How to secure plywood top

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
paule23
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How to secure plywood top

Postby paule23 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:11 am

I've got some 9mm plywood to form the top of my baseboards, with a19mm x 69mm PSE frame. I've had a good browse around but I can't see any guides on how to secure the top to the frame. I'm thinking glue as much as possible, with a few wood screws? I want to avoid using screws if I can to keep the top 'perfect' but I'm not sure if this really matters once all the scenery is done (some time in 2022.....)

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stuartp
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby stuartp » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:51 am

You need the mechanical strength of screws, even on a small board, and even if you glue it as well. Otherwise the glued joint between the ply and the PSE will fail because every time you lift or move the board , or even lean on it, it will flex slightly. If the screws bother you countersink them and fill the holes.
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

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alex3410
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby alex3410 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:10 am

As said countersink the screws, you won't even notice them

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lozstlouis
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby lozstlouis » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:35 am

A dab of wood filler, sanded flush & they'll vanish. If you want to go that far!
OO in the loft. Lenz 90 making it go.

paule23
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby paule23 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:11 am

Screws it is then. Let's me use my new drill driver more! If you've not got one they're brilliant.

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NakatsuHime
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby NakatsuHime » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:38 am

My entire frame and baseboard uses screws for fixing, in case I need to disassemble it at a later date.

b308
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby b308 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:54 am

All mine have been PVA glue and panel pins and none have come apart yet!

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Dave
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby Dave » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:14 am

stuartp wrote:You need the mechanical strength of screws, even on a small board, and even if you glue it as well.

I am sorry but that is just wrong...

There is not one single screw in this construction:

Image

Note the square of wood between the horizontal and vertical ply on the X, this is what you need to do to attach the top to the sides. I have used this method on boards as big as 5'6" x 2' and nothing has ever come apart.

b308
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby b308 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:41 am

NakatsuHime wrote:My entire frame and baseboard uses screws for fixing, in case I need to disassemble it at a later date.


That's fine for a permanent layout but if you have a portable one screws alone will not make it ridged enough but as soon as you glue it you will not be able to dismantle it! I've yet to reuse an old baseboard successfully on a new layout, especially if it's slightly different to the old one. Mind you most of mine tend to be open plan so don't have a solid board as I am not a member of the Flat Earth Society of Railway Modellers!! ;)

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NakatsuHime
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby NakatsuHime » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:53 am

b308 wrote:
NakatsuHime wrote:My entire frame and baseboard uses screws for fixing, in case I need to disassemble it at a later date.


That's fine for a permanent layout but if you have a portable one screws alone will not make it ridged enough but as soon as you glue it you will not be able to dismantle it! I've yet to reuse an old baseboard successfully on a new layout, especially if it's slightly different to the old one. Mind you most of mine tend to be open plan so don't have a solid board as I am not a member of the Flat Earth Society of Railway Modellers!! ;)


True, and it is permanent, with a nice solid batten along a wall to hold it in place, and very solid legs.
But if I don't make it possible for easier removal, I know damn well that one day - I'll have to.

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stuartp
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Re: How to secure plywood top

Postby stuartp » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:06 pm

Dave, that's a work of art, but Paule23's previous posts suggest he's new to this (am I right ?), and in those circumstances I'd suggest better safe than sorry. I will, however, modify my earlier comment:

Personally, I'd prefer the mechanical strength of screws, even on a small board, and even if you glue it as well. Otherwise the glued joint between the ply and the PSE may fail because every time you lift or move the board , or even lean on it, it will flex slightly. If the screws bother you countersink them and fill the holes.
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/


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