Re:Has Anyone Else Tried MDF?
I'm not sure we're talking about the same stuff. I know of OSB, which is a man-made material using wood chips and resin, and particle board is sawdust and resin. MDF, as it's name implies, is fibers (paper). I found it very easy to cut and shape. Like the other products, it doesn't like water, so I paint all modules to seal them.
As to the weight, I just completed 5 new N-track modules. Two corners and a straight using 1/2" plywood with traditional construction. The two I built with MDF are just slightly heavier. You'd have to weight them to really tell a difference. The material is heaver, however, but because of it's flatness, lack of "tweaking", and strength, you don't need any underside bracing like you do with plywood or other products, so the finished module is not really heavier.
Call me traditional, but I believe in building things to last. Our N-track modules get carted off to several shows a year. We also have tried several forms of lightweight construction, but we have also experienced modules being droped, bounced around in the back of a trailer, and other mishaps. Some lightweight construction techniques won't hold up to abuse as well.
One thing I was told about the foam construction. It is not fire resistant, and not only will catch fire, but give off toxic fumes in the process. Has anybody else heard about this, or is this just rumor?
Remember: An engine and four cars is a toy train, Four engines pulling a hundred cars is a model railroad! MOPAC 1 - Director of the Western Kansas Division, Mid-Continent Region, of the National Model Railroad Association, also the Vice-President, Boot Hill Model Railroad Club