Help with determining what to use for baseboard

Reptilian Feline Aug 4, 2020

  1. Reptilian Feline

    Reptilian Feline TrainBoard Member

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    I'm started to plan my Z scale layout, in part based on what I was planning for my N scale version. Back then, I bought some foam boards (isolation foam) of the white variety, 10 cm thick, to use as the board. It was to be placed on shelf holders mounted on the walls.

    I still have the shelf holders (some have to be moved) and the foam boards. The boards need to be cut to the new size to fit into the walk-in closet I'm going to use as my railway room.

    The question is... will the foam boards be too thick? I'm planning to use Märklin turnouts, and move the mechanism below the board, and then there are the electrics for lights and so on. I'm planning to at least initially, move the turnouts manually with the help of bike spokes. Or would it be better to get the powered turnouts instead and use the solenoid under the board as I read on the Z-scale DIY page? Does that impact the choice of baseboard as well?

    MDF is too expensive, and I don't have a car so getting large sheets home on the bike is a bit tricky.

    Input is appreciated!
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ten CM is essentially four inches... No. Not at all too thick. You can simply remove any material from the underside, to allow any turnout machinery. That much material would allow you to carve in rivers and other below track terrain features. It will not flex or warp. I would not hesitate to use it.
     
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  3. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    the white foam isn't highly recommended... it's -usually- the beadboard style, very messy, and not very strong ..
    better off with the blue, pink or green boards
     
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  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. If it is beadboard style, I would not even attempt using it.
     
  5. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    With 10cm foam board, I would recommend mounting any turnouts to a small (approximately 10cm x 4cm) piece of 3mm thick plywood, and mounting the turnout control mechanism to the underside, then cut a hole in the foam board and drop your turnout in place from the top. This will allow you to adjust the turnout throw and centering easily on your workbench, instead of the fiddly work of trying to get it adjusted while under the foam banchwork.
     
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  6. Reptilian Feline

    Reptilian Feline TrainBoard Member

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    It is the white more granular type, but feels really stiff at 10 cm/4 inches. I've cut it successfully using a DIY version of a heat knife. I got a set of soldering irons where one had a two prong connector. I removed the soldering bit, and added a long piece of thick copper wire to it. The wire is a little too flexible so improvements need to be done. At least there was no mess.
    rray - I love your suggestion on mounting the turnout on a board! That will definitely be the way to go with the thick board.

    I can find the blue foam boards, but not the pink ones here in Sweden... at least when doing a quick search.

    BTW - speaking of foam... would this product from IKEA work as a road bed for Z scale? https://www.ikea.com/se/sv/p/niva-golvunderlaegg-30321603/
    I'm sorry it's the Swedish site, IKEA should let you switch language, or you can use Google translate.
     
  7. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    The blue foam is fine. It's what my local lumber yard carries, so that's what I use. Only difference between that and the pink is that they are manufactured by different companies. Both have the same properties with respect to strength, working and gluing, etc. About the other item, I really don't have an answer for you.
     
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  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I suggest using caulking for glue, it's easy to use and you can spread it with a plastic card.

    Used a 1/2 inch blue insulation foam with a 1 inch pink on top. The blue foam acts like a warning track when carving with a key hole saw.

    Warning track was barrowed baseball term.

    Joe
     
  9. Reptilian Feline

    Reptilian Feline TrainBoard Member

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    What kind of caulking? There is the silicone sealant I use for terrariums or aquariums, and then there are white, grey, brown or black flexible varieties as well. It should stick to the foam... is there anything I should look for on the lable?
     
  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Just a cheap white caulking.

    Joe
     
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  11. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    Make sure you use LATEX based caulk. Read the label. The stuff should clean up with soap & water. DO NOT use petroleum based caulk. It will eat up the foam board and create a MESS. You don't need to know how I know this.
     
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  12. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    Check around at your LOCAL BUILDER sites. They don't use any foam board panels for insulation? If they do, ask if you can have any scraps. Ask the JOBSITE FOREMAN for permission, and pickup scraps on the weekend when they are NOT working. Here in Southern Indiana, USA, I can get all the foam board I want, just by offering to pickup a jobsite on a weekend. I can also get white beadboard foam for free at almost any place selling pianos or large appliances. They use it for packing when shipping. White foam can be useful when making mountains. You just want something to occupy space, save the more expensive blue, red, green, purple, orange, yellow, pink with blue polka dots etc [LOL] stuff for carving. You can carve the white stuff, but what a MESS.

    IKEA, yes I know that's in Sweden, but do you have DOLLAR GENERAL STORES? Wally Worlds? Harbor Freight Tools? The list goes on............................LOL LOL
     
  13. Reptilian Feline

    Reptilian Feline TrainBoard Member

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    Porkypine52 - There is no local building site. They are all in the big city. We have Dollarstore (the chain) but it doesn't carry building supplies like lumber or boards... and it's two stops away by train from where I live. If I get the blue extruded foam boards, I can use the white foam boards for carving the landscape. We have two building supply stores locally, one more expensive and one cheaper. I'll see what they carry. I have to pick up some board for the shelves I've put together for holding vinyl records (my boyfriend is an avid collector) so I need to check what they've got anyway.

    And, as for picking up from building sites in Sweden... that's not allowed.
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Absolutely. There are caulks specifically for gluing foam board, along with the general purpose latex.
     
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