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Discussion Starter #1
I see a lot of people use plywood to top their benchwork. With the evolution of foam insulation boards, am I cutting any corners by using them to top off my benchwork? I feel like using that may be easier to work with especially when dealing with wiring. Also, wouldn't it, in theory, allow for using a little less heavy duty lumber for the actual benchwork itself?

Thanks!
 

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Using 2” extruded foam with 1x4 supports spaced 16” should be fine. Plywood is unnecessary but is still widely used.
There are a lot of threads on here discussing this in detail. You can access them in the search feature.
Best success in your work.
 

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Or you could use an open grid or cookie-cutter type construction and vary the grades and/or make it easier to include different terrain elevations.
 

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Can MDF be used, its cheaper than Plywood (at least here in NZ)
Anything flat and rigid CAN be used... OSB tends to swell unevenly when exposed to moisture, and it's harder to drive nails into, but it will work. MDF will sag if not well-supported. L girders every 16" should do it, and don't leave more than a few inches overhanging at the edges.
 

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Considering this is in the N-scale forum, I'd be concerned about keeping it pretty flat unless you're purposely building a grade! With that in mind. I'd consider plywood, I used 1/2" Baltic Birch, it has 11 plies and is flat and very true. A few dollars saved on the benchwork can yield years of frustration later on, and I speak from experience. :D
 
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