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> Using Cork as an Underlay with Flexible Track.
TonyDaly
post 8 Jul 2010, 18:16
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This little piece is how I put down flexible track on Cork underlay. There are other underlays available but this only deals with Cork.This was an answer I gave in reply to a question elsewhere on the forum.I thought perhaps it might be useful to others so I stuck it in here.

Most model shops can supply you with rolls of cork. Cork is available in sheet or strip form.There are companies who deal in cork & cork products.Someone on here can probably tell you where to get the cork as I got mine ages ago & I can't remember where. Be sure to shop around on line as prices are varied.

What I did was to cut the cork into 1" wide strips. Mark the center line of your track & lay the cork strips down each side of the line. Being only 1" wide the strips are easy to bend around curves etc. At points you may have to do some extra cutting but its not a problem with a Stanley knife or similar. Paint about 1" each side of your marked line with PVA or similar glue. Any type of cheap PVA will do. Lay your cork strips either side of your track line. Weigh it down with any timber you have handy & some bricks,stones,tins of paint. This is very important on curves as it stops the cork from buckling up. Leave to dry for 24hours.

When you come to lay down the track all you have to do is follow the center line of the cork with the center of your track. Also what I like to do is seal the finished cork with a coat of diluted PVA. 6 parts water to 1 part PVA will do fine. This sealing coat helps if you need to move track for any reason after laying it. Just push a broad bladed scraper or filling knife under the track if you need to take it up for any reason.
Now you have a choice. You lay the track into some painted on PVA & pin it down as normal,put in temporary pins which you can remove when the PVA is dry or simply weigh down the track like you did with the cork & leave for 24hours. The PVA will stop the track from moving especially on curves. You don't need a mountain of PVA just a nice coat with a 1/2" or 1" brush. It is said that using track pins only helps to transmit noise through the baseboard underneath. This is a personal choice. This method will work either with or without pins.

As to ballast again you have a choice. You can lay ballast into the wet PVA as you lay the track but I prefer to wait to make sure the track is where you want it before adding ballast. In any case you might like to weather the rails before you lay the ballast or you may not be happy with the position of the track.When you have put some track down you will need to test it to make sure its level & doesn't cause any problems before adding any ballast,weathering etc.

DON'T forget before you lay any track decide how you are going to wire the track for connecting to your control panel etc. It is good practice to solder your power droppers to the track before you lay it. It saves a lot of bother later.
As I may have said before this is what I do & what suits me. Yourself & others may have a different way of doing things. I hope this little piece is of some help to you. The main thing is to plan ahead & take your time. After all its supposed to be a hobby & hobbies are never finished.If you have questions just ask.


--------------------
Regards.
Tony.
South West Ireland.

The only stupid questions are the one's you don't ask.

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fruitbats
post 11 Jul 2010, 22:07
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Hi Tony,

all well and good, but why commit to cutting cork before laying track? I use much the same materials - cork floortiles (from any major DIY store) are cheap and give a good 'ballast' elevation: just lay it down on the baseboard where track is likely to be. Then use map pins to hold track down and test/fiddle until it all fits and flows reasonably. As tracklaying progresses, replace the first pins with tiny bolts and test run some stock. The bolts help get it all good as these allow for lateral adjustment. When the track is in the best position (here's the best bit imo, as it gives the near finished result in moments) I run round with the stanley knife at about 60 degrees to the board to give a ballast profile using the track as a guide. Remove the tiny bolts, then pin and ballast as wished, pva can be 'knifed' under the cork while the section of track is loose.

I can't quite see how you manage to 'bend' cork, but there's no need with above method, and it ends up very neat. Off-cuts can be reused elsewhere under track or as fillers around pointmotors, cheese-gratered for the ballast itself or for other modelling purposes, or lastly as a track cleaning wipe - pretty effective and non-abrasive.

I like cork!

CU
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Chinahand
post 12 Jul 2010, 21:36
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A very good descrition of how to lay cork Tony but, as others have said elsewhere on the MRF, cork is an outdated material for trackbed. It's use came about when that was all that was available but it has now been surpassed both in terms of price and sound deadening qualities by closed cell foam.


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TonyDaly
post 12 Jul 2010, 22:58
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QUOTE (fruitbats @ 11 Jul 2010, 22:07) *
Hi Tony,

all well and good, but why commit to cutting cork before laying track? I use much the same materials - cork floortiles (from any major DIY store) are cheap and give a good 'ballast' elevation: just lay it down on the baseboard where track is likely to be. Then use map pins to hold track down and test/fiddle until it all fits and flows reasonably. As tracklaying progresses, replace the first pins with tiny bolts and test run some stock. The bolts help get it all good as these allow for lateral adjustment. When the track is in the best position (here's the best bit imo, as it gives the near finished result in moments) I run round with the stanley knife at about 60 degrees to the board to give a ballast profile using the track as a guide. Remove the tiny bolts, then pin and ballast as wished, pva can be 'knifed' under the cork while the section of track is loose.

I can't quite see how you manage to 'bend' cork, but there's no need with above method, and it ends up very neat. Off-cuts can be reused elsewhere under track or as fillers around pointmotors, cheese-gratered for the ballast itself or for other modelling purposes, or lastly as a track cleaning wipe - pretty effective and non-abrasive.

I like cork!

CU


Hi fruitbats.
If you cut the cork into strips you can use it on any line you wish & you will have no misshapen offcuts. Also if you read my description you will see how I used the center line of the cork strips as a guide for laying the track on top of it. Cork cut in thin strips is easy to bend along the track center line you have marked on your baseboards. You may have difficulty if your radius is small like 1st or 2nd radius set track. I like Cork to as I was born there,Cork City that is tongue.gif


QUOTE (Expat @ 12 Jul 2010, 21:36) *
A very good descrition of how to lay cork Tony but, as others have said elsewhere on the MRF, cork is an outdated material for trackbed. It's use came about when that was all that was available but it has now been surpassed both in terms of price and sound deadening qualities by closed cell foam.


Hi Trevor.
I have no problem with what you say. A lot of modelers prefer the close cell foam. I use an open top type baseboard & I have never had any sound problems to which you refer. I know what you are talking about as I had the sound problem on an old layout when I modeled many years ago. It had a full top type baseboard & it did make a booming type sound. Incidentally I was using foam underlay but the old type stuff of course. None of your fancy type closed cell foam around in those days
tongue.gif


--------------------
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Tony.
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tank engine
post 1 Aug 2010, 06:10
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Hi, Years since I laid cork, Getting back into the hobby will refresh my abilities. Tight curves can be tricky, What I used to do was cut a very thin V-slot on the inside radius of the cork. about 3/4 depth of the strip width and when closed it helps to give you a nice even curve to your cork trackbed. Use a spare bit to practice on for radius and slot widths.
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TonyDaly
post 1 Aug 2010, 10:51
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QUOTE (tank engine @ 1 Aug 2010, 07:10) *
Hi, Years since I laid cork, Getting back into the hobby will refresh my abilities. Tight curves can be tricky, What I used to do was cut a very thin V-slot on the inside radius of the cork. about 3/4 depth of the strip width and when closed it helps to give you a nice even curve to your cork trackbed. Use a spare bit to practice on for radius and slot widths.


Thats a good idea I've never tried that. I find that if the cork strips are narrow enough I don't have a problem except I suppose if the radius is very small. Other people swear by the close dense type of foam which I have no experience with. They say it is much better than cork & very quiet if used properly..


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16A
post 5 Aug 2010, 08:02
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Hi Tony, thanks for making this post as I'm sure it will be very helpful to someone wanting to use cork as an underlay. However, I agree with Expat in that it is an outdated material which serves very little purpose other than aesthetically to give the appearance of a trackbed.

Noise transmission is caused by creating a solid link between track and baseboard, be that trackpins, bolts or whatever and the more you have, the more noise transmits. This is also true of cork which has small air pockets which intially are okay but when you fill these with glue you create another solid link thereby negating the advantage of the air in the pockets. Closed cell foam, as the name suggests, and with the exception of raw edges, doesn't have accessible air pockets that can be filled with glue as this type of foam doesn't soak up liquids like a sponge but allows the adhesive to 'sit' on the outer skin, preventing the solid link being created and thus dramatically reducing any noise transmission.

Having used cork (extensively); fibreboard laminate flooring underlay (once - and never again); closed cell foam (once - on my current layout) my choice would be the foam. It is probably more expensive than the other two but, if you think cork is easy to lay, you should try some - takes about a quarter of the time when fixed down in a similar way to how you do the cork.

Like fruitbats I also cannot see how you manage to bend cork round a bend unless the material being used is very thin. I used to use 1/8th of an inch thick strips and I never found a way to make it go round corners without kinking or fracturing. I, and no doubt others, would be interested in seeing how you get 1" wide x 1/8" deep cork strips round anything but the slightest of curves.

Mike

EDIT: Please don't take this as criticism, I just think there are better alternatives.....


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TonyDaly
post 5 Aug 2010, 08:55
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QUOTE (16A @ 5 Aug 2010, 09:02) *
Hi Tony, thanks for making this post as I'm sure it will be very helpful to someone wanting to use cork as an underlay. However, I agree with Expat in that it is an outdated material which serves very little purpose other than aesthetically to give the appearance of a trackbed.

Noise transmission is caused by creating a solid link between track and baseboard, be that trackpins, bolts or whatever and the more you have, the more noise transmits. This is also true of cork which has small air pockets which intially are okay but when you fill these with glue you create another solid link thereby negating the advantage of the air in the pockets. Closed cell foam, as the name suggests, and with the exception of raw edges, doesn't have accessible air pockets that can be filled with glue as this type of foam doesn't soak up liquids like a sponge but allows the adhesive to 'sit' on the outer skin, preventing the solid link being created and thus dramatically reducing any noise transmission.

Having used cork (extensively); fibreboard laminate flooring underlay (once - and never again); closed cell foam (once - on my current layout) my choice would be the foam. It is probably more expensive than the other two but, if you think cork is easy to lay, you should try some - takes about a quarter of the time when fixed down in a similar way to how you do the cork.

Like fruitbats I also cannot see how you manage to bend cork round a bend unless the material being used is very thin. I used to use 1/8th of an inch thick strips and I never found a way to make it go round corners without kinking or fracturing. I, and no doubt others, would be interested in seeing how you get 1" wide x 1/8" deep cork strips round anything but the slightest of curves.

Mike

EDIT: Please don't take this as criticism, I just think there are better alternatives.....


Hi Mike.
No offense taken. I use 1/16" thick cork. I forget to say that in my piece & the strips are 1/2" wide not 1" as I stated. I just went down to measure the width of a strip. I will amend my piece to make it clearer what type of cork I use.I have no doubt there are better ways to do underlay. My way is only one of them & it works for me.Thanks for the comments. thumbsup.gif


--------------------
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Tony.
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The only stupid questions are the one's you don't ask.

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TonyDaly
post 5 Aug 2010, 09:00
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*****Notice to Changes in my post on using Cork as underlay*****

There were some errors & omissions in my piece. I neglected to say I use 1/16" thick Cork. Some people may have understood that it was 1/8".
Also the strips of cork I use are 1/2" in width not 1" as I stated. I have amended the post to reflect the changes.


I have tried to edit my original post but it seems I cant so here is the original post with the changes made to it.

This little piece is how I put down flexible track on Cork underlay. There are other underlays available but this only deals with Cork.This was an answer I gave in reply to a question elsewhere on the forum.I thought perhaps it might be useful to others so I stuck it in here.
"I use 1/16" thick Cork"

Most model shops can supply you with rolls of cork. Cork is available in sheet or strip form. I have found it in 1/16" & 1/8" thickness.
There are companies who deal in cork & cork products.Someone on here can probably tell you where to get the cork as I got mine ages ago & I can't remember where. Be sure to shop around on line as prices are varied.

What I did was to cut the cork into 1/2" wide strips. Mark the center line of your track & lay the cork strips down each side of the line. Being only 1/2" wide the strips are easy to bend around curves etc. At points you may have to do some extra cutting but its not a problem with a Stanley knife or similar. Paint about 1/2" each side of your marked line with PVA or similar glue. Any type of cheap PVA will do. Lay your cork strips either side of your track line. Weigh it down with any timber you have handy & some bricks,stones,tins of paint. This is very important on curves as it stops the cork from buckling up. Leave to dry for 24hours.

When you come to lay down the track all you have to do is follow the center line of the cork with the center of your track. Also what I like to do is seal the finished cork with a coat of diluted PVA. 6 parts water to 1 part PVA will do fine. This sealing coat helps if you need to move track for any reason after laying it. Just push a broad bladed scraper or filling knife under the track if you need to take it up for any reason.
Now you have a choice. You lay the track into some painted on PVA & pin it down as normal,put in temporary pins which you can remove when the PVA is dry or simply weigh down the track like you did with the cork & leave for 24hours. The PVA will stop the track from moving especially on curves. You don't need a mountain of PVA just a nice coat with a 1/2" or 1" brush. It is said that using track pins only helps to transmit noise through the baseboard underneath. This is a personal choice. This method will work either with or without pins.

As to ballast again you have a choice. You can lay ballast into the wet PVA as you lay the track but I prefer to wait to make sure the track is where you want it before adding ballast. In any case you might like to weather the rails before you lay the ballast or you may not be happy with the position of the track.When you have put some track down you will need to test it to make sure its level & doesn't cause any problems before adding any ballast,weathering etc.

DON'T forget before you lay any track decide how you are going to wire the track for connecting to your control panel etc. It is good practice to solder your power droppers to the track before you lay it. It saves a lot of bother later.
As I may have said before this is what I do & what suits me. Yourself & others may have a different way of doing things. I hope this little piece is of some help to you. The main thing is to plan ahead & take your time. After all its supposed to be a hobby & hobbies are never finished.If you have questions just ask.

"Remember I use 1/16" thickness cork in 1/2" strips. If you use thicker Cork & wider strips you may have trouble bending it to fit the radius of your track"




--------------------
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Tony.
South West Ireland.

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baldrick25
post 5 Aug 2010, 10:10
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Real tracks on curves have cant into the curve, yet modellers seem to lay their track horizontal. Anyone tried to cant their track , and if so how and what problems did they find?
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TonyDaly
post 5 Aug 2010, 10:41
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QUOTE (baldrick25 @ 5 Aug 2010, 11:10) *
Real tracks on curves have cant into the curve, yet modellers seem to lay their track horizontal. Anyone tried to cant their track , and if so how and what problems did they find?


One of the problems may be that in real railways the curves are more generous than what we use in the model world. It can be done but with the reduction in scale you may not notice it. If you start this off as a subject on its own you may get a lot more answers.


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Chinahand
post 5 Aug 2010, 17:07
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There was a thread on track cant/superelevation a few months back.

A search will probably find it.


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upnick
post 5 Aug 2010, 17:45
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QUOTE (Expat @ 5 Aug 2010, 18:07) *
There was a thread on track cant/superelevation a few months back.

A search will probably find it.



Here is the thread i think along with search results for Superelevation

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...t=0&start=0

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...relevation#1035


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Chinahand
post 5 Aug 2010, 19:08
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Yes those are the ones Nick.

Thanks for digging them out. I was up to my neck in other things at the time so couldn't go searching myself.


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tank engine
post 6 Aug 2010, 13:19
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Excellent post Tony, I like cork myself although I have used foam as well, Hmmm the only quite railways I know are the closed down lines!
bending cork strip 1" wide or wider, 1/16th or 1/8th maybe try my v-slot idea on the inside radius? if you have the patience!most times it works.
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