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Old 08-23-2011, 11:38 AM   #1
Dream
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Where can I buy 4x8 cork board?

I have a 4x8 plywood and is planning on having a 4x8 cork board over the plywood and then laying cork roadbed on top of the cork board. Where can I buy a cork board of this size? What should be the thickness of the cork board? I saw online they have cork rolls but the thickness is about 1/16th?

Or shoud I just forget about the cork board and just pay the track on cork roadbed and then glue the road bed to the plywood?

Its a HO layout, hoping to use atlas code100

Thank you
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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I would say use roadbed, that will give definition to the track and the build up to the rails just like the real ones have. Now if you are doing an area like a yard where the balast is pretty level untill the ends of the track then a sheet of cork is a good way to go. I used to buy 12" square sheets from wallmart for about $5 for 4. You would need 32 to cover the whole 4x8 sheet of ply.

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Old 08-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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Dream,

Welcome to the forum! My suggestion is that you first define just what you want to accomplish with the cork. The two most common uses are as a sound-deadener, and to simulate the raised roadbed that is sometimes seen in real-life railroads. Please note the word "sometimes": in my neck of the woods, the roadbed is only raised where there is a need to elevate it and it's only marginally above ground level in other areas. It's one of those things you either like or you don't: it looks neat and it's what people often expect, but it's not necessary or accurate. If ya like it, do it: it's your layout.

On the other hand, is your train noisy enough to require a sound-deadener? An alternative is something many use as a landscaping material: 4' x 8' sheet rigid foam insulation, also called that pink stuff or those purple sheets. It's a construction material used to insulate buildings: it comes in a variety of thicknesses, cuts and carves well with a razor knife and can be used to make hills, etc. If deadening the sound is your issue, I'd skip the cork, corkboard, etc. and just fasten a 1/4" or 3/8" sheet of this stuff onto your plywood with a few gobs of glue. If you paint it with non-oil-base paints, it takes paint well and you can stick trees and such into it. It will also dull the sound of trains on plywood.

Best wishes on your layout,
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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I like the look of the cork roadbed so I want to have it. As for using an entire 4x8 cork sheet was of the color and to be able to stick things easily, likes trees etc.

I really don't know whether I need to deaden the sound of the trains. Last year I created the layout using Bachman EZ tracks on plywood. It was loud. But now I want to use the Atlas code 100 tracks. I guess I can skip the entier 4x8 corkboard and just use cork roadbeds on the plywood. Will the cork roadbed alone reduce the noise?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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yes. Layers of insulations like that will deaden it even more.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc53dfgc View Post
yes. Layers of insulations like that will deaden it even more.
Great, so I can skip the 4x8 cork board and lay the tracks on cork road beds. Thank you.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #7
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Dream,

The roadbed (cork) will definitely help reduce the noise level. Think of your sheet of plywood as the head of a drum: roll a marble around on it and you get noise. Put a towel on it, roll the marble and you get less noise.

If you decide to do the sheet, you should be able to buy a corkboard at any office supply store. YOu could also buy smaller ones at Walmart, etc. and piece them together, if you plan to landscape and surface your layout. By that, I mean you could use (4) 4 x 4 cork panels, caulk or spackle the seams and then paint the surface a neutral color. Once you lay your tracks, roads, lawns and trees, no one will be able to tell you used smaller panels instead of a sheet.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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Yeah, I understand now. One last thing though... how do you hide the wiring? Last time I was able to carve the foam and tuck the wires into them. But if there's nothing between the plywood and the road bed, how to do hide the wire?
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:41 PM   #9
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The cork roadbed does a great job of insulating the noise.

Once the track/roadbed is installed, you drill small holes through the roadbed/plyboard on either side of the track fairly close the the outboard sides of the rails. Put your feeder lines through these holes and solder them in the web of the rail (again outboard sides) Once complete you don't even see the feeder wires. All of the wiring simply runs under the plyboard.

You can see my feeders coming through the bottom of the table in this pic

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