Layout Base Material

The place for general discussions and requests for help on all matters relating to T gauge.
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:24 am
Location: Abilene, TX USA

Layout Base Material

Post by scottmitchell74 »

I was wondering about the different materials people have used and what their experiences with them have been.

I see some are laying track and scenery down directly on particle board, while others bring foam or other materials into play.

What are your thoughts?

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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: Layout Base Material

Post by Alex »

I've used some MDF (not sure if it has same name in the US).
Is cheap, strong, easy to cut etc.

Works well with watered PVA glue, doesn't balloon up. Unless you get it really wet.

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Re: Layout Base Material

Post by dkightley »

When I started on Robins Run, I had no idea what methods were being used by I used materials I knew or could get hold of and work with.

I made the main structure of my layout board out of a rectangular frame of 2 x 1 in, glued and screwed at the corners. On top I glued and nailed a sheet of 3.5 mm thick MDF. To give some rigidity, I put a cross-lattice of surplus wooden strips from a set of venetian blinds I bought for a bay window in my lounge. Here's a shot of the underside early on in the build:
001_red.jpg (26.84 KiB) Viewed 3551 times
For the track bed, I used craft mounting board...or whatever its called...essentially a thin sheet of expanded foam between two thin layers of card. Its very light, fairly strong, can be glued together with any glue, and can be cut easily into shape!. I then used a combination of aerosol expanding foam and all sorts of packaging materials to fill the voids....and created the ground surface with plaster of paris.

My layout board is 3ft x 4ft....and its fairly easy to pick up and transport...and most importantly for my own requirements, will stand up on end out of the way if I need the dining table for eating off!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum

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