Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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Artisan
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Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:09 pm

With regards to baseboards, does anyone have any comments on the use of white melamine Contiboard?
Best regards,
Greg

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:52 pm

I have used it - Mavisbank is built on top of an old Contiboard shelf, see here https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=33932&start=90#p545863.
it is as good as chipboard but I would not go out and buy one as it is dearer than ply, I just happened to have this lying about. Usual requirements of having a strong frame underneath but in addition PVA does not adhere to it, so if you are planning to stick track, cork, etc then you have to give it a sandpaper to create a key.

Jim
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Artisan
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Hello Jim. Thank you for your reply. Okay, Contiboard is off the shopping list then! :D What is your opinion of 18mm MDF which my carpenter joiner neighbour has just suggested?
Best regards,
Greg

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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:16 pm

MDF is like chipboard, OK when completely dry. 18mm MDF is quite heavy though, I would go for 12mm chipboard (cheap) or Ply (generally thought to be the best).

Jim
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Artisan
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Artisan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:22 pm

Hello Jim. Thank you for your reply. Okay, MDF is also now off the shopping list! 12mm ply it is then!
Best regards,
Greg

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Mountain
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:25 pm

I'm using MDF on my portable layout. If cutting MDF make sure you have well ventilated conditions. Wear a mask if cutting indoors.
It looks a decent material. A little heavy, but it does its job well so far.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 pm

Hi Greg, I reckon 12mm plywood is OTT, 6mm supported at 300mm spacing is more than adequate at least for 00 and smaller. The most important dimension is the depth of the side rails and cross pieces. What you are trying to construct is a bridge deck, as light as possible and as rigid as possible. It's best if you can get the sheets cut before delivery, so as well as the top you need two long sides 100mm deep and as many crosspieces as you can get out of the sheet. It's worth paying for extra cuts if they do so many for free. Cut up some stripwood About 15mm square into short lengths then use the blocks to reinforce the joins between pieces, glue and pin along all edges then try to clamp it all together while the glue sets. I use an old "Work Mate" as a giant clamp, but a flat surface and plenty of weights will work. It pays to cut 50mm holes through the crosspieces to reduce the weight and provide a route for wires.
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Hi artisan,

First I'm going to throw a question.
How large a layout are you planning ?
This can dictate the best thickness of material to use.
Then again the number and spacing of underboard supports follow your planned size.

I have used 4 & 6 mm ply, Melamine covered Contiboard, and 12 mm chipboard. They can all work to varying degrees.

Thick board, be it Contiboard, or the unskinned Chipboard give problems regarding the fitting of underboard point motors.
My layouts using that material have Peco above board point motors. After 10 years my ballast is beginning to lift slightly on
the Melamine covered shelving that was used. O.K for a static layout, not good for one that has to be moved !

The thinner the ply used will require more support, this can be provided by say 75 mm deep ply supports on boards of probably
under 600 mm wide. Planning needed so any point motors don't foul your supports. In this hobby everything can have it's
alternatives, some better than others.

Geoff T.
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viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Roger (RJ) » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:31 pm

IMHO 6mm is too thin for track pins, they can stick out underneath and under board point motors may need a plywood doubler glued on between the motor and baseboard to get fixing screws to bite. My baseboard is 6mm so I have experienced this myself.

9mm much better, a bit heavier than 6mm, obviously but maybe best for a layout that has to be moved about occasionally.

12mm is perhaps the best for a fixed layout, or maybe an exhibition layout, though some would say you need a heavier baseboard for an exhibition layout that needs to be strong enough to withstand regular packing and unpacking.
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi again Artisan,

Roger (RJ) is dead right about the damage underboard pins can do to your hands.
I now cut my track pins with some small end cutters. Don't try just bending, been
there and done that and it can be just as savage on a sliding hand.

As I said size is important, here you see a lightweight exhibition board, but only
50" x 18", in 3/16 ply that comes out just under 5.0 mm. With a supporting framework
from strips of the same material - leaving occasional holes under the top to take
wiring runs.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=50741&start=30#p628261

Hope that adds to your ideas list !

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:39 am

I have seen layouts constructed using that OSB (wood flakes) which is normally used as shuttering for concrete works.

OK if you want to build on the equivalent of a roughly ploughed field I suppose.

I avoid anything that behaves like Weetabix went wetted, so its the stability of plywood for me every time.

If using software for frames choose your wood well as it can warp as it adjusts to your train room conditions.

Rob
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Artisan
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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby Artisan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:05 am

Thank you all for your comments and advice.

Geoff - In answer to your question. The layout I would like to start with as a beginner is an end to end on a board measuring 4ft x 18 inches.

Rob - I particularly liked your comments about using OSB board. :lol:
Best regards,
Greg

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Re: Using Contiboard For A Baseboard?

Postby b308 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:45 am

RAFHAAA96 wrote:I avoid anything that behaves like Weetabix went wetted, so its the stability of plywood for me every time.


Agreed...

With regard to track pins I live with it and fold them over which reduces any scratches you may get. But to be honest how many times do you go under the board, if you've done your planning right and soldered the joints properly then you'll not go under very often, if at all. You could also use shorter pins or, if you ballast the track with PVA/granite chippings you can remove the pins after the glue is set.

One other thing, if it's designed to be taken to exhibitions weight is a major consideration and of all commonly used woods ply is the wood of choice for the majority of layouts.


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