Newbie Roadbed Query...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Brewer, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    In a past life I built a layout using 1x2 benchwork with a cookie-cutter plywood base covered with homosote and used cork for the roadbed. I loved the way homosote held the track, but wasn't overly enamored with the cork. I found this product and am considering using this directly on the plywood. Has anyone here tried it?

    P.S. Do folks still nail track down or does everyone glue it nowadays? :confused:
  2. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

    Brewer I have asked that question a few months back and got 6 for gluing and one oldtimer told me to nail it.
  3. BNSFtheLeader

    BNSFtheLeader Member

    What is "this product"?
  4. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    I am referring to a homasote roadbed made by these folks:

    It looks interesting. I am wondering how easy it is to work with...
  5. BNSFtheLeader

    BNSFtheLeader Member

    Well, If you like the homabed better it would be better off for your to use Elmer's Wood glue to hold the product down other than nails.

    The nails will lead to spots in the bed to be un-bonded and eventually lift and shift due to humidity. Humidity (or any moisture in the air period)can make it Swell and expand so if you use the Elmer's on the bed, track and Ballest it should minimize the effect if not deleat it all together by creating a shield.

    good luck.

    I hope I've helped you in anyway.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Brewer, the Homabed is Homasote that has been cut to shape with sloped edges like the cork roadbed. Some of it (maybe all of it?) has saw cuts acreoss it to make it flexible. I would use it the way you used the Homasote and the cork roadbed -- it should be a direct replacement for the cork, but with the spike holding abilities of Homasote.
    I would place it directly on the plywood. Probably glue it down. I would spike the track down (flexible track, not hand laid?) just enough to hold it in place and then ballast it and use the ballast glue to hold it. Possibly put some glue down before ballasting. Remove any spikes that are still visible after ballasting.
    I put spikes or cigar-box nails outside the rails but between the ties -- not through the ties -- just to hold the track in place.
  7. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    I figured on gluing the roadbed down to the plywood and spiking the flextrack to the roadbed. I liked working with homasote in sheets, so this looked interesting to me. Thanks for the tips!!!
  8. sams

    sams Member

    i say give it a try!
    and let us know how it turns out ;)
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Homasote/Homabed, cork, foam. There are others, but these are probably the most common.
    Foam, as in Woodland Scenics foam roadbed:
    soft, sound absorbing, glues down, and is fairly easy to handle, cut, and work with. Track is nailed, and the nails can be removed after the ballast has set permanently. Given the flexibility of foam, I would not personally recommend the removal of the track nails, I don't believe that the foam is strong enough to hold the track and ballast by itself.
    Most of the same attributes of Foam, but is a little harder to cut, and is strong enough to allow the removal of track nails after setting the ballast. I prefer it to foam (personal preference).
    Homabed is precut and shaped, and while a touch more expensive than Homasote board, is probobly worth the price, as Homasote requires power tools to cut and shape. Homabed seems to be more tightly packed/denser, than Homasote board. The real benefit here, as opposed to cork, and foam, is the ability of Homabed/Homasote to hold rail spikes. For those who would hand lay track on wood ties, the "Homa---" products are the only way to go (wood on wood tends to be just a little noisier)
    For "snap track" (preformed, sectional), and for Flextrack, Cork and Foam are both suitable.
    My only caveat, Don't lay cork and foam roadbed directly on polystyrene foam. I'm from the "old school", that believes that a plywood subroadbed on risers, will outlast polystyrene foam subroadbed, and you'll have far less problems with track alignment changes over time.

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