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The plywood gives you a way to make sure your foam stays put. Unmounted, it will slide all over the place at the slightest push. You also want a way to hold foam panels together. Make sure your joints in the foam are offset from each other.

And incidentally, do you have a real lumber yard near you? Big box store lumber is usually junk.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Ok I decided against foam in favor of something thick and heavy that will sit well on the carpet. Went to the store today and looked at 3/4" plywood. Then the 3/4" MDF caught my eye. I read up about the negatives of using MDF but I still think it's my preference. I'm going to have it cut to size at the store so that takes care of the safety issue. Dont care that its heavy. It's the smoothest sturdiest flattest surface. Taking a bit of a risk I know. But I think MDF may be the best choice for my particular layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Update with Pictures and a Video!</span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"> </span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the holidays. I wanted to close out this post with an update on my Christmas Tree layout 2.0 this year. In the end I decided to take a risk and went with MDF board for the foundation. I’m really happy I did. I ended up with a sound, sturdy and level (albeit) heavy base that went onto my carpet, under the tree and the sofa. I built it in the same dimensions as last year. Only one piece was too heavy that I’ll cut in two next year. Definitely learned a lot that will go into version 3.0 for next Christmas. But overall it was a huge success. Looked great, ran almost perfectly with 95% less derailments and decoupling’s. My plan is to move this to the basement and make some of the improvements before I store it until next December. </span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"> </span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Wanted to thank you all for so much help making this happen!</span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"> </span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">First some pictures of the plan and building it.  Then a video at the bottom (complete with CGI snow </span><span style="font-family: Wingdings;">J</span><span style="font-family: Calibri;">).</span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">(Give me a few mins b/c I have to edit the post from my phone to add the pics and )</span></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/qxwDROp.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/yi3hrzz.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/ie7wJTB.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/94GYdy0.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/CGzEqAc.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/9quYW0n.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/LA5YeWU.jpg" alt=" " /><img src="https://i.imgur.com/CqprLvF.jpg" alt=" " /></div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> </div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR4ygzTnS3I&feature=youtu.be">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR4ygzTnS3I&feature=youtu.be</a></span></div>
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Update with Pictures and a Video!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the holidays. I wanted to close out this post with an update on my Christmas Tree layout 2.0 this year. In the end I decided to take a risk and went with MDF board for the foundation. I’m really happy I did. I ended up with a sound, sturdy and level (albeit) heavy base that went onto my carpet, under the tree and the sofa. I built it in the same dimensions as last year. Only one piece was too heavy that I’ll cut in two next year. Definitely learned a lot that will go into version 3.0 for next Christmas. But overall it was a huge success. Looked great, ran almost perfectly with 95% less derailments and decoupling’s. My plan is to move this to the basement and make some of the improvements before I store it until next December.

Wanted to thank you all for so much help making this happen!

First some pictures of the plan and building it.  Then a video at the bottom (complete with CGI snow ).










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