Roadbed for a new American Flyer S guage layout

Hello to all, I am about to commence building an S guage layout with American Flyer rolling stock and AF turnouts, Gargraves flex
track and some old Gilbert track as well. I was planning to make the roadbed from sawcut wood strips covered with sandpaper but I'm asking the group for suggestions on any commercial roadbed products that may work well for my 'sort of' scale Tinplate railroad. This is a project I'll be sharing with my 11 year old son, so I'd be looking for easy to use over realistic appearance. And I'd rather not spend the dollars for Gilbert rubber roadbed. Thanks in advance all.
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hop56 wrote:

Do _not_ use sandpaper. It may look OK, but the sand in sandpaper is hard abrasive grit (only diamond is harder), and even minute amounts of it sucked into the engine gears or wheel bearings etc will cause grief.
Just go with cork ballast strip on the wood roadbed. Use the HO "cork roadbed", and lay three strips side by side instead of two. That should be wide enough. You'll need to cut and fit extra pieces at track switches. Glue the cork in place with latex (water-based) contact cement, applied in dabs every 6 inches or so. Let the cement partly dry, but not to the point of instnat grab. You'll need pins to hold the cork until the cement has set. Use small nails to hold the track in place, but do not drive them home -- let the track "float" a little. Since all you need to do is prevent the track from shifting sideways, 1/2" finishing nails will be adequate.
HO cork ballast roadbed runs around $1 to $1.50 a yard.
HTH&HF
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