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Use of foamboard in benchwork construction
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 07:30 pm
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Salada
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Thank you for your replies Gentlemen.

Dave:
DAP's stuff seems to be only available in the US. I tried checking their product spec sheets but their computer system seems to have a problem so I cannot equate it to any UK product at the moment.

Do you use DAP's "Does it All" - a vynil adhesive caulk ?
OR DAP's "Does it Clear" - an acrylic latex caulk ?

I suspect that what Americans call "latex" may not be the same stuff that we call 'latex' i.e. a gluing but non setting rubber emulsion.


Don:
That stuff of yours sounds like some kind of magic - it holds track down but you can still lift it a year later. Probably not based on kangaroo poo then ?.


Regards                       Michael

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 07:59 pm
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Kent K
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To all:

I appreciate the comments. I am trying to use foam board as a structural member in lieu of an open frame wood bench work system. As an engineer, it would seem to me that with an appropriate design using gussets and support pieces as needed that the foam board could be used as a rigid beam to obviate the need for any wood. I know that the various Dow-Corning materials and their offshoots have been successfully used to replace the plaster materials. What I am hoping for advise on is use of the foam board as a panel material in a composite beam structure to support the Dow products as scenery materials.

Thanks for the responses so far.

Kent K



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:18 pm
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mabloodhound
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Michael, the caulk is a Vinyl Adhesive Caulk.   Latex here in the states simply means 'cleans up with water' although I'm sure there is a formula for the stuff.:bg:

Kent, as for using the 2" foamboard as a structural component, it WILL work fine.
:cool:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:53 pm
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Salada
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Dave: 
Thanks for that further info, the fog of Transatlantic incomprehension is gradually clearing.

Latex (Paint etc.)  (as per US useage) = Emulsion Paint  (UK useage).

The US "latex" isn't latex at all but is simply a water borne mix of various artificial polymers that may/may not include polyvinyl, acrylic etc. Whereas the proper use of the word "latex" in UK useage implies an emulsion or suspension of true latex (rubber) in some carrying medium. So a US adhesive based on "latex" + whatever is simply some type of industrial, non-natural, polymer.

Kent:
Depending on the size & weight of each layout section an 'I' or 'L' type beam of blue foam may not be necessary. Some UK layouts where each unit is, say, no more than 2' wide x 3' 00" - 3' 6" & maybe 4' 00" long have been made of 2 or 3 flat panels of 1" or 2" thick simply glued together - with no support 'underpinnings' at all other than a thin ply sheathing (4mm - 6mm thick) around the outer vertical edges to prevent damage whilst handling. I know 2 people personally who are using this type of construction but  there has been no long term experience yet as to the durability of this construction.

Regards                      Michael 

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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 02:01 pm
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Kent K
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Michael,

How would on be able to attach little things like table legs to such a structure?

Kent K



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 02:07 pm
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Kent K
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Dave

What I was contemplating using is the 5mm foam board as the structural component placing 1" or 2" foam insulation sheets atop that. I am trying to figure out a way to get legs attached to all of that so that I have a very light weight module which one person can move. In a loft apartment complex with not much extra space, operational models are a challenge.

Kent K



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 04:46 pm
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Paladin
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Kent.

Have you thought of using a ALUMINIUM box section for the legs and base frame.
This could either be bolted or screwed together. Bolted would allow the removal of the legs for passing through doorways easier.
Just my thoughts.

Don



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 06:02 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi Kent,
Not sure if this is similar to where you are heading?

Apart from the aluminium frames and 3mm MDF end panels attached to the frame exterior, the rest is an all 5-mm foamcore structure including the fascia and above the display area shelf. Foamcore also supports the 3-gimbal each side halogen lighting rig.

This one has an aluminium frame with MDF endplates (see near the station building).

The track was laid directly on a 3-layer laminate of 5mm foamcore layers. Built back in 2005, is still dimensionally stable and makes appearances for exhibition periodically.

The display area in the photo is 8' by 1' approx and it folds up into a 2' by'4' by 2'6" cube for storage when not in use.

How to attach legs - short answer is don't. This one uses a set of fold-up legs from a hardware store. These are secured to a "plank" that provides a small flat surface. This surface indexes with blocks attached to the aluminium framework with construction-grade caulking adhesive. There is a set of drop-down aluminium legs permanently attached to the end that folds out.

A 3-layer laminate of foamcore is more than strong enough to support your model trains across a 2' span without additional support. I have seen 3-layer laminate support a 10lb O-scale brass cab forward across a 2' span without any deflection as measured with a laser.

Not sure if this helps or hinders,



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 Posted: Sat Nov 15th, 2014 03:15 am
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Kent K
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John,

Thank you. Now for a few further questions.

Would this be conducive to a modular type layout where one section attaches to the next? What I am planning for is a lightweight set of sections which become the operational model rail road.

What do you mean by "indexes"? Where is the fairly secure attachment to elevate the module at whatever inches instead of being on the floor?

The laminate structure is no doubt the way to go, however I don't want the weight of either wood or aluminum under structure. I do want legs of some sort which can be adjusted to elevate the models to about eye height. The important criteria is that is be as light as feasible.

Kent K



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 Posted: Sat Nov 15th, 2014 07:28 am
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oztrainz
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Hi Kent
Some answers hopefully that might make some type of sense:
Q: Compatibility for a modular(any order) or sectional(defined order) layout
A: YES here is a construction photo of a sectional exhibition layout I have underway at present

Note the module join on the left table - more on this later when we get to setting your height.

The weight of the aluminium framing is about 2kg for a 1200mm long by 600mm wide by 200mm deep module frame as shown here

Note the black prongs at the back of this module frame that stick up on the left in this photo. This will allow an aluminium-framed backscene board to be fitted later. The aluminium frame also comes in handy because it provides:
    Somewhere solid to mount the inter module connections (for this layout we use hinges with the hingepins punched, however For Yallah above case latches were used to hold the join areas together)
    Somewhere solid to support the module from the legs, rather than directly bearing on foamcore
    Somewhere to positively locate an endplate on each side of the join that carries your track alignments

I'm not sure if the layout is intended for purely home use or for possible exhibition? If for home use then you may be prepared to take some time lining things up every time you set up. For exhibition use the ability to plonk stuff on the floor and have things line up first time every time is a desirable outcome. The split-hinge approach, if set up correctly, allows positive registration of each layout section first time every time in X Y and Z axies. For home use only you may be able to get away with everything being foamcore.

Have a look at this video at about 5:20 in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TX6JnhHndE
Toorong was an all-foamcore with aluminium exo-sskleteon build. Also have a look at this link which features construction photos of Toorong.
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/19638
Go to the bottom of page 1 and print out the "This Document link at http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/sites/model-railroad-hobbyist.com/files/users/Prof_Klyzlrfiles/Straight_Foamcore_Module_1Tenth_scale.pdf
Another photo of Toorong


Setting height
2 options readily spring to mind:
1- A-frame Trestle - see the top posting at http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/19638?page=2 for dimensions.
2 - use a fold-up table as the base foundation for your layout. Now you can either jack the layout up by adding a support under the module join - (have a look at the small aluminium box frame under on the left table in my first photo this is perhaps a neater approach that finished with a track height of about 1400mm above ground level)
OR
you can jack up the legs of the table by adding PVC drainpipe "extensions" of whatever length is needed. The tables fold flat for storage, are an easy one person lift/setup and can be used for other stuff (modelling table?) when not in use under the layout.

The Yallah layout uses a variation of the fold-up table, with a length of plank that forms the table top screwed to 2 fold-up table legs purchased from a hardware store. This table top fits neatly lengthwise inside the module frame, but is prevented from moving sideways by blocks attached to the module frame.

I hope that this helps



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