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What to Use for Fascia?

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What to Use for Fascia?
Posted by JDVass on Monday, February 15, 2021 8:02 PM

Hi all. I am wanting to do the facia on my layout and want it to match the contours of the ground. But I don't know what the best material to use is. What do you use for yor fascia?

Life is too short not to play with trains, so grow old not up my friends.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, February 15, 2021 8:22 PM

Masonite or Hardboard

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 15, 2021 8:28 PM

riogrande5761
Masonite or Hardboard

Yes  

Mike.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, February 15, 2021 8:29 PM

Ken Patterson uses 1/8" plywood, oak stained with 3 coats of polyurethane.  It looks really nice but if you've priced plywood lately, you'll be using 1/8" tempered hardboard too.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, February 15, 2021 10:02 PM

I had originally covered panels of 3/16 lauan plywood with dark green vinyl wall paper.

 IMG_1333 by Edmund, on Flickr

Later I decided to cover this with a dark green indoor-outdoor ribbed carpet using latex carpet cement.

 IMG_7108 by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_7721_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

It holds up extremely well, does not scuff, reduces noise and is easy to keep clean.

 IMG_0759 by Edmund, on Flickr

The carpet is not at all expensive and is easy to work with. I bought mine at Home Depot and they cut it into 16" strips for me which made installation easy.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMaster-Elevations-Color-Leaf-Green-Ribbed-Texture-Indoor-Outdoor-12-ft-Carpet-7PD5N620144H/203240737

 

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

 

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Posted by freeway3 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:08 AM

riogrande5761
Masonite or Hardboard

Another Yes

This is my 1/8" hardboard, easily curved and contoured. Primed and painted w/ 2 coats of semi-gloss.

Fascia

Ed

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:50 AM

gmpullman
Later I decided to cover this with a dark green indoor-outdoor ribbed carpet using latex carpet cement. ... The carpet is not at all expensive and is easy to work with. I bought mine at Home Depot and they cut it into 16" strips for me which made installation easy. 

I visited a layout where the owner had done this same thing - the inexpensive indoor/outdoor carpet covering the fascia -- and I have to say it looked extremely handsome and really gave a professional museum like look to the entire layout (as does the skirting below a fascia).

In terms of Masonite/hardboard, I have seen excellent examples of nicely painted Masonite/hardboard, but I have also seen layouts which leave it unpainted and assuming neat workmanship and relatively consistent coloring to the hardboard, it too looked neat and clean and professional.  I do note that the Masonite type stuff with a high gloss finish to the smooth side seems prone to having paint scrape off of it.  Years ago I bought a sheet of a Masonite/hardboard like product which had a different color, a bit more yellowish to the brown, and the surface was flat but matte to the feel, not hard and shiny.  I have been unable to find an exact match ever since.  So I am glad I didn't start in using that stuff and expect to find more.

I have even seen layouts where the fascia uses pegboard and again assuming neat workmanship, it can look nice.     

Dave Nelson

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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 11:12 AM

Another vote for masonite.  

You CAN bend it around cuves.  The trick is to wet (not soak) the back.  Additionally, you can pin it to the pack part before screwing it in.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 11:40 AM

After experimentation with the product, I am going to use 5/8" PVC boards as my fascia. I can recess mount the power packs and the control panels.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:17 PM

Wow Kevin.  You still have a functioning Troller power pack!!!.   

Have used 1/8 hardboard for my facia on both levels of the layout.  Found it to be flexible enough to bend around corners when wet and sturdy enough to use screws to attach panels and switches.

Scott Sonntag

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:28 PM

Lakeshore Sub
Wow Kevin.  You still have a functioning Troller power pack!!!.   

I think I have more than a dozen Troller Transpak 2.5 units ready to go.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:32 PM

I concur

 

Masonite, ...As there is no substitute.  

We get it fresh up here as it's manufactured in Bemidji Minnesota.  I do hear it called Bemidji board quite frequently up here.

 

 

 

TF

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:43 PM

I'm starting a new layout. I used beadboard plywood on the last layout. I like Kevin's idea, we use lots of that material in the construction work I do.

But not using Masonite, I have never liked working with it.

I was considering some curved edges, but not sure at this point. The PVC will do that as as well as Masonite does.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 2:08 PM

Hardboard can be curved quite tightly if you kerf the backside. Sharper the bend you need the more kerfs you cut, closer together and then slightly deeper. The glue you use will harden up the curve. After all, hardboard is just a type of resin impregnated fibreboard. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 2:12 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
Lakeshore Sub
Wow Kevin.  You still have a functioning Troller power pack!!!.   

 

I think I have more than a dozen Troller Transpak 2.5 units ready to go.

-Kevin

 

There is a blast from the past!  I used to have dual throttle Troller back in the 80's.  I don't know what happened it in all the many moves I've made.  But not wanting to be stuck controlling a train from a stationary power pack, I got a Star Tec Hogger with a tethered throttle.  It's the only decent DC power pack I have anymore.  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by JDVass on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 7:44 PM

Thanks everyone. I think I'll go with the hardboard.

Life is too short not to play with trains, so grow old not up my friends.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 8:39 PM

At Lowes I'm seeing the 5/8 pvc in 4x8 is $80?   1 Adam 12

Henry

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Posted by hbgatsf on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:22 PM

When using 1/8 inch hardboard how small can you get a radius before cutting kerfs or wetting it?  When you do need to wet it are you talking about soaking it or a spritz?

Rick

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:38 PM

Lastspikemike
Hardboard can be curved quite tightly if you kerf the backside....

1/8" hardboard can be easily curved, without need of kerfing, down to at least an 8" radius, as on this corner of my layout...

This one is somewhat broader....

...but was used because the aisleway here is fairly tight, and the smooth curves eliminate any chance of snagged clothing...

...another narrow aisle, but, as the sole operator, plenty wide enough for me...

I also used 1/8" hardboard to cove all 10 corners of my oddly-shaped layout room, both inside corners...

...and outside corners, too...

The gaps are there to allow installation of a partial second level of the layout, now in place.

Here's a sketch of the arrangement of materials for the coved corners...

The red line represents the drywall tape, and the green is the drywall mud.

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 12:16 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I like Kevin's idea, we use lots of that material in the construction work I do. <SNIP> The PVC will do that as as well as Masonite does.

I only have two inside corners on my layout plan, and a 6" piece of PVC notched out at 45 degrees will do fine for me. I have never been happy with my curved fascias. This is not something I am good at.

BigDaddy
At Lowes I'm seeing the 5/8 pvc in 4x8 is $80?   1 Adam 12

I use nominal 1 by 4 and 1 by 6 PVC boards for my fascia. The sketch shows a cross section of my planned construction method.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 4:16 AM

Well, I wouldn't have commented about my preference of  1/8 masonite, I think it's been pretty well driven home. But when I saw Ed's carpeted fascia,  WOW! I could see that in my layout room! 

A question,  though. Did you put the carpet in after all the messy work of scenery and such was done, or were you able to keep up with it?  Dan

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 5:59 AM

Southgate 2

Well, I wouldn't have commented about my preference of  1/8 masonite, I think it's been pretty well driven home. But when I saw Ed's carpeted fascia,  WOW! I could see that in my layout room! 

A question,  though. Did you put the carpet in after all the messy work of scenery and such was done, or were you able to keep up with it?  Dan 

Wouldn't you need something to attach that carpet to?  I'd do the harboard/Masonite thing and then you can always jazz it up later if you need to.  Personally, I'd like to get my layout with track and scenery down so carpet, while posh, is behind a whole host of other things; a basic fascia for is needful for sure.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 6:29 AM

I have a section of hidden track. Since it is in an area that is not in a direct line of sight I was thinking about using some clear material for facsia in that spot, and putting it on a hinge.

Has anyone done something like that and if so what material did you use?

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:00 AM

Clear acrylic sheet comes in 1/10" thickness and is easy to cut and drill by hand.

There's a special knife you can buy to score the sheet enough to make a clean snap. I use a steel straightedge to run the knife along. A heat gun, or even a plumbers handyman torch with flame spreader fitting, works well for just softening the sharp cut edges enough to round them off and should result in clear edges. Heat applied carefully also allows smooth bends to be made in the strips you cut. Heat to the outside of the desired curve. Work slowly so as not to,overheat as this stuff warps easily when too hot. Best to use gravity and slight hand pressure to work in the desired radius. Gloves!

 I recommend use of a brad point but to drill fastener holes. Also using those cup washers under the screw heads is a good idea.

We use ours as derailment barriers to deflect derailed locomotives or cars from leaving the edge of the layout at certain risky spots. At one point we have a 7" high barrier at the end of a long "tunnel" which closes off the tunnel at a curve to catch any derailment in that lower level and also sticks above the upper layout by a couple of inches. 

Hinge mounting may be more elaborate then you actually need but is no harder than direct screw mounting. If access is only heeded infrequently then removing screws and replacing them occasionally is no big deal. Avoids the hinge complication.  

Alyth Yard

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 10:52 AM

1/8" hardboard masonite. Smooth and continuous. Inside curves and outside curves. No visible joints. No visible fasteners or screwheads (even those in fancy cupped washers). No kerfs cut into the backside.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 11:09 AM

Dang!!!

You are an incredible Craftsman Robert and that's all I can say about that.  It's all just so neatYes

 

Hats off to you!

 

 

 

YesTF

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 11:20 AM

All of these pictures show great work on the layouts.

One thing I've done that I learned from Lion in ND.  He showed me how to make all electrical connections behind the fascia.  That way my bad old body doesn't have to work under the layout.

That means I have visible screws in the Masonite because I still remove certain panels when I'm working on electrical projects in the layout.

 

This is under a removed fascia section:  I can sit in my chair and work on wiring.  Once I'm through, I can put the fascia back on with a couple of screws.

York1 John       

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 1:33 PM

Southgate 2
A question,  though. Did you put the carpet in after all the messy work of scenery and such was done, or were you able to keep up with it?

I had about half the scenery done when I was inspired to apply the carpet material. It was no trouble to align the straight-cut bottom edge and leave a few inches at the scenery contour and trim it after the cement cured with a utility knife.

Here is one of the larger areas I had to cover:

 IMG_8425_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_8441_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

And here I really left a lot of material to be trimmed but the utility knife slices this stuff beautifully. The material is much thinner than actual carpet, but that's the name they give it.

 IMG_8436_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Toward the left in the above photo you can see the original fascia that I was covering. It was trimmed with vinyl J channel such as they sell for Melamine panels. That dark green wall pater was tough as nails, too. It had a nice texture to it as well, but I like the fabric so much better.

Some of my controls are mounted in Lexan blank wall covers.

 car_stop by Edmund, on Flickr

There's lots of options out there, of course. The fabric works well for me.

 Digi_pocket by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

 

 

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 9:26 PM

Thanks for the follow up Ed.  Im past the stage that determines the final shape of the edge of the fascia.

Everyone who showed their fascias have great ideas, and fantastic layouts.

Since my layout is framed with 6 inch plywood, I already have what's needed to attach carpet to.  Dan

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, February 18, 2021 2:53 AM

ROBERT PETRICK
1/8" hardboard masonite. Smooth and continuous. Inside curves and outside curves. No visible joints. No visible fasteners or screwheads (even those in fancy cupped washers). No kerfs cut into the backside.

Robert, I have never before seen overall pictures of a layout room where EVERYTHING is so amazingly neat, tidy, and beautifully constructed.

Bow

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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