Author Topic: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts  (Read 478 times)

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Hedron

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Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« on: January 08, 2019, 11:13:46 PM »
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I like to fiddle with track layouts. I'm looking for suggestions for a changeable, reusable layout surface. I have a boatload of Atlas code 80. (I know Unitrack might be better suited but I don't want the expense of converting, plus I don't care for the look.) I just pin it to the surface, no roadbed. Presently I use Cellotex fiber board on plywood. The pins will hold pretty well for a while. But they tend to eventually loosen. And if removed and replaced in the same hole they tend to lose their holding power even faster. On the other hand, tacking track directly into plywood is hard to remove, especially without damaging the track.

Would the fabled homasote work for this?  I'm guessing foam is not going to hold either. Or is there another product I am overlooking?

MVW

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 11:36:51 PM »
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Homasote is ideal for what you're talking about. It has it's drawbacks, but for ease in tacking down track (albeit impermanently) it can't be beat.

Jim

Kev1340

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 08:10:20 AM »
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I've frequently changed track plans in the past, and have been re-using layout boards and track again and again numerous times over the last thirty years. For me, track glued to plywood with water soluble white wood glue (what we call PVA in the UK) has been perfect. A light spray of water to soften the glue and the track lift without any damage.

Cheers,

Kev

Lemosteam

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 08:31:42 AM »
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@Hedron , If i understand you correctly, you are looking for something that accepts pins multiple times without damage.  Not sure how much you'd be willing to spend, but some self healing Alvin brand Vyco drafting board cover carpet taped to a 2" foam might be the ticket.  This stuff is amazing as an old-school drafting material that would accept compass points through mylar or paper thousands of times and self heal each time (yes, I started my design career on the drafting board).

Your original post did not mention the size of your layout area but this company sells rolls of the stuff. I suppose eventually it would wear out, but depending on the length of the roll, you could replace it:



https://www.schooloutfitters.com/catalog/product_family_info/pfam_id/PFAM27055

As an aside, it makes a PERFECT cutting mat surface as well on your workspace area.

Hedron

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 05:38:53 PM »
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Interesting product, Lemosteam. I see available it cut to more affordable sizes on Amazon, rather than the full rolls at the site you posted. I'm not sure I'd make changes that often to require that degree of durability, but it's worth considering.

narrowminded

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 07:00:57 PM »
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Interesting product, Lemosteam. I see available it cut to more affordable sizes on Amazon, rather than the full rolls at the site you posted. I'm not sure I'd make changes that often to require that degree of durability, but it's worth considering.

Good call, John. 8)  As another old designer with some years on drawing boards, I can second this material.  It'll probably last a lifetime in your application. :)
Mark G.

CBQ Fan

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 09:24:33 PM »
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Homasote
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

Lemosteam

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Re: Reusable layout surface for changing layouts
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 06:04:53 AM »
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Interesting product, Lemosteam. I see available it cut to more affordable sizes on Amazon, rather than the full rolls at the site you posted. I'm not sure I'd make changes that often to require that degree of durability, but it's worth considering.

@Hedron , Yes it is sold in standard ANSI cut sheet sizes as well, i.e. 24x18, 36x24, 42x36, etc.