what glue to use to glue track to roadbed

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by emt49, May 30, 2005.

  1. emt49

    emt49 Member

    ok i have most of my roadbed down and am getting ready to lay track. but i am unshure if the white glue that you can buy at walmart .
    that i used to glue the roadbed to the foam bench work will hold down the track to the foam roadbed .

    so i would like yo know what you guys have used and think is best for a novise newbe to try

    and i also have a 11' by 3' pice of my bench work i need to cover with a sheat of cork any body know were i can get that so i can compleat my yard?

    thank you :wave:
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I don't glue my track down. I may pin it down, just to hold it in place, then use the ballast (and hence, glue) to maker it stay in place. For curves, etc, I may use a few tacks/brad nails up against the outside rail/sleeper, but I don't specifically nail or glue the track down first. This allows for some movement/heat/cold expansion etc.

    As for cork that size. I dunno. But a flooring retailer/wholesaler may have cork floor tiles. They were very trendy here in the 60's and 70's.
  3. Jodam

    Jodam Member


    Here in OZ cork is sold in various thicknesses up to 1/8" at all major Auto accessories stores. in 30" x 36" sheets, it's used for engine gaskets.

    For the aussies i purchased mine at Repco.
    I haven't used it for road bed, i'm laying my N track, direct onto a foam base.

  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Use rail nails to hold your trackwork in place and that gives you the ability to adjust or change it before you make it permanent. Once you are OK with what you have, it's time to paint your tracks and ties. After that, put your ballast down, then wet it with "wet" water (water with a couple of drops of detergent), then drip white glue mixed with water (50/50) until it's well soaked. When it dries, the track is held in place. There's quite a few books out on basic track laying techniques, and you should also visit the NMRA web site.

    Why do you want to cover your layout in cork? That's a lot of cork. What are you putting it over? Most people use 1" extruded foam over whatever is on the benchwork.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There is another option - adhesive caulking. THis works weel because it grabs tight, but is workable for a while before it sets (hold track with map tacks while drying). You can also undo it with very little damage to the track by undercutting with a metal putty knife.

    As for a sheet of cork for your yard, try Michaels or other similar craft stores. 11x3 sounds like a great yard!

  6. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha emt, I like the caulk MJ said. Use some tacks to hold the track until it dries. As for your yard, you can lay the track directly on the foam and save some cash. Use some shims to go from roadbed to no roadbed. That little uphill to the mainline is something real yards and sidings have to keep cars from "getting away"
  7. emt49

    emt49 Member


    my layout has1" blue foam its just the yard bench was a after thought. and when we made it we made the plywood top of the yard bench the same hight as the layout foam top so i was gong to put cork down to get it to roadbed leval insted of just nailing the track to the plywood

    11'x3' is just the bench the yard extends about 6' into the layout the layout is 14'x11' over all the benches are 3' wide
  8. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    Liquid nails for projects, cheap, easy to work with and will hold like nothing else when its dry.
  9. Zman

    Zman Member

    Ditto on the Liquid Nails. It takes a few minutes to set up, so you have enough time to adjust the track into place. I know for certain that Peco makes wide pieces of cork roadbed - wide enough to lay three tracks. Other companies may also offer something similar.
  10. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I just use good old LePage's White Glue. For those south of the 49th, that would be Elmer's White Glue.
  11. emt49

    emt49 Member

    well some verry good ideas i will give them a shot

    thanks to every one for your help :wave:
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    One other advantage of using ballast and white glue to hold the tracks in place has become apparent to me these past few days when I started to make some major additions and modifications to my existing layout. In order to remove some track that has been in place some three years, I simply soaked the ballast in water for a little bit, then gently pulled up the track, leaving the roadbed intact. I was able to remove all the remaining ballast with some more water and a putty knife.

    Incidentally, I'm adding a yard as well, and don't plan on using any roadbed or sheets of cork or anything to bring it up to the same level as the track with roadbed. There's no reeason it can't be lower, so. I am going to attach the tracks right to the foam. I'm not sure if I'm going to use gravel or dirt between the tracks, we'll see what looks right at the time I get to that stage.
  13. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    you can get cork sheets at a auto parts store.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I used Woodland Scenics foam road bed and simply used Elmer's white glue to glue the track in place.
  15. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I just finished glueing down a bunch of track to cork roadbed using laytex caulking. It worked great and is cheap too. I had my entire layout T-pinned in place. I lifted small sections and spread a thin spot of the caulk about the size of a quarter about every 4" using a putty knife. I pushed the track back down and used T pins to hold it until the caulk set.
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The other advantage of the latex/adhesive caulking approach is that it is not water soluable. So later, when you ballast or do other water-based scenery, you do not have to worry about your track coming unglued.


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