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To Andy : GMR 2003 item

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To Andy : GMR 2003 item
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 1, 2002 6:51 AM
Hello Andy. I am enjoying the GMR 2003 issue that arrived Oct 30 here.
One item of nostalgic interest and curiosity, I have to ask about. Rick Crumrine's Homasote spline roadbed...some of us fairly long in the tooth, recall the late, great Paul E. Larson's Mineral Point & Northern model railroad. Paul was editor of MR for several years, and his "adventures" with Homasote spline roadbed were well documented, and very unsuccessful. Spikes didn't hold well in the edge cut, and warping & twisting of the roadbed was really bad.
Paul's layout was in a basement, and he handlaid his track. Same with Rick.Only thing I can think of is that Rick's basement has excellent climate control, and maybe has far more riser supports than is indicated in the GMR sidebar ? Please clarify this if possible....there may be quite a few MRR's that want to try this roadbed.I was 'scared off' of edge-laminated Homasote FOR LIFE, by the comments of Don Reschenberg, Gordy Odegard, and Linn Westcott...even though my railroad is in a ground floor room.I would still never try it.
thanks & regards / Mike Robertson , Meaford ON Canada
  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, November 1, 2002 8:24 AM
I wonder if Rick perhaps sealed his homasote with shellac? The advice to seal homasote with shellac seemed to come out in the 1960s after Larsen and Reschenberg had left the magazine. I have done it (I had forgotten what shellac smelled like -- hmmmm). I do wonder if the sealing tends to damage the sound-deadening qualities though. It makes driving spikes harder too.
By the way what ever happened to Don Reschenberg? He seemed to be a real craftsman. He left MR and then seemed to disappear from the hobby
Dave Nelson
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Posted by Sperandeo on Friday, November 1, 2002 9:06 AM
I don't really have the answer for Mike's question. Gordon Odegard told me personally about the problems that Paul Larson had with his Homasote spline roadbed, but others including Allen McClelland have used it successfully. Rick Crumrine says it works for him and doesn't mention using any kind of sealer, and I have no reason to doubt what he says.

The Homasote Co. advertises its product as weatherproof, and a friend of mine tells me he's soaked a strip of N scale HomaBed in water for several days with no sign of dimensional change or warping. It may be that Paul Larson's problem was with the benchwork rather than the roadbed, as expansion and contraction in the supporting grid could have deformed the roadbed. At this remove there's no way to know for sure.

I've never been tempted to use spline roadbed in any form myself. On my layout I use HomaBed glued with yellow carpenter's glue to 3/4" plywood. I add plaster shoulders then paint the wood, plaster, and HomaBed with earth-colored latex paint beofre laying ties, but the paint is as much for cosmetic reasons as for sealing. I use the bonded ballast method and soak the roadbed with rubbing alcohol and diluted white glue, but that hasn't caused the slightest bit of trouble. This roadbed has been very stable and track I built five years ago is still in good alignment.

So long,

Andy

And by the way, another friend recently told me he'd been in contact with Don Reschenberg, who is still alive and living in Milwaukee. He hasn't been involved in the hobby for many years, and was impressed that anyone would remember his work.

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 1, 2002 3:26 PM
Andy:

This is a great informative thread! I have been experiemnting with Homasote myself and I always thought that it would be two inflexable to use as a spline. My experience is that it cracks fairly easily. Could you print some sort of followup to this in MR? I think this would be of great interest to many readers.

Jim

Andy-- I enjoyed the GMR. By the is that a Raider Plo Shirt you are wearing in the photo at the front of the magazine? I figured that in Milwaukee all you MR guys would be Packer fans.

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