Pondering about how to lay the track

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by tverskaya, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Being pretty much ready to start thinking about laying some track, I started pondering about the best way of doing it.

    A few notes/questions:
    - Glueing the track directly to the wooden benchwork is probably a bad idea given the noise it'll produce.

    - A thin sheet of styrofoam, the blue/pink variety should sit nicely between the track and the benchwork to dampen the noise. Is it recommendable to just glue the styrofoam onto the wood and to glue the track onto the foam or are nails or screws the only way to go (and will this work when using a layer of foam between track and benchwork)? I don't really need roadbeds for the track to sit on as the layout is entirely underground.

    - Now on to the problematic part: the layout will eventually have two levels with a height difference of about 2-3". While the lower level can be laid as a regular layout, the upper level might cause problems, as on one hand I want it to be strong enough, so an all-foam construction would probably be unlikely, but when opting for some woodwork to support it, the benefits of laying the track onto foam might at least partially be negated.

    - I guess my main question is what one can and cannot do with pink/blue insulation board: can it serve as the main building material for a layout?


  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    one word yes have built 2 dioramas with just pink foam.:)
  3. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    If your worried about strength, just glue a thin piece (3mm) of ply at the bottom.
  4. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Mine uses the "Open Grid" method.

    Modules are 60cm (24") wide built with a 1x8cm frame (1x3") and cross members every 30cm (12"). Then a sheet of 5cm (2") blue foam is glued to the frame. I used regular LePage's White Glue.

    The track is then laid on cork so that I get the raised and bevelled prototype look to it.

    To get the inclines, I simply cookie cut out the section to be dropped. I turned the foam over, marked on the sides the angle I wished and with a very sharp 30cm kitchen (butcher type) knife, cut the incline. Then simply glued the blue foam back in place with the smooth side up.

    I have found the blue foam to be very strong, no problems with using it exclusively, and the ease of use benefits make it a better choice than wood. In my opinion.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Some use only foam on an open framework, I would say that more use the foam over some base like plywood though. I just added an "L" section to my layout and I used one layer foam over a sheet of 1/2" MDF mainly because I didn't want any inclines there so it is flat. My original layout is built on a base of a hollow-core door, and like you, I have areas that are 2-3" above others and so I started out with 2" of foam and cut down in some areas and built up with more foam in others. I tried several things before I settled on using Woodland Scenic's inclines to get between levels. It worked well.

    That having been said, I would think that the foam on a rigid frame would be adiquate, just as long as you remember you can't stand or sit on it. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    If you use more than one layer of foam, I'd suggest you run the first layer in one direction and the second in the other direction.
  6. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    Currently I have a sheet of 3-4mm thick sheet of triplex as a base (on top of the framework), so I guess I'll get a sheet of foam next week and to start carving.

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