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It might be an artefact of the digital image, but I think I see a problem with the through point rail on the turnout in the last image just above. It's frog end doesn't meet well with the closure rail, and that will mean a derailment. I hope I'm wrong.

I'll have to inspect that this evening when I get home. I believe it is either an optical illusion or insignificant because I had been running trains before I started with the plaster. It's a curved turnout by Peco.

The closer I look, I believe what you are seeing is part of the very bottom of the joint where the closure rail and the through point pivots. If that's what you are seeing, then the wheel flanges don't go that deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
OMG, Jeff! I'm humbled beyond words. You certainly set the bar very high for us newcomers, eh? I'm so envious. I love the layout. So many details that you miss the first time, but take a closer look and it's quite apparent that you've spent a lot of midnight oil designing this. I've learned quickly that designing a viable, working layout isn't as easy as I thought it would be. I keep getting myself into one of those, "Hey! Wait a minute! I can't get back to where I was just a while ago!" dilemmas.

One more question.... what type of adhesive do you use for foam to foam connections? I've read about something called Dupont 78, in a spray can.
 

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Thanks for the kind words! I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, LOL!

I used Liquid Nails for Projects for foam to Foam adhesive... just laid down a bead about every 3-4 inches and along edges. It takes a while to set, but it does also kind of grab ahold as soon as you put the 2 pieces together. There is enough play that you can hoss the pieces around a bit to get alignment good before leaving it to set up. There are other Liquid Nails that also work, but the Projects one cleans up with water. Also, I ended up needing a lot more of the adhesive than I thought I would need. I think I've gone through 8-9 tubes (caulking gun size) so far.

I spent a lot of time last winter watching Youtube videos before getting up the guts to go for it.

For me, step 1 was determining how much room I had. Step 2 was then coming up with various designs. This was tricky, because I desire the beauty of a rural landscape, but didn't want a boring "watch the trains go in a circle" result. So I figured I'd have a few "zones"... A village, a river, an old coal mine, a logging site and a large dairy farm. With spurs for teh village, logging site, and along each side of the river. It took me about 4-5 months before I was happy with a design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks for the kind words! I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, LOL!

I used Liquid Nails for Projects for foam to Foam adhesive... just laid down a bead about every 3-4 inches and along edges. It takes a while to set, but it does also kind of grab ahold as soon as you put the 2 pieces together. There is enough play that you can hoss the pieces around a bit to get alignment good before leaving it to set up. There are other Liquid Nails that also work, but the Projects one cleans up with water. Also, I ended up needing a lot more of the adhesive than I thought I would need. I think I've gone through 8-9 tubes (caulking gun size) so far.

I spent a lot of time last winter watching Youtube videos before getting up the guts to go for it.

For me, step 1 was determining how much room I had. Step 2 was then coming up with various designs. This was tricky, because I desire the beauty of a rural landscape, but didn't want a boring "watch the trains go in a circle" result. So I figured I'd have a few "zones"... A village, a river, an old coal mine, a logging site and a large dairy farm. With spurs for teh village, logging site, and along each side of the river. It took me about 4-5 months before I was happy with a design.
I admire a man who takes things "a good bit farther" than the average Joe. You, my man, are the leader of the pack. I'm very interested in watching your progress. I'm really curious and anxious to see the "water" flowing between the two halves of your layout. I've never done anything like that.... but I have an idea of how it possible might be done. Thanks for posting all these magnificent photos. Would you mind if I copy and save them for my future reference?
 

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Sure, no worries

No progress will be made tonight... Boss lady wants me to clean out my closet and get rid of old clothes...

So don't put me on a pedestal... I'd just fall off.:LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Sure, no worries

No progress will be made tonight... Boss lady wants me to clean out my closet and get rid of old clothes...

So don't put me on a pedestal... I'd just fall off.:LOL:
Well, let's just say.... for a guy like me, your layout is very inspiring. I look at it and I can visualize all the elevation changes you have planned. I can see where this took a great deal of thought. I've found out that the old saying, "You can't get there from here," is actually possible with a train layout.
 

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I learned that you cannot laminate foam sheets together using contact cement when the foam sheets have a foil backing on them. Ask me how I know. No harm done, though. The foil peels off like skinning a cat. So does the stuff on the other side. After peeling off all six sides, I now have pure, virgin rigid foam to work with. Live and learn. So... what is the preferred type of adhesive to use for foam to foam applications? How about wood to foam? And, as always.... thanks for any help you can offer.
Yeah, so, unfortunately, when we talk about those foam sheets, we're referring to the stuff WITHOUT any foil or backing paper. Those aren't available everywhere. Had you thought to ask, most of us could have warned you about that.

Also, make sure the adhesive you use is foam safe, or you're going to get another unpleasant surprise...
 
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When I first began this RR journey, I was of a mind to use the sheet of particle board that was in my garage. I've worked with that stuff all my life, and knew the weight disadvantages involved, but.... I'm hard-headed.... what can I say?

Well, after playing with my new toys for three weeks or so, I've now seen the light. I now have three sheets of 2" rigid board insulation in my garage, just waiting for me to attack it. When I'm through with it, it will be 5' 4" X 8', and will be U-shaped, so I can maneuver my wheelchair into the cutout area. I bought 2" because that was all they had.... and it will actually work out better, because I can layer them to accomplish my overall finished size.

And, with the leftover pieces, I can fashion all kinds of things. Mountains, hills, tunnels, elevated roadbed....my mind is already in high gear.

I have question about turnout wiring. How do you hide it on the foam. If it were wood, I could drill a hole in it and come in from the bottom. Do you do the same thing with foam? Any hints you guys can pass along will be greatly appreciated. I've never worked with this foam stuff before.
Dewman1945;

First of all, congratulations on dodging a bullet. Not only is particle board extremely heavy for its size, its also highly prone to warping. Not the sort of rigid foundation to build a layout on. In my opinion, particle board has no valid use on a model railroad.

Extruded foam board is an excellent choice for a layout base. Two inches is ten HO-scale feet, so I don't know if you want to go deeper than that, but that's your call.

As for operating turnouts on foam, you have several choices:

Atlas Snap Switches(n) (ugg!) come with surface-mounted switch machines.

Peco (y) (yay!) offers a surface mounted switch machine, and a below the turnout type which would need a rectangular "ditch" cut into the foam, directly under the turnout's throwbar to hold the switch machine.

If you elect to use roadbed track, use Kato (y)(yay)

not Bachmann (n)(n)(double Ugg!)
The quality & reliability difference between Kato & Bachmann turnouts is like night & day.

Manual Caboose Industries ground throws will work, but only if both the turnout, and the ground throw, are on the same piece of wood roadbed. (Did I just respond to you about wooden roadbed? I did respond to someone, just not sure it was you.)

In any case, if you make yourself some wood roadbed, and glue it to the foam, and you want to use under-the-table switch machines, then you can drill a hole through the roadbed and down through the foam. Another bit of wood, glued to the bottom of the foam, can be used to mount a switch machine.

The rotating-rod-in-a-tube linkage shown in the photos will work even through very thick foam.
A 2" thickness might even allow the "waving wire" linkage, normally used with Tortoise turnout motors, to work. If the foam gets too deep, the wire can't "wave" far enough from side-to-side, to move the turnout's points all the way over.
As suggested, electrical wiring for a turnout can be laid in "trenches" cut into the foam surface and later covered by scenery. Or, you can make your own "conduit" for your wiring from a straw or a piece of brass, or plastic, tubing. You will find that commercial switch machines, like the turnouts they operate, are pretty expensive. You can make your own switch machines, and/or turnouts, for a lot less money, but it takes more time. Your choice.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yeah, so, unfortunately, when we talk about those foam sheets, we're referring to the stuff WITHOUT any foil or backing paper. Those aren't available everywhere. Had you thought to ask, most of us could have warned you about that.

Also, make sure the adhesive you use is foam safe, or you're going to get another unpleasant surprise...
Yep about the "foam-safe" adhesive. One brand of spray adhesive says that it's great for foam, but it dissolves it. I called all over the area looking for the foam sheets and no one had exactly what I was looking for, so I had to settle for what they had at Home Depot. That was 2" x 4' x 8'. It had foil on one side and a paper-like stuff on the other. Little did I know that both of them would peel off quite easily. Live and learn. I now have three, 2" thick sheets to work with. By overlapping/laminating them properly, I will end up with a sheet 5' 4" x 9'. I'm still like a blind man in a minefield.... but learning to take smaller steps as I go. The help you guys have offered me has been amazing. Thanks.
 

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Yep about the "foam-safe" adhesive. One brand of spray adhesive says that it's great for foam, but it dissolves it. I called all over the area looking for the foam sheets and no one had exactly what I was looking for, so I had to settle for what they had at Home Depot. That was 2" x 4' x 8'. It had foil on one side and a paper-like stuff on the other. Little did I know that both of them would peel off quite easily. Live and learn. I now have three, 2" thick sheets to work with. By overlapping/laminating them properly, I will end up with a sheet 5' 4" x 9'. I'm still like a blind man in a minefield.... but learning to take smaller steps as I go. The help you guys have offered me has been amazing. Thanks.
Any thing that makes a fellow modeler grin like a possum eating a sweet potato is a win!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Any thing that makes a fellow modeler grin like a possum eating a sweet potato is a win!:)
Just to find the proper type of adhesive to glue foam to foam (or at least the stuff I have) has been a dreary journey in itself. During my lifetime in the construction industry, I've used contact cement for countertops dozens of times and it worked like gangbusters. Not so with foam. Ask me how I know. Then, I tried some aerosol adhesive that was touted as the second coming of the anointed one. It dissolved the foam I have on hand. Finally, I got a tube of Liquid Nails, and I've got a test piece drying. We'll see tomorrow morning. I have a gallon of Elmer's on hand, a left over from my more active days. It might work, but.... I'll wait and see how well this stuff in the tube works. What do YOU suggest?
 

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Just to find the proper type of adhesive to glue foam to foam (or at least the stuff I have) has been a dreary journey in itself. During my lifetime in the construction industry, I've used contact cement for countertops dozens of times and it worked like gangbusters. Not so with foam. Ask me how I know. Then, I tried some aerosol adhesive that was touted as the second coming of the anointed one. It dissolved the foam I have on hand. Finally, I got a tube of Liquid Nails, and I've got a test piece drying. We'll see tomorrow morning. I have a gallon of Elmer's on hand, a left over from my more active days. It might work, but.... I'll wait and see how well this stuff in the tube works. What do YOU suggest?
Actually, I use DAP adhesive latex caulk.

Another tip: because the foam is a vapor barrier, if you spread adhesive all over, much of it on the inside will never cure, because the cured adhesive on the outside will prevent the solvent from evaporating in the rest of it. It's better to lay an S-shaped bead, that way all of it can cure.
 
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Yep about the "foam-safe" adhesive. One brand of spray adhesive says that it's great for foam, but it dissolves it. I called all over the area looking for the foam sheets and no one had exactly what I was looking for, so I had to settle for what they had at Home Depot. That was 2" x 4' x 8'. It had foil on one side and a paper-like stuff on the other. Little did I know that both of them would peel off quite easily. Live and learn. I now have three, 2" thick sheets to work with. By overlapping/laminating them properly, I will end up with a sheet 5' 4" x 9'. I'm still like a blind man in a minefield.... but learning to take smaller steps as I go. The help you guys have offered me has been amazing. Thanks.
Dewman1945;

That white foam with the foil on it is soft, Styrofoam, "bead board" which is not recommended for model railroad scenery. What most modelers use is the hard "extruded foam insulation board." This is made in blue, pink, or green, but not white, and not with foil on it. I too had a tough time finding any foam other than Styrofoam. I finally saw some advertised online at Lowes. The Lowes store close to me didn't carry it, but I found one that did.

Traction Fan
 

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Here is an example of a Peco turnout being operated by the PL10 electric switch. The switch attaches to the bottom of the turnout. Mine is N scale. Yours would be HO. The PL10 fits either.

In the picture below, you see that part of the PL10 sticks out. When mounted on a piece of HO track, it ends up being more flush with both sides.
Hood Automotive exterior Bumper Grille Rectangle

Musical instrument Gas Wood Water Metal
 

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Dewman1945;

First of all, congratulations on dodging a bullet. Not only is particle board extremely heavy for its size, its also highly prone to warping. Not the sort of rigid foundation to build a layout on. In my opinion, particle board has no valid use on a model railroad.

Extruded foam board is an excellent choice for a layout base. Two inches is ten HO-scale feet, so I don't know if you want to go deeper than that, but that's your call.

As for operating turnouts on foam, you have several choices:

Atlas Snap Switches(n) (ugg!) come with surface-mounted switch machines.

Peco (y) (yay!) offers a surface mounted switch machine, and a below the turnout type which would need a rectangular "ditch" cut into the foam, directly under the turnout's throwbar to hold the switch machine.

If you elect to use roadbed track, use Kato (y)(yay)

not Bachmann (n)(n)(double Ugg!)
The quality & reliability difference between Kato & Bachmann turnouts is like night & day.

Manual Caboose Industries ground throws will work, but only if both the turnout, and the ground throw, are on the same piece of wood roadbed. (Did I just respond to you about wooden roadbed? I did respond to someone, just not sure it was you.)

In any case, if you make yourself some wood roadbed, and glue it to the foam, and you want to use under-the-table switch machines, then you can drill a hole through the roadbed and down through the foam. Another bit of wood, glued to the bottom of the foam, can be used to mount a switch machine.

The rotating-rod-in-a-tube linkage shown in the photos will work even through very thick foam.
A 2" thickness might even allow the "waving wire" linkage, normally used with Tortoise turnout motors, to work. If the foam gets too deep, the wire can't "wave" far enough from side-to-side, to move the turnout's points all the way over.
As suggested, electrical wiring for a turnout can be laid in "trenches" cut into the foam surface and later covered by scenery. Or, you can make your own "conduit" for your wiring from a straw or a piece of brass, or plastic, tubing. You will find that commercial switch machines, like the turnouts they operate, are pretty expensive. You can make your own switch machines, and/or turnouts, for a lot less money, but it takes more time. Your choice.

Traction Fan 🙂
Wouldn't just using hot glue (foam safe) work when using tortoise switch machines instead of using wood shims?
 

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Wouldn't just using hot glue (foam safe) work when using tortoise switch machines instead of using wood shims?
Maybe with extruded foam. This OP is using white Styrofoam bead board though. Hot glue might melt into it pretty deep. Double-sided tape would work.

Traction Fan
 

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Maybe with extruded foam. This OP is using white Styrofoam bead board though. Hot glue might melt into it pretty deep. Double-sided tape would work.

Traction Fan

Hot glue won't melt styrofoam I used it on my current build for making my mountain and sometimes used the ws hot glue until I switched yo gorilla glue hot glue. However that wouldn't have nearly the pressure that holding a switch machine would and it might tear it off.
 

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Awesome project ! What scale is it ? N or H0 ? Maybe I missed something in your thread. Do you use Anyrail ? Thanks for your replies.
 
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