Josh Clark

How to Lay HO-Scale Track

Josh Clark
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Duration:   8  mins

In this video, modeler Josh Clark will demonstrate how to install model railroad trackwork. As discussed in another of Josh’s Model Railroad Academy videos, sturdy benchwork will be a good foundation for the track and roadbed. To install the roadbed, Josh uses cork. For the HO-scale track, he will use code 83 and code 70 track, though the track is really up to you. To begin laying down the roadbed, Josh collects wood glue, a ruler, a Sharpie, thumbtacks, an X-Acto knife to cut the cork, a file to file down the cork, and of course, the cork. The cork he uses is by Midwest Products; finding that cork is easy to use and it looks great. These particular pieces of cork roadbed come in strips with a groove through the middle of one side. Josh slides the X-Acto knife down that groove to cut it down the middle. He then sands down the edges with the file.

Laying this cork down for straight track is easy, while switches are a bit more difficult. The outside piece is curved to the outside of the track and the other piece continues straight, creating a V-shaped split. He glues this down with some of the wood glue and holds it down to dry with the thumbtacks. To fill the center of the switch, he takes another piece of cork and eyeballs and scores with the X-Acto knife to cut it at an angle. He goes on to demonstrate how he lays track and lists the materials needed to do so. For more track-related videos, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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