On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
BrockleyAndrew
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby BrockleyAndrew » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:34 am

Many thanks Terry
One of my test strips was to have a go at representing the transition from track on viaduct to longitudinal timbers on a bridge and how to laminate ply thicknesses together on the timbers to match the sleeper height on the viaduct. All done with pva on a base of 6mm I suppose I was asking for warping!
Thanks again.
Andrew

MikeH
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby MikeH » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:31 am

Apologies for raising an old topic but I thought I would post my ideas for what I am about to try (and maybe stop me if someone knows it will fail)

Anyway my plan is to glue the templot sheet directly onto a separate piece of cork, Once dry I will cut around the template leaving the correct width for the ballast shoulder. I can then glue the sleepers directly to this cork/paper and build the track up from there, paint the rails and then just glue the whole item onto the baseboard and ballast. If I did this for each section of rail it would make it easy to build it up at a comfortable location and then move it into place without too much issue.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Martin Wynne » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:06 pm

MikeH wrote:Anyway my plan is to glue the Templot sheet directly onto a separate piece of cork

Hi Mike,

I think that will work fine, but I would strongly suggest printing the template on something thicker than ordinary 80gsm office paper. I suggest using 160gsm paper when printing templates which will remain as part of the finished track. It's a good idea to spike through the paper into the cork before ballasting, so that the glue can penetrate and prevent any long-term de-lamination of the paper from the cork.

You might want to go further and build on a sub-base of say 4mm plywood in addition to the cork, and transfer the whole thing to the baseboard. This makes a more robust unit while working on the construction, and allows for a prototypical cess in addition to a ballast shoulder.

regards,

Martin.
39 years developing Templot. And counting ...

MikeH
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby MikeH » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:19 pm

Martin Wynne wrote:
MikeH wrote:Anyway my plan is to glue the Templot sheet directly onto a separate piece of cork

Hi Mike,

I think that will work fine, but I would strongly suggest printing the template on something thicker than ordinary 80gsm office paper. I suggest using 160gsm paper when printing templates which will remain as part of the finished track. It's a good idea to spike through the paper into the cork before ballasting, so that the glue can penetrate and prevent any long-term de-lamination of the paper from the cork.

You might want to go further and build on a sub-base of say 4mm plywood in addition to the cork, and transfer the whole thing to the baseboard. This makes a more robust unit while working on the construction, and allows for a prototypical cess in addition to a ballast shoulder.

regards,

Martin.


Thanks Martin for the tips, I will make sure I do that :)

BrockleyAndrew
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby BrockleyAndrew » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:51 am

Surely we should build the track upside down on a glass plate and stick the baseboard on top!

Andrew

Brockley

JFS
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby JFS » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:59 pm

MikeH wrote:
Anyway my plan is to glue the templot sheet directly onto a separate piece of cork, Once dry I will cut around the template leaving the correct width for the ballast shoulder.


Hello Mike,

I have not tried / seen it done this particular way, but I would just mention that the most difficult thing about track building in my experience is keeping a level "top". It is so easy to introduce vertical irregularities at every layer of glue, and there is a strong tendency for the individual modules of track to "curl up" at the ends like the apocryphal Traveler's Fare sandwich. And such things, one introduced cannot be ironed out.

What are you making you baseboards out of? I used MDF and it worked fine because I am aware of the pitfalls. BUT inappropriate combination of bare MDF and PVA glue is a recipe for complete disaster as the stuff will bubble and swell at the least provocation, and your track will be all over the shop.

I would also ask why are you using cork? these days, mechanisms are so quiet that we do not really need sound deadening and - at least in station areas - ballast shoulders are not really significant - though that would not be true for a main line in open country and certainly not for "modern" CWR.

Given all that, my personal approach was to glue the Template directly to the baseboard (with spray glue - easier to say than do) then build in situ. But that meant my baseboards had to be restricted to 1200 x 600 - ie small enough to sit on the bench - and doing away with any underlay reduced the number of glued interfaces. But - don't tell anyone - my track is not quite as level as I would like it to be despite my good efforts...

The next layout WILL be perfect...

Meanwhile, this effort will be at Scaleforum so you can judge for yourself!

MikeH
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby MikeH » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:13 pm

JFS wrote:
MikeH wrote:
Anyway my plan is to glue the templot sheet directly onto a separate piece of cork, Once dry I will cut around the template leaving the correct width for the ballast shoulder.


Hello Mike,

I have not tried / seen it done this particular way, but I would just mention that the most difficult thing about track building in my experience is keeping a level "top". It is so easy to introduce vertical irregularities at every layer of glue, and there is a strong tendency for the individual modules of track to "curl up" at the ends like the apocryphal Traveler's Fare sandwich. And such things, one introduced cannot be ironed out.

What are you making you baseboards out of? I used MDF and it worked fine because I am aware of the pitfalls. BUT inappropriate combination of bare MDF and PVA glue is a recipe for complete disaster as the stuff will bubble and swell at the least provocation, and your track will be all over the shop.

I would also ask why are you using cork? these days, mechanisms are so quiet that we do not really need sound deadening and - at least in station areas - ballast shoulders are not really significant - though that would not be true for a main line in open country and certainly not for "modern" CWR.

Given all that, my personal approach was to glue the Template directly to the baseboard (with spray glue - easier to say than do) then build in situ. But that meant my baseboards had to be restricted to 1200 x 600 - ie small enough to sit on the bench - and doing away with any underlay reduced the number of glued interfaces. But - don't tell anyone - my track is not quite as level as I would like it to be despite my good efforts...

The next layout WILL be perfect...

Meanwhile, this effort will be at Scaleforum so you can judge for yourself!


Hi Howard,

Yeah I was aiming to do the thinnest layer of glue with the templates more on thin card rather than paper. My baseboards are of birch ply which have been in place for a few years now while iv'e been changing my mind on my track plan.

I think the cork idea was mostly to put the ballast shoulder in place as most of my layout will be set on a countryside branch line. With adding ballast and glue I would loose sound deadening anyway.

Certainly some thought for consideration though as im not far off being ready to make track.

Thanks

Knuckles
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Knuckles » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:37 am

Martin Wynne wrote:An alternative to cork is balsa wood. Same ease of cutting with a craft knife, similar sound absorption, but a bit more rigid. So much so that you can build the track directly on it on the bench and transfer the whole thing to the baseboard, even ready ballasted if you like. There's then no problem with the track getting distorted as it is transferred from bench to baseboard.

Martin.



I've been thinking upon this method, and the 2mm ply method Jim said (I think, forgive me if I muddled) that would be more rigid.

As I have had a series of major deal breaking, layout wrecking issues using both 'tried and proven' cork and card packing (track heights) at the ballasting stage due to excessive warping, I want to try this other method.

When building my P4 test plank I used C&L foam and layed and ballasted the track in one hit Normon Solomon style (got the DVD) and I found it worked a treat, no issues other than the baseboard itself being dope, but you likely read about that in Snoozy.

I need a ballast shoulder for some things so interested very much in this.

So for those in the know, balsa or ply and why?

Also what about glues, moisture sealant and other pre-planning peculiarities should I take to ensure my fists and feet stay away from the baseboard this time? (N Gauge layout worked great....until the card warped at ballasting....just like 00 layout cork did)

Can't be doing with any more wrecky warpy action.

If I wanted to build a model roller coaster I'd buy a book on it, as it happens most popular methods to date have gone tits up for me.
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Le Corbusier
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:28 pm

I can't recall ... did the warping occur in the baseboard itself or just the cork? If the baseboard warped then this is what needs to be addressed using an exterior grade moisture resistant material. I have used marine ply for the base of my test track with cork bonded to it using a waterproof PVA ... and despite a thorough wetting with dilute PVA for ballasting nothing has moved.

On the choice between Balsa and ply it all depends on the type of ply. You need to be certain that the glues in the ply are moisture resistant or they could simply delaminate. If they are, then ply may well be the better bet given your concerns, as it will be more stable though harder to work. If you go down the balsa route, the balsas I have used in the past have been pretty absorbent and so the bond to the base board will be important to ensure there is no localised movement and splitting.

That would be my take ... others may differ.
Tim Lee

Knuckles
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Knuckles » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:36 pm

Thanks. :)
Ply indeed sounds better due to it's more heavy duty properties yet Balsa is easier for sure.

It was the cork that warped once ballasting started, same as the card. Utterly outlawed from now on. My attempts at traditional' PVA mixture may have been too watery yet I did it the same as you see in vids and the track was ballested....but warped badly.

Too risky for me to even consider these 'tried and proven' methods again. They consistently give me the middle finger!

Bad init.

Unless anyone else can add more to the pro's and con's of my question I'll likely try the ply this time.

I make sure I use exterior treated wood and am thinking of coating the wood both sides in 'I dunno yet.'
Last edited by Knuckles on Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Flymo748
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:47 pm

Oh Knuckles, by the way, good to see you back ;-)

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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Knuckles
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Knuckles » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:54 pm

Flymo748 wrote:Oh Knuckles, by the way, good to see you back ;-)

Cheers
Flymo


Thanks. :)

I never left and don't ever plan to. Just been busy with a lot of stuff and my modelling mojo was lacking, desk has been gathering dust.

As I'm gearing up to take another plunge and started building frame work thought I'd start posting again.

Planning another P4 layout but it will be a small one one like before for now but also planning 'the biggy' although sadly it will have to be 00 due to my space lack and need for tighter points and curves. I have kicked and screamed over this but my hand is forced, not unless you want to donate £300k+! :mrgreen:

Still building a lot of the track though. ;)

P4 layouts will have to be end to end because of this space & radii issue.
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jim s-w
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby jim s-w » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:57 pm

If you are going to use 2mm ply why not get Mr Horn to laser cut it and engrave the track plan on to manageable sized bits for you? Would save messing about with paper?

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kelly
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby kelly » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:00 pm

I intend to give Balsa wood a go myself. I will likely use 5mm, to allow me to place buildings on a 2mm base for removal (due to storage restrictions, this also allows buildings to be substituted for others to change location/era potentially).

You will need to 'seal' the balsa to prevent it absorbing moisture when you add the track, and there are specific sealants for it available on the likes of eBay et al.
DEMU UPDate Editor
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Knuckles
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Knuckles » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:20 pm

I don't have the money to pay someone. Simply put.

Only working 2 days most weeks at the mo!

Thanks for the infos.

I like modular methods too as I like filming layouts. Is partly why I like.foam as you can cut into it and bed buildings in easier but for these next layouts I'm thinking of using woods only.
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Enigma
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Enigma » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:39 pm

I'm surprised at some of the comments regarding warping etc. of cork and boards. I've used cork on top of MDF on several occasions with no problems at all - but I use Thixofix to attach it rather than PVA as it 'grabs' a lot quicker and the whole process is relatively speedy. Ballasting has subsequently been with the 'usual' dilute PVA and again no warping etc. One dodge when using MDF baseboard surfaces is to apply a good coat of a matt waterproof varnish as soon as the boards are finished. I use Evostick to attach the trackwork to the cork sub-base, applying a thin bead roughly along the length of each of the sleepers - no need for exactitude or extreme accuracy, a 'zig-zag' action down the length of track is fine as the glue will flatten out once the track is placed in position. Using the Evostick 'wet' in this way allows a modicum of opportunity to ensure the correct positioning of the track prior to weighting it for a short time. Evostick will tend to shrink as it is drying which helps to 'pull' the track down onto the cork. On my 'Lower Pandy' layout in the '90's I built the pointwork onto 3mm foamboard, the templates being spraymount attached to the board. Wiring was with 'handrail wire' let into scalpel cuts in the foamboard, completely hidden once ballasted, the ends of the wires projecting from the sides of the foamboard pieces which made connecting them up relatively easy. The foamboard/point units were then attached to the baseboard (6mm MDF) again with Thixofix. No warping at all.

Philip Hall
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Paul,

I have noticed that old EvoStik tends to be quite hard. Still stays glued, and not brittle, but just not so flexible. Is the latest variety the same? I like the idea of it to glue down track as I prefer nit to have track solidly glued down (so long as it’s adequately glued and flat, of course). I wondered what your experience of it is over a long period of time. I’m looking at fifteen to twenty years for my new railway...

Philip

Enigma
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Enigma » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:55 pm

Hi Phil, can't say I've ever had a layout that long - or have I? Not in P4 anyway but, thinking about it, my American HO layout with Peco Code 100 track was laid the same way in the early years of the century and seems fine. Regarding Evostik, I'm sure the formula has changed at some time, the newer stuff looks a lighter colour and seems thinner, especially when new. However, my current tube - which is the 'new' sort and now a few years old in fact - is becoming a thicker consistency and 'stringier' which can be a nuisance when trying to use it for fine work. I've always bought bigger tubes in the past thinking they were more economic but I may get a small one next time and use it quicker and avoid the thickening.

Edit - Just had another thought. If you use 'Klear' or one of the similar products for fixing the ballast in addition to the Thixofix and Evostik then no water at all will get near the MDF.

Philip Hall
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm

Thanks Paul.

When I worked in the hardware shop, we sold lots of the old style Evostick but then stopped putting it out on display. We had one bloke who came in every other day for a tube and we twigged he wasn’t sticking Formica down that often.
I guess it was not long afterwards that the formula changed a bit. I used to use the old kind for gluing brickpaper to card buildings and also for assembly. Not now because I find it too lumpy.

I’ll give it a try on a test piece and see how it goes.

Philip

Enigma
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby Enigma » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:58 pm

Philip Hall wrote:Thanks Paul.

When I worked in the hardware shop, we sold lots of the old style Evostick but then stopped putting it out on display. We had one bloke who came in every other day for a tube and we twigged he wasn’t sticking Formica down that often.
I guess it was not long afterwards that the formula changed a bit. I used to use the old kind for gluing brickpaper to card buildings and also for assembly. Not now because I find it too lumpy.

I’ll give it a try on a test piece and see how it goes.

Philip


Let me see at at S4N how you get on.

JFS
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Re: On building track - straight onto the baseboard?

Postby JFS » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:16 am

Nestor wrote:
If you hadn't already guessed, I'm terribly new to all this...

Nestor


Hello Nestor,

Have you joined an area group - I think the Wealdon Group are nearest to you. I don't know anything about that group, but some of the things you need to know are much easier to grasp face to face than in a forum, so if you can get along to a group, there will certainly people there who will be very willing to help.

Details here of course:-
https://www.scalefour.org/areagroups/

Best wishes,

Howard


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