Homasote necessary with cork roadbed?

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April 5, 2012 6:17 PM

I am finishing up benchwork tomorrow, so the next step will be to start on the elevated line. I need to know how necessary is it to have homasote if I am using cork roadbed. I would say I have seen more than a few layouts with cork or foam roadbed only, with no homasote. So are both necessary? If I can I want to use just the cork.

 

I would really like some feedback from some that have used both methods. Is there really a large sound difference? I am using Atlas track.

 

Thanks in advance for your replies.

 
 
 
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April 5, 2012 6:39 PM

Not really. It's a matter of how much sound deadening you need. Homasote holds track screws and doesn't transmit the vibrations into the plywood. However, using screws that go through the Homasote into the plywood will defeat the purpose. We've found that cork on  plywood is fine.

 

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

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April 5, 2012 7:06 PM

Thanks Matt. So then I should screw the track into the cork, but not all the way down into the wood substructure correct? Glue the cork to the wood, and then screw the track into the cork?

 
 
 
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April 5, 2012 7:17 PM

If you're going to ballast your track, then the screws are only temporary. The glue that holds the ballast will also anchor the track.

 

Dennis Brennan

 






 
 
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April 5, 2012 7:20 PM

Man, you're gonna get lots of opinions on this one. Required? NO

I used Homasote as a base over my entire switching layout, then another level of homasote to raise the track as the actual roadbed. I also used cork on top of the base homasote in some areas just to change track elevations. My homasote roadbed is screwed into the base layer of homasote. I did not screw any of my track down though, I used brads instead. I didn't want any ugly screw heads showing. The brads are practically invisible.

These are cell phone pix but if you look hard enough, you can find the brad heads sunk down in the ties. I am very pleased with the sound level, even after the ballast went down.

 

IMG_0756

Switch and ballast

2012-02-21_10-35-22_18

 
Last edited by Laidoffsick April 6, 2012 12:11 AM
 
 
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April 5, 2012 8:12 PM

Originally Posted by Zett:

Thanks Matt. So then I should screw the track into the cork, but not all the way down into the wood substructure correct? Glue the cork to the wood, and then screw the track into the cork?

That's it. Dennis is right about gluing ballast. It will hold track pretty well, except maybe tightly-bent Atlas flex. We had to do a realignment and had to use denatured alcohol to dissolve the ballast holding the track in place (it also attacked the cork underneath.)

 

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A for over 9/50 of a century!"
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YouTube Channel

 
 
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April 5, 2012 9:31 PM

I just put down 46 sheets of QuietBrace and am very happy with it. About 1/3 the price of homosote and holds screws better. A terrific sound deadener.

 

The product is described in this thread

 

 
I am putting the track directly over the Quietbrace. I use 5/8 screws so they do not reach the plywood.

 

Dale H

 

Another fine product of the Cleveland Public School system.

A nice site to visit is J&C Studios.

Last edited by Dale H April 5, 2012 9:37 PM
 
 
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April 6, 2012 7:16 AM

We had to do a realignment and had to use denatured alcohol to dissolve the ballast holding the track in place (it also attacked the cork underneath.)

 

Matt,

 

What bonding agent did you use to secure the ballast? Regular white glue will easily loosen up with a water.

 






 
 
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April 6, 2012 9:01 AM

We used diluted white glue (can't remember the brand.)  The water didn't soften it sufficiently to pull the track out without a lot of scraping. The denatured alcohol melted all the glue out quickly and the cleanup was easier. It also soaked into the cork.
 
Originally Posted by DennisB:

We had to do a realignment and had to use denatured alcohol to dissolve the ballast holding the track in place (it also attacked the cork underneath.)

 

Matt,

 

What bonding agent did you use to secure the ballast? Regular white glue will easily loosen up with a water.

 

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A for over 9/50 of a century!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

 
 
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April 6, 2012 9:28 AM

Before doing any scenery or laying track, I always paint everything, as well as any cork, with brow latex paint to seal it.   

 






 
 
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April 7, 2012 8:03 AM

Dennis, how does painting the cork help? Just curious. I've heard of painting homosote but not cork.

 

Laidofsick your track looks great!

 

2 railer but respectful to 3 railers! Happy Railroading Everyone! Stilll waiting for 1:48 scaled autos.... Phil Gatto

 
 
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