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JoAnn Fabrics has two grades that are 60" wide and sold by the yard. The craft felt is the least expensive and is on sale from time to time. It is polyester.

 

The good stuff is thicker, has some natural fibers in it and is 2x the cost.

 

I use 3M 77 Spray adhesive around the edges and fit the felt with a little tension and trim the edges with a utility knife or box cutter with a fresh blade when dry.

 

The outdoor carpet will have a rubber backing for some sound absorption. Tough to find the right color in a tight weave, but you can. You can spray glue that down, too. About the same in cost as the good felt.

Just to offer a different perspective/idea at the risk of being disruptive...

 

We built a 5x8 portable layout for a local organization.  Knowing it would be viewed closely, maybe even jostled as kids crowded around it, we used a looped pile I/O green carpet for the base.  Besides looking great, it allowed us to put pads of the hooked Velcro tape on the bottom of layout items such as trees, buildings, people, telephone poles, signs....pretty much anything that might not tolerate an occasional bump of the table without falling over.  A light downward press of the item as it was placed ensured a pretty good grip.  When it was time to pack up for a move, it all came apart easily, ready for the next time.   Also, it gave the participating folks a chance to set up the scenery items differently each time. 

 

Oh yes, we did use felt, too, on the same layout...  We bought a couple yards of gray felt, cut it into strips of different lengths to form roadways for the vehicles.  The felt also had enough knap to it to 'stick' to the looped pile carpet. 

 

All in all it worked quite well we think.

 

FWIW, always.

 

KD

Originally Posted by sinclair:

I used the plastic green astro turf type outdoor carpet for a FasTrack layout I did.  I really like how it came out.

I personally despise that plastic astroturf stuff. It looks terrible, falls apart, "flakes" come off, etc. I've used a very fine green out/in carpet and my current layout uses grey in/out carpet. I prefer the grey. I think it looks cleaner, a bit brighter, neater etc. 

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Originally Posted by Wood:

I began with felt and have enjoyed it over the years.  Lately, I have been upgrading with ballasting my tracks and open areas.  I left the felt on and it covered nicely and blends well.

 

I would encourage you to put a layer of masonite or foam underneath the felt.

 

 

 

 

Looks great nice work

Originally Posted by SJC:
Originally Posted by sinclair:

I used the plastic green astro turf type outdoor carpet for a FasTrack layout I did.  I really like how it came out.

I personally despise that plastic astroturf stuff. It looks terrible, falls apart, "flakes" come off, etc. I've used a very fine green out/in carpet and my current layout uses grey in/out carpet. I prefer the grey. I think it looks cleaner, a bit brighter, neater etc. 

 

Mine has stood up to being moved twice, rolling out from and back under a bed for 6 years, and even cats scratching.  And I use a vacuum to clean it.  I've had no flaking or falling apart.  Sure the cut edges can come apart, but I believe I hemmed it when I fastened it to the board, and then I just laid everything else on top.

I've never used either felt or indoor/outdoor carpet.  It seems to me the carpet might deaden sound better.  Is that correct?

 

Carpet padding covered my last layout, with electricians' wire ties securing the track, and it was good at sound deadening, and could easily be painted black for roads. Another great thing was that Marx telephone poles with those wide plastic bases could be simply installed by slitting the padding and sliding the base under.  Great when you bumped into poles too.  The pole wouldn't break, just tilt.  However, the padding was a pain to drill through: The material would wind around the bits.

jim pastorius posted:

I wentto a local Home Depot and bought 3 sheets of Homosote for y layout. Pricey but I just plan to cover it with the tight loop indoor/outdoor carpet. Home Depot has it in 12' widths which is nice because my layout is 12' square with an open space hear the middle. Really not too expensive. The trial piece I had I just stapled the edges down real good.

I stopped by Home Depot today to look for some I/O carpet.  All I could find was the Astro-turf stuff.  Looks like  golf tee grass.  I'm not keen on it.  Many years ago an indoor/outdoor carpet was made that looked more like felt.  Some brands had a foam backing while others did not.  I would like to know where to find this type of I/O carpet.

ChiloquinRuss posted:

" However, the padding was a pain to drill through"  Just get a piece of metal tubing (3/8 in dia worked for me) and use as a punch to make a hole for the drill to get to the table and not the pad / carpet.  Russ

Reminds me of when I was an apprentice carpenter.  I had to install some hardware on a door to an office.  Part of the hardware installation involved involved drilling through newly laid carpeting.  As soon as the drill bit hit the carpet pile, a line appeared all the way across the floor.  You would guess correctly that my boss wasn't a happy camper that day.  By the way, I kept my job.   

SJC posted:
Originally Posted by sinclair:

I used the plastic green astro turf type outdoor carpet for a FasTrack layout I did.  I really like how it came out.

I personally despise that plastic astroturf stuff. It looks terrible, falls apart, "flakes" come off, etc. I've used a very fine green out/in carpet and my current layout uses grey in/out carpet. I prefer the grey. I think it looks cleaner, a bit brighter, neater etc. 

IMG_0888

Sorry SJC, but I personally disagree with you on the green astro turf. I used it on a Halloween layout, and to ME, it looks much better than the grey in your pic. The green makes the yard areas look much more like yards than the grey ever could, I don't want my whole layout looking concreted over.

 I am Glad that you are Happy with your choice, but on my layout, I think the green looks just as clean, Bright and much neater than the grey. I wont say that I " despise" the grey, but for MY layout, I think that the green simply looks better than the grey would have, hands down.

 

http://s269.photobucket.com/us...media/032-1.jpg.html

 

Doug

Last edited by challenger3980

Khayden,

   Being pretty much old school I still use the old grass type inside/outside carpet with some old block style acoustical tile under it to deaden the sound on my 1st level, works real well in our formal living room at Christmas time.  However the larger game room/office layout had no carpet or tile and I actually liked it better, simply stained green and painted in different areas for roads and snow, it was super easy to work on. I actually liked hearing my trains run on all the different levels.  It all depends on what you want to accomplish with your layout, don't let some else decide for you what you want, advise is always nice but it's your layout build in the manner you most like.

PCRR/Dave

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I got my In/Out carpet from Lowes. I think 12 feet wide, any length. I got the grey. It has been a good choice for me, kind of matches the slightly lighter Fastrack and any hole I poke in it is easily made invisible by scruffing the pile around the hole or cut. If I cut for a flat cable, I cut along the carpet lines and the cut disappears. I have Sievers bench work with two foot centers, 1/4 inch pegboard over that, and then the carpet. I weigh about 185 and walk on it when I need to. When I need to run a wire, I poke a hole thru the carpet thru one of the peg board holes. There is always one within a half inch of where I want a wire.

Last edited by cjack

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