I am planning on attaching two sheets of 8x12 maple plywood sheets 3/4 inch thick on a long wooden dining table. Can I jus screw the plywood onto the table surface or is there another layer of something else that I place between the table surface and the plywood to reduce noise? There will be three simple oval loops with no switches, 2 outer loops for standard gauge tinplate and an inner loop for LGB/gauge1. Thanks in advance.

 

Ash Standard

Original Post

I believe the Johnson rubber roadbed for Standard gauge is out of production.

Cut pile carpet is okay under plastic roadbed track, but may shed loose fibers that will get into the mechanisms of your trains if placed under traditional tinplate tubular track.  Closed loop carpet is better in this respect.  The Standard Gauge Module Association (SGMA) specifies closed loop carpet on their modular standards.

Homosote is a moisture  resistant recycled paper product that can be used to cover the entire train table, or cut to form a roadbed.  Either way it is an effective way to reduce noise levels.  Note that the track should be screwed only to the homosote, and not the plywood tabletop, or the screws will transmit noise.

Foam tape (like weatherstripping foam) makes excellent roadbed, and is available with adhesive backing.  Two (or more) strips can be applied on either side of a marked centerline drawn on the tabletop to facilitate an accurate transposition of your trackplan.

 

Kirk

 

USA Track LLC



 

I used the 4x8 sheets of foam insulation, in my case 3/4 inch thick with aluminum on one side, this reduced the noise tremendously. If your able to do it, use the zip tie method of securing your track to the plywood base, this cuts out the drum effect that screws cause.

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

I’m not sure where you are, but it’s hard to get homosote in the south.  I’m using acoustic ceiling tile (the kind that they use for suspended ceilings) from Home Depot. It’s readily available, easy to cut to shape as roadbed, and cheap.

Johnson rubber roadbed is available on the secondary market. I have some extra 072 and 084 circles plus a good number of straights at my other home, but it is not available to sell at this time. The advantages are its easy drop-in design, slip resistant surface, and noise abatement quality. I use it directly on an office tabletop surface with excellent results. Will have my extra curves and straights for sale in the next couple of months. The color is black.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

Ash,

Feel free to contact me by email.  You have the address (we discussed the duplicates in my collection last month).

Don't sell yourself short on your ability to build a layout.  Nobody was an expert before they tried it the first time.  You could also hire a carpenter or cabinet maker to help you learn the skills or to finish a table to your specifications.

I assume you are using maple surfaced plywood because cabinet grade plywood is more stable and flatter than lower grades.  Keep in mind you will need to run wires under the plywood to wire both the tracks and the accessories.   For this reason I would not secure the plywood sheets directly to your table.  Strips of 1x3 lumber between the two can provide the space you need.  A frame around the perimeter will also keep things square and true.

One advantage of homosote is that the texture is pleasing when painted.  I think I would still use the roadbed Jim Cottzola recommended above, foam tape, or the Johnson rubber roadbed if you can find it.  All are easily installed, and all provide a greatly enhanced appearance and additional sound deadening.

We only sell USA Track directly to customers.  If you buy track on ebay or elsewhere look for track with ties stamped "USA" or "MTH".  The newer MTH track with ties stamped "Lionel" (11-series) was made in China for MTH, and is very poor quality.  The old MTH track (10-series) was made by EBR products in New Jersey and is fine.  Ross Custom Switches are the best available, and completely compatible with USA Track LLC products (they buy the rails and track pins from us).

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

The Rubber Roadbed is the bomb if you can find enough of it for your layout.  I had it on my last tinplate O gauge layout and its like running trains on the carpet noise reduction wise.  Otherwise some kind of indoor/outdoor carpet or padding between the track and the wood can help soften the noise.  But with standard gauge, noise is part of the equation.     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

Ash,

If you plan to run your larger Standard Gauge sets, I would suggest using STD87 curves on your outer loop, and STD72 curves on your inner loop.  The resulting 7.25" center-to-center track spacing will minimize the risk of contact between long cars and locomotives on adjacent tracks, and the parallel tracks look better than two STD72 loops with short straight sections.

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

wild mary posted:

I'm not sure folks but I think we've been had.   1st clue - 2 sheets of 8 x 12 x 3/4 "MAPLE" plywood on top of a dinning room table.  

The math is right. 6 sheets of 8 by 4 covers exactly. Plywood can be purchased in 8 by 12 with a Maple veneer.

 

Jim C

 

I have some Vinylbed road bed in O gauge I can send you to sample. I think the company will send a sample also. I did my O gauge layout with Homosote and then the Vinylbed on top. In hindsight this was overkill. Just the Vinylbed on top of the plywood would be enough. 

Jim C

 

wild mary posted:

I'm not sure folks but I think we've been had.   1st clue - 2 sheets of 8 x 12 x 3/4 "MAPLE" plywood on top of a dinning room table.  

 I go with Wild Mary. Two sheets of 8 x 12 plywood equals 182 sq ft. Ash Standard must have one **** of a big dining room table.  If it is a normal sized dining room table, I would never lean on the side of the layout.

Jim

Jim, I have abandoned the dining table idea and doing bench work. However since you were wondering about my dining table dimensions, I am embarrassed to say it’s bit of a white elephant. Seats 24 and was once in Princess Diana’s summer house. Sorry didn’t mean to counter. 

Ash,

Three loops of track with no switches may seem adequate at this point in your involvement with tinplate trains, but despite their beauty, I think you will tire of watching your prizes just circling round and round.  I visited Jim C. a few years ago, and his layout was truly inspiring.  Trains had a variety of paths thru the network of track, and the placement the buildings and accessories brought the trains to life.

The urge to just "get some trains running" is strong, but in the long term you will probably have more fun if you create a slice of life rather than just a "test track".  Since Ross Custom Switches made their excellent standard gauge switches available (after consultation with the SGMA), there is no reason to avoid adding a bit of complexity to your layout.

My advice is to take a bit of time to study the efforts of others, and think about what makes them engaging.

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

I will also take this opportunity to suggest an "around-the-wall" design rather than an "island" if you have an appropriate space.  (My next basement will DEFINITELY have steps into the center of the room!)  This style of layout facilitates broad curves, better accessibility and visually appealing backdrops.  Display shelves can be installed under the interior edges of the platform, which is handy and looks great.  If you have a large enough room, the space enclosed by the layout makes a great socializing area.  Depending on your height, and the ceiling height, a 40-48" high table gives a great view of the trains.  You can provide a platform for little visitors!

Kirk Lindvig, USA Track LLC

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