How do I lay down roadbed and track easily?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by prodigy2k7, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    how do you lay down flex track temp?

    Well actually first, how do u lay down the cork roadbed so that is stays still so u know its in the right place? The layout im going to use is almost edge to edge, I need the whole thing to be put together before i nail the track down, is there a way to put the whole thing together and have it stay put? without nailing anything?

    I dont know how to put the track do you guys do it?

    The roadbed too, do you put them down at the same time? or layout the roadbed first, or.....

    tell me specifically how you guys do it so I can get a better idea..


  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    This is a good read about roadbeds:

    I used #17 3/4" wire nails from the hardware store to hold the cork in place and i used atlas track spikes (you can use #19 wire nails/brads too). here is a picture.

    It is suggested that once you get everything layed out that you glue it in place. There are a couple other threads that have suggested various differnt glues but i think the one that stood out to me is liquid nails. Many people have suggested using that to secure your roadbed once you've got it where you want it.

  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    A common method:

    - first draw out your track plan (just the track centerline) on the plywood or foamboard using a pen, then temporarily use push pins to fix down the flextrack on the drawn track centerline and see how it looks.

    - once satisfied with the track arrangement, you lay the cork roadbed over the penned centerline you drew for the track and fix it in place with the silicone caulking.

    - Once the silicone caulking has dried and fixed the cork roadbed in place, use more caulk to lay down the flex track over the cork roadbed, again using pushpins to temporarily fix it in place. Once the caulking dries, remove the pushpins and voila, your track is laid and fixed in place.

    There are also other methods (2000 ways to skin a cat), but that's the one off the top of my head.

    Hope this helps.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Don't forget: at as many points in the process as you can, roll some cars over the track to make sure it's usable. You need to check that there aren't any kinks at joints, that the curves don't suddenly get sharper, that the rails are at the same level and inside the rail joiners,... It;s best to do it before the glue commits you.
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    hey im back with another question regarding what you said...
    "...centerline you drew for the track and fix it in place with the silicone caulking..."
    i assume you mean on the bottom side of the roadbed?, how sticky is that stuff? (as in how much do i use?) I dont want to use too much but I dont want to not use enough.

    Also, how do you use silicone caulking for the track on the roadbed? the track is so thing and whatnot...
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Caulking is pretty viscous and it's moderately sticky when you first spread it out. Just apply enough so that when you press the strip of cork roadbed down onto the plywood, a bit will squish out the side (that way you know the caulking has been squished into all the little nooks and crannies, and will ensure a secure fixation). Remember to fix the roadbed in place temporarily with pushpins while the caulking sets, and clean off the excess caulking that squished out the sides. Once set, remove the pins.

    Good luck.
  7. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    what about the track? do you spread it on the bottom of the track with ur finger or what?
  8. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I would apply a bead of caulking on the roadbed, then spread it out a little using either a disposable plastic buttering knife (the ones you get from fast food restaurants) or a putty knife. Apply just enough so that when you spread it out, it's about maybe one millimeter thick.

    Basically you don't want to apply so much that the caulking fills in the spaces between the ties. You want to keep the spaces between the ties open so you can put ballast there.

    Don't forget to use pushpins to temporarily fix the flextrack in place while the caulking cures.

    Oh, and be careful doing this at the turnouts-- Make sure you don't put caulking at the places where the turnout's mechanism needs to move.

    Hope this helps!
  9. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    OOOH i see, you put some ontop of the roadbed and put the track on top? ty, never thought of that

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