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Greetings all,

HELP - I guess in Southern California Home Depot and Lowe's does not sell full 4'x8' sheets of extruded (pink or blue) foam. Home Depot only sells 2'x2' by 1 inch extruded (pink) foam. I'm wanting to build a small 4'x3' N Scale layout on top of a 2" think foam.

I purchased several 2'x2' foam boards. I cut, stacked and glued them together to create the 4'x3' by 2 inch foam base that was glued into a piece of 4x3' piece of hard board at the same time. However, all the foam boards I bought were slightly warped. I stacked another large piece of hard board on top and place several weights on top to see if the warpping would flatten out during the drying process of the glue. That did not work :( When the glue dried and I removed the loose piece of hard board and the weights ...... No Luck ..... the warped pieces returned to their original shapes.

I went to several Home Depots to check the stock and all these types of pieces are warped just enough to make them a bad option for me. Of course both Home Depot and Lowe's have full 4'x8' sheets of the white Polystyrene..... But I've read that this does not work if I want to carve into the foam to create land forms, rivers, etc.

I'm looking for any suggestions. Any other types of foam you may have used with any success?
 

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You didn't say exactly where in Southern California, so I don't know if this is of any help:

FoamMart in Burbank and Culver City
"LA's largest selection of IN-STOCK specialty foam, fabrics and supplies"
"Family owned since 1963"
http://www.foammart.com/
 

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Polystyrene, usually known as beadboard, doesn't work, because it doesn't cut cleanly, and because it is prone to fracturing along the bead joints. Extruded foam panels often aren't sold in warm climates due to low demand.

Go to your local lumberyard (big box stores only want to sell you what they stock; local places want your business). I buy mine in 2x8 panels at my local store; neither HD or Lowes near me carries them. You may have to special order in SoCal.

Now here's the mystery -- extruded foam should be dimensionally stable. They're never dead flat, but close enough that with roadbed on it you can get your track level.

Maybe HD / Lowes are playing the "stupid" game: I once was looking for pressure treated 2x6 lumber. I went to the stack, where there was almost a full pallet, all of it warped or split beyond belief, or it was edge cuts with significant rounding and bark. I asked the employee if they had any more PT 2x6, and he said "sure, we have lots", then showed me the stack of garbage. I said, "How about some I would actually want to use?" He gave me a blank look. So I said, "When are you getting a new shipment?" His answer? "Why should I order more when I still have all this?" Duh!

That's why I use my local lumber yard. Order at the register. By the time you get to the shed where it's stored, an employee is already going through the stock, looking for good pieces. If he finds a bad one, he puts it aside (they put these in a discard pile, to which you can help yourself for a buck a board). If it's questionable, they ask you if you're willing to take it. And they load your vehicle. Sure, it costs a little more, but it's worth it.
 

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That's why I use my local lumber yard. Order at the register. By the time you get to the shed where it's stored, an employee is already going through the stock, looking for good pieces. If he finds a bad one, he puts it aside (they put these in a discard pile, to which you can help yourself for a buck a board). If it's questionable, they ask you if you're willing to take it. And they load your vehicle. Sure, it costs a little more, but it's worth it.
Bingo! Smart man. A few extra bucks can yield a plethora of benefits.
I do the same thing here in Bullhead City. Yes, we have HD and Lowes. And for the most part, they're both really nice here.
But example: when I was building my train room, I needed R-19, 22" wide in rolls.
Neither HD or Lowes carried it. They use batts in that size. When I asked them if I could order a few rolls, they gave me outrageous prices.
I then went to the Ace Hardware Home Store here, which is more like Homer & Jethro's hardware and chicken feed store.
But that stops when you meet the people. They have the best people in Bullhead working there.
They had rolls of R-19, the right size for $7.00 a roll less than the big boys wanted.
I took my money there, they even loaded my Jeep.
All happy campers.

SantaFeKid1, perhaps you can order some foam from a small hardware store.
You can use small sizes. And the shipping weight will be next to nothing.
If HD sells 2" foam, maybe they can get a shipment of one or two pieces from another store.
They already sell it, it wouldn't be like an outrageous special thing coming in.
And you wouldn't have to pay shipping on that type of order.
 

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I purchased several 2'x2' foam boards. I cut, stacked and glued them together to create the 4'x3' by 2 inch foam base that was glued into a piece of 4x3' piece of hard board at the same time. However, all the foam boards I bought were slightly warped. I stacked another large piece of hard board on top and place several weights on top to see if the warpping would flatten out during the drying process of the glue. That did not work :( When the glue dried and I removed the loose piece of hard board and the weights ...... No Luck ..... the warped pieces returned to their original shapes.
You took off on the right foot, but it sounds to me like you didn't use the right glue. Fastened to hard board (assuming it was truly flat) should have pulled the foam boards down flat...unless the weights you used weren't heavy enough to squish the foam flat.

Good luck finding the right stuff that you want. :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Greetings all,

HELP - I guess in Southern California Home Depot and Lowe's does not sell full 4'x8' sheets of extruded (pink or blue) foam. Home Depot only sells 2'x2' by 1 inch extruded (pink) foam. I'm wanting to build a small 4'x3' N Scale layout on top of a 2" think foam.

I purchased several 2'x2' foam boards. I cut, stacked and glued them together to create the 4'x3' by 2 inch foam base that was glued into a piece of 4x3' piece of hard board at the same time. However, all the foam boards I bought were slightly warped. I stacked another large piece of hard board on top and place several weights on top to see if the warpping would flatten out during the drying process of the glue. That did not work :( When the glue dried and I removed the loose piece of hard board and the weights ...... No Luck ..... the warped pieces returned to their original shapes.

I went to several Home Depots to check the stock and all these types of pieces are warped just enough to make them a bad option for me. Of course both Home Depot and Lowe's have full 4'x8' sheets of the white Polystyrene..... But I've read that this does not work if I want to carve into the foam to create land forms, rivers, etc.

I'm looking for any suggestions. Any other types of foam you may have used with any success?
A little bit searching revealed that Title 24 of the California building statutes has requirements for insulation that the extruded polystyrene board cannot meet. Therefore, HD will not stock it on a regular basis because it will not sell in quantity.

I would inquire about a special order of the 4' x 8' sheets 2" thick that could be included with their regular stocking shipment.

They stock the 2' x 2' because there are applications for it and it doesn't have to be straight for construction uses. (Concrete steps to doorways and such)
 

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I'm wanting to build a small 4'x3' N Scale layout on top of a 2" think foam.

I purchased several 2'x2' foam boards...all the foam boards I bought were slightly warped...

if I want to carve into the foam to create land forms, rivers, etc.
Why not use what you got? It's not flat, fine, make it flat. I make the presumption you plan to make the rest of the model "not flat", hence the 2" thick foam, right? course sandpaper, rasp, what have you. Perfectly flat anything is a myth. Even it out and move forward. Nothing to loose sleep over.

HTH
 

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Why not use what you got? It's not flat, fine, make it flat. I make the presumption you plan to make the rest of the model "not flat", hence the 2" thick foam, right? course sandpaper, rasp, what have you. Perfectly flat anything is a myth. Even it out and move forward. Nothing to loose sleep over.
Very true! I do not see any railroad anywhere at Bonneville Salt Flats. That is the flattest place that I know of so far. :laugh:
 
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