Gatorfoam Modeling Projects​​

Gatorfoam Sub-Roadbed


Gatorfoam Sub-Roadbed​​​​

I built my layout using the standard 1x4 open grid bench work. On top of the vertical risers I attached 1/2" Gatorfoam with PHENOSEAL latex adhesive caulk and 3/4" nails.  The GF was cut out of a larger sheet with a jig saw and a metal cutting blade,(or a very fine tooth blade).  Light sanding of the edges
may be needed.  Some "dust" with come off the GF from the styrene core so use proper dust protection.  There is some formaldehyde in Gatorfoam, about same as a sheet of plywood.

After the sub-roadbed is installed, check to make sure the spans are not too long between risers.  Here we added some vertical 1/2" GF risers with coarse drywall screws.  On some areas we added horizontal lengths of GF just for additional support.  
These were glued with PHENOSEAL and drywall screws.  The layout is 18'x29' built in the upstairs of our 1820's barn and after the first season, I had 2 sections of track "buckle", including the cork.  Once they were fixed I've had no expansion/contraction track issues.

​Next step is to add the cork.  Again I turned to PHENOSEAL latex caulk and small track nails  to hold the cork into place. Stagger the joints on long runs of cork.  After the cork was finished, I sanded the edges/sides smooth.  Layout track per your design and use your method of code, soldering, feeders, joining, etc.  To add feeder wires just poke a hole through the GF and run your wires...no drill needed.  When you're ready to lay the track spread a thin layer of PHENOSEAL and nail your track into place.  Be careful around turnouts with the PHENOSEAL.

Yards were done in the same manner using sheets of Gatorfoam and sheets of cork from the local hardware store.  In this case the GF sheets were screwed onto the 1x4's with drywall screws and the sheet cork glued down with contact cement, then track laid as above.  Keep in mind the biggest  advantage, other than the lightness, is Gatorfoam does NOT expand or contract with dampness or high humidity. 


​A few final thoughts here...if you're building your layout in modules I have a tech sheet that goes into detail
using GF for the tops. I use Tortoise machines in some locations and use 3M VHB, (Very High Bond), double stick tape and screws to hold the units in place. They're SO easy to install with Gatorfoam sub-roadbed. Please contact me with any questions, e-mail or phone, 802-244-1471. Thanks and enjoy! D