Is this a possability??

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jamison1, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Jamison1

    Jamison1 New Member

    I have started a new layout and made my tabletop from plywood. I have "switched gears" in that I would like to use foam now. I have noticed that alot of people eliminate the plywood when using the foam. Is it still possible for me to continue by laying sheets of foam on top of the plywood and go from there? I plan to use cork roadbed so then my next question is how do you secure roadbed/track/scenery to the foam?
  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Question 1. sure, glue it to the plywood with Liquid nails for foam.
    Question 2. White or yellow glue work just fine for gluing scenery and roadbed to foam, but let's take a quick moment to define foam, OK?

    Foam is extruded foam and is usually blue or pink and has air cells in a foam matrix. Foam is NOT beadboard (styrofoam) like cups are made from. It's kind of hard to work with, messy, and don't take white glue as well.

    Lastly, cork is glued to the foam with whiteglue and T pins work great for holding it until the glue dries. Then the track can be glued to the cork with more white glue or liquid nails applied thinly and pinned again until dry.

    There are other ways, these are mine.

  3. Jamison1

    Jamison1 New Member

    Thanks for the reply, Fred. From your quote, were you saying the pink/blue extruded foam does or does not take white glue well and is hard to work with?

    And have you had better experience using/securing items with white glue or liquid nails (overall better anyway!)
  4. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    I have little problem using white glue with the pink foam on my layout. I keep a supply of finishing nails handy & use them to hold the pieces while the glue is drying. They're easy to pull out later.

  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I don't want to be arguementative, but styrofoam is foam and is sometimes the only foam that is readily available in certain parts of the country/world. Granted, it can be very messy, especially if you use a saw or knife instead of a hot wire foam cutter to cut it. Although I used Liquid Nails for Foam to glue it to my plywood and also to attach the cork roadbed, I find that yellow carpenter's glue works just as well.
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Styrofoam doesn't take white glue as well as extruded foam and falls apart lots easier if bumped. Styrofaom is harder to cut even with a hot wire cutter. If you want to use styrofoam that's up to you. It works, and so does plaster and chickenwire, concrete, spray foam, and lots of other methods. I find it hard to fathom that extruded foam isn't readily avalible in California. Fred
  7. slymonk

    slymonk New Member

    The Extruded foam you speak of is call Ethafoam. They sell it in most home depot's in 5 1/2" x 50' rolls. Its usually found in the insulation section. And they actually don't sell some types in california due to the environmental laws California has. It has a chemical that is known to the state of california to cause cancer, that sorta thing. I actually just started a new layout tonight using full sheets of that stuff. I used liquid nails to secure it, and I started painting on it an hour later. It works really good.
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    No it isn't.

    What we are talking about is extruded foam sheets which are 4 foot by 8 foot and come in thicknesses of 1 to 4 inches and are used to insulate metal builings for one. Lowes, builders square and most lumberyards stock it. Here's a link to an example. Fred
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    If you buy a sheet of strofoam and walk down the streen with it in California, the tree huggers would beat you with sticks because of all the bad stuff produced when making styrofoam. No wait, use of sticks would promote the killing of trees, they would use plastic clubs. No wait, plastic clubs would promote the use of fossile fuels, they would use bricks. No wait, bricks would promote the mining of clay, thus disrupting the fragile ecosystem and displacing millions of rare frogs into homelessness, not to mention the possibility of interfearing with ancient burrial grounds, they would beat you with wet noodles. No wait, what about the starving Ethiopians? They would use, well by the time they decide, you'll be home with your foam.

    I believe it's not safe to hot wire/knife strofoam. Blue/pink is safe, but should be done in a well ventilated area. If the temperature is right, it will produce little or no smoke and makea cleaner cut. You can make your own from nichrome wire or buy one.

    I use carpenders glue, because menards has it by the gallon.

    I use tooth picks to hold foam parts together as it dries.

    I use drywall nails to hold foam to wood until the same glue dries, then leave them in unless I don't want to, then I unscrew them. They work well for foam to foam too, but I usually remove once dry because the hot wire has trouble cutting thru a screw :D

    If I really couldn't get blue/pink foam, I suppose I would try styrofoam. Naaaaaaah, I'd move.
  10. Jamison1

    Jamison1 New Member

    Thanks for the info everyone presented. LOL at Jon-Monon, the tree hugger thing was just what I needed!! Too funny,

    About making your own hot wire from "nichrome wire". How do you accomplish that?
  11. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    You could also use homasote or upsom board. :D
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Jamison, fellow Iowan (my paretns are both Iowans, making me genetically 100% Iowan Dad's from Turin, near Onawa, in fact they are there visiting now), I use nichrome wire from Omega, it's very heavy, say .030 or .050ish", when compared to that found in a toaster oven or such. I just clip it in the jumper cable type grabbers on my big battery charger and set it to 6V for about 12 or 15" of wire. The length is adjusted to get the temperature right. Most people take the time to actually make a handle, and if you if use thinner wire from other sources, it would just break when hot using my methods. If you join the yahoo group: tingoat has instructions posted in the files section.

    BTW: I believe my cousin in Ames is the only master modeler left in Ioway now, as the other on passed last year. He's been published probably 20 times in RMC and MRR.
  13. Jamison1

    Jamison1 New Member

    Jon, Thanks for the info, Ill have to try that method. Interesting and also hello then from Iowa, Im about 1 hr 20 min North from Onawa, so I know the area well. Small world huh.

    The wire you use from Omega, where do you find that? From a reatail source? If so, where would I buy some?
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Ya, small world, I spent more of my time in the Ames/Des Moines area, but I've been to Turin several times.

    I'm not sure exactly how it came to be, but you might try their site:

    McMaster Carr has it:\

    I would go at least .032" for durability:

    .0320" p/n 8880K76 39ft (1/8 lb) 7.46

    Maybe some local sorce, but I doubt it...
  15. Jamison1

    Jamison1 New Member

    Thanks Jon for the info. Im going to try that.
  16. jtbterri

    jtbterri Member

    "If I really couldn't get blue/pink foam, I suppose I would try styrofoam. Naaaaaaah, I'd move. "

    Too severe for me. I'm using the pebbly stuff only because the official group here in California thinks the other stuff is bad for us. Regardless, this pebbly, messy stuff does work, but, just as they say, a little messy. Keep a vacuum handy

    Foam is a great way to enhance the layout without a lot of work or $$$.

  17. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    Styrofoam is a Dow Chemical brand name. Styrofoam is extruded blue foam.

  18. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Like a Cresent wrench. You won't find one made by Sears. Sears makes an adjsutable wrench. Cresent also makes an adjustable wrench and appearantly made it famous, because nearly all Americans call adjustable wrenches Cresent wrenches, regadless of manufacturer. My sincere apologies to Dow for calling the white beady stuff styrofoam. From now on, I shall call it the white beady stuff. :D
  19. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    And to think all my life I have called foam plates and cups by the wrong name. I'm agast and promise to never do it again. I will never call a carbonated beverage a Coke, an adjustable wrench a cresent, processed sweetened tomato paste Ketsup or Catsup, or Hydrox cookies Oreos. Isn't pliers and vicegrips also tradenames? How about a phillips screwdriver? I'm so confused.
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

Share This Page