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6.0 Installing the Styrofoam into the Module Frame
If we've cut the styrofoam properly, we've got a sheet of styrofoam that should be at least a snug fit into the module frame or a "compression fit".  A compression fit will require a bit of persuasion for the styrofoam to fit into the module frame.  Start at the end that will fit snugly into the module frame, and press the styrofoam into the frame. 
If you encounter areas where the styrofoam binds against the side of the frame, carefully slice a small sliver off the styrofoam using a long-bladed utility knife or a hacksaw blade.  The idea is to use the "salami" or the "trial and error" approach in fitting the styrofoam.  Don't be in any hurry!  Patience is the operative word. 
If there's a large gap between the styrofoam and the module frame, slice a small sliver off the scrap styrofoam and press the scrap into the gap from the top.  The idea is to provide a surface that the glue can stick to. 
Our glueing can get a little messy - if we don't take some precautions.  We need to make sure the glue won't seep through between the module frame and the styrofoam.  Here's a little trick to reduce that mess.  Simply tape a ribbon of scotch tape all around the top edge of the module between the module frame and the styrofoam (we're going to glue from the bottom side).  If any glue seeps through, our scotch tape will hold it in place until the glue dries, without creating a mess. 
Make sure the styrofoam is flush with both ends and both sides of the top of the module.  If the styrofoam dips below the surface of the module, push the styrofoam out.  The styrofoam can be held out with a couple of scrap pieces of wood clamped to the side of the module frame as shown in the photo below. 
Now that we've got the styrofoam snugly fitted into the module frame and the edges of the module frame and styrofoam sealed, the next part is still going to require patience, however, the results will produce a super-strong module. 
6.1 Gluing the Styrofoam to the Module Frame
  • Make sure the styrofoam is flush with the top of the module frame. 
  • Turn the module over so that you are looking at the bottom of the frame. 
  • Place a cardboard box under one side of the frame so that the side is eleveated at least 12 inches. 
  • Squeeze a thick bead of wood glue along the length of the other edge so that it soaks into the edge of the styrofoam and the module frame. 
  • Every 15 minutes or so, check the underside (the top) of the module to see if any glue has seeped through the edges of the scotch tape and the styrofoam. 
  • Wipe any of this glue off with a wet cloth. If we were careful with our scotchtape, we shouldn't have any mess. 
  • Leave the module in place for at least 24 hours until the glue has thoroughly set. 

In turn, repeat the above glueing process for the other side, the end cross-members, and the middle cross member.   You may be tempted to rush the process.  Don't try and glue the other sides of the module until the glue on each side has thoroughly set. 
In the photo above, you can see the techniques we use to glue the styrofoam.  We're looking at the bottom of the module frame.  The other side of the module frame has been highly elevated.  A couple of scrap pieces of wood are clamped to the side of the module frame to keep the styrofoam flush with the top surface.  We're filling in a few places where the glue seeped into the gap between the module frame and the styrofoam.  Once this glue has dried, we'll remove the clamps and wood scraps, then apply a second thick bead of glue. 
While this first coat of wood glue has fastened the styrofoam to the module frame, we need to make sure it's securely fastened to the frame. 


6.2 Making Sure the Styrofoam is Securely Glued
As before, 
  • Elevate one side of the module with a cardboard box so that one side of the module is about 12" in the air. 
  • Squeeze a thick bead of wood glue along the length of the other edge so that it forms a rounded edge between the styrofoam and the module frame. 
  • Every 15 minutes or so, check the underside (the top) of the module to see if any glue has seeped through the edge of the styrofoam. 
  • Wipe any of this glue off with a wet cloth. 
  • Leave the module in place for at least 24 hours until the glue has thoroughly set. 
  • In turn, repeat the above process for the other side, the end cross-members, and the middle cross member. 
  • You may be tempted to rush the process.  Don't try and glue the other sides of the module until the glue on each side has thoroughly set. 

7.0 Celebrate!!!!!
We now have a completed module that is light and portable, yet strong enough to hold our trackwork, scenery, and electrical wires.  Doesn't this look really professional! 
Pour yourself a glass of wine (or your favourite brew), and admire your handiwork.  Think about the trackwork you'd like to put on this module.  Or, how about building another matching module!  After all, once you've done the first one, the rest is easy!


If you've built your second module, click on Next and we'll show you how to make some carry-plates to help you transport those modules.  
While you're still here, why don't you visit the rest of our website?