Skip to main content

I have bench work done with a plywood top. Is there some material like styrofoam or firm house insulation that would be good to put on this? I am wondering if styrofoam would allow more quiet operation and perhaps allow it easier to make lakes and rivers. Any help would very much be appreciated.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Homasote wasn't available in my area ( the old supply chain issues a couple years ago ) when I was building my layout so I had to go with Construction Styrofoam. I have Fastrack and used Plastic Hollow Wall Anchors to screw down the track to the Styrofoam.  Lay out your track in position, press down a multipurpose screw through each track hole into the Styrofoam, take an anchor, press it into the Styrofoam halfway, take it out, put a little Gorilla Glue into the hole, put the anchor back into the hole, tap it flush into the Styrofoam with a light hammer, continue the process with the next hole until you're all done, I let the glue set up overnight, then I used Phillips Flat Head multipurpose screws to anchor the track down. Certainly not the easiest way but it worked for me.

Last edited by Gary P

Go to https://www.homasote.com/wheretobuy and enter your zip code or address and set the distance up to 100 miles.  You'll get a list of dealers near you (if any).  Homasote is also called SoundBarrier,  Some will special order it if they don't stock it.

Price can vary wildly depending here you live.  Best prices and availability seem to be in the central and north east.

Homasote is princely used now for its acoustics properties

Jan

Cutting Homasote doesn't necessarily have to make a mess, though it's quite possible to create a lot of dust cutting it.

For straight cuts, a few passes with a sharp utility knife will allow you to break it on the cut line neatly without any mess.  For curved cuts, we used a fine tooth metal cutting blade and a vacuum to suck up almost all the dust created.  While cutting the Homasote outside certainly is an option, it's way easier to cut it in place, at least IMO.

I had a really long thread about the current layout build: New Train Room Finally Getting A Layout!

The tool used for cutting the straight runs was this carpet knife and a sharp blade, made quick work of those cuts.

For the curves, the jigsaw with the fine tooth blade and that vacuum was used.  This resulted in almost no dust escaping.

When it was time to trim the edges with the router, a similar vacuum technique was used, again minimal dust escaped.

I couldn't fail to mention the guy that was instrumental in my education of how to do many of these techniques, @Tom Tee was the master carpenter here, I was just there to hold the pencils.

Attachments

Images (3)
  • mceclip0
  • mceclip1
  • mceclip2

Timely thread for me - finally getting ready to get this layout started

I will be using half inch foam vinyl roadbed ( the eBay guy) - I was going to place it right on top of the plywood however I have been thinking about using Homasote along with the plywood then foam roadbed - is that overkill ???

Homaote is available in my area

Thank you

Joe S

@dorfj2 posted:

I will be using half inch foam vinyl roadbed ( the eBay guy) - I was going to place it right on top of the plywood however I have been thinking about using Homasote along with the plywood then foam roadbed - is that overkill ???

I used 1/4" foam roadbed and Homasote.  The 1/4" works great, and the whole affair is very quiet when running.  The track screws into plywood will greatly increase the running noise, mine only go into the Homasote.

I used 1/4" foam roadbed and Homasote.  The 1/4" works great, and the whole affair is very quiet when running.  The track screws into plywood will greatly increase the running noise, mine only go into the Homasote.

Hi John, not to hijack this thread, but do you like 1/4" foam over cork roadbed? and if so why if you don't mind me asking? Also do you know the screw size for MTH ScaleTrax?

@mike g. posted:

Hi John, not to hijack this thread, but do you like 1/4" foam over cork roadbed? and if so why if you don't mind me asking? Also do you know the screw size for MTH ScaleTrax?

I found the foam to be a lot easier to use than cork.  It comes in full width 6 foot pieces, so not nearly as much piecing together.  I've never used ScaleTrax, but I'd presume the #2 screws of the correct length that are used with Atlas and Gargraves/Ross would be appropriate.

I also used homasote and am happy with it.  My menards had quite a few sheets in stock.  I liked it over foam as I need to get on the layout at times and it doesn't get all the dents you get from foam, this also helps if people lean on your table on the edges.  I used a jigsaw to cut it outside.  It created a ton of dust but we cut it and blew off the dust, took it inside and all was good.  Once I screwed it down I used silicone to cover the screws and gaps between sheets, this probably wasn't necessary as scenery will cover that but it was easy and as recommended earlier then painted the surface.

I guess I got my answer to my original question. Thanks to all who have voiced their expertise. I do have a Menards about 1 hour north and it sounds like it will be worth the trip to get the Homasote. I probably would be kicking myself if I did not get the Homasote and went with something else. Best to do it right from the start.

RubinG: I use a shaped Homasote roadbed over sheet Homasote over 3/4 sheet OSB for mainline. Passing tracks get HO cork roadbed over sheet Homasote over 3/4 sheet OSB, so yes, I do use cork over Homasote in some places. BTW, this is so passing tracks will be somewhat lower than the mainline per prototype practice.

dorfj2: I used 3/4 ply on the oldest section of the layout, 3/4 OSB on the remaining 80 percent. The cheaper OSB is fine. Some have said OSB is better than plywood for our purposes. Can't speak to 1/2 inch.

Add Reply

Post
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

AN OGR FORUM CHARTER SPONSOR

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
www.ogaugerr.com

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×