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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
For anyone who missed it, be sure to read Gary Woolard's article about visiting my layout at the West Coast Regional Meet.

After taking a break (sort of) after the meet, I've started working on the railroad again. I had some concrete in my garage waiting to start some more roadbed which I didn't get to before the event. The technique I use is to trowel out dry concrete mix to form the roadbed right on the dirt--no forms necessary. I try to put in rebar, if I have some, but I'm not consistent about this. I use levels and really work with the dry mix until I'm happy with it. Because it's dry there's no rush to finish. In dry weather I've even been known to work on a long stretch of roadbed over a few days. Then I lightly wet it with a garden sprayer and step away for a bit. When I come back the outer part of the concrete will be hard enough to really soak it with a hose. I'll usually soak it again a few more times later to be sure there is no more dry mix. And I'll also be careful to avoid walking on the roadbed for a least a few days.



For anyone interested in this technique, one suggestion I have is to use the concrete mix from Lowe's instead of Home Depot. I have no idea why but it makes a big difference! The Home Depot stuff seems to have more aggregate and it's harder to shape it dry.

Bob Dean (also featured in Gary Woolard's article linked above) showed me this technique and at first I was hesitant, but now I have roadbed up to two years old done this way and it has held up perfectly. There's one section (where I didn't even use rebar) where I didn't lay track right away and pushed many a wheelbarrow load of dirt and rock over the roadbed, without even as much as a hairline crack. (Speaking of which, see the hairline cracks in the roadbed in the foreground? That's stucco on top of wet mix concrete--a combination of techniques I don't recommend but done because I was in a hurry prior to the WCRM.)

Anyway, I only just got started and made it about 10 feet the other day (out of about 40 feet), but it's something. I also realized this area is so tight to work in that I'll probably start on more concrete (stucco) mountains in this area next, before I lay track which I'd be stepping on and dropping stucco on.
 

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Ben.. I agree... They were late getting here and the time was short. They really never had a chance to talk to the guys or really see the layout other that a few short shot. I told them you need to send someone out that has the time to really set down and see what our hobby is. So we keep trying by making the videos for them to see. There was so much animation and detail that was over looked like most Garden R.R.'s are by guest also.

This is why clubs need lots of videos and open houses to get out to the public and keep doing it. That one reason we did a TV slot.
I guess we are starting to fade out.

We need to get it back like when the Erector sets and Chem. set and Elect. trains set use to be nbr one.
 
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