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Hello all!

I am new to the site and starting to build a N-Scale model train in my basement. I have looked over the site and you guys have some awesome setups. I hope to pick your brains for info! One of the 1st questions I have is this, on your benchwork do you use plywood (and what thickness), foam (again, thickness) or a combo of both?


In Training Down Under.
Welcome to the forum!!

Alot of guys just use 1/2inch plywood and roadbed (cork or WS foam).

Personally I'm using 12mm MDF and 12mm Pinex softboard (like homasote) and then WS foam.

I've never used foam as a base so can't comment



Lazy Daydreamer

As for me, my benchwork has 3/4-inch plywood, topped with 2-inch extruded foam insulation (a.k.a. "Dow board") - except for two industrial modules from my previous layout, those are homasote [also on 3/4" plywood]. Half-inch plywood would probably be OK, but I wanted something especially warp-resistant since my trainroom is a converted two-car garage.
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Registered Member
Staff member
Hi teamanglerx and welcome to the forum. A good question and I'm fairly sure there won't be two answers the same :D
What did I use? Well the cheapest I could find. Frame work is 1" x 4" boards (strapping) with 2" x 4" for the legs all this wood was the cheapest and it dried for 2 years in my garage. Next was the plywood 3/4 inch stuff at no cost, was dumped almost in my back yard. They were building a new highway with overpasses and the smaller pieces (parts of sheets) used for cement forms were discarded after use. There was a lot of cleaning off cement to do but the price couldn't be beat, Anyway that's my story on materials except for the screws and glue I purchased new. ;)

Cheers Willis


Diesel Detail Freak
Foam, Masonite, chicken wire, and plaster cloth are my plans... Maybe plywood on the yard area's.


Fun Lover
My last layout was 1/2" plywood with 1" foam on top. This layout I'm going with 2" foam by its lonesome. Turns out I like working with foam. It's quieter, when I want it to be.


Wiley Old Dog

Welcome to the forums, glad to have you here.

My layout has 1/4" birch as a tabletop and then 2" of 1" foam stacked one atop each other on top of the tabletop.

Looking forward to seeing more of you.



grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Welcome aboard. We used 1/2' plywood. Some has foam on top, some is cookie cutter construction.


Running the MC & Buffalo
Welcome teamanglerx, My 4x15 layout is 3/4 playwood with 3/4 inch Homosote on top of a heavy wooden table with 2by4 legs for added support , A bit of overkill but I can lay on top of the layout and get a lot of work done till I finish landscaping !!!!


My open-grid layout is framed with plenty of screws, 2x4 legs, 1x4 joists @ 16" centers, with 1/2" plywood top. I could dance on it. (I have fallen to sleep on it a time or two:eek: :D )


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