Any good for a small baseboard?

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
Huggy
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Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Huggy » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:50 pm

Pondering on how to get a suitable small baseboard without too much cutting and waste, I came across the following:
Wickes Non Structural Hardwood Plywood 5.5x606x1220mm
At about £8 a sheet, and pretty much the overall size I've got in mind I thought that might be worth considering, suitably braced of course (50 x 25mm prepared timber, egg-box style?). Anyone else used this?

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Emettman
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Emettman » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:50 pm

I've used in the past singe pieces of foil-surfaced 50 mm (2)" urethene foamboard for baseboards up to 4ft long, with no problem.
This time it proved cheaper to get an excessive quantty of 1" board and I will be using two thickness of that, which will produce something eve more rigid but almost as light.
From this batch delivery I have picked up an 8x4 sheet of the 1" board at one end and waved it around and was surprised at the rigidity.

I'm now pretty confident I could build an 8 x 4 board that was light, strong and rigid from two 8x4 sheets of this stuff (with a little bit of easy cutting).
That leaving just the sheer bulky presence of the thing and the design limitations of such a shape, which means I won't be doing that.
(Anyway, apart from the baseboard, how much does a model railway weigh?)

But I digress. I have used foil foamboard and I like it. It can be carved into, and if any raised landscape is made of the same thing that becomes extra girder strength to the board.

Why not visit the you local Jewson or similar to see what is available?

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

Huggy
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Huggy » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:29 pm

Thanks for that Chris, will put that idea in the mix. How do you fix your track on this stuff?

JasonBz
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby JasonBz » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:52 pm

with a non solvent based glue.

Wickes's non structural ply is pretty ok in the smaller sheets
If I was doing a baseboard from it Id use 69mm x 19mm softwood to frame it with

b308
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby b308 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:59 pm

I'd stick to conventional baseboard construction for your first board, Huggy. I have never used that wood but can't see why it shouldn't work, it's quite thick so I'd agree the bracing doesn't need to be all that thick on a small board.

Ex-Pat
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:55 pm

b308 wrote:I'd stick to conventional baseboard construction for your first board, Huggy. I have never used that wood but can't see why it shouldn't work, it's quite thick so I'd agree the bracing doesn't need to be all that thick on a small board.


I'm reading 5.5 mm thick in the opening post - didn't think that was particularly thick - makes my 3.6 mm plywood look "thicker" than I thought!

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Emettman
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Emettman » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:35 pm

Huggy wrote:Thanks for that Chris, will put that idea in the mix. How do you fix your track on this stuff?


Spray glue. I have used thin cork as the roadbed material, but I have no large metal locos and I'm trying "funky foam" 2mm eva instead. It is very sound absorbing.
The foam can have things prodded into it easily enough, if the foil is pierced first, but they will need gluing in place. There is no real "grip" for pins etc.

The one thing I wouldn't ask this sort of board to do is to be strong enough to take the possible torque of a leg directly attached. I'd be looking at some plywood strengthening for that, but many small layouts don't need their own legs.

Yes, be it noted I do look at non-standard ways to do things a bit more than most people.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Bufferstop
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:03 pm

If you are planning on a board which has to be portable the main requirements are that it shouldn't flex, it's light enough to carry, and is small enough to pass through doorways. When I've tried less conventional materials like rigid insulation board, foamboard etc. my test has been to lay it flat, weight it with an approximation of its final load and then raise it at one corner. What I am looking for is no flexing of more than about 1mm. Any more than this is likely to pull rails out of their fixings. 50mm thick foam insulation with 100mm deep sides made from 3.5mm ply glued on and 100mm x 6mm ends where joining to another board is fine up to 4ft/1200mm length. Alternately, if your woodworking skill is up to it make the whole thing from 4mm ply top sides and cross braces with 6mm ends. I've always found that the larger and heavier an object is, the more likely it is to suffer damage when being moved.
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Huggy
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Huggy » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:03 am

Marvellous! Thanks gents, all useful stuff. It's unlikely that said layout will leave the house (indeed it will be in my attic room "office" with attendant narrow twisty stairs...) so will go for the ply top option I think, particularly as the Wickes boards are almost exactly the overall size I had in mind. I daresay some foam will have it's uses though...

Huggy
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Re: Any good for a small baseboard?

Postby Huggy » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:46 pm

Following the useful suggestions on here, I've now made not one but two baseboards! The one for the main layout project I constructed with the 1220 x 606 5.5mm ply board as discussed, and has turned out quite nicely - layout planning now in progress in 9mm track for 009. The second one was done because I thought with my "rookie" status in railway modelling being what it is, some practice would be good alongside getting started on the bigger layout, so I can try my hand at track laying and ballasting, scenery etc and get something done fairly quickly, and afterwards use as a mini test track. It will be just 750mm or so of track including a run-round loop and loco release. If all goes well, a picture herewith. This was made from an offcut of 9mm ply that was kicking around the shed, not perfectly flat, but adequate for purpose when I put the battens on it.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-azc4Dp_rJbc/Vm1ZcidtTzI/AAAAAAAAAg8/rFQ6gUyk2EI/s640-Ic42/DSCF1242.JPG


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