Foam or No Foam?

I have a 5x18 layout on two ping pong tables end to end.  Do you recommend laying down some kind of foam or base layer before I add my grass mats?  I'm using Fastrack and on the ping pong table, it is creating quite a roar.

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Original Post

This may sound strange but some folks advocate the use of drywall as a base because of its density to avoid the vibrations that transmit noise like a sounding board.  Ever try to run a train on a concrete floor?  There is so much mass that nothing is transmitted in the air.  Add your grass mats and you'll be ready to go.  Although I don't know whether it matters, but some people also put loose fiberglass insulation within the cavity of the Fastrack.

 

Rob,

   After building many FasTrack layouts on 3/4 Ply, I recommend purchasing the acoustical square ceiling tile for a layout like you are building.  The acoustical ceiling tile comes in squares that fit together at the edges, cut them where required.  If you like the white color of the tile use it as snow, screw the edges and the corners of the tile to the 3/4 Ply.  When screwing the FasTrack to the acoustical ceiling tile use screws that do not go all the way thru, to the 3/4 Ply, for best sound deadening.  At one time I even put a piece of Green inside/outside grass type Carpet over the acoustical ceiling tile, and then placed the FasTrack on top of it, this eliminates most all the track sound however.  This is just the way I engineered with FasTrack for many years, even my multi level layouts were built in this manner.  There are numerous other ways that I tried down thru the years, IMO this one works the very best.

Good luck and have fun with your layout building.

PCRR/Dave

Construction continues on the New PCRR Train Room.

DSCN2500

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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Pine Creek Railroad posted:

Rob,

   After building many FasTrack layouts on 3/4 Ply, I recommend purchasing the acoustical square ceiling tile for a layout like you are building.  The acoustical ceiling tile comes in squares that fit together at the edges, cut them where required.  If you like the white color of the tile use it as snow, screw the edges and the corners of the tile to the 3/4 Ply.  When screwing the FasTrack to the acoustical ceiling tile use screws that do not go all the way thru, to the 3/4 Ply, for best sound deadening.  At one time I even put a piece of Green inside/outside grass type Carpet over the acoustical ceiling tile, and then placed the FasTrack on top of it, this eliminates most all the track sound however.  This is just the way I engineered with FasTrack for many years, even my multi level layouts were built in this manner.  There are numerous other ways that I tried down thru the years, IMO this one works the very best.

Good luck and have fun with your layout building.

PCRR/Dave

Construction continues on the New PCRR Train Room.

DSCN2500

I've considered using carpet squares from Lowes.  I never thought about drywall.

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I covered my round the room 11'x11' layout with indoor/outdoor grass carpet. It deadens the sound, unites the tables as one, and provides a green underlayment to the scenery. The foam would probable make things even quieter but mine is fine without it.

TCA - 10 - 64769

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GG-1FAN, like fiberglass, cotton balls squashed under the cavity works too. Though Fastrack is loud because of its hollow track and hollow roadbed, it does have the advantage of staggered joints and very smooth transition from track to track. It quiets down the click clack of all the wheels and cuts down on train vibration. ROB, if cost is not a major factor and you want to combine the ideas contributed here, drywall topped with 1/2" tiles, foam, or homasote, then glue down a thin sheet of MDF for your short screws to bite into, then your green grass mat, would possibly be the maximum noise protection you can create. I like gluing down the rolls of green mat that Lowe's sells that are 6' x 8'. It's made of recycled bottles and is the same texture as the soft half of Velcro. It allows you to hold objects down by sticking small pieces of the porcupine half of the Velcro to your objects to hold them in place and easily move them if needed. 

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Dave Z

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Another option is to put down a layer of carpet underpad. You can then paint it with a dirt (brownish) base colour, mixed 50/50 with water, then sprinkle grass coloured sawdust. You then brush away the excess sawdust when completely dry, and you have an instant mutli coloured ground base. I have done this all over my layout. Another advantage is that you can run wires under the underpad as needed for track and accessory power, with no visible wires on the layout.192 Dec 12 048byer 9bar 021Dec 2011 035

Joe K

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Dave Zucal posted:

GG-1FAN, like fiberglass, cotton balls squashed under the cavity works too. Though Fastrack is loud because of its hollow track and hollow roadbed, it does have the advantage of staggered joints and very smooth transition from track to track. It quiets down the click clack of all the wheels and cuts down on train vibration. ROB, if cost is not a major factor and you want to combine the ideas contributed here, drywall topped with 1/2" tiles, foam, or homasote, then glue down a thin sheet of MDF for your short screws to bite into, then your green grass mat, would possibly be the maximum noise protection you can create. I like gluing down the rolls of green mat that Lowe's sells that are 6' x 8'. It's made of recycled bottles and is the same texture as the soft half of Velcro. It allows you to hold objects down by sticking small pieces of the porcupine half of the Velcro to your objects to hold them in place and easily move them if needed. 

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What is the name of the grass mat?  I am on a tight budget, but I like sticking cotton balls in the bottom.  I also thought maybe quilting cotton and do a Christmas scene, but I think I want to do a summer scene.

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I bought 4 X ^ Insulated Panel from Home Depot. It is light and rigid. white on one side with the Manufactures logo and it is Aluminum color on the other side. It is easy to work with.around $20. I  bought one for a friend who has limited use of one arm. He can lift this with one arm and move it abut. He has a full Oval and a inn Circle of fast rack on it and runs it on his dining room table. If he needs the table he can get it off by himself. It is as quiet as it can be but metal wheels on metal tracks aren very quiet no matter what you try.r-tech-rigid-insulation-310891-64_1000

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I used 1.5" foam board on my layout with no complaints. You can buy it in 2x8 or 2x8 sheets. Make sure to get the foam board WITHOUT the metal backing. I love it. I painted it and scenery added to it. Trees just push into the foam. Want to move the tree? Pull it out and push it in somewhere else. Hole is easy to disguise with scenery. Same with bushes and people. And is REAL QUIET!

STEAMWOLF, the back side is smooth, as though a hot iron was run over it. I like it because it's the same material as the loop half of hook and loop Velcro. You can easily use the adhesive backed hooked half of Velcro to stick to the bottom of track or buildings to hold them in place. Great for the seasonal type of layout.

Dave Z

If you use the R-Tech foam, DO NOT cut it with a hot wire! The fumes are nasty, and probably not good for your health! I've found that a serrated knife works extremely well, with very little mess. One nice thing about the R-Tech is that you can use hot melt on it without putting holes in the foam. 

I'm not sure about this, but one potential issue could be the aluminum foil backing, particularly if you run TMCC or Legacy. I have not worked with it enough to know if the foil needs to be connected to earth ground or not.

 

Chris

LVHR

My Christmas lay out and a layout I built for my grandson is 2" foam board over 1x6 pine w/o plywood.  The foam is glued to the 1x6 structure on 16" centers.  To secure the track to the foam I used foam nails from Scenic Express and removed them once the ballast was complete.  The result is a very quite operation.  I building my around the room lay out the same way.

nails

 

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

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