Styrofoam Grade/Riser

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Nscalemodeler, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Nscalemodeler

    Nscalemodeler Member

    Can anyone tell me who makes or where you get the styrofoam risers used to bring the track up grades around curves? Here is a picture I took from another post by rksstl to provide an example.
  2. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    That would be Woodland scenics. (I have a load of them sitting in the basement)
    I have to say I am not a fan of the things though
    the risers are time consuming if i may say. And for any tight curves it is hard to keep it in the curve desired while placing it down.

  3. I've used them and they make rises very convenient
  4. Rusty Spike

    Rusty Spike Member

    I love them but like nearly everything, it takes a few mistakes to learn the knack of installing them.

    I use Atlas' RightTrack to create the planned curve with easements, etc. Then I use the "parallel track" tool to create another track just inside or outside my the curve I want. Then I delete the first curve created and print the other in full scale, tape the sheets together and then cut out along the adjacent curve - tack that down on the substrate and then glue the riser in place using the cut edge as a guide - works like a charm.

    PL300 foam glue works great - tacky and quick.
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I used them and think that they're great, especially if you're using flex track. I tried makin gmy own from foam and a couple of them actually came out pretty decent (at least I thought so at first). I then came to my senses and bought WS ones from my LHS.
  6. Foam risers

    IMHO the even 2%, 3%, 4% grade of the risers is smoother and more reliable than trying to use cookie cutter techniques
  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I've used 'em too...

    I have to admit that I have always been an overkill type person and if the track wasn't nailed to plywood, then you weren't doing it right. Then I got into building coffee table railroads and tried this stuff. Now I'm hooked although it still feels a little strange "glueing" my track to styrofoam. I used it for extreme grades (as you can squish it together to increase your grade), tight corners (much tighter than standard), and small spaces.

    Attached Files:

  8. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    Is the procedure to get everything lined up (foam, corkbed, and track) and then just start glueing????.....Glue the foam down first, then the cork to the foam, and then the track to the cork????.........NO NAILS???.....sounds like it has great posibilities. What kind of glue do you use?
  9. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I used Liquid Nails, both the type listed as "for Projects" and for "Foam". I liked the latter better. You can also use white or yellow glue or caulk. I'd stay away from rubber cement or contact cement. Try alittle section first to insure that the glue doesn't eat the foam.
  10. seanm

    seanm Member

    A side not... I have seen a freeway (1:1 scale) off ramp constructed with shaped foam blocks to make the grade. It was facinating to watch these huge numbered foam blocks be stacked up to make the off ramp to ground interface. Once all the blocks were in, dirt was layered over and then ashalt applied. I would have thought it would have caved in, but I guess the dirt and asphalt spread the load nicely.
  11. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    Doc: Do you just glue the foam in place on the board, then glue the cork (roadbed) onto the foam and then glue the track to the roadbed???. Did you cut your own angles in the foam or buy commercial?
  12. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I've got 3 of the 3% grade ones on order from (been a week and yet to ship :() for my N scale layout. None of the LHS carry them. Just anxious to get my hands on 'em so I starting laying roadbed and stuff.

    I'm also curious on the 'laying' process. I was just planning on glueing the WS incliners to my wood benchtop with some latext liquid nails, and then roadbed and track (WS kind) to the foam with the Latex LN as well.
  13. Nscalemodeler

    Nscalemodeler Member

    seanm, I too saw a highway off ramp built with foam blocks. I was also amazed that it would work without caving in. I think they did that, because it was right next to a pond, no washout with the foam. I drive that off ramp regularly and haven't fallen into a big hole yet. :eek:
  14. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    First I glued the inclines and risers to the benchwork, using pins to hold them down. I then glued the cork roadbed to the inclines and risers, again using pins to hold it in place until the glue dried. I'm still doing my trackwork, so haven't glued the track down yet. I've got it held in place with pins as well. (Buy a bunch of "T" pins, they come in real handy). When I'm ready, I plan on ballasting the track and using a water/glue mix to cement the ballast in place and hold the track down as well. Then I'll remove the pins.
    As far as the inclines go, my advice is to buy Woodland Scenics. I tried saving a few bucks by making my own inclines and while a couple turned out ok, it wasn't worth the time or mess. Save the money somewhere else. I did make my own risers (flat grade) by using different thicknesses of sheet stryofoam I salvaged from a variety of sources or bought at HD.
  15. billk

    billk Active Member

    Anyone ever try (or think about trying) using foam for the "spline" method? You would have to come up with a way to handle curves, but it seems like it would be an easy way to control the exact grade, vertical easements, etc., and would give a more solid foundation for your track than the foam risers.
  16. cpr_boy

    cpr_boy Member

    I used Woodland Scenic risers and inclines and found them extremely easy to work with, especially if you are first-timer. Like Doc Holiday, I used long pins to hold down the styrofoam while the glue dried.

    One piece of advice if you are covering with plaster, make sure you lay down and glue your cork/roadbed first. Lay track next and then plaster around the track. This way your track will be level.

    Good luck
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Billk: someplace around here is a thread where I asked about spline roadbed and then illustrated what I built with it. I made a J shaped section for lift-out, and put a 2% grade on it with WS risers and regular foam. I used green contact cement. I found that curving the splines made them superelevate a bit, but they had to be well sanded before adding the foam.
  18. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    In using the Woodlands Scenic inclines or risers for N gauge, has anyone found the need to split them in two??? According to the catelog, they are 2 1/2" wide and also seem suitable for HO gauge which seems to make them about twice as wide as necessary for N gauge.
  19. When I used the Woodland Scenics risers, I had doubletrack, which fits nicely
  20. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

    I just realized, in looking at the Woodlands Scenic inclines, that if one did attempt to split them in two that they would seperate and not be held together :mad: :mad: :mad: . So much for that idea, unless anyone has an answer. You could number them on each side before cutting, but I don't know if it is worth the effort.

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