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    • June 25, 2020 12:50 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Above ground construction materials

      As I'm getting back into building another G scale layout and at age 75 above ground looks like the better way to go at this time in life. I been looking at as many above ground layouts that I can find on YouTube and construction should not be a problem for me as I have the skills and tools needed to build whatever I would like to do. My question is many are running the sections that go from post to post with wood, etc., I would like to use 1x2 built in a ladder type design for long runs between the other parts of the railroad where I would build more framing from 2x4, etc.  I wondering if anyone is using Hardiebacker for their ladder type design vs. wood, or another man made material that can handle the outside elements over time. I guess my question here is will Hardiebacker bend for the curves in a ladder type design, say 1x2 with spacer blocks in the middle, or should I use something else that has more flex to it. Let me know what garden railroaders are using, what works best in the elements. Some say Hardiebacker will bend in soaked in water and when it drys it will retain that bend, is this true.  I hope I've explained this where it makes some sense to what I'm looking for, unfortunately most YouTube videos don't explain what materials the are using and it's hard to tell if it's Hardiebacker, or a treated wood product.   

      trainman

      This post was edited by John Lenheiser at June 25, 2020 12:58 AM EDT
    • June 25, 2020 5:31 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I've got a build log on how I built mine. The supports are PT wood and PVC was used to support the road bed.

      https://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/23559/a-raised-road-bed-a-build-log-for-the-rgs-raised-layout

      The white boards are Trimplank PVC resting on 2x4" PT wood. On top of that is plastic fencing, and window screening to hold the soil. 

      The track work sits on 1x3" PVC on edge. 

      Her's what it looks like when it's done.

       

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • June 25, 2020 6:03 AM EDT
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      Avoid Hardiybacker at all costs, will not hold up long term. invest in PVC like ken Shows above. when I started out I used recycled plastic  made from milk bottles. It was heavy and as time went on the shipping became too expensive, hence the change to PVC.

       

      Al P.

    • June 26, 2020 8:40 AM EDT
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      I'll echo the sentiments about not using Hardi-backer.  As others have correctly, in my opinion, pointed out, PVC and pressure treated lumber will give you the best results.  

      The Brits use what we call roll roofing to cover their framework.  That is after they have laid a "platform" on the framework.  While it does shed water, it won't do so if the layout is level.  It will deteriorate over time if not allowed to drain and dry.  

      Personally, I like the idea presented in the LGB book, "The World Of LGB".  On top of the framework, is laid hardware cloth. It is available in 1/4" and 1/2" mesh sizes and usually 2, 3, 4 foot widths.  On top of that is laid weed blocker.  I wouldn't use the flimsy type, but rather the heavier one that sort of looks like those woven tarps, but allows water to drain through.  Now, on top of the weed-blocker and hardware cloth, shovel your earth and lay your track on crusher fines like you would on a ground level layout.  You'll have the best of both worlds.  A plantable garden railway where bending over to work on it is a thing of the past.

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • June 26, 2020 9:53 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I built a bridge and building foundation out of Hardiboard. The foundation deteriorated (de-laminated) during the first spring it was outside. The bridge lasted a lot longer because it was not in contact with any soil. What ultimately did in the bridge was the tree rats (squirrels) sharpening their teeth on it, and grinding the edges of the bridge deck away. I still have some of that stuff, and since its standing on end, sheltered by my porch roof, its still in great shape. But since I will not use it for anything, it may just stand there silently for.....quite a while.

       

      Go with the advice of the experts. I used some Trex for my bridge abutments and they have lasted for well over a decade. So some kind of plastic is the way to go.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • June 26, 2020 10:59 AM EDT
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      The hardware cloth/weed block is a good way to go, it lets the moisture run through and the wood to dry between wettings. 

      I do not recommend laying your track directly on top of the soil/road bed fill.  If you fill deep enough to support even minimal plant life  1 1/2 to 2 inches

      you will get sag in your hardware cloth.  You should use some  kind of ladder support for the track.

      The only way I have gotton away with laying directly on the HC/WB bottom is with support blocking on 10-12 inch centers and using only about 1/2 inch of 

      gravel as cover.  Even then you get some spring as the loco moves along.

    • June 26, 2020 11:31 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Thanks, you have given plenty of material and where to go to get it, now the fun starts, trainman

    • June 26, 2020 2:02 PM EDT
      • Cypress, Texas
         
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      I used a simular method as Ken did building the Framework out of pressure treated 2x4's for the sub decking with ceder 4x4's posts placed on Paver stones, but instead of using the PVC material for the deck I used International plastic shipping pallets with are 40" x 48" in side and I laid them on top of the wood supports and then put the hardware cloth and wed blocker on top of that before adding the ground cover and track and ballast.  The nice thing about using the pallets is that they wont rot and are UV resistant and they are cheap,  I usually can get used ones for about 5 to 7 dollars each.  I built a 32 foot long run for about $50. including the PT 2x4's and 4x4 posts and the Pallets.  The nice thing about using the pallets as well is that they have pockets built into them that you can put small potted plants should you desire having growing plants on your elevated layout.  if you cant find a a supplier of  used plastic international shipping pallets in your area, you can buy new ones through ULine as $14.00 each but you have to buy 10 for them to ship them to you.

      this is an example of the kind that I use, but mine are black in color :  https://www.ebay.com/i/264732521186?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3Daec3a61869494df58473950c43c2ffe9%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D7%26rkt%3D30%26mehot%3Dnone%26sd%3D193529534227%26itm%3D264732521186%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2386202%26algv%3DDefault

      Dan Stuettgen

      Fn3 Modeler

      Colorado and Rio Grande Southern

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