Where to buy homasote in Toronto?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, May 18, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'm thinking of buying some homasote for a very small layout (3x4!) that I'm considering. I've had trouble finding homasote in Toronto -- does anyone have any suggestions of where I might get some?


  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Homasote is tough to find, I'm afraid I can't help you in the T.O. area. Your best bet is to call large, non-chain lumber yards and ask. If they don't have it, they'll be able to suggest where you can find it.

    OTOH, homasote is very expensive and heavy. While it has its uses, personally I feel that except perhaps in the case of handlaying track, it's hard to make an argument for using homasote over using foam board.
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Rob: when I started my latest layout, one of my friends took the yellow pages and started at the top of the lumber dealers list and worked down. If the person handling the lumber desk doesn't know what it is, go on to the next shop.
    The previous layout, I went to the dealer nearest me. They had a rack labelled Homasote and knew about it, but none came in during the months I had an order with them.
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks for these replies -- maybe I'll have to use foam or cork. I'll check out the Ontario Plywood Specialties website first. Rob
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'm sort of doing a double take here! I used cork roadbed for my previous layout but I've never used foam board. So my next question is, where can you buy foam board and is it expensive?


  7. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Homasote Supply in Toronto...

    Hi Rob,

    I got some Homasote from

    D & M Building Supplies
    229 Wallace Avenue
    Toronto , ON
    Phone: (416) 531-3504

    I'd heard that they were closing this location, but according to Canada411 they are still there.

    Foam board = Extruded Styrofoam Insulation. It is available in either Pink or Blue depending on the manufacturer.

    It comes in different thicknesses, but 2" is generally preferred for building layouts. The "boards" are 2' x 8' and have ship-lap edges.

    Locally, it is available at Rona, Home Depot, and Lowes.

    The price is affordable.
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks -- this is really helpful. Do you use the foam board on top of your layout or can you use it instead of wood or plywood ? I think I've heard of this before. (Sorry if this is an obvious or 'dumb' question!) Rob
  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    The short answer is "yes"!

    Extruded styrofoam (blue or pink) comes in severa thicknesses. I've used 1/2" stuff over plywood for roadbed (the way you would homasote) with good results, and I've used 2" in place of plywood altogether.

    I actually prefer using the 2" stuff, since it's lighter than plywood, and (IMHO) easier to work with. I've used both cork and foam roadbed on the 2" foam, and have been happy with both approaches.
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! I'll look into both options then -- the second one (2" foam) sounds particularly good.

    Is it expensive and could I easily get it in the size I need, i.e. 3x4' or 4x4', and is it easy to cut?

    Thanks again!

  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    That's a relative term... ;) I haven't priced it lately, but I think a 2x8 sheet of 2" is about $20.

    It comes in 2x8 sheets, and I think the pink stuff is available in 4' wide sheets as well.

    Very easy. Ever build anything from styrene or other plastics? Or drywall, for that matter? Score and snap! For general cuts, I slice 1/2" or so deep with a utility knife, and then break the sheet on the back side of the cut, just like drywall. The edge isn't perfectly clean, but for benchwork, it's close enough. For fine cuts, you can use a hot knife, a serrated bread knife, or a drywall saw.
  12. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Foam board is available at all the big-box stores over here, Home Depot, Rona, Lowes, as well as all the smaller building supply places.
  14. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    For what it's worth, Dow Utility Fit Styrofoam Insulation is the brand name I was able to find. It's the blue stuff and came in 4'x8' sheets. I know they had 1" 2" and 3" thicknesses and I think they had a 1/2" too.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Rob: my layout is built using Homasote for all the top surface. I had planned to reduce it only to the bits under the tracks. I add foam on top for scenery.
    On my previous layout I used Homasote for roadbed and dangled scenery, both plaster and foam, from it.
    Homasote is much easier for anything like switch machines that have to be screwed down. It does make lots of dust when sawn.
  16. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    All of these responses are helpful. Thanks!

    So how do you join sections of foamboard together -- could you glue them and would white glue work?

    Also, if I do go the foam board route, I'm thinking of NOT using cork roadbed as I think the foam itself would minimize the noise from the trains. I guess I could simply nail my track to the foam using the usual track spikes?

    And what about painting the foam? With my previous layout (which used plywood) I painted the board a dark green before I added my ground scatter and scenery. Should I paint the foam and (if so) what kind of paint would work best ... or could I skip the painting and go straight to applying ground scatter and scenery?

    Thanks again!!

  17. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi Rob.

    I usually glue polyurethane foam with polyurethane wood glue for smooth facets, polyurethane foam for rough ones. Given a good clean surface, polyurethane in the liquid form will stick to almost anything - so disposable gloves are advised.

    As for painting, this may help:
    Painting Polyurethane

    I thought I'd not point you to a UK site - I'm sure you don't want to model rain-soaked grass on clay.:mrgreen:

  18. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks again. I do have some in-door/out-door wood glue but there's no indication whether it's polyurethane or not -- it's similar to white (PVA?) glue. Maybe that would work. Thanks for the paint link as well ... just checking that now. Rob
  19. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi again.

    The sort of glue I use is used by boatbuilders mainly, at least in the UK.
    It's a gooey yellow liquid, a bit like expanding foam, but a darker yellow, more an amber. It's basically liquid polyurethane without the foaming agent, marketed as a wood glue.

    Sorry I can't point you to any brand names over there - they tend to be localised. The one I use is Wudcare fast grab 5 minute - D4 and D3 seawater proof. Their website is:
    Wudcare Products - 01543 573374

  20. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I appreciate your help! I'll check that website as well -- I'm sure we have a similar type of glue over here. Cheers, Rob

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