Spline Roadbed

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B_Kosanda

Member
Sorry, I have not been posting much in the way of progress reports lately, but I'll show what I've got going on now. These photos are from the rebuilding of my Cascade Subdivision layout. I decided to build the roadbed out of masonite spline. This is (4) 3/16 inch strips of masonite seperated by doubled up spacers cut from the same masonite. The overall spline is roughly two inches wide. After creating a mountain of saw dust, this method is definitely better than using 1x lumber. There's no waste and the spline creates nice curves and tangents.

In the pics you can see some examples of the work in progress. One photo shows my cleaned up Peco #6 switches from the old layout. Everything is glued with Latex Liquid Nails. It holds good and cleans off your hands with water :)

Bill
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Did you dismantle your entire layout, Bill? This method looks very nice, by the way.
 

Trackside

Member
Interesting method, looks like it allows for maximum flexibility. Did you show this to the Seattle Monorail board. ;)
 
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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Thats quite awsome there Bill! I might just have to use that idea considering the amount of curves I'll have going on. Now I just need a house!
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I'd imagine because it uses less Masonite, that stuff isn't cheep... I'd think doing this way is slightly easier, and its not like the scenery & roadbed won't cover it up anyways!
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I looked at what Joe Fugate did for spline. He does not use cork roadbed on top of the spline. I was not too enthused with having to cut 300 strips of masonite to get the job done, so I used spacers which cut down on the amount of strips dramatically. I'm sure it also cut down on the amount of glue too. I think the cork roadbed helped to smooth out any imperfections in the spline. With Joe Fugate's method (no cork) you would need to spend considerable time sanding the spline to make sure it didn't have any imperfections. I can tell you there will be imperfections too. The spline tends to slide around on the glue when you get the clamps in place and it can have some uneveness from one layer to the next.

I can show some details of the juction where I go from single track to a double track at the switch locations when I get a chance to take more photos. Essentially, I measured a triangluar piece of wood 1" thick that has the same angle as the #6 switch. The outside layer of spline goes on the outside of the block and the rest are glued in place.

Bill
 

jfugate

Modeling SP in the 1980s
I never found the need to "spend considerable time smoothing the tops of the spline" when I did the solid masonite spline on my Ho Siskiyou Line. I just took a reasonable amount of care when gluing the spline and then a quick pass (couple minutes) with a sureform plane did the trick.

I lay the flextrack directly on the spline using a 1/16" layer of gray latex caulk, and I allow the track to "float", checking it closely with a level to make sure it doesn't slant side-to-side. I also check the alignment with a hand mirror, looking for kinks or any odd "bumps" in the track's up and down alignment.

The hand mirror lets me get a view that's as close to the track level as needed, so I can easily spot any alignment imperfections.

I'm pleased with laying the track directly on the solid spline using the latex caulk and did not find smoothing the top of the solid spline to be much of an issue.
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I had a couple "issues" where one piece of spline ended and I had to start a new piece. This happened in the curves. It ended up getting a little out of whack. Let's just say it was not pretty, but it was completely level, just not pretty.

Bill
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I have a question, now that I have most of the spline in place, cork roadbed installed and track laid. Now what? My main question is, how do I attach the scenery to the spline? The spline I used does not extend beyond the cork, so anything I use as a base for the scenery must be attached to the side of the spline or built up from the benchwork beneath. Any ideas?

thanks,
Bill
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
Looks like you probably ought to go with the "web of cardboard" stapled to sides of the spine and edges of the layout.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Bill, as Jeff says a cardboard webbing would work well. My layout is similar although not spline roadbed. I've used all sorts of styrofoam (blue, pink extruded, and beaded whatever is cheap and handy :D) and the fastener I use is glue. There are occasions where I must drill a hole and use a bamboo skewer to hold things in place while the glue dries. Messy but effective.

Willis
 




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