Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<

Main Menu


Started by tlnibert, January 12, 2020, 02:56:47 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I'll be starting on my 5 by 10 HO layout soon, should I sand the Homosote.
What size switch should I use running a Bachman 2-8-2.  I also have a Bigboy.  I have a lot of # 4.



Couple things my friend. 

First, not a lot of posts show up in "Plasticville". Wondering if you meant to post in HO?

Ok. #4 turnouts will never work for your big boy.  I'm guessing you'll need at least #5 turnouts for the Mikados.  Though, #6 turnouts seem to work fine for just about anything... depends on who made the big boy.  So negotiate narrow turnouts, some need at least #8's.

Don't know about sanding homosote.  I've never done it.  Perhaps someone out there has some experience.  Good luck, and please share with us as your layout progresses.




Homosote  Homasote can be sanded but its dust a big problem. Best not to9 sand but to cut to shape after it has been sealed with inexpensive latex paint.


Homasote is terrible in humidity.


Homasote is virtually unheard of in Canada. I have asked at a lot of building supply stores, and most have never even heard the name. Availability is zero.



My Father used Homosote in the Baltimore, MD area in the 1950' to 1955 time frame, in the Bay area, high humidity, no problem.

He used it in Winter Park, FL from 1956 to 1963, a lot of lakes and high humidity, no problem.

I used it in the  Seattle, WA area from 1968 to 1975, lots of fog and high humidity, no problem.

If you spill water on it, yes there may be a problem.


the Bach-man

Dear Tinibert,
On all the displays I have recently built for the shows we attend, I have used 2" 4'x8' foam insulation sheets.
They're lightweight, rigid, and easily available.
I fasten the track down with indoor/ outdoor carpet tape and use Scenescapes, Scenic Express, and Woodland
Scenics products to landscape them.
Thay have traveled literally thousands of miles and been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and have
held up wonderfully.
I've also used Homasote, but I prefer foam.
Have fun!
the Bach-man


My family has used Homasote on several model railroads, both unsupported and supported in the high humidity of Pennsylvania. In all cases we found it subject to warpage and not dimensionally stable. Even sealing it with latex did not solve the problem. In one case, change in diemnsions was strong enough to kink track and break solder joints. We came to the conclusion that it was better to use white pine instead. It holds spikes better than Homasote, and unlike plywood it is easy to drive spikes into. It should be noted that we handlay our track so the things i mentioned are critical to us.

I have never used foam, but if you are using prefabricated track like EZ track or Atlas, you won't run into problems due to moisture  or humidity. 

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA


And the high humidity of Pennsylvania is dwarfed by the Gulf Coast combo of 98F and 115% humidity in non conditioned spaces where many model railroads, like mine, live.  We don't run the railroad under those conditions, of course, but the layout needs to survive them.  On days like that, operation or any kind of work  is confined to between 5 AM and 9 AM and yes, I actually do it.

Oh. My mikados run through #4 switches but look ridiculous doing it.  Kind of like a bear wearing a tutu riding a bike in a circus.