Styrofoam board

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by cascadescyclist, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. cascadescyclist

    cascadescyclist New Member

    I am new in Raleigh, NC. Where might I find 2" styrofoam board for building my layout?

  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    First things first. Welcome to the Gauge.:D Now as to your question.Any large home improvement store ( Menards ,Home Depot,etc.) should have it in stock or be able to order it for you.

    If all else fails you can sandwich pieces of 1" to get your desired thickness.
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Welcome aboard, cyclist,

    Another source is an insulation supplier. They usually have the thicker sheets.

    Where in the cascades are you?
  4. cascadescyclist

    cascadescyclist New Member

    I'm in Raleigh now for a job but my heart and home are in Seattle and the North Cascades.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    On the DIY channel they ran a series on constructing an HO layout. they also used Styrofoam, but it was a bit denser and cuts smoother. I have seen this type of board but cannot find it at either Loew's or Home Depot, but they both have the less dense, beaded Styrofoam that kinda crumbles on the edges when you cut it.

    My question is, does this crumbly foam cause problems, or is it OK to use it? I guess I could look for a contractor supply house since Home Depot ran all the other smaller stores out of business, but I'm about 50 miles away from the Phoenix metro area and it isn't easy to do that.

  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    If you're having trouble finding the foam board at the DIY home improvement places (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc...) look in the yellow pages for builders supply co.'s...especially ones that sell to contractors...I would think a city like Raleigh would have at least a couple of these places.

    Beadboard is a completely different type material than the blue, or pink foamboard, which is called "extruded" foam.
    While the beadboard might be ok for some scenic forms, or terrain features, I wouldn't recommend it for using as scenic base, or track bed.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's it!


    I knew there was a term for that type of foam. I had heard it before, but lost it along with a lot of other stuff. :rolleyes: It use to be nice to have a choice, Payless Cashway, Angel's, Ole's, Home Base; one by one they got knocked off. :(

    I also think that stucco companies use that type too. At least now I know what to ask for.

  8. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi Don!
    I worked for a time with a remodeling contractor, & always heard the building supply people around here refer to the foamboard as "Dow-Board"...I assume this is because the Dow Chemical Corp. makes the stuff, & sells it under the registered trademark "Styrofoam"....But depending on who you are talking to, "styrofoam" can mean anything from life-jackets to coffee cups!
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Gettin' there


    There aren't too many material suppiers in Phoenix, what, the 8th largest city in the US. Like I said, most were driven out by Home Depot. But I did find one guy that has "expanded and extruded polystyrene insulation", I've heard of that but I'm not too sure that product doesn't have larger cells. I also found one listing for someone that carries Dow products so I'm getting closer. I hope it's easier to find than this in Raleigh though.:)

  10. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Here's An Idea...

    If you're CHEAP like me, stop off at any construction site, and ask if you can help yourself to the castoffs. The construction workers will usually respond very positively, but remember to ask first. :)
  11. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    I used the white beadboard for all the mountains on a 12 ft HO sectional module about 12 years ago and, beleive me, it will be the last time I use it:mad:.
    After gluing it down, and letting it dry, I carved it to a rough shape with a utility knife, and then used a sureform and wood rasp to smooth it all down.
    When I was finished, I and everything else in my 12 x 19 foot train room was coated with a static charged layer of white styrofoam beads:eek:.
    It looked like a freak snowstorm had just blown in and I had to empty the vaccume cleaner 4 times to clean up the mess:rolleyes:.
    Even so, I could not get them all and they seemed to appear out of nowhere whenever I needed them around least, such as during scenery construction or when running trains and every time I cleaned up afterward, more of those cursed beads would show up in the vaccume cleaner:(.
    When I moved to my house last year, prior to the new owners arriving, I cleaned out that (now empty) room one last time and I STILL managed to vaccume up about half a cup of those beads. :confused:
    I would not be supprised if some of them managed to hitch a ride in my train boxes to take up residence in my new digs :rolleyes:
    Try to find the insullating type (we call it blueboard or pinkboard up here) and if you can't, then maybe you can get one of the building supply stores to order it for you.
    Happy modeling and Cheers!

  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Your story should be enough to convince anyone to stay away from that stuff. When we had our business, we used to use sheet foam for lining the inside of crates and "peanuts" for packing. It was if they were alive and playing "catch me if you can" games. You would think the residue and dropped peanuts were all cleaned up until you opened a door.

    I am also trying to get to go to a local club and among other things, I could find out where they get their foam. Unfortunatly, the closest club I can find is about 65 miles away.

  13. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I used the white bead board for my layout. (3 X 6 'N' scale). I started everything with 3/8" plywood and then glued the sheets of beadboard on to it for the scenery. While shaping the contours, I used a sharp knife and vacuumed as I went. for the final shaping I used Drywall compound and covered it with plastercloth. I had a few stray beads but not the maelstrom that others have encountered.
  14. stary

    stary Member

    IT IS NOT OKAY! Do not use the beade, Stryrofoam, it is too dense and too fragile! The kind you want comes in either pink or blue. I got mine at Home Depot, for around $3 for a 2' x 8' sheet, but any home improvment store should have it. But, I reapete: DO NOT USE THE BEADED KIND! If you do, you'll be sorry!
  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    One small step...

    Well, I did find a few places in Phoenix that has the blue foam, but not at $3 a sheet. One place I went had 1" sheets (2 x 8) for close to $12 and 2" was double that, plus they kept reminding me that they had a $75 minimum, that at those prices wouldn't be hard to reach. :mad: Another store that has a lot of stucco material has the 1" for $5. I'm going there on Monday. :)

    All Home Depots are not equal, the same goes for Loew's; even in the same town. I can't find stuff on the west side of town that they have on the east side, yet the guys on the west side claim they can't get what the other store has. :confused:

    I've had success, I hope Cascadecylist did too since he was the one asking in the first place :rolleyes:

    D:cool: N
  16. jdh

    jdh Member

    another 'flavor' is the yellow board, trade marked name is STURDY-R.

    this has a thin fiberglass skin [paper thin] on it.

    made by celotex.
  17. cascadescyclist

    cascadescyclist New Member

    Haven't found any foam boards thicker than 3/4". Ordering seems to be an issue for small quantities. I'm leaning towards using 3/4" foam over 1/4" plywood over a frame of 1'x4's for my 6' x 13' donut layout. I want the track to be above the scenery for most of the layout since most of it is western countryside and may cookie-cut another piece of foam for the subroadbed. Any thoughts?
  18. jdh

    jdh Member

    the 3/4 over 1/4 ply should be fine if you do not have a lot of humidity in the train area.

    i would be a little concerned about the 1/4 ply warping over time with the humidity. but if you are securing it tight to the framework that should not be much of an issue.

    you could use the 3/4 foam in layers for areas where you were coming through a cut in the hill.

    remember that after all is said and done, you only see the paint ;)
  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You can economise a bit on foam by using only enough in the bottom layer to support the layer above it. The load shouldn't be too great.
  20. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Another tip for you, if you decide to glue styrofoam sheets on top of each other to make hills, is to try using a dual-tempeture hot glue gun on the LOW setting with light duty (the lowest tempeture melt) glue.
    Apply the glue to the bottom of the top piece only and immediately place the peice onto the location you wish it to go. Setup takes about 10 seconds and you can start shaping it right away.
    I have used this method for the past 10 years and, for me it works great.
    However, DO NOT! use heavy duty glue at high tempeture as it takes about a minute or so to cool down, during which time it will melt its way a scale distance of halfway to China through your styrofoam:eek:

    Have fun and Cheers!

    Terry :)

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