A Railroad with Relevance

Cork Roadbed – Appended

Written By: Alan - Mar• 03•14

Oops! I skipped a post. In the previous post I mentioned sanding the cork roadbed. After receiving comments on the railroad forums and PMs asking why and how about sanding cork roadbed I realized I had failed to include a post on the subject before pronouncing the roadbed finished. So here goes an out-of-sequence post to make up for the oversight.

No big deal really. All I did was run the belt sander over every bit of the roadbed and then used the time tested bodyman hand sliding feel across it to make sure it was flat and defect free. No different than shaping body filler with an air file. Ah yes, the good ole days in the bodyshop. After the trip around the layout with the 50 grit belt sander I followed up with 120 grit by hand on a flat board to remove the fuzzies left behind by the 50 grit. Once happy with the results a quick vacuuming finished the task. The roadbed is smoooooth and super flat. Should make a beautiful surface upon which to lay track.


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  1. billy says:

    awesome work so far i sub your youtube it would be cool to see some video of your work, how to, layout too

  2. Rob in Texas says:

    As usual nice job. What size was the board you used to follow up with length and width and thickness, did you stiffen it at all, was it plywood or another type of wood.

    Reason I am asking is I plan on trying to follow a great many of your methods in building my own railroad and like to borrow the great ideas I have found.

  3. Alan says:

    Rob, I used my bodyworking tools from my younger days as a bodyman/painter.

    For the shorter transition slopes I used a Hutchins Speed File #5504. It has a 10-1/2″ x 3″ shoe and accepts regular sheet sandpaper cut into thirds. In areas with a longer more gradual transition slope and over all of the 3/16″ roadbed I used a Hutchins Speed File #5507. It has a 16-1/2″ x 3″ shoe and accepts 17″ air file sandpaper.

    The 5504 has an aluminum shoe. The 5507 has a tempered hardboard shoe. Both have a thin slightly padded vinyl backer.

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