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What is the best material to use as Track Underlay -- would it be the underlay products that are available or something else. Also what is the best way of fixing the track -- pins or adhesive and if adhesive any recommendations
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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Dunno about best - everyone has their own thoughts there. I like a system that is sound deadening as well as maintaining integrity of the track. To that end I don't touch pins at all and use carpet glue (kind of rubber like in consistency when dry) to secure foam underlay (commercially available) to the track bed (usually ply or MDF) and secure the track in the same manner to the foam underlay.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have used a foam rubber sheet which is sold as a bed roll for campers in shops that cater for country pursuits. A bed roll is about 6 feet x 2 feet and comes for about £6. Get a good quality one that is of consistant thickness. You need a new blade in a Stanley knife to cut it. Some might not like this approach

At our club we use cork strips about 3mm thick which we cut from a stock of cork sheet that we bought some years ago. A good alternative would be cork floor tiles that can also be cut into strips.

In each case you can stick them down with white PVA.

Colombo
 

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Don't use cork floor tiles. They're uneven and will cause you endless problems - I had to scrap my boards and start again as a result. Use good quality foam.
 

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Using Cork sheet cut to size and Copydex glue, hold track in place until it dries with pins then remove them after dry.Then ballast using more thinned Copydex.
I have seen reports of foam crumbling over time due to light exposure, looks horrible as well

****
 

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Hmmm!

This appears to have developed into some kind of 'Cork Vs Foam' debate.
Why don't we have a poll?

Just an idea!

Cheers

Ian
 

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Just another modeller
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***No need for a poll, but there is need for clarification:

The negatives on foam relate to P brand foam trackbed, which is a standard open cell foam which does have a limited life and isn't the best looking.

Proper PE or EVA closed cell foam roadbed will probably last longer than you or I will, and looks fantastic - it is easy t glue down and glue the track to - easy to cut as needed, is available in premade strips with the correct 60 degree ballast shoulder and also does not have any of the many disadvantages of Cork.

Regards

Richard
 

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I used the Tillig underlay which is rigid foam. Two caveats. It is tricky to get the flexitrack sections to go round curves. Don't use contact adhesive as it can dissolve the foam.

Looks absolutely stunning with pre ballast in brown matched by brown sleepers which slot firmly into the underlay and pre weathered brown track. Some of the setrack curves are quite a radius and, going again, I would use those foam sections and design the layout curves to suit using flexitrack
 

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You can use "foam friendly" construction adhesive (in a tube for use in caulking gun) its a bit more expensive than the regular adhesive but you only need the smallest amount to hold your foam. I only used it when gluing , foam to foam ,as regular glue will not dry .

Regards

Zmil
 

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I use concrete expasion jointing which is similar to the closed cell variety foam that Richard mentioned. I use Bondcete to glue the foam down as well as the track to the foam. In 10 yrs it never moved and suffered all sorts of temeprature extremes.

Charles Emerson
Queensland
Australia
 

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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 15 Jan 2009, 12:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Dunno about best - everyone has their own thoughts there. I like a system that is sound deadening as well as maintaining integrity of the track. To that end I don't touch pins at all and use carpet glue (kind of rubber like in consistency when dry) to secure foam underlay (commercially available) to the track bed (usually ply or MDF) and secure the track in the same manner to the foam underlay.

Hope this helps.
Can you help me?
I have been trying to find a supplier of copydex or an equivelent in Aus without success. Bunnings just looked at me with blank faces when I asked there. Can you please advise what brand you are using?

Thanks

Millsi
 

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Just another modeller
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As LF has said, Water based carpet glue and liquid latex are both similar in many ways - bunnings sell the liquid latex and many carpet shops the other.... Although there is nothing wrong with using PVA to fix the foam. Its a resonant baseboard, using pins to fix the track and too much glue in the ballasting that makes it noisy!

regards

Richard
 

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QUOTE (RFS @ 17 Jan 2009, 08:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Don't use cork floor tiles. They're uneven and will cause you endless problems - I had to scrap my boards and start again as a result. Use good quality foam.

That depends on the quality of the cork tiles you use! If you buy the cheap ones then you may well have irregular thicknesses. Get better ones and you'll be fine - just make sure you glue them down properly though.

In my opinion, the problem with using foam of any sort is that it tends to lead to the use of track pins which look absolutely awful and unreallistic and act as a conduit for transmitting noise directly into the baseboards.

Graham Plowman
 

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Richard,

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 18 Jan 2009, 00:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***No need for a poll, but there is need for clarification:

The negatives on foam relate to P brand foam trackbed, which is a standard open cell foam which does have a limited life and isn't the best looking.

I think you are judging current products by experiences with old versions of the product!

Many years ago, I was contemplating the use of said P brand foam trackbed and over a period of time, collected a number of pieces in preparation.
In the event, I discovered better/more reallistic methods and never used the foam, but it has sat around in boxes to the present day.

Peco changed the material they use for their underlay somewhere around the late 70's or early 80's.
All of the underlay I purchased in the 70's has long since disintegrated into dust (10-15 years ago). The underlay purchased in the early 80's is today, still as good as new.

I still wouldn't recommend foam underlay though!

Graham Plowman
 

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Here's something I don't get. If underlay reduces noise but then balasting brings the noise back, what's the point of using underlay in the first place? Surely its counter productive? And if you don't use underlay at all how do you fix the track? Especially flexi track?
 

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QUOTE (Vase @ 19 Feb 2010, 09:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Here's something I don't get. If underlay reduces noise but then balasting brings the noise back, what's the point of using underlay in the first place? Surely its counter productive? And if you don't use underlay at all how do you fix the track? Especially flexi track?

You have two options to fix track - glue or pin.

Unless you was using Peco underlay which is moulded for track & points & did not glue or pin the peco underlay, other underlay such as cork/ foam are flat & you had to fix the track anyway.

Many modellers just fix track to baseboard without any form of underlay - depending on how the baseboard is constructed, noise may not be too much - with diesels or steam locos, I have never heard quiet ones!
 
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