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Old 14-07-2018, 03:31 PM   #1
Steam Train Dave
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Default Cork or foam board

Hello all

I have been lurking here for a little while trying to digest all the useful information on this forum. Now I have a question, I am starting to build a small OO gauge layout based on light railway / roadside tramway systems - aka Wantage Tramway.

I now have my first or three baseboards completed ready for the next stage track laying built from plywood foamboard composite as it needs to be light enough to move around.

So my question is for pining down the trackwork, is it better that I use a cork base or a foam board base on top of the ply? I am aware that I will have to pre-drill the pin holes to avoid them bending etc, just thought I would ask what people think of a sound reduction material under the track?

Thanks.

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Old 14-07-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
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I prefer laying the track directly on the ply. Anything you use for sound proofing will be negated if you ballast the track. I like the sound of the wheels on the rails.
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Old 14-07-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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Sorry Dave should have said welcome to the forum.
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Old 14-07-2018, 06:02 PM   #4
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Hello Dave welcome to the forum. I would go for down on ply myself. This can of worms has been opened more times than I can remember.
You can lay down cork track bed but soon as it is stuck down and ballasted it will not kill any sound so you may just as well have lay track on ply.
By not buying cork you probably saved enough to put fair chunk towards another loco or some rolling stock........
You could say to the wife have just saved 100 can afford another loco now.
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Old 14-07-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Welcome Dave. I too laid straight onto ply for the reasons explained above.
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Old 14-07-2018, 10:51 PM   #6
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I laid mine on closed cell foam (instead of cork) and glued the ballast with copydex (rubbery glue). No ballast touches the ply. The Jury is still out, as my base is only 6mm ply, so adds to the reverberation and sounds quite loud.
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Old 15-07-2018, 06:01 PM   #7
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Hi all thanks for your comments.
From the clarification that ballasting onto the cork kills any sound deadening qualities looks like cork is not the way to go - I have a roll to sell!
Timbersurf your comment that no ballast touches the ply suggests that you may have covered all your baseboard's surface with closed cell foam and everything is on top of that - would I be correct in that assumption?
Trying to maintain a light structure to allow easy movement, I have gone for 3.6mm ply, single thickness for the top surface with the sides of laminated construction, 2 layers of 3.6mm ply with 5mm think foam board between, all glued with PVA.
So I am thinking of covering all the top (less 2mm around all the sides) with foamboard and constructing my layout on top of that.
I am considering going this way so that I can isolate all the trackwork from the baseboard - but maybe I will run a test train just on the existing ply top to see howmuch noise is generated before doing anything else.

Last edited by Steam Train Dave; 15-07-2018 at 06:04 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
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Old 15-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #8
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I previously made a layout with a cork track underlay on a plywood baseboard. My current layout is foam core board on the same plywood baseboard. Foam core has the advantage of being an inorganic material which is not affected by damp, mould and insects. I have found cork under the track can become fragile and disintegrate in adverse conditions where foam core would not be affected. Foam core is easier to cut with a Stanley knife and it is easier to add features such as trees and telegraph poles - just make a hole with a bradawl put some hot glue in the hole and plant the tree!
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Old 15-07-2018, 07:17 PM   #9
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I did not think it would be long, not getting tangled up in this one again.
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Old 15-07-2018, 09:00 PM   #10
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Welcome Dave, if you decide to go down the dcc sound route then there is no need for soundproofing.
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