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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to build my first bench and have it locked down except for the foam. I'm going with a 4 by 8 bench with the intention of adding on in a T formation later on. I'll be using a plan from the NMRA site except I'll replace the X bracing for a lower shelf for some much needed storage space. Gonna use a 4 x 7 layout I found at Thor's, reserving a foot at the end for power and controls.

My plan right now is if they have some workable foam panels tomorrow, I'll cover my bench. If not, I'll paint it green and go from there. I'm using fastrack which I'm told is loud even with the foam and I'm not up to fooling with carving hillsides and lakes just yet so the benefits of foam may(correct me if I'm wrong please) not apply so much to me.

I was wondering if any of you had built your first bench, or tenth for that matter, and said, "Damn, I wish I had done that."
 

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There was talk on one of the other forums about quieting FasTrack. IMHO, the thing you should do is put some foam inside the sections of track to damp the upper part of the roadbed. Even if you put the FasTrack on some foam, the hollow formed by the roadbed will still want to amplify the noise of the train. I had some on the floor of my living room a few years ago, and it was quite noisy compared with tubular track.
 

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Gosh, you almost make me wish I had gone with FasTrack.
I like noise! One of the best things about Lionels!
But I went with ordinary old fashioned tubular track.
Actually I have O gauge O-72 track for the mainlines,
and O-42 track (O-27 type) for sidings, yard, and branch line.
This gives a little differentiation between the types of track,
something not possible with all the other type track.
 

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I tried foam under the road bed, it doesn't work,as I said in another thread, if you want a more quiet fastrack layout,use 1/2" homasote [this is a felt composite four by eight sheet]
on top of your plywood,O.S.B.,etc.you will want to paint the homosote to lock in the fibers
I found this is the best overall way to use fastrack and control most of the noise,this is JMO,..........but its your R.R.

now to answer your question about if I would have done something different on my first layout........I am on my first "O" SCALE layout,and I am forever changing things,thats whats fun about this hobby .............Mike
 

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I used solid core "Blue" DuPont Styrofoam - in an effort to dampen the noise. I mean, why have Proto-Sound and the like if you can't hear it?

Since my layout was a Christmas layout, I also added Buffalo Snow on top of the Styrofoam, and that helped a bit, but there was still noise on the layout. I don't think ANY arrangement this side of NASA or the Lockheed "Skunk Works" can totally eliminate the noisy aspects of FasTrack. You might consider some of that matting they use to muffle automotive interior noise (Dynamat or similar) but I don't know if that would work, and it would run into some serious bucks, depending on the size and scope of the layout.

FWIW
 

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The one thing I had wish I had done was NOT to put an incline. If you are going to have one, dont' skimp on the ratios. If you can;t make the ratios then keep her flat. You'll reduce your headahces.
 

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How high will you build it? If you rebuild later (when?) you may want to add foam and cut off the legs. Not a problem if you think about it now.
 

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Shovel Man makes a good point. It is important to understand, up front, both the horizontal and vertical of your layout. You can do the fine adjustments as you go. This iwll save a lot of grief and dollars in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great input everyone. I've finished my bench except for the painting. I've made it 4'x8'x48" with a shelf 21 inches down(as I said, storage is a major concern since I've claimed our storage room for my train layout). I decided to forgo the foam for now. I've got room to add on for either an L or T layout but space is a major limitation due to the layout of this room.

I'll get pics up soon but I'm still rearranging shelves, storage tubs and my formerly homeless "bachelor" decor. Trying to decide where to attach a control board for future considerations but that's a long ways off. Again, thanks for the input and roll on fellas.
 

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You might consider some of that matting they use to muffle automotive interior noise (Dynamat or similar) but I don't know if that would work, and it would run into some serious bucks, depending on the size and scope of the layout.

FWIW
I don't think "dynamat" is a good choice in this application. Cost prohibitive, just 2 10"x10" sheets is about 30 bucks. Perhaps some fiberglass insulation inside the hollow space would help some.

As far as my regrets on my first bench, only one. It's not built yet :laugh: :laugh: Hoping to have it up soon. That and getting a digital camera.

Carl
 

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I guess ,my only regret is I wish I had a biger room for biger radius curves,because right now the bigest I can go is 084,....O well ,maybe one day I will build a biger building....Mike
 

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Taxman
Can you attach the control board with hinges so it swings down under the bench? A full 180 degrees would make for a more usable storage room and flip up for running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Taxman
Can you attach the control board with hinges so it swings down under the bench? A full 180 degrees would make for a more usable storage room and flip up for running.
Was thinking about that. Either that or a raised shelf on a long corner.
 

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Post some pics in the "my Layout" You can keep a running log of your progress. I have one going and its great to get feedback on from the "high priests of locomotion" here on the board.
 
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