Old-Timer Needs an Opinion...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by abutt, May 1, 2008.

  1. Walt Gee

    Walt Gee New Member

    Hi! I'm new to these forums, but I thought that I would mention that our new club HO layout (an M-shape about 35' wide with right, middle and left legs of 15', 20' & 25' respectively) uses the regular stringers, cookie cutter 1/4 plywood sub-roadbed with 1/2" blue foam, and cork roadbed all of which is glued in place. I have been totally amazed at how fast the track laying and scenicking has progressed. At first it seemed slow and clunky, but our master builder Tom has managed to lay about 200' of track(Atlas code 83 flextrack) and about 20-30 turnouts(Shinohara #5's which have to be shimmed up about .020") over standard benchwork and something like 70' of 30" wide hardshell terrain, wiring each module for DCC as we go and teach numerous volunteers, in about 32 work sessions of 1 1/2 - 2hrs.

    Note: While trying to reach into a deep scenery-only corner to plant some trees, I had to steady myself by leaning on the mainline and did so with no ill effects. I suspect that it will also be super quiet, although we have yet to run locomotives on it. I think I am going to use the same system for my own layout that is in the planning stage. (HO 11' X 33" shelf layout) [ Post WW I Tuckerton Rail Road is a shortline connecting to the Pennsy and CNJ with Pennsy track rights to Beach Haven, NJ] At the present time I am doing design work on a fully working HO scale model of Barnegat Light as an focal point for the layout.:thumb:
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hi Walt, and :welcome1: to the Gauge.
    For anyone else who, like me, wonders what Barnegat Light is, here's a bit of background. That's one tall lighthouse!:eek:

  3. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Keep in mind if you use Woodland Scenic foam risers under the roadbed and track that you won't need to "cookie cutter" anything. You use the risers to raise your trackage above the table top, so the scenery can now slope down from track if you wish.
  4. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    From the horse's mouth...

    The Amazing Strength of Homasote®

    Granted, not much is mentioned about warpage or swelling and it was mounted vertically in whole sheets. Cutting it into strips may weaken it but if it's laminated to a plywood that shouldn't matter.

    I've heard it's the PLYWOOD that warps or swells long before the homasote will. Then I've heard it's the framing (a better argument for L Girder IMO...but I still think box framing is better) and the quality of lumber.

    I've yet to see anybody provide definitive EVIDENCE beyond word of mouth, usually second-hand info at that, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that homasote warps and swells.

    Tracking down homasote in the SW was tough and I've never used it so I can't speak from any experience here. SO if anyone else can - first hand, not 'some guy I knew had a cousin who said it swelled up' - please do.

    Okay...down off the soapbox. Hope you get those pics working.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've prepared some homosote for my home layout when I get the room available to build it. It is so heavy; I would never use it for a module. It wasn't difficult to laminate it to plywood. I just put down yellow carpenter's glue to both the homosote and the plywood, and then screwed it down with drywall screws. I ran the screw heads below surface and covered them up with spackle. I don't know that Southern California is a good place to find out any sort of definitive answer as to what warps or doesn't warp or swell. The average humidity in this area, even near the beach, is probably no more than 20%, except on the days it rains, which here in Los Angeles area averages 13 inches per year.
  6. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi, all.


    I was going to comment about using wbp/exterior grade ply, but then I saw this:
    Central New England RR
    Baxterville Timber Company Division
    and the words "granny" and "eggs" popped into my mind.

    Wayne: here's another old-timer seeking an opinion.
    AMI instant roadbed: have you, or anyone here, any experience with this?
    I'm thinking of giving it a try.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I've never used the AMI roadbed, only cork or plywood, so I can't comment on its use.

  8. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    That is exactly what I would suggest, but I aint old or that experienced with railroading. I am a Carpenter though so take it for what its worth.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've never heard anything good about using the Ami instant roadbed as roadbed. It does make great asphalt roads, however.
  10. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Well I guess I am the ultimate cheap. I use 1/4 inch luan with the foam that is used under walls when framing. I put the ridge side down. when it is ballasted it looks great and it is quiet. The last time I bought it the foam was around $6.00 for a 50 foot roll of 6" wide. I stapled it down layed the track and cut away the excess

Share This Page