Skip to main content

Got my order delivered of almost $100 of Flexbed.  (1/4 inch)

I was very surprised that it arrived without any sheet or instructions, tips, or recommendations whatsoever as to methods of installation.  Nothing about fasteners, cutting, curling, or adhering.

I have spent the last two days putting it down.  (I'm about half done.) 

Guess what, it ain't easy to bend and fasten the Flexbed to 031 Curves.  The inside edge want to "pop up" as much as 3/4ths of an inch high, on stretches of just two curved sections.   (Yes, I've seen Eric's video, and my product isn't behaving like his.)

It takes some real force to hold the inside edge flat, all along the edge.  I'm using Tight Bond II, and putting lots of weight and screws down, followed by holding down the pop-up places with my fingers until the bond sets.

Not what I expected at all.

I've read that heating up the Flexbed strips makes it easier to bend them.

I've got a heat gun.  Is that what I'm suppose to use?

(Geez, after I force the piece down in place, there is glue smeared everywhere!)



Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Yes John, on a three piece curved section, I had to cut a out pie shape.

But, the website for the product says that unlike other foam bedding, Flexbed needs no cutting for curves.

Oh well, I guess tomorrow I'll try the heat gun. My basement is generally about 60 degrees, with only 35% humidity.  So, maybe that is the problem.


I have built quite a few layouts using Flexbed and have had good success with diameters down to 045.  The 045 took a bit more coaxing than the larger curves but it did eventually lay flat.  Of coarse I have been using Atlas or Gargraves where the ties are close together and help hold the bed in place once the track is screwed down.  I have never glued the bed in place.  It seems I am always modifying track plans or adding switches and would personally hate dealing with bed that had been glued down.

I am guessing that you are using tubular track and with the large spaces between ties, I could see why it would buckle.

If I were trying to use it with 031 curves and having the issues you are, I would first try cutting each section down the middle (much like cork roadbed is sold) and then installing each side under the track.  This should allow much tighter curves without the inside wanting to buckle.

Good luck and happy railroading,


Last edited by DGJONES

Thanks for the advice.  I'll concede and cut.

I guess my real complaint is the totally misleading advertising on the Flexbed website.   031 is the most standard, classic, popular curve for O gauge, and the product doesn't work there as advertised.

I glad that I designed my layout so that I wasn't gluing straight down on the plywood top.   I first cut and laid a hard "roadbed" on the plywood, where the flexbed would go down, consisting of the thin brown hardboard sold at at Lowes ($10 per sheet).   I cut it to the same dimensions as the flexbed, but with an extra half inch of width on each side.   (That took me almost a month!)  The hardboard is just a little more than 1/8th inch thick. 

I lightly stapled this down along its edges.  Now  I am gluing the flexbed down on top of this, using glue only under the outer edges of the flexbed.  As soon as I lay it on the glue, I screw my track down right on top of it.  The track screws go all of the way through the flexbed, and the hardboard, and into the plywood.

When I am done, I will pull the staples along the edges of the hardboard.    The extra half inch of the hardboard on each side will give me space for the ballast to spill down from the tracks and flexbed and be glued to it, without having to glue the ballast right on the plywood.  And, it is a nice medium brown color, that looks like dirt.

If I ever have to do any major track work, I can remove the track screws.  The relevant section of brown hardboard (plus the flexbed glued on top), will just lift off of the table, since the hardboard is not stapled or nailed to it.

Thanks again.


Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.