Best materials

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:39 pm

Best materials

Postby rosschris10 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:47 pm

Hi all now Xmas is over time to start my layout in the spare room. I am thinking of building my base boards in sections round the room so would be 8 sections at 1200x600

What's the best timber to use in the gram is it 2x1 and what's best sheet material. Also how far apart should I use spacers underneath for support

User avatar
Posts: 827
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: Best materials

Postby pete12345 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:01 pm

Good choice to go around the walls rather than plonk a table in the middle of the room- much more usable space this way round.

The basic 2x1 frame with a sheet material top surface works well enough for most situations. Some materials such as chipboard are more self-supporting than others, so you can get away with a wider spacing of supports. 9mm plywood is probably the best material to use for the top surface, though I've also used 12mm MDF. I'd use a frame pattern based on a 400x300 grid:
frame plan.jpg
frame plan.jpg (11.55 KiB) Viewed 2463 times

This type of baseboard doesn't easily allow construction much below ground level. For shallow excavations such as a stream, you can sometimes arrange to cut out a section of the top surface and fix another piece underneath. For something like an embankment or bridge over a low-level road/urban area, an option is to lower the whole section of board, and build up from there to track level.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

User avatar
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Isle of Ballybongle

Re: Best materials

Postby GeraldH » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:53 pm

I'd go with ply for the top rather than MDF. MDF is not as strong, not great with trackpins and I don't think the dust is particularly healthy.
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: ... hp?t=28854

Posts: 4848
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: Best materials

Postby b308 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:05 pm

Chris, can I suggest that you do a search on this section of the Forum otherwise we'll end up repeating the same old argument about what is the best surface material! It has been discussed at great length in the past and the general conclusion is that everyone has their own favourite and no-one can agree! ;)


User avatar
Posts: 546
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Location: Dereham, Norfolk, UK

Re: Best materials

Postby RAF96 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:59 pm

And that's without getting into what is the best layout height.
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry

Return to “Baseboard Design and Construction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest