First baseboard - feedback requested

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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AustralisRico
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First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby AustralisRico » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:57 am

So I've decided on where I will be setting up my layout and have come up with an idea for the baseboard. I'm going to do 1.2m long by 500cm wide boards around the room with the ends being wider to allow for a turn around, thus creating a run around.

I've come up with a design for the frame and would like some advice as I haven't touched woodwork since high school (11 years ago) and have never built a baseboard before.
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Currently the plan is to have 2x 1.2m long sides with 480mm cross beams at equal spacing between them. I have the wood for the first test board (wanted to ensure I could make this work before spending too much) and have decided to use brackets to secure the cross beams to the long sides.
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I also grabbed a pair of saw horses for legs which I am thinking would be attached to the middle two cross beams.

Is this a workable design? Will it be strong enough to hold the baseboard and layout on top? Will the brackets assist with support (as I will screw in from the sides after the frame is attached via bracket to add extra support)

I have gone with the saw horses as I will one day need to move and want the boards to be able to have their legs folded up and the boards carried out when required.
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Also one of the reason for the thinner widths to make them easier for transport.

Photos of the wood I purchased (plywood base and 2x4 pine timber for frame if I recall correctly):
Frame:
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Baseboard:
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Hoping for feedback and suggestions :-)

b308
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby b308 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:50 am

From my understanding of what you have said you intend to use those brackets to secure the frame together? If that is so then I'd suggest it's expensive (looking at those prices!) and unnecessary.

If you make the frame properly, using a crossbeam eveyr 12" or so and glue and screw it together when you fix the ply on top you will find it strong enough without having to use the brackets. Here's the basics:

http://www.martinandrose.com/page6.htm

Forget the reference to sundeala, most of us on here hate the stuff, your ply will be just fine!
Last edited by b308 on Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

b308
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby b308 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:53 am

BTW there is a lot online about baseboards, but for a general overview Peco's "Show you how" booklet explains the basics and different types:

http://www.pecopublications.co.uk/SYH2.html

For those of us who have to take our layouts to exhibitions weight and rigidity are the main considerations, hence many are constructed mainly from ply.

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AustralisRico
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby AustralisRico » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:31 pm

b308 wrote:From my understanding of what you have said you intend to use those brackets to secure the frame together? If that is so then I'd suggest it's expensive (looking at those prices!) and unnecessary.

If you make the frame properly, using a crossbeam eveyr 12" or so and glue and screw it together when you fix the ply on top you will find it strong enough without having to use the brackets. Here's the basics:

http://www.martinandrose.com/page6.htm

Forget the reference to sundeala, most of us on here hate the stuff, your ply will be just fine!

What about using the braces for the 2 beams where the fold out legs are attached? To give extra strength where the weight of the board will be focused on? I was thinking of putting them in the 2 middle beams so the middle doesn't bend and give space for the legs of each board which will be going end to end.

b308
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby b308 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:55 pm

I've never seen any boards with such bracing as those you show. As I said, if you glue/screw the frame they are not needed.

The trouble with baseboards is that everyone has their own methods, hence I referred you to that booklet. Before you start I'd suggest you look around and see how others have done it and choose which you think is best for you. If you look down the "baseboard design and construction" part of this forum (where you posted this thread) you will find lots of inspiration and tips.

Tim posted this a while ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERJpUKDXwW8

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Bufferstop
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:11 pm

2x4 is far heavier than needed for the framework, it will make the boards far heavier to handle for little extra strength, and if you are unlucky with the timber it may warp and introduce unwanted bending. I made my boards from 6mm ply, cutting the top and sides 1200mm long from a 1200X2400 sheet. The ends which were to be joined together I cut from 12mm thick ply to take coach bolts and alignment dowels.All joints were strengthened with 25mm square softwood strips glued and screwed. Crossmembers every 300mm were drilled with three 75mm holes for wiring. My test for rigidity is to place a 5kilo weight at the centre and try to lift it by one corner, If it doesn't flex it passes. Some people go further with the weight reduction, making the long beams from two layers of 3mm ply pinned and glued to 25mm spacers. Testiment to the strength of these is, identical beams in six foot lengths are used as crush barriers at exhibitions.
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Emettman
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby Emettman » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:25 pm

I will echo that for boards not intended for frequent movement, you are overengineering..

Better that side than the opposite for a first build, but you would be putting in more money and effort than is necessary.
Good ideas have already been given.

One trick: make all the ends of the boards first, in pairs, It's far easier to get good alignment that way
Clamp together a pair and drill through both (twice) on one go, and insert pattern - maker's dowels.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-x-Model-Railway-Train-Set-Baseboard-Alignment-Dowel-Pins-Cabinet-Makers-/291163481317?hash=item43cab224e5:g:IcUAAOxyYI9RxgOa for example.
(alternate boards should have all "out" or all "in" pins...)

Drill extra hole for loose-fit bolt and washers.

This way each pair of ends will align, and if each bare frame is trued up in situ against one already made and in place a good fit to the room is assured.

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

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AustralisRico
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Re: First baseboard - feedback requested

Postby AustralisRico » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:00 am

Thanks for the feedback everyone, have noted it all and will be testing with the suggested wood etc :-)


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