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I haven’t noticed the irregularity of Homasote thickness, although it has been a while since I purchased new. Maybe it is a problem if you use flex track, but I hand lay my track and I don’t normally sand the Homasote. I sand the ties after they are glued in place since ties aren’t that perfect either. A very long time ago (1971 maybe?) I used flex track on Homasote and I didn’t notice any unevenness then, either. The only time I sand Homasote is when I am smoothing a joint or repair.
I tried this years ago, but was very disappointed by the slow cutting action compared to regular saw blades. I eventually opted for the mess and pulled my shop vac around with me where ever I could. Then there's the big problem of variable thickness. It can't be ignored unless you are deliberately after backwoods logging quality roadbed. To counter the thickness problem, I developed alot of really large sanding blocks and got the vacuum out again. It was very hard work and I found it virtually impossible to sand that stuff down to an acceptable uniform thickness in a single lifetime.. The next time I got the bug to build a layout, I invested in homabed's pre milled and sloped cut pieces. That allowed pretty nice track work with flex track with only a little sanding here and there. Note that I don't know what large sheets of homosote are like to work with now. My experiences with the lumber yard variety took place in the 80's and 90's. There may have been some manufacturing improvements since then. Hopefully.
From: burrst54 <burr.stewart@...
Sent: Mon, Apr 27, 2020 2:22 pm
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Roadbed Material Question
If you end up using Homasote, look for a "knife edge" blade for your handheld jigsaw, which seriously cuts down on dust when cutting.