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Author Topic: sheet rock  (Read 3230 times)
SteamGene

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« on: February 26, 2007, 10:09:49 AM »

Has anybody experience using sheet rock as sub road bed insted of homosote?
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
cmgn9712

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 10:18:43 AM »

Don't do it. It sags, is messy, does not hold nails, if you try to glue to it the paper comes off and is the noisiest stuff I ever had on a layout.
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Bill Baker

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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 10:21:43 AM »

CMGN...thanks for that reply.  I was considering using sheetrock on my new layout.
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Bill
SteamGene

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 10:31:48 AM »

I have 5/8 inch OSB as support.  The sheetrock would go over the OSB.  That eliminates the concern about sagging.  Mainline track will have cork roadbed.  Only yards and industrial sidings would be directly on sheetrock.
I have a friend building a layout who has sheetrock as part of his subroadbed and he seems happy with it.  There is an enormous difference in both cost and availability between homosote and sheetrock.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 12:57:14 PM »

Gene,

Not to be a nit picker, but just to be clear, we are talking about gypsum wall board correct? Sheet Rock is a brand name for gypsum wallboard, also called drywall, just like Kleenex is a brand name for facial tissue

The only thing I have used drywall for is river beds. With glued down track it may work fine, but I would think it would be noisy. It will not hold nails at all. I am surprised that homosote is hard to locate. Home Depot and Lowes both carry homosote around here.

Homosote is good but has a few potential problems to watch out for. It can warp or have uneven spots before you install it that once installed may cause humps in your trackwork. Check it with a 4' level and sand it down if needed after it is installed.

Drywall is very heavy and has less structural strength compared to homosote and will put more strain on the subroadbed support.

Using plywood and homosote we have built helixes with no splce plates at the plywood joints, but instead simply staggered the joints of the plyood and the homosote and glued the homosote to the plywood. That would not work with drywall.

Homosote gained popularity when many, dare I say it, "serious modelers" where hand laying all their track on profile ties. They needed something soft enough to spike into but strong enough to hold the spikes, and easy enought to shape into roadbed.

I have often wondered if homosote is really of any value for prefab track. Would the results be just a good laying the track directly on high quality plywood like 3/4" birtch furniture grade? I may give this a try on an upcomming project. I have found 3/4" plywood can eliminate lots of other unnecessary structure and plan to use it even more in the future.

As for areas with raised roadbed, I have used cork, TrueScale wood, and Homabed. I prefer the homabed over all the others. It is more expensive than cork, but is much more stable and does not suffer from the deterioration I have seen with cork when it gets 10-15 years old.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 01:31:32 PM by atlanticcentral » Logged
SteamGene

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 01:03:03 PM »

Okay.  Maybe my friend has just been lucky.  So could I use 3/4 plywood for the yard and support it only in the back and sides?  Remember, the front middle would be ab out 5' from the rear corner.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 01:11:29 PM »

Gene,

The entire lower level of my current layout is 3/4" plywood, with only a 1x2 ledger on the wall and a 1x2 front edge supported by 2x4 legs that are attached directly through the top of the plywood with 3" screws. The attacment to the wall makes it very strong, I have climibed it very often.

I have one area that is over 6' deep where I have an engine terminal, turntable and roundhouse in a corner behind an 8 track freight yard, no problem.

Joints are spliced together with 7/16" SOB splices screwed and glued from undernearth. I used construction grade pywood and put homosote over it, but next time I think I will just use better plywood and skip the homosote.

Sheldon
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Rod

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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 01:25:30 PM »

I do house remodeling and use drywall a lot. It is the messiest and worse product to handle possible. The dust from cutting gets into everything and it is very fragile in narrow strips. If you cut it with a saw ( the only way to get strips under three inches) the cloud of dust will choke everything. It would not hold small nails and the only way to hold would be with a nail that went through it to the plywood below. Push too hard and the stuff will crumble. If you use 1/4" it will bend but is even more expensive and fragile. To my way of thinking, not a good choice! Rod Bauer
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SteamGene

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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 01:57:56 PM »

I got a report back from my friend who uses sheetrock.   He says he uses it on about 40% of his layout, which is in a 36X24 (or so) second floor, with the layout around all the walls and wth three current and one planned penninsula - all level as he's doing Tidewater, Virginia.   He's happy with it, but cautions on cutting it - like never in the trainroom, which makes sense.  It can't be used for curves and while he says nails hold, if you put a nail in th same hole a couple of times, you have to put white glue on the nail.
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
glsummers

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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 11:34:53 PM »

I have been in the Drywall business for forty years and presently building a model railroad. The problem I see using it would be when doing scenery and if it gets wet you may have big problems. I would use extreme caution.
I would be afraid to take a chance. Larry
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engineerkyle

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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2007, 12:46:02 PM »

I have with good results... 1/2 on 16" center joists... The "joists" were 2x4"

I found it very good to work with.
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