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Fixing track to foam board


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#1 spongebob

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 10:05 PM

hi- I am a newby, is it possible to silicone afx track to foam board for a large permanent layout, i plan to rout the foam board so the top of the track is level with the foam board

any help greatly appreciated

regards

scot

 


Scott Comber




#2 havlicek

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:19 AM

Hi Scott,

    There are all sorts of materials that we might call "foam board" over here.  Some are urethane-based, some are "styro" type (styrene), some are open cell and some are closed cell.  I would think that the urethane types are probably the strongest, but all are relatively weak compared to plywood.  Normally-available types come in thicknesses up to 3" and more, but the thinner ones could be bonded to plywood for extra strength.  These foams are available in sheets of 2' to 4' wide and around 8' long as far as I know and other sizes may also be available.

     While I wouldn't normally think of any of them as suitable for supporting a track, I'm guessing you have your reasons for choosing them (*unless foam board is something different in Australia).  Anyway, either urethane or styro foams can be bonded-to, as can the track material and picking the best adhesive would depend on the foam type somewhat.  Silicone might work OK, but there are panel adhesives both in latex and urethane-types that would probably work better.  Having the foam on a hard/flat surface so that the track can be laid on it with the adhesive on the back and then placing some weight on the track temporarily until the adhesive cures is probably a good idea.

***Some adhesives are "quick-grab" and some require hours or even overnight to cure, so planning on which would be best is important.  Also, some may work so well that trying to remove track sections later might make a real mess of things.  So yes, the track can be glued to foam.  Do a Google search for "foamboard adhesive" and you'll get an idea of what's out there.  It's even "possible" that a double-sided tape might work depending on the foam type.  because it grabs instantly, setting-up the track upside down, applying the tape to the track bottom and then laying the foam board over it to press it down would be (*I think?) the best way to do that...IF...it's possible.


John Havlicek

#3 John Streisguth

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:47 AM

Gluing everything together with AFX track is a mistake, IMO.  You will eventually have problems with contact between the sections unless you solder them together, and will need to pull the sections to clean the contact areas.   Put everything together and glue the foamboard (or whatever you end up using) to the table, but leave the sections free to be removed.  


"Whatever..."

#4 Racer36

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:11 AM

If you rout the substrate and drop the track into it there should be no need to actually attach it to the foam. That would make it very simple to lift thextrack out to clean connections if need be.
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Dennis Dominey

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#5 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:21 AM

An alternative:    Start with a flat table to fit your space.  Layout your HO or 1/32  track parts on it to establish the cutting pattern for the actual eleveted layout.  Use 1/4' MDF particle board to support the track, allowing 1 -3" of border for runoff and real road appearance.  Set the HO track on it and plan where to pull wire taps and elevation ribs.  Use excess MDF or 'Foamcore or Cork HO railroad  material to form the runoff edging.  Glue it down with "Peel 'n Seal" removable window caulking so that worn parts can be removed for repair or replacement.  The harder materials like the MDF can be put down with 'Hot Melt' glue.  Elevation gaps can be filled in with scenic walls to suit.  Use round Neo magnets under trees attached to other magnets imbedded in the borders.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#6 Dallas Racer

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:30 AM

About 15 years ago I made an AFX 4 lane 4X12 track with a foam surface. It also had fold up legs. I built it that way so it would be light and I could stand it on it's side and lean it against the wall, if I needed to, by myself. I never secured the track to the foam because before I got around to it, I moved and had to disassemble it.

 

It worked fine. Stiffer than you would think it would be. I did brace it every 2 feet. The one negative is the foam acted as a sounding board and running on the track was amplified. It was loud in a bad way.

 

I was running t-jets and the guide pins would hang in the gaps of the corner connections. So I Dremmeled the corner joints to fit better and super glued them together. I never had any electrical problems. Maybe I soldered them. I don't recall for sure.

 

Here's what I used for the surface.

 

owens-corning-foam-board-insulation-36l-


Phil Smith ® ©


#7 spongebob

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:59 PM

thanks for all the suggestions, i am thinking of landscaping the layout as well but do like the idea of just sitting the track in the foam board to enable future maintenance  (foam is open cell polystyrene ,( have a heap of 2 inch thick 8x4 sheets of it ) I do plan to run a heap of jumpers , not a big fan of soldering joints as I have heard of expansion/ shrinkage problems and I do live I a coastal sub tropical area

any more thoughts greatly appreciated and thanks again heaps for the replies


Scott Comber

#8 spongebob

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:40 PM

does anyone think the use of track clips help in my situation ?

thanks again


Scott Comber





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