Baseboard material !!

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
AddiePatterson
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Baseboard material !!

Postby AddiePatterson » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:54 pm

Hi Guys

It's the usual question which I'm sure many of you have answered over and over again. I guess l am simply looking for some reassurance.

I intend constructing my new permanent layout within my garage. The layout is a 600mm wide running circle with overall dimensions of 4.5m long by 2.0m wide, with a 0.8m wide central work space/control area. I will be using 63x38mm timbers to form my main structural supports at approx. 1.0mm c/c's with 63x38mm perpendicular continuous runners fixed above at 500mm c/c's (to suit 600mm wide boarding). Hope that makes sense - basically just a large 600mm wide elongated circle.

I am not overly concerned with the structure. My main question is the baseboard material in terms of sag, ease of fixing the pins (l don't intend to glue the track sections) and also drilling etc. The baseboard will be glued and screwed along the outside edges (above the runners) and at each end.

So.......which is best and why? 18mm chipboard, 18mm plywood or 18mm OSB board? I have opted for 18mm thickness for rigidity.

Help me out folks? Your thoughts and pro's/con's of each would be very much appreciated.

I look forward to your comments and many thanks in advance :D

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Mountain
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Mountain » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:48 pm

Not sure what all the strange measurements are as my dad taught me in feet and inches.
However I do know mm. Yes, 18mm seems fine to me in the form of plywood. If you want chipboard, I used to go for an inch thick, but half an inch will do if one braces it well.
Not sure what the OSB board is.
Wood support I used to use 2x1"s (In inches).

Now these measurements are all for a static layout. For a portable layout you need greater care for design and weight reduction. I never really considered weight until recently as I'm now constructing a portable layout. The most thought has gone into the legs as I wanted legs that folded into the main board structures. Now my little layout fits on two boards and will be an oval of track in 7mm scale squashed into 2ft x 7ft or there abouts. Not measured the wood from the supporting framework. It was an import. (Found it washed up on the beach and thought "This will do!") However they seem to be about ½"x2½" lengths.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

Dad-1
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:01 pm

Garages tend to be damp places, at times and of some constructions very damp.
There is little doubt that ply would be your best and probably most expensive option.
A right pain, but I'd suggest giving an overall sealing coat of paint, in fact a yacht
varnish ..... I'm not a fan of the general household acrylic paints of today !!

I've been out in my garage and the thin non insulated roofing material had frost
on the inside, that when melted, gathered on the low corrugations and then dripped
in a few places onto my layout. Mind you it's been like that for about 6 years yet it
keeps running quite reliably - no drips fall onto track may I add

I always drill pin locations - Believe me Peco pins are likely to fold up if you try to drive
through undrilled sleepers. Hornby 'Nails' are so big they distort sleepers unless a good
pilot hole is made. I use either a 0.5 mm, or slightly finer drill when I've run out of them.
I don't quite drill full depth to allow for a good hold when driven in to full depth. I keep to
Peco track pins.

My view any way. I'm with Mountain, I'm an imperialist so feet and inches are my language.

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

AddiePatterson
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby AddiePatterson » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:47 pm

Thanks for the comments guys.
The garage is a new build with insulated walls and roof so no problem with condensation or heat loss etc.
Would appear that Plywood seems to be the material of choice. The 18mm is much the same price as 12mm anyway, so I reckon 18mm for the strength.
My current track is all Hornby. I assume the Perco pins can still be used with Hornby track?
Do you recommend pilot drilling every pin fixing?
Cheers

Dad-1
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:32 pm

I do drill for all my track pins.
Hornby track has some large holes in sleepers for their track 'nails'
It's unusual for me to use Hornby track, I use Peco streamline points
with the narrower twin track '6 foot' so it's natural to use Peco flexi.
Not that there's anything 'wrong' with the Hornby track, but the wide
twin track spacings using Hornby points just looks wrong. That wide
spacing is there for a reason - you have to take care with the closer
Peco Streamline in curves as if they are radius 1, or 2, perhaps even
3 it's possible to have coaches on the opposing lines clash.

Your environment sounds better than mine !!

Can I suggest you add droppers to each piece of rail connected to an
under board track power feed bus. If you're running a DC system you'll need
some isolation switches to allow some standing trains, but the basic principal
of as much track as possible having it's own connection is the best way to go.

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

b308
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby b308 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:39 pm

If you are using bracing then 18mm or even 12mm is way OTT...

I'd also shy away from a solid board. Open Top boards are far more flexible and scenery is much more realistic than a solid top board.

With the garage it will be fine if you are not bringing in something damp like a car or a rumble dryer or washing machine, all three of those will cause problems.

If you can get it marine ply is the best, don't get the cheapest stuff around, it's a false economy.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:53 pm

I used 6mm ply for my boards both as a surface and supporting/bracing pieces. A 100mm deep strip of 6mm ply on edge supporting a sheet of similar thickness, screwed and glued with short 25mm square blocks for extra strength forms an extremely rigid T shaped beam. My boards are 1800mm x 600mm x 100mm upturned shallow boxes. An extra thickness of 6mm is glued on to reinforce the area where the joining bolts and dowels are fitted. You don't need anything thicker.
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AddiePatterson
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby AddiePatterson » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:36 am

Folks
Really appreciate the comments and suggestions. You all have bee very helpful. Loads of food for thought.

B308....what do you mean by open top boards?

Thanks again guys.

b308
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby b308 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:46 am

It means that you don't have a solid top to the baseboard frames, instead of buying a sheet of 6x4 or whatever and fixing it to a frame you have the frame and then cut the track bed out, leaving the rest of the board bare. Out in the real world that we are trying to create the ground is never flat (except on some bowling greens!), it goes up and down all over the place. Using a sheet of wood just gives you a flat board but then makes it difficult if you want to make viaducts or embankments as all the scenery is above the track, not below it.

Many of us use variations of open top boards if you look at the layouts section. Don't get me wrong, you can do a fairly realistic layout using the Flat earth method (solid board!) but a layout starts to come to life when the scenery flows above and below the track level like it does in real life...

As a beginner many people stick to solid boards as they are building up from a train set, and for them I think it's a good way of getting started, it also allows you to mess around with the track until you are happy with it, you need to decide on a track layout before starting building your boards with open top. But once you get into it it's worth looking at alternatives... Here's the Google Image search showing piccies of open top baseboards:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=open+ ... QIQw&dpr=1

I got the impression from the OP that you were not just starting out as it's something I wouldn't have suggested for an out and out beginner!

Before:

Image

After:

Image
Last edited by b308 on Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

AlunKimber
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby AlunKimber » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:49 am

I'd agree with bufferstop on 6 mm. I use a kind of monocoque structure - for weight/portability - so maybe not what you're after. But here if you're interested.
Cheers
Alun

AddiePatterson
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby AddiePatterson » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:57 am

Love the 3D aspect of the non-flat top board - looks great. Though think in my early stages I should just run with the flat board to get my feet (walk before I can run !!).

Whilst nosying through the attached link l noticed one of the guys was using a track planner (cut out sections of track which appeared to be paper) to plan the layout. Where do you get these from or is this something that can is home done on CAD?

Regards

b308
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby b308 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:00 am

You need to look for "track templates", Peco do them for their track, which you can print out, or just do it the skinflint way and scan some of your points in the scanner! Personally I've never got on with "computer" track planners so do all mine on paper with a pencil, though i also use home made templates as well!

http://www.peco-uk.com/page.asp?id=pointplans

BTW on my layout the board edges are 9mm and trackbed 6mm like the others!

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Free_at_last
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Free_at_last » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:45 pm

Do not buy any Far Eastern plywood as it is only fit to burn. I recently bought this...
Far Eastern Shitwood..jpg
Far Eastern Shitwood..jpg (61.54 KiB) Viewed 1436 times

It was flat when I got it from the woodyard and was like a ski jump the next day.
Stupidly, I even tried to use it thinking if I screwed it to a frame it would pull it flat. Total waste of time and effort.
I don't think any glue is used in the making of this as the ply has now opened up.
I wasted £40 on two sheets of this F.E. rubbish which have now been replaced by Baltic Birch costing twice as much and is as flat as a pancake.
BB1.jpeg
BB1.jpeg (58.87 KiB) Viewed 1436 times
BB2.jpeg
BB2.jpeg (52.32 KiB) Viewed 1436 times
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Mountain
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby Mountain » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:20 pm

Regarding track. I tend to prefer Peco flexible track code 100 (So I can run old and new models).
Track pins. Peco (Unless they have changed in recent years) are very thin pins so don't expect them to stay straight in harder surfaces. Use the stronger Hornby track pins instead. They are so much stronger to use. (Drill holes in sleepers of point work to accept the pins. The flexible track is different plastic so pins can be tapped through).
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

kebang
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Re: Baseboard material !!

Postby kebang » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:20 am

Whilst nosying through the attached link l noticed one of the guys was using a track planner (cut out sections of track which appeared to be paper) to plan the layout. Where do you get these from or is this something that can is home done on CAD?


The track planner in this case is 'Anyrail', a google search will bring it up. Free download for demo version, which is the full version limited to 50 pieces of track. I used the demo version for years before upgrading to the full version. I know from experience that the print outs are accurate & to scale.

Another track planner is 'SCARM' . This is totally free software. I personally find it less intuitive than any rail and I have no idea if full scale print outs are possible. Hopefully a SCARM user will jump in at this point & correct me


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