Homasote/Homa Bed?

Ashpit Apr 23, 2020

  1. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

    I am considering tearing out my current layout and starting over in either Sn3 or On30. I would like to use Homasote and/or Homa bed as the bed for my hand laid track work. Does any one know if either Homa Bed; or, Homasote is still available? If not, what have you used for track bed that hold spikes well?
  2. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    The recent suppliers of pre-cut homasote roadbed, California Roadbed and Cascade Rail Supply, seem to have quit doing business.

    Homasote is still being made: http://www.homasote.com/products
    Home Depot sells it in 1/2" x 4' x 8' sheets.

    Some complain that cutting homasote to make your own roadbed can be rather messy.
    Others have found a local cabinet shop willing to cut homasote sheets into roadbed sized strips, perhaps without the beveled edges, though.

    Cork roadbed, such as that made by Midwest Products, is another commonly used solution.
  3. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    If you can get Homasote sheets, and have to cut them, DO IT OUTSIDE. dust, Dust and MORE DUST when cut. Use a KNIFE BLADE in your Jigsaw, DON'T use a regular SAW blade. See previous sentence. It's best to seal the Homasote, with primer paint, before using, helps cut down any loose dust.
    After all the process to use Homasote, I just went with plywood support, and cork redbed. But some people swear by Homasote. To each, their own.
  4. Kitbash

    Kitbash TrainBoard Supporter

    I've used precut homasote from Cascade Rails. I am very, very pleased with it. It is similar to the old California Hamabed stuff. I have used it on two layouts now and am very happy w/ the appearance and working with it. I use it in conjunction with sheet cork for filling in turnout pads, etc. I use 5/8" underlayment as a sub-roadbed. I did pay more for the homasote, but I look at it like the foundation to the house. I think I have about $300+ bucks in the stuff. We go buy decoders, engines, prelettered car sets, etc. for the same, if not more money. I couldn't see not putting the same in the track bed. There are beautiful layouts done with cork and other materials. I am just a fan of the homasote. FYI: I did not "spike" my track. The bed is glued down w/ common furniture/wood glue. Track is held down with w/ clear caulk or sealant. See below:

    All mainline and major spurs, etc., are homasote: [​IMG]

    Sheet Cork used for staging yard: [​IMG]

    Here is a major transition of curved turnouts near the front of my layout using homasote. Cork used as a fill in: [​IMG]

    All homasote and cork sidings are painted w/ latex just as a vapor barrier: [​IMG]

    Here's a shot after I started putting some ballast down: [​IMG]

    EDITED: Just noticed where Cascade Rail Supply closed its doors mid February of this year. Not sure what sources there are for precut homasote road bed. Surely someone will take up that need. While I have enough to finish what little more I need, the precut stuff is an excellent product.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    Kurt Moose, TrainzLuvr and drbnc like this.
  5. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

    in 2010 I cut my entire n-scale layout from a single Homasote sheet. Then I sculpted the edges to simulate the roadbed and painted with brown latex.Horrible mess for several weeks. I did not use plywood under the roadbed because I did not want the extra thickness that complicates mounting switch machines. The roadbed sagged in a few places but overall the layout has held up. In hindsight I would do it again and glad I don't have to.

    Here's a link with some pictures.


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