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Discussion Starter #1
Why?

This question has been bugging me ever since I joined this forum. Most of the posts here and on youtube etc. show people gluing down cork roadbed with various adhesives. Elmers, silicone, contact cement, RTV, you name it.

Last post I read was about someone that glued it down and later had to remove it due to poor planning resulting in improper track alignment. What a mess.

I have laid a lot of roadbed over the last 50 or so years and I have never glued down cork (Atlas) roadbed, rather I tack down every 4 to 5 inches (tighter on curves) using 5/8" brads and never had a bit of trouble.

On the rare occasion where I have had to realign I just slide a thin blade under the roadbed/track and pop the brad.

But, my base has always been plywood, never foam or a composite where gluing might be necessary.

So, what have I been missing?
 

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Nothing. I think gluing roadbed is silly on plywood. I too use brads for all roadbed and track work.
 

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Why?



So, what have I been missing?
Nothing.
It's just personal preference.

I am in no hurry, so I can wait for glue to dry.
And I don't have to worry about a track spike hitting the head of a brad (just my bad luck.)

Also, brads rust when one puts too much water in the ballast glue mix (just my bad luck.).

Currently building a module, med sized yard so I'm using 12" square cork over plywood and some track on foam board ,which of course cannot use brads.
 

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I have never had to lift and to relay roadbed of any kind. I get it right the first time. Starts with a scale drawing, then masking tape laid on the benchwork to simulate the rails, and I make sure turnouts of various kinds are depicted faithfully.

I will admit to having to lift rails now and then, mostly to slide a bit more ballast under the outer ties on a superelevated curve, but not for realignment.

One thing about gluing with hardening glues is that it permits more noise to be transmitted down to the plywood under it. Some don't mind the noise, some actually do like it, and some would rather hear less competition for the decoders that often get dialed down in volume. For this reason, I do use the DAP Alex Plus variety of 'clear' caulking which stays soft-ish and is easily sawn through with a butcher knife.
 

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you missed nothing at all ... it's just personal preference ....
as far as that's concerned, i don't have any cork at all on my layout ,,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good points all and thanks for responding.

I have often thought of the benefits/drawbacks of using some sort of industrial foam 4X8 sheets of house insulation as a layout base. Cheap, easy to cut and form, probably quieter. But I worry about it's durability over time and the potential for track base movement.

I would like to try particle board sometime, so flat and very ridged. But, it's heavy and quite expensive. So I always go back to 4X8 5/8" or better cheap industrial plywood. Not so pretty, but it all gets covered up.

It does get old placing brads. Thumb hurts after a hundred or so pressing them in the cork then tapping them in with a small tapping hammer. I live with it. Probably over five hundred in the past week.

The trick is to always get them even with the cork or slightly below, not hard to do. Then the corks centerline provides the perfect guide for the track nails, and I find the Atlas nails perfect for this.

The other trick is scribing perfect circles or half circles. I used a piece of OSB board about 24X 1" with holes at 22/20/18r from the scribing pencil to provide outlines for the cork, then just snug one half of the cork up to the line.

If you use flex track then small deviations can be tolerated. But I used Atlas 22.r sectional N/S for two of my curves and they had to be right on. Rest was/is flex track.

Just another 500 or so brads to go then I will be finished with that phase.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
you missed nothing at all ... it's just personal preference ....
as far as that's concerned, i don't have any cork at all on my layout ,,
You leave me hanging. :)

So what do you use? Do you have a thread with pictures? I'm always open to better ideas. Sorry, I'm new here.
 

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my layout is built with 3/8 inch plywood, and on top up to nine inches of foam ... era is backwoods 1890 so no built up areas at all .. hold is made with dap caulking, dries slightly flexible so might keep extra noise down ..
photo is from construction ..


Picture 014.jpg
 

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I use Elmer's glue because I find it quick and easy. I also model mainly with flex track so the likelihood of needing to adjust is minimal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
my layout is built with 3/8 inch plywood, and on top up to nine inches of foam ... era is backwoods 1890 so no built up areas at all .. hold is made with dap caulking, dries slightly flexible so might keep extra noise down ..
photo is from construction ..
I like that, 3/8" ply gives a solid base to the foam.

A hot knife tool would cut neat valleys and gullies into the foam making for authentic scenery, waterways, etc.

1890's era is my favorite too, love those 4-4-0 and similar engines. Seems like I see some AHM and Athearn boxes under your layout.

The variety of AHM and other offerings of that area is astounding.

I actually got two engines running at the same time in opposite directions testing for problems in the track and switchers. Found none.

I use a cave man approach to cutting rail. Just cut it with a pair of dykes and dress them with the fine grit wheel on the grinder, fast and simple.
 

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Hey, I'm with you - no glue, although I use screws rather than brads - easier to do and works well in O - the Atlas track has a small hole in every nth tie for a screw. One every foot orso hold sthe track and cork/rubbermat roadbed foundation firmly in place.

No glue
 
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