Where to buy homasote in Toronto?

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

  1. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    You are most welcome.:thumb:

    And so - to bed - good night.
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    You can use almost any non-solvent glue to glue the foam together - polyurethane glue (gorilla glue, probond), carpenters glue (Elmer's, Lepage's), PVA glue (Weldbond) or foam adhesive (Liquid Nails, PL adhesives). All work well for gluing it together.

    With any layout, the purpose of the roadbed is less to minimize noise (although it is a side-benefit) than to raise the track above the level of the base board. If you look at real tracks, you'll see (for the most part) that they are built on a road bed of gravel, usually higher than the surrounding terrain. This is to provide drainage and keep the tracks from being washed away when it rains.

    With foam construction, you can lay the track directly on the foam, and then carve away from the sides of the track to simulate raised roadbed, or you can use a roadbed product. On foam, I like to use Woodland Scenics TrackBed, a foam roadbed. Just glue it down where you want the tracks to go.

    As for painting, I usually check the bargain aisle at the paint store, or the paint section of Home Depot for returned quarts of earth-toned latex paint. You get them cheap, and while they may have looked awful in the living room, they're a great base for scenery. If you have your landforms roughed in with foam, you can slap a thick layer of paint down, and while it's still wet, sprinkle ground foam on it. Give it a shot of wet water, and when it's dried the ground foam will have adhered to the paint - your first layer of ground scenery, and where the foam didn't stick looks like bare earth, because of the paint.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Wow -- these are all excellent ideas !

    I'll certainly look for those glues at Home Depot -- there's one about a a 5-minute walk from our house which is very convenient. :mrgreen: I'll look for returned cans of paint there as well. I also like the idea of sprinkling ground scatter onto a freshly-painted board.

    I'll check 1-2 LHS's for the Woodland Scenics foam roadbed (instead of the usual cork) or try chiseling out grounds around the track to simulate the raised area for ballasting.

    Thanks again -- lots to think about now! :mrgreen:

  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    One more question ... is it difficult to nail (or pin) the track onto this foam roadbed using the track spikes? It would seem to me that the spike would not grip into the Woodland Scenics foam (like it would with the cork roadbed). I guess you'd have to really push it down so that it grips into the benchwork but wouldn't that cause the foam roadbed to lose its shape a bit?

    Thanks again!
  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    No, it's very easy to pin track through the foam roadbed. Easier on foam than it is on plywood! Just use long-ish spikes. The only time you might have trouble is if you are trying to spike flex track down on a tight curve. Then it helps to glue the track down instead of spiking it.
  6. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    This actually helps with one of my other questions. I'm trying to decide whether -- on such a small layout with 14.6" radius curves -- to use flexitrack or Hornby set-track (i.e. small pieces of pre-formed track). I think the latter would be easier to use, although it's a little harder finding Hornby track. But I do know of several British MRR retailers who could order it.

    Thanks again, Rob
  7. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi, Rob.

    Sorry about the too brief 'goodnight' post. My eyes went on strike and my eyelids went on overtime.

    Try ebay for Hornby track - lots of modellers sell it off when they switch to Peco. Peco is much better imho, and more realistic, but please to check my sig.sign1

  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    No problem -- I think Peco is the best track as well, especially for points! You can get Peco points and flextrack over here but I don't think you can get Peco set-track. I'll search eBay as well for Hornby track. Cheers, Rob
  9. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Hi, Rob. sounds like you're going through decisions of consequence I'll have to make, too (later). Not to confuse the issues, but saw this page last night - might have some relevance for you (or not). If you haven't seen it , enjoy ! Bob C.
    Layout Construction Journal
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, just checking that site now and it looks interesting, just when I'm leaning away from the homasote option! Still good to consider though as I work my way through these options. I'm in a bit of a quandary right now but will keep you updated! Rob
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Been there, done that, still coughing up the dust! sign1

    Homasote does make decent roadbed, but that's if you're building a layout based on open-grid or L-girder.

    Foam construction, especially for small layouts, is simpler, lighter, and dust-free! :D
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Rob: I wouldn't use nails or spikes to hold track to foam; they tend to come out or enlarge their holes.
    Roadbed on foam isn't for sound; it's for appearance.
    I like to join it with green contact cement. A lot of the water-based glues don't dry because there is no ventilation between layers.
    If you use preformed track, it could be held down with full-sized pins.
  13. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    LOL, squidbait.

    So, for newcomers to the model railroading hobby:

    primary essentials: mask, gloves, glue, knife.

    Caveat: don't try to board a plane.

  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Well, I went to Home Depot tonight and bought a 2" thick 2x8' piece of foam. I went for the (new?) green eco foam because it seemed just as strong as the pink and was cheaper and possibly lighter. I hope this wasn't a mistake! :eek::confused: This board is already light green, so maybe I won't have to paint it as much and can go straight to adding ground scatter?

    Everything went according to plan, as per the helpful instructions given here. I used a utility knife to score the area where I wanted to cut it and it snapped apart as expected.

    I also bought some LePage's glue suitable for bonding foam. After scoring and snapping the pieces apart, I then glued my desired pieces together to get the 3'x4' board that I wanted.

    The edges of the board (that I had scored & snapped) are obviously rough and already tiny bits of foam keep flaking off. Is there anything I could do to these ends to reduce this flaking?

  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, David. I might look into the black foam road bed then, basically to create the raised appearance.

    I'll probably use preformed track b/c I think it might be difficult to achieve such tight curves with flextrack. The layout calls for 14.6"R Hornby curves, but do you think I could still create the same layout with Atlas 15"R curves or would I have to make the layout bigger? ... Apparently, Atlas has some free software where you can create and test layouts on a computer but it's not available for the Mac! :(

  16. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    You could do the layout with Atlas 15" curves and Peco small left turnouts. I don't have time this morning to try it with sectional track, to work out the count, but with flex track and no easements, you see you can squeeze it into the space. If you use sectional track, you'll probably have to cut some pieces to fit.

    Attached Files:

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  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks for posting this. I think I'll end up going the sectional route b/c (based on experience!) I could have trouble creating such tight curves with flextrack. I'm sure I'd end up with kinks and 'inconsistencies' that would cause derailments! Rob
  18. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Here's the parts list to do it with sectional track. The pink pieces in the plan are sections of 15" curve you'll have to cut to fit.

    I'm going to cross-post this into your other thread, as well.


    4 Atlas 821 9" Straight
    19 Atlas 831 15" 30D Curve
    3 Peco SL-92/192 LH Small turnout

    Attached Files:

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