00 Baseboard

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
Random
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00 Baseboard

Postby Random » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:16 pm

I recently inherited a collection of 00 trains, coaches, and even a layout. Unfortunately the layout was quite old, and large amounts of it have had to be scrapped :cry:
It was far too large for me to set up anywhere anyway.

I have decided that having a collection of trains and nothing to run them on is a bit of a waste, so I'm building a layout of my own. And straight away, I hit a stumbling block with building a baseboard. So, um, help? The closest I've done to DIY is assembling flatpack furniture.

The layout needs to be relatively small to start with, and apparently 6'x4' is about the bare minimum possible with an oval 00-gauge layout. But even a 6'x4' board would be too large to move about easily, so my plan is to make it as two 3'x4' boards which join together. Does that sound feasible for a beginner?
Reading around, it seems like the recommended building materials are a 1"x2" or 1"x3" wood frame underneath 9mm plywood, with a 1'-2' spacing in the frame. Is this right?
I don't have the tools or bench to cut wood, so I was hoping to figure out what I needed and then use the wood cutting service of the local b&q store. B&q's website doesn't give any information about their wood cutting service at all, though. Anyone know anything about it?

Am I in over my head here?

Should I stop being so cheap and buy a saw and cutting bench, and do it all myself?

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Flashbang
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Flashbang » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:58 pm

Hi
You're certainly on the right lines (no pun!) for the baseboard construction.
9mm ply, especially Marine or WBP quality, should make a good solid baseboard when mounted onto a PSE timber sub frame.

You can buy ready cut sheets of ply in approx 4 x 2 feet size (1220 x 610mm) these can be made up into separate baseboard sections and then joined together to make a larger layout. Note; 4 x 2 feet sheet size once on a supporting framework is reasonably manageable by one person.

B & Q will cut FOC four (I believe?) cuts in a sheet material. So buying a full 8 x 4feet sheet of 9mm ply you could have it cut up into four 2 x 4 or whatever you need for free. I haven't seen them cut PSE timber though, but I guess they would do so for a small fee?
But why not buy a hand saw? A panel saw is probably the best and a cheap one shouldn't cost more than about £3 or £4.
It can be used over and over again too.
Example Panel saw
You will also need a drill ( hand, mains or battery operated) and drill bits to allow you to drill pilot holes in the ply and the sides of the PSE timber to allow wood screws to be inserted to hold the baseboard to the frame and secure the frame pieces together.
A suitable screwdriver would also be required. (or use a screwdriver bit in a drill).
All these basic tools have other uses around the home too from time to time. So money isnt wasted :D

BTW One of these is ideal for ensuring square cut timber Example...Mitre saw

Have a look at this web sites pages which shows basic baseboard construction and much more on the other pages http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Hints%20&%20Tips.htm
Last edited by Flashbang on Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

Random
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Random » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:08 pm

Flashbang wrote:B & Q will cut FOC four (I believe?) cuts in a sheet material. So buying a full 8 x 4feet sheet of 9mm ply you could have it cut up into four 2 x 4 or whatever you need for free.

What does "cut FOC four cuts" mean? A quick search has not enlightened me.
Are you recommending using 2'x4' pieces of ply and building three frames? Compared to the two 3'x4' I was planning.

Flashbang wrote:But why not buy a hand saw? A panel saw is probably the best and a cheap one shouldn't cost more than about £4 or £5. It can be used over and over again too. You will also need a drill ( hand, mains or battery operated) and drill bits to allow you to drill pilot holes in the ply and the sides of the PSE timber to allow wood screws to be inserted to hold the baseboard to the frame and secure the frame pieces together.

I have a screwdriver, and I understood that I would need a drill to make pilot holes, otherwise I would risk splitting the frame.
I was wondering whether cutting with a hand saw with no workbench or clamps or whatnot would end well.

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Flashbang
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Flashbang » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:23 pm

Hi
FOC = Free of charge.

Most timber cuts I seem to make are one off cuts and I rarely get the trusty workmate out for that. Just support the timber and cut on the marked line!! Just be careful.

Its up to you on what size baseboard you make. I personally prefer 2' x 4' feet as it's.... 1) Readily available in this pre cut size. 2) Its easily managed, and 3) Its relatively easy to store too.

But if you can manage 3' x 4' sheets and have the room for storage, then go for that size :D
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Random
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Random » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:55 pm

I'll guess have to lay out how I want the track, to see whether two 3' pieces or three 2' results in fewer breaks in track.

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pete12345
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby pete12345 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:42 pm

You need to avoid having points cross baseboard joints if possible, so it may work out that slightly more rail breaks results in smoother running. I presume you're using something like hornby track or peco setrack? In which case I've found that baseboard joints are easily accomodated by firmly glueing down sections which cross the joint, and passing a hacksaw blade right across the joint. The rails are held rigidly to the sleepers so there shouldn't be any movement. By contrast, aligning rail joints with board joints is much more difficult to get right.
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Random
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Random » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:13 pm

I have a set of track cutters and plenty of new track, both hornby set pieces and peco flexitrack. Which is better to cut for board joins?

I've also got a box full of track that was spare with the old layout I mentioned in the first post, but I'm pretty sure it's only good for scrap. Some of it is falling to bits, and most of it was steel, and so is a tad rusty. Perhaps I should add a disused line somewhere on my layout :roll:

Random
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby Random » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:59 pm

Ok, the baseboard's built :)
I invited a couple of friends round, who knew a little more than me about DIY, and spent a day buying tools and supplies and putting it all together.

We got a 4'x8' sheet of 12mm ply and had B&Q cut it into 3x 4'x2' and a leftover that's about 4'x1'11". If I was reading it right, that was cheaper than buying two 4'x2' boards, let alone three.
Each 4'x2' board has a frame of 44x34mm pine, and each one has one crosspiece in the middle. With the three frames bolted together, it looks a lot like one board.

Strangely enough, it seems pretty good.

Now for the fun bit.

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0121modeller
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Re: 00 Baseboard

Postby 0121modeller » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:52 pm

Random wrote:I've also got a box full of track that was spare with the old layout I mentioned in the first post, but I'm pretty sure it's only good for scrap. Some of it is falling to bits, and most of it was steel, and so is a tad rusty. Perhaps I should add a disused line somewhere on my layout


Most definately keep it !
Great realism for genuine rust effect on dis-used overgrow sidings etc., I've specially gone to swapmeets & trainfairs to buy older steel track nobody wants at a bargain price, i had to leave mine in a tray in the garden for a few months to get them real rusty, after which, using gloves, remove loose & flaking rust, carefully detach some of the plastic sleepers & re-thread concrete sleepers from peco flexitrack.

As for your question of which track is best used at the baseboard joins,.. well i prefer to use the hornby or peco setrack as opposed to flexi, this is because if & when you have to dis-connect adjoining baseboards if you used flexi there is more of a chance of the "exposed rails snagging" on whatever , your clothing or the track being damaged if stood on its end in temporary storage, so, thats another thing i do is make end board protectors that screw or bolt on for any occasion you have to dismantle & store.

Great result :D
Dave
Scratchbuilding 4mm scale JXA scrapwagons ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37620
Scratchbuilt & kit built grappler claw cranes ; - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36342


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