glued the track to the roadbed.  No problems at all.  It's a very easy and fast way to proceed, and you can simply cut into the foam for creeks, rivers, gullies, etc.

 

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Posted by Roger282 on Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:24 PM

I drew the track center line directly on the foam,  then spread Elmer's Glue along one side of the line, placed the cord roadbed into the glue up to the center line, and held it there with those plastic tipped push pins.  Once the glue dried, I did the same thing on the other side of the center line, pressing the other half of the roadbed against the first, and held it there with the pushpins.  After the glue set up, I installed the track the very same way:  white glue, track, pushpins.  I didn't use any spikes nor nails, just glue & pushpins.  It worked great.

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:35 PM

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:53 PM

In one section of my layout, I used plywood with about 3" of foam glued to it. I used caulk to hold down the track. The problems arose when I had to wire the track. I ended up getting a long 3/16" drill bit to make the hole in the plywood. I then made a "sewing needle" from a wire hanger. One end had a sharp point on it. I hammed the other end flat, drilled two small holes. I threaded the wire into that end, pushed the hanger through, then pulled the wire through. It worked great, but it was a hassle trying to find the hole in the plywood until I pushed the hanger through from the bottom.

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 30, 2019 1:33 PM

I agree with Marlon. I have one little spot on my layout where the foam is on plywood. Working through foam on ply is a real pain. Working through either is fine but for some reason when the two are combined it is an issue. So use one or the other.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, May 30, 2019 2:57 PM

Is Lion not feeling well? Him not remain in third person in that last reply.Big Smile

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, May 30, 2019 3:26 PM

rrinker

Is Lion not feeling well? Him not remain in third person in that last reply.Big Smile

                                   --Randy

 

 

Maybe the abbey cook put cheese on his wildebeast and the side effects are showing.

John

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, May 30, 2019 5:25 PM

Medina1128
In one section of my layout, I used plywood with about 3" of foam glued to it. I used caulk to hold down the track. The problems arose when I had to wire the track. I ended up getting a long 3/16" drill bit to make the hole in the plywood. I then made a "sewing needle" from a wire hanger.

I have 4" of foam on 1/8" luan on part of my layout.  Long drill bits are $8 at Ace Hardware.  I widen the hole a bit in the plywood, with a countersink bit and insert an 1/8" piece of brass tubing through the hole.  Then thread my feeders from the bottom and pull the tube.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, May 30, 2019 6:09 PM

I really like foam.  I enjoyed mixing a lot of geometry with it a couple years ago.

Things have come a long way since then.... I'm still not there yet.

So many decisions and such little railroad timeSad 

Well,  ... let's see.  We have about four days of Summer up here in Minnesota,  maybe I'll hit it again in the WinterLaugh

TF

 

PS    corsair.  My favorite war plane of all times is the Corsair.  Great plane,  cool name.

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Posted by joe323 on Thursday, May 30, 2019 8:36 PM

BroadwayLion

 

 
Erie1951

If using just cork roadbed on top of plywood, is that enough to deaden the train sound or would the cork on top of the foam be better?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you want to dezden the sound? LION will put microphones under the table to amplify the sound of the subway trains racing through the tunnels.

 

ROARING (That's what trains do!)

 

Lion has old classroom for trains not a spare bedroom where noise of roaring train disturb family.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Medina1128 on Monday, June 03, 2019 9:26 AM

BigDaddy
I have 4" of foam on 1/8" luan on part of my layout.  Long drill bits are $8 at Ace Hardware.  I widen the hole a bit in the plywood, with a countersink bit and insert an 1/8" piece of brass tubing through the hole.  Then thread my feeders from the bottom and pull the tube.

That's a great idea! THIS is one reason I joined the forums. Good ideas come from all over!

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Posted by corsiar on Friday, July 12, 2019 11:22 AM

Found a problem with my track plan and have to redo a module. I printed 1:1 drawings and marked the center line with a tracer wheel into the foam. Glued on a few pieces of cork but that has to come up now. After taking the cork off there are some spots where the glued pulled up the foam plus all of the pin holes from the tracer wheel that need to be filled. What is the best way to fill that with? 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 12, 2019 11:32 AM

I'd use sculptamold for the big spots.  It sticks well to foam.  Maybe white glue for the pinholes or even caulk, if they were not going to get covered up later by ground cover or ballast

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, July 12, 2019 5:46 PM

Corsair 

What I have found works really well for patching foam, adding to or bridging in gaps and joints is Fast & Final or One Time,  same thing.  It's a lightweight spackling.  It has the consistency of Cool Whip or whipped cream. Very easy to work with and it doesn't shrink.  They do sell it in a gallon sized bucket or a much smaller size.

For future reference,  when gluing cork to foam,  use Alex Plus caulk.  It is the cheapest caulk and is very forgiving.  It holds well forever but if you choose to pull something up, it'll stick to the most porous surface.

I had to pull the cork up after I built this bridge.  The margin for error was always there from the beginning and I had to change the angle the cork came into the bridge just a little bit.  I peeled the full length strips of cork back to the next seem.  It did no damage what-so-ever to the foam.  All the caulk was left stuck to the cork and the cork could be reused.

This is not my findings,  I learned it from someone else here on the Forum.

TF

 

PS   I use a wallpaper seam roller after I caulk a dotted line on the back of the cork to spread the Alex Plus.  You would not believe the uniform consistency.

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