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Discussion Starter #21
Once the dang rain stops here in Dallas I'll find the material needed and see if i can get it together this weekend. By the way the two trains I plan to use are my dad's 259 and my 646........both in great running condition.
 

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All I can say to this is my wife and I are in our late seventies and in connection with building our new layout, we moved and placed 14 sheets of 3/4" 4x8 sheets of cabinet grade plywood. Would I want to do this everyday, no, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I would not build a layout on just Styrofoam.

Whoa.... now that is one of those things where you have an MTF wood hauling party... that is a lot of work. Just goes to show your benchwork is as high quality as the layout....
 

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To attach track to styrofoam I use 2” two sided carpet tape. Put pieces under track joints. It held the track in place on my layout for 16 years before it was dismantled. I’m using it again when I build my next layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
wood have never tried that.....like that idea........will give it a fling! just waiting to get my hands on the sheet of ridged foam........and some track from Tinman.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
2" rigid foamboard it iz!

I've delayed this project long enuf. I am now the proud owner of a 4x8 sheet of 2" rigid foam board. Still lots of doubts in my mind that this will work but I'm going to give it a fling.

1st things first: i'll need to somehow seal the sheet so that I can paint it and adhere typical layout material to it just as if it was plywood. I figure Kilz should do the job but am open to suggestions from ya'll.

Thanks,
 

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Any latex paint will adhere to rigid foam. I typically apply brown (earth colored) paint and sprinkle on the ground cover such as Woodland Scenics turf before the paint is dry.
 

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To attach track to styrofoam I use 2” two sided carpet tape. Put pieces under track joints. It held the track in place on my layout for 16 years before it was dismantled. I’m using it again when I build my next layout.
Novel idea! Does the tape show through the ties? Will the exposed upside hold one layer of ballast to hide it?
 

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If you use screws to hold the track, run them in lightly, back them out, then dip them in white glue for final install. The white glue will seep into the foam, bond with it, and harden creating a "threaded insert" like hole for the screw. Since the glue doesn't bond to metal, the screw can be backed out anytime for future modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
2" rigid foamboard it iz!

Any latex paint will adhere to rigid foam. I typically apply brown (earth colored) paint and sprinkle on the ground cover such as Woodland Scenics turf before the paint is dry.
OK, got the paint...…….heading out to get the "turf" so I can tackle this phase tomorrow; soooo, you feel I don't need to get that 'scenic cement" I see on the web page.
 

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Yes. I sometimes spritz a mist of diluted scenic cement or matte medium after I sprinkle on the ground cover. But I don’t put my track on rigid foam.

If you are going to glue or tape the track to the rigid foam, you want to do that before you apply the ground cover. In other words.
1. Paint the rigid foam and let it dry.
2. Install the track
3. Mask the track
4. Put a second coat of paint between the tracks (you can skip this if you want)
5. Apply the ground cover
6. Spray a mist of diluted scenic cement and let it dry
7. Remove the masking.

This is just one way to do it. You could also just paint the rigid foam green for grass, gray for roads, brown for dirt, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Yes. I sometimes spritz a mist of diluted scenic cement or matte medium after I sprinkle on the ground cover. But I don’t put my track on rigid foam.

If you are going to glue or tape the track to the rigid foam, you want to do that before you apply the ground cover. In other words.
1. Paint the rigid foam and let it dry.
2. Install the track
3. Mask the track
4. Put a second coat of paint between the tracks (you can skip this if you want)
5. Apply the ground cover
6. Spray a mist of diluted scenic cement and let it dry
7. Remove the masking.

This is just one way to do it. You could also just paint the rigid foam green for grass, gray for roads, brown for dirt, etc.
appreciate the "hand-holding"......at 73 I've learned not to be too proud
 

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Discussion Starter #35
laid down a quick coat of earth colored base coat; couldn't wait for it to dry so found myself in the garage with a hairdryer; placed the track (loosely) in the intended design; more later as I consider some enhancements before I secure the track; will try to attach a photo or three; thanks for all the help...but will need more if ya'll are willing
 

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Moving along nicely.

I suggest painting the edges of the foam panel. Not only will it look nicer, it will strengthen the edge and limit damage to the exposed foam cells.

If it were me, I'd "paint" the edge with wood glue and then paint color over that. Or glue wood slats to the edge. I imagine the edges taking a beating reaching over the table to re-rail trains, add objects, etc.

We installed a 16' bench in my bud's electronic workshop. The top was quality plywood. It didn't take long for the edges to start chipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Agree that the edges need protection; my plan is to find a very lightweight material and affix to the edges... probably with 2" or so width extension ("railing") in effort to keep trains from leaving the layout when the grandkids start playing with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
As I tweak the layout I find myself considering some enhancements but not sure what will work. 1) note the white Styrofoam as a mock up for giving the one outside loop some interest by raising it a bit. Does anyone know how much of an elevation is possible within that run of track? 2) related question: I have my original (1950s) No 110 trestle set still in the box; thinking of using it IF the trestle isn't too high within that same run of track.

thanks
 

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Agree that the edges need protection; my plan is to find a very lightweight material and affix to the edges... probably with 2" or so width extension ("railing") in effort to keep trains from leaving the layout when the grandkids start playing with it.
I have had a few engines and cars fall of the layout! It wasn’t kids it was me!! A plexiglass strip around the edges keeps sight open but won’t let engines take the death plunge!
 

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... in effort to keep trains from leaving the layout when the grandkids start playing with it.
Good luck with that :)

I saw your bridge, see below.

I assume your panel is 4'x9'. I counted tracks from your pic.'s; they didn't fit on 4'x8'. Anyway, the "3D View" shows road bed ala Fastrack. The model is actually based on Lionel O tubular. So there's more room between tracks than illustrated.

The grade is 4%+, likely twice recommended (others will know better).

There's several "half" straights (5505) and a few custom cuts (or cut all the halves as well). The S/W provides exact lengths in inches for the custom cuts.

The size of the bridge depicted is limited by S/W. Your's may be a bit longer. They may require a little "finagling" to get clearance for the inner loop around the bridge's base.

You can operate two trains on this layout with stop & go at the common section, lower left (that can be automated fairly simply).

Perplexed 1.jpg

Perplexed 2.jpg
 
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