Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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End2end
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Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby End2end » Sat May 27, 2017 12:52 pm

I have been thinking this afternoon about the other 3 basboards I will need for my layout and wanted to ask, what is the best way to join baseboards together? They will need to be detachable if I ever move it but strong enough to be semi-permanent.
I've seen locating dowels and the like on ebay but I am really not sure which direction to take, how you use them and what exactly I'll need.
Has anyone made connecting baseboard? How did you do it and what did you use?
Pictures would be extremely helpful.

Also while it's on my mind, what have you used to support say a square of 4 individual baseboards connected together with a gap/hole in the middle of them WITHOUT connectnig the layout to the walls / external structures (roof beams etc)?
Permanent legs or stands? And how many and located where?
Many thanks
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby Ex-Pat » Sat May 27, 2017 2:19 pm

I find pinned butt hinges work quite satisfactorily providing you make them a tight fit. I have 9 boards attached in this manner.

P1060998.JPG
You take a hinge and file/machine off the head of the pin to separate the 2 halves. Discard the existing pin and find a suitable nail with flat head that is longer than the original pin and also of a slightly smaller diameter.
P1060998.JPG (196.79 KiB) Viewed 1223 times


Fix one half hinge to a baseboard so that it reaches the middle of the gap between the 2 boards. Then fit the other half ensuring that it doesn’t line up exactly with the other half when viewed from above and looking down the pinhole. This is to ensure that the new slightly smaller diameter nail will be a tight fit (I always need pliers to remove the nail) and therefore allow no movement between the boards.

P1030230paint.jpg
This is a completed example. You can see the very small purposeful misalignment between the two hinge halves.
P1030230paint.jpg (186.83 KiB) Viewed 1223 times


My 9 boards are supported by wooden legs, varying in number according to the size of the boards. The largest board has 8 legs, the next largest has 6 legs and the remainder have 4. If you flick through my layout thread you will get a better idea - it works for me, and that is what is important!

b308
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby b308 » Sat May 27, 2017 2:31 pm

I have a chap who makes a combined dowel/bolt set up which aligns perfectly but isn't available for general purchase so not much use...

In the past, however, I've used nuts and bolts, the hinge method and toggle catch clamps.


Use a pattern makers dowels to align the boards.


Then use one of the above three to couple them together. Once the boards are aligned correctly the fixing of them together is the same no matter which of the three you use. One thing, though, if it's a wide board (say 3ft) I'd use a nut and bolt in the middle if you use the hinge or toggle.

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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby TimberSurf » Sat May 27, 2017 7:29 pm

Ex-pat covers most of it. A few addendum's. Obviously the best for frequent moves is brass dowels and spring clasps, but a bit labour and cost intensive if you only ever intend 1 or 2 moves for the life of the layout. The simplest is to drill same size holes (tight fit) as the thread of nuts and bolts and simply bolt together each join with 3 or 4 bolts (using washers both sides). You could use dowels to help align, but if M8 used and 8mm hole, there will not be much play (the method I am using). But if you fancy the hinges, ones with removable pins are readily available and cheap.Example
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AlunKimber
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby AlunKimber » Mon May 29, 2017 7:33 am

I am a fan of the brass dowels - as used here.
Cheers
Alun

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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby b308 » Mon May 29, 2017 9:00 am

Pattern Makers dowels as I said earlier! For a layout that is assembled and pulled apart many times such as an exhibition layout then I agree some sort of alignment tool such as dowels is a must. However E2E says it's going to stay together most of the time with just a change of house a possibility so the simple nut and bolt method will suffice. Nuts and bolts are fine but get loose over time if used a lot, as that isn't the case here then they'll be ok...

One thing I would mention, E2E is to be careful with your scenery over the joins. Building a hill which goes over the join will involve some cutting later when you want to move it!!

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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 29, 2017 12:07 pm

It's not too difficult to build across the joins in a way that can later be separated. Lay tracks straight across the joints but put in a copper clad sleeper soldered to the rails either side of the future joint. Lay thin scenic finishes without breaks, put in a pair of matching profile boards and continue the surface straight across. Run any wiring straight across but leave some slack. When the day comes that the boards must be separated, snip the wires and put a numbered tag on the ends of each pair. Cut through the rails with a slitting disc and the scenery with a sharp knife.
Re uniting the boards will then just be a matter of reversing the procedure. The cut through the scenery will only require the application of some glue and scatter. The rails will only require a wire jumper at most, if you took in the possibility of splitting when you wired, it may require nothing. The cut wires can be reunited with choc strip connectors.
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby Emettman » Mon May 29, 2017 5:18 pm

When I needed several boards joining together I made the joins first, clamping two aligned pieces of wood together and drilling through in one go so make holes for pattern-makers dowels. **no precision required** Larger holes for loose-fitting bolts and wingnuts completed the job.

It was much easier building the boards from the prepared ends than trying to align and drill the finished larger, heavier boards

Chris
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 29, 2017 8:52 pm

If you will be using dowels plus bolts and you will be erecting the boards without help use T nuts, threaded tubes welded to a washer with pointed tangs. You'll need a softwood block inside the frame for them to bite into, but they make inserting the bolts a single handed job.
Check them out at http://www.stationroadbaseboards.co.uk/submenu_fasteners.htm I got all of my baseboard hardware from them. There website is quite helpful.
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End2end
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby End2end » Tue May 30, 2017 10:23 am

A lot of information to digest there. Thank you members for all your input. :)
I will get through all your suggestions in the next few days. Not feeling 100% today for some reason? :?
Thanks
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Re: Joining baseboards together.... How do YOU do it?

Postby Mountain » Tue May 30, 2017 5:31 pm

I just used cheap hinges, tapped out the pins and replaced them with wire from goat a goat netting fence. (Like sheep netting but higher). Nails would do the same job if you can find the right thickness.
The rails across the join are first soldered in position using a thick sleeper cut from printed circuit board (PCB is similar to copper clad sleepers), and drilled and pinned in position with pins on either side of the two boards. The carbodium track cutting disc on a minidrill is used (Wear eye protection!) To slowly cut through both the sleepers and rails. Then to finally make sure nothing is to move I dropped a few drips of superglue around the copper sleepers just in case! Also carefully file sharp edges of the rails at the baseboard ends but dont file too much.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.


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