Well, that worked



Grainy picture eh? No matter though. I had an idea and it worked and now I feel equal amounts of glad I tried it and “Man, I must be the last guy on Earth to make this connection”.

I was thinking about roadbed. I’ve used balsa wood in the past as a roadbed material and quite liked it. I still have a large stock of sheet balsa here to use up and had been thinking about using it on my current layout. In the past, since I was glueing the balsa to foam I simply used the same foam board adhesive I used to laminate together foam sheets. Fast forwarding back to today it occured to me that since the balsa was porous you could actually just try using carpenter’s “yellow” glue or even that cheap white “school glue” to bond the balsa roadbed to the foam. I grabbed some scrap foam and balsa and tried a sample. To prevent it from warping I laid my copy of The Joy of Cooking across the assembly while it dried. Looking at it now, I think the experiment was a success. Working with the wood glue sure was a tidier option compared to the caulking gun applicator and clean-up was a lot easier.

So, this is a tip I’ll be using into the future: white glue to stick balsa roadbed to a styrofoam layout.



    1. Yup, I have this love, love, love, hate relationship with foam for model railways. Foam to foam is always the tricky join. My favourite glue so far has been water-based contact adhesive. I used to be able to buy it in quart “paint cans” at Home Hardware (here in Canada) but don’t see it for sale anywhere. I just rolled it on with a short paint roller, let it tack up and then push the two pieces together. What I use now is a caulking type product made by Lepage. I like it’s properties for bonding sheets of foam together but it’s a bit messy for roadbed so working with the carpenters glue seems to be the better option. I’ve just stuck down the first sections of roadbed on the layout and look forward to see how it actually all works out.

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