Many years ago, I bought Joe Fugate’s well-done video series about the construction of his Siskiyou layout. The section on Masonite spline roadbed convinced be to try the method. Having built several plywood cookie-cutter layouts over time, I was ready to try something different.
Before starting construction of my current layout, I was further influenced by another modeler who was also a proponent of using spline – but his material of choice was Homasote. His reasoning was logical and applicable to my way of doing things.
The advantages of spline in my way of thinking is three-fold; it produces natural vertical and horizontal curves, there is little waste of material (a flat sheet of material can be turned into any roadbed shape; straight or curves) and the subroadbed is also the roadbed (if using the solid spline method) The key selling point of Homasote is the ability to assemble it with screws; important to me since I tend to do a lot of revisions. Screw assembly means disassembly and reassembly when one’s mind changes…
Over the past two years I’ve laid about 150 feet of this roadbed – about 220 if double tracked sections are included – and I thought it was about time to share the process via some time lapse videos I’ve accumulated over the past year. It won’t necessarily show specific details, but will give viewers a good sense of what the build process looks like. All are narrated.
- Homasote Spline Cutting Fixture – Most Homaote questions revolve around the dust and how to cut it. This is a short video demonstrating both.
- Layout Update 7 – Widening the roadbed to accommodate a second track through Circleville
- Layout Update 8 – Spline Painting and Off-Layout Assembly – Constructing spline segments that can’t be constructed on the layout, along with finishing and ditching technique.
- Layout Update 9 – Industrial Lead Spline Construction – Construction of the lead through Circleville on top of pink foam. Allowed the specific location to be worked out before committing to benchwork attachment
- Layout Update 10 – Completing the Industrial Lead Roadbed – A continuation of the previous video that shows the use of the roadbed as a jig to mark the foam for cutting.
- Layout Update 11 – Double Tracking South of Circleville – More widening – this time to provide for a continuous running track through an area that was initially planned a single track. Does a good job of showing the use of different length screws and bending without breaking.
- Layout Update 12 – Gluing Spline – Part of the double tracked section will later be cut out for a bridge. I glued the splines through this section so that it later be cut without any surprises.
- Layout Update 13 – Bypass Construction – 11/20/16 – Construction of the bypass that completes all roadbed needed for continuous running. Shows the speed and ease of constructing longer sections of relatively straight roadbed.
As is obvious by the video titles, these are effectively a video layout blog. Though they weren’t recorded with that in mind, it turned out to be a useful side effect. Enjoy the cheap entertainment – and questions welcome.
1/12/17 Edit – Added link to update 13