Help!  I've been bitten by the "tinplate snake" and now I too am under the spell.  I will have an 8 X 14-foot area for a combination std. ga. and O gauge layout.  I like the kelly-green underlayment that many have and I want to use one of the above named materials.  Are there any pro's / con's you would care to mention?  It will be a help to me and I thank all in advance who respond.  One question I have is, should I fasten it temporarily in order to allow it to slacken before I staple or glue it permanently?  Or would permanent fastening be necessary at all?          Hoppy

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I agree with Tom.  Paint with sawdust / ground texture sprinkled on while still wet.  Before there was Woodland Scenics, that was realistic enough for most of us.  Felt or carpet will both shed fibers that would end up in your axles and gears.  No!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

I use 3/16 or 5/16 thick Upson Board.    This is a pressed paper product that is denser and harder than homosote and not so prone ot absorbing moisture.      It comes in 4x8 ft sheets like plywood and is bascially white on both sides.   

On my layout I cut it to strips a little wider than the ties length and just put in under the track.    I cut slots to be able to bend it on curves.   

This is probably not as quiet as using a carpet type product.

I'm with Tom and Ted - paint your table top.

Interestingly enough, I use felt in building my layout.  But strips of it go between tables as a cushion / noise suppressant.  This is a trick I learned from my friend Price Bradshaw (The Shadow on this forum).  My tracks sit on Vinylbed (or Flexxbed as it's called now);  they are very quiet.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

G3750 posted:

I'm with Tom and Ted - paint your table top.

Interestingly enough, I use felt in building my layout.  But strips of it go between tables as a cushion / noise suppressant.  This is a trick I learned from my friend Price Bradshaw (The Shadow on this forum).  My tracks sit on Vinylbed (or Flexxbed as it's called now);  they are very quiet.

George

Do you mean between the supports and the plywood top?  If so do you essentially have a floating table top?  How do you join adjacent sections?

May God Bless us all.

Here's what I did. Paint the table top some shade of flat forest green. While the paint is wet, sprinkle in Woodland Scenics light green foam. Now, paint the board again right over the ground foam you just applied. Next, sprinkle on more ground foam, but don't paint it again. You end up with two different shades of ground foam "grass". Install trees on top of  that  in groupings of three or four. This gives a pretty good effect.

jhz563 posted:
G3750 posted:

I'm with Tom and Ted - paint your table top.

Interestingly enough, I use felt in building my layout.  But strips of it go between tables as a cushion / noise suppressant.  This is a trick I learned from my friend Price Bradshaw (The Shadow on this forum).  My tracks sit on Vinylbed (or Flexxbed as it's called now);  they are very quiet.

George

Do you mean between the supports and the plywood top?  If so do you essentially have a floating table top?  How do you join adjacent sections?

Here's what I mean.  The first photo is the table top (where the 2 tables come together) from above.

Benchwork_399_

Here's what the joining of tables looks like from below. 

Benchwork_400_

You can see the felt between the tables hanging down.

Hope this helps,

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Ted S posted:

I agree with Tom.  Paint with sawdust / ground texture sprinkled on while still wet.  Before there was Woodland Scenics, that was realistic enough for most of us.  Felt or carpet will both shed fibers that would end up in your axles and gears.  No!

To the best of my memory, SGMA has never had a "fiber" problem using "looped pile" carpet on our modules.  However, I can see how "cut pile" carpet might shed fibers.

Bob Nelson 

I used astroturf carpet.  I stretched it tight like a canvas painting over a frame on each plywood section and stapled it to the backside

 Instant grass and sound deadening.   Hides all the holes in the plywood when you change layout or accessory locations.  Paint it whatever color you choose in needed areas.

You have to use the cheap astroturf.  The good stuff is too fluffy and thick.

 

I like the carpet also.  I used regular carpet pad from Amazon underneath.  I didn't fasten the pad at all.  Just stapled the carpet over it.  No homasote and no carpet ballast either.  I'm sure that wouldn't hurt but it's already super quiet so not necessary IMHO.  Here are some of my construction pics:

1x4 frame

IMG_4614

1/2" plywood top

IMG_4688

Carpet pad

IMG_4694

Carpet

IMG_4707

Today with sides and skirting (also from Amazon)

IMG_6049

Good luck.  Post some pics when you do it.

MikeH

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Skirting really improves the appearance of a layout.  The SGMA mandates grey full length skirting on the outside edge of their displays, but several members add green skirting to the interior for a more finished look.  Both attach with Velcro, which makes access easy.

https://www.displays2go.com/C-...ts-for-6-or-8-Tables

 

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

www.StandardGaugeTrack.com

My brother Chuck, with carpeted SGMA modules (with skirting) at the International Toy Train Expo last weekend-

C8E4E393-8C8C-479C-9707-E516AFA1B6FB

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@SGMA1 I can (barely) see your wires coming up into the underside of the track.  When you try to drill holes thru the carpet, doesn't it ball up around your drill, leaving long threads and a bigger hole than you wanted?

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

I vote for carpet, and not just any carpet, but a closed loop style of carpet. I used it on my portable layout, then put Velcro hook on the bottom of the ties, to hold the track in place.

trainroom_0358trainroom_0361trainroom_0576

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I assume sgma is standard gauge modular association.

Only problem I've had with drilling is finding the hole after I drill it.  The astroturf immediately hides it.   So I stuff a pipe cleaner in the hole immediately after drilling. 

You can use fake Christmas tree branches as trees trimmed to the desired size and shape and just shove the metal shaft in a drill hole through the astroturf.  If theres a clearance problem you can just bend the metal "trunk" to change the tree shape.

On all my temporary layouts I've used the indoor/outdoor green turf with no issues at all .  After cutting and stapling it down , a quick vacuum afterwards   did the trick  to clean up the table top .  It's not like you will be  running a vacuum over it every weekend or have any  human or pet traffic  on it that will cut any of the fibers .  It's very cost effective , easy and fast to put down and helps with the sound issue ,  and as mentioned above , if you rearrange your layout in any way you will not see any unsightly holes .  We all have our likes and dislikes in this hobby and the green turf is my choice . Especially after seeing another outstanding layout covered with it . And I might add , I was given a large piece from one of my job sites . 

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Ted S posted:

@SGMA1 I can (barely) see your wires coming up into the underside of the track.  When you try to drill holes thru the carpet, doesn't it ball up around your drill, leaving long threads and a bigger hole than you wanted?

Was wondering the same thing. Every time I drill a hole in carpet or cloth it’s been a mess.

May God Bless us all.

Ted S posted:

@SGMA1 I can (barely) see your wires coming up into the underside of the track.  When you try to drill holes thru the carpet, doesn't it ball up around your drill, leaving long threads and a bigger hole than you wanted?

Nah Ted, I drilled 1/4" holes all over the carpeted surface of my tables, in a regular 6" pattern. I did this because the layout had no set track plan, this way there was always a hole nearby, to pop a wire through. I never had any problem with the drill grabbing the thread and causing a run. Use a sharp drill bit and be a little careful.

Edit: I did glue the carpet to the table top first. That may have helped.

I'm thinking of doing this when I build my layout. I figure I can add scenery over it, if desired.

MikeH. I like your Illinois Terminal power in the background, in the football scheme and block style I's and T's and script lettering.

Rusty

And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!

Wow guys, I'm flattered that so many of you seem to like my Velcro idea, with all the likes on my previous post. The way to shop for that kind of carpet, is just to take a piece of hook to the store, and see what it sticks to, in a color you like.

I got the Velcro idea back in 1982 when I was building architectural models at a company whose primary business was trade show booths. They were always putting this soft loop fabric on the booth walls, so they could quickly hang various advertising pieces on them.

At that time, my portable layout wasn't very portable. It consisted of four, 4x8 sheets of 1/2" particle board on 2x4 frames. After a couple setups, I took it back to the shop, and turned it into a series of 2' x 4' tables with 1x3 frames. The surface was still painted green. It took about five more years before I was able to carpet the tops and Velcro the ties.

I did about a dozen different setups with this layout over the years. I had a couple favorite track plans that I did repeat, but most were unique to fit the space allowed. I even used it as a home layout for a while. Unfortunately, about 14 years ago, my energy and health started to run out. It was just too much work for a weekend setup, even with my then future wife helping.

What this thing really needs is some young hands that want to learn, something like a scout group. It could also use a trailer for storage and hauling. The trailer is the easy part. I should really make an effort to find a group that wants to operate it. It was a lot of fun back in the day.

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trainroom_0398

SGMA is the acronym for the Standard Gauge Module Association, the only Standard Gauge modular group.  The SGMA was organized by Jim Kelly-Evans and me in 2005 to facilitate a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the introduction of Standard Gauge by Lionel in 1906.  It currently has members across the country.

Drilling thru carpet can be messy.  I generally use a center punch instead.  This eliminates the sawdust problem, and the carpet fibers do not block the hole created, at least long enough to place wires.

 

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

www.StandardGaugeTrack.com

I used cheap fleece blanket throws on my layout. They had a brighter green, but I preferred the olive green as a somewhat more "realistic" color choice. 

The roadbed is cut from 1/8" hardboard (actually scraps of paneling turned over) and painted gray with craft paint. Extra ties are balsa painted dark brown. After years of dealing with died sawdust, ground foam, tiny ballast and glue I did not want to deal with any of that on this layout.

20170106_19182120160316_184953-2

Andy

 

When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains and I asked for a slow one.

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Use a chem lab cork borer to punch holes in carpet or a leather belt hole punch. As for roadbed, I prefer the Johnson rubber roadbed for my standard gauge track. It comes in both 042 and 072 sizes. Advantages are twofold: grips a smooth surface and resists sliding, and offers some noise abatement. Easy to cut to fit and its drop-in design makes it easy to remove or add sections. It is essentially a remake of the Lionel prewar roadbed that originally included crossovers and switch sections. Not for everyone, but works for me!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

HandyAndy,

Your cheap fleece blanket throws work well. I really like your Marx themed layout, which looks like you installed 027 track. Not being a very familiar with fleece blanket throws, could you tell me the brand name and where to get them? I am assuming you got them at a fabric store like Joann's maybe?

Thanks in advance 

I prefer a tinplate layout without the traditional green color top.  After seeing a couple of tinplate layouts that used a brown, gray or olive top cover as opposed to the "traditional" bright or kellyish green and how those more muted colors made the layout and colors of the respective tinplate trains and accessories seem to "pop" and be the focus of the layout sealed the deal for me.

HandyAndy's olive felt suggestion appears to be a clever and economical method.

You can have a steam train ...If you'd just lay down your tracks.

tncentrr posted:

HandyAndy,

Your cheap fleece blanket throws work well. I really like your Marx themed layout, which looks like you installed 027 track. Not being a very familiar with fleece blanket throws, could you tell me the brand name and where to get them? I am assuming you got them at a fabric store like Joann's maybe?

Thanks in advance 

Tncentrr,

I got them at Walmart in the bedding section. I got about Christmas time and they had a sale on them.

Andy

 

When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains and I asked for a slow one.

I have never had carpet fibers get into gears in 30 years of running on modules covered with carper (with and without grey carper for ballast).  O-gauge track sits high enough to keep the gears separate from the carpet. I chose carpet over cork ballast and other alternatives because the carpet was quieter.

Snow batting, however, can be problematic when used on holiday layouts.  I look for a dense, almost felt,  batting at my local craft store, usually on sale before Thanksgiving, stretch it tight and staple it in place.  When drilling and screwing track, the stuff wants to wrap around the drill bit or track screw.  I cut slits prior to drilling.  Heavy pressure on the tie usually lets the track screw go in.

Fluffy show batting is evil if it gets near running gear.  I use that stuff only on mountains and areas clear of track.

+1 on Velcro to fix stuff to carpet.

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