Hollow Core Door Layout questions

Dave McDonald Oct 13, 2021

  1. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

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    Yea, meant to say build at 75%
    rich
     
  2. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    I am thinking of using the 1/2" pink foam over the door. For track, I am looking at a Kato V11 set. It is a double track set with the curves being 16 3/8" on the outside and 15" on the inside. That track is concrete tie track with superelevated curves. Any thoughts on that?
     
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  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    How much did the door cost? I asked because when HCD were first introduced it was recommended that you secured a door that was damaged on one side but allowed you to use the other. Now I am told the lumber places return the damaged doors to the manufacturers for credit because they would get more from the manufacturer than they would from a customer. Is this true??? If so the cost for such a layout would go up significantly.
     
  4. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave,
    I'm currently building a HCD Unitrack layout with ½" foam. I chose to bury the wiring in the foam but don't recommend it.

    I did not run the wiring on the under side of the door because my second floor train room is off a wrap around stairway, sort of like a balcony by the train room. To get the layout out of the room I need to slide it across a polished hardwood handrail wrapped with towels. For this reason I wanted a smooth bottom.

    In hindsight if I built another HCD layout I would frame around the door similar to what Hardcoaler did and run the wires on the underside.

    Good luck with your layout. Layout progress photos are always appreciated.
     
  5. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    At Home Depot, a 36 x 80 HCD is about $50. A 4 x 8 sheet of 2" pink foam is about $38. The more I think about it, a sheet of foam might be better as the wiring can be buried in channels on the bottom side.. I know with the foam that I will have to build some fascia. The foam is plenty rigid on it's own.
     
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I got some of mine from Menard's, some from Habitat Restore (recycled home goods) and some from a part time remodeling job in the past. I haven't looked at any place in 5 years so can't judge prices now.
     
  7. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Luan or Masonite fascia will add a lot of rigidity and provide a place for mounting a control panel or directly mounted switches if needed.

    Running a piece of ¾x¾ around the inside of a luan fascia gives a nice surface to glue foam to.
     
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  8. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Re: the earlier question about sound/noise from Unitrack directly on a HCD...

    I tried that, and it was too loud for my liking. The 36x80 door skin makes a great drum or sounding board, IMO. I would definitely add foam on top of the HCD. If you want to add terrain below the lowest track level (ditches, ravines, creeks, etc.) choose the foam thickness accordingly.

    Other than urban scenes or lakes/ponds, there are very few large, very flat surfaces. Even a half-inch of foam will give you some room to scoop out shallow depressions, and will largely silence the drum.

    Foam over HCD also gives you a third option for wiring: between foam and HCD. Thicker foam, which can be lifted up for access while wiring (you will want to cut trenches in the bottom side of the foam to clear the wiring, connectors, etc. over the HCD). You will also want to have the foam foundation be loose from the HCD, to lift it to work on wiring will require stiffness/strength (thickness). The foam can be kept from sliding around either with a frame around the edges of the HCD (into which the foam sets on top of the HCD), or with a few short dowels glued into holes drilled into the HCD and slip fit into matching holes in the bottom of the foam.

    The foam incline sets from WS are a simple way to get smooth, consistent track grades, especially on curves.

    You can also make a tapered grade guide from poster board or similar material. to help cut grades into (additional layers of) the foam board. The guide should be vertically rigid (to hold a consistent grade) but flexible enough horizontally to handle the minimum radius of the track plan.

    I've heard of using a graduated, sharpened dowel, pencil or drill bit to poke/drill holes to appropriate depths from the foam surface, along the track path, then remove the foam down to the bottom of these "gauge" holes along the path.

    There are probably lots of other means of cutting consistent grades in foam.
     
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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thinking of the Woodland Scenics inclines, declines and risers, how does one fill the many open gaps between the foam blocks?

    upload_2021-10-19_9-10-2.png
     
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  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    You cans use a thick mix of Hydrocal or similar or Sculptamould. You can also use a thin sheet of Styrofoam and trace the pattern to place on top.
     
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  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Probably the easiest thing is to use plaster cloth which you wet and then drape over the riser. But if on a budget then a thin plaster mix in which paper towels are soaked in and then draped the same way. When either of the two dry you are left with hardshell scenery.
     
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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Are you most concerned about the top? Something as simple as a paper towel would cover well enough. Scenery will certainly disguise the sides.
     
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  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, plaster cloth sounds like a fine idea and a thin layer wouldn't add a lot of weight to the layout. I'd guess that Unitrack would glue to it just fine. Thanks everyone -- this has been puzzling me. (y)
     
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  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    You have a Michaels near you? This is what I bought months ago but have not used it yet, cheap!

    https://www.michaels.com/mini-plaster-cloth-by-artminds/10443607.html
     
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  15. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    If you have a Hobby Lobby around you, they carry it too.
     
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  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The terrain itself should hide the sides of the inclines, unless they are modelling a man-made ramp, in which case whatever material you would use to model the walls on the side(s) of the ramp would disguise the sides of the incline. If the incline is on a cliff-edge, then you will have to model the rock face on the side of the inclines.
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Which is what I meant when I wrote "Scenery will certainly disguise the sides."
     
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  18. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, I see (says the blind man); when I think of "scenery," I think of coloring, rock faces, walls, trees, grass, roads, fences, buildings, etc. on top of terrain. In other words, the scenery is the decoration of the terrain.

    The terrain is the (usually 3D) undecorated surface of the layout, including sub-roadbed, which would usually hide the slots in the sides of the inclines.

    But I see your point, the decoration of the terrain (i.e. the scenery), being applied over the terrain, would also hide (cover) the slots in the sides of inclines.
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    All that I can say is after the many decades I've been at it, "scenery" has always meant the composite, the whole of the process. Books about "scenery" discuss all of the parts and pieces, which compose the end landscape. From the ground up, dirt to trees, etc. Colors, shapes, vegetation, water, as an entirety. So that is how I look at scenery.
     
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Fair 'nuff...
     

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