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Use of foamboard in benchwork construction
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 Posted: Wed Nov 12th, 2014 12:14 am
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Kent K
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I am new here and this is a first attempt. I have used the searches and not found any information that seems relevant. If this should be someplace else, I apologize.

I am in a downtown loft apartment and have been contemplating using foam board in a rigid beam type of arrangement along with foam insulation products as a way to keep the weight of bench work as low as possible. I will be building smaller shelf type modules and if I need to do so, I want to be able to transport them easily. I have a background in engineering and still remember some of the beam analysis done in the introductory general engineering course work. I am curious about the use of some of the newer materials which have appeared in my hiatus from the hobby during the period when I was using my engineering degree to put bacon instead of models on the table. Retirement has allowed a higher priority on model construction.

I am reasonably familiar with wood construction in the underpinnings of the layout, but could probably use some guidance in using these foam type products in a manner like Masonite or plywood to form beams to put scenery layers on top of. If any one can point me in good direction, I would be very grateful.

Thanks,

Kent K



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Kent K
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 Posted: Wed Nov 12th, 2014 06:03 am
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Toeffelholm
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Hi Kent,

http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=3204&forum_id=17&highlight=Toeffelholm

The first post.

Juergen



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 Posted: Wed Nov 12th, 2014 09:39 am
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mabloodhound
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Kent,
2" thick foam panels (either pink or blue) on a open frame benchwork will work fine and are strong enough for most layouts.   The only complaint has been noise from the trains if your track is directly on the foam.   Remedy is to use either a cork or homasote roadbed under the track which will quiet the noise.   Attach the roadbed and then the track using an adhesive caulk from the HD or Lowes store.



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Dave Mason
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 Posted: Wed Nov 12th, 2014 07:39 pm
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W C Greene
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Howdy Kent, yes it is possible to build with styrofoam. Dow Corning (and some others) make extruded foam (blue) in various thickness and grades. They even have foam that is sturdy enough to drive a forklift across (used in freezers, etc.) but what we use for our layouts is (I believe) 25PSI 2" blue foam. You might Google them. Here in the Dallas, TX area, we have SOUTHWEST VAULT BUILDERS which carry the Dow products; they may know of a dealer near you. The foam is cheaper from a firm like them, they sell to the "big box" stores and you can buy the product for the same price they sell it to those stores. You might check them out.
Good luck, what you want to do is very possible.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 10:11 am
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Salada
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I have been pondering the use of extruded polystyrene (EPS)(blue foam) as a track bed directly underneath the track for On30 - in theory there seem to be certain advantages.

There have been a few comments here & there about x/s noise from using track directly stuck to EPS which surprise (& disappoint) me. Logically I would have thought that a closed cell foam would be a noise suppressant rather than vice versa ?

I had noticed, Woodie, that in your first photos of the SCPA&M resurrection, you are using a cork track sub-base stuck onto the blue foam. Could you explain to an English 'thicko' why that is, please ?.

Regards,                Michael 

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 11:14 am
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mabloodhound
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I'll let Woodie explain his reasons.   But with either a cork or homosote roadbed under the track, between the foam, the dissimilar material lessens the noise transmission.
Using caulk to attach the roadbed and the track also helps to deaden the noise.
:cool:



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Dave Mason
D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~ Thos. Jefferson
“Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” ~ me
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 11:48 am
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Paladin
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My layout is laid on 50 mm Blue Foam, This has been used for the complete layout build apart from the frame work. Still working on the layout and no troubles so far.

I have found it is easy to work with and would recommend to any one thinking along these lines.

Make sure it is a fine foam with a very good surface.

Don



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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 12:08 pm
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Salada
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Dave: Your dissimilar materials comment makes sense to me. By "caulk" I presume you mean that stuff  that skins but never really sets ? (a co-filled acrylic polymer I believe ?) -- rather than using a 'rigid' setting adhesive such as wood glue PVA ?.

Don: I take it that your track sits directly on top of the blue foam, without any intermediate layer such as cork etc. ?. If so, how do you fix your track in position ?.

My thanks to you both - my fog of ignorance is gradually clearing !.


Regards,     Michael

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 04:20 pm
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mabloodhound
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Michael. yes.   PVA or any hard setting glue will just add a solid connection to the foam and make the sound transmission easier, which you don't want.   This will also occur when you ballast your rails and use a white glue for adhesive, but not as bad.
There are a few adhesive caulks out there, I use one made by DAP called Phenoseal but it may not be available to you.



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Dave Mason
D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~ Thos. Jefferson
“Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” ~ me
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 06:25 pm
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Paladin
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The track is glued in situ.  I use a water based adhesive.

The track is pinned in position, then lifted enough to allow the glue under it. Then held in place until the glue goes off. The glues I use never really dry hard and this allows the track to be lifted and replaced or shifted with out the need for extra glue. In my case some of the tracks have been moved or reset upto 12 months since first applied.
I am happy with this method.
Don



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