Base board wood question

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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alex3410
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Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:51 pm

Hi guys,

Quick question on what wood I can use on my baseboards - I normally get 22 x 47mm x 2.4m but in the interests of saving money and weight I wondered if I could use 19 x 38mm x 2.4m


The baseboards are going to be 4M x 0.9M at the most and built via the open frame / L girder method.

Any thoughts appreciated

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Bufferstop
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:02 pm

It's a bit light, my preference is to go for thinner and deeper, but it might be useful for the secondary bits in an open frame construction.
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alex3410
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:27 am

I will have to have a look at my local Homebase store to see what they have - i had planned on ordering it from Wicks as they said they do next day delivery, turns out its only next day if you order it the day before they deliver to your area otherwise you need to wait another week :roll:

The silver lining is i will get to select the wood myself, but the stores small so limited selection. I also need to fit it in the car so that should be fun :lol:


Next question (of many more knowing me :lol: ) whats the limit to spans in terms of leg support? I want to try and maximise access under the boards to get to 'wings' of the loft but at the same time want sufficient support. The longest side is going to be ~4M (13 ft)

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Mountain
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby Mountain » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:36 pm

It almost sounds as if you want to make your board to fly? :D I'd go easy here. It depends how strong the legs are and how strong the frame is. I'd look at an absolute maximum of 6 ft?
My last layout had no legs at all and was fixed to the wall by screws and four professionally made wooden angled brackets. My dad was a carpenter and the brackets? Well, years later after I'd dismantled the board and they had seen the dampness of a leaky barn, I came to try to break them up for firewood. Do you think I could break the joints? I had to cut them leaving the joints intact.

If the board has portability in mind then you can get away with a lighter approach but be careful not to overdo it. It is better to cut holes in the frame in strategic locations (As to avoid causing a weak spot) then to go too thin with materials. Of corse, a clever design can overcome this, which is something my grandad used to take great delight in achieveing!

I've seen articles of baseboards made from quite a few different lightweight materials. Personally I dont like the idea of a polysteirene baseboard etc! I'd rather have a little extra weight knowing it will still be in one piece. The plastic sheets used for conservatory roofs seemed a more plauseable material, but if one has to build a wooden frame to support it, one is only a step away from using wood as a top surface, and wood in general is much better at holding track pins etc.

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alex3410
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:58 pm

I have seen a lot of people on YouTube screw them into the loft joists etc :shock: but I think I will stick to support legs

6ft would be OK, it means I can have a support in the middle of the stretch and one at each end, i don't want it to be portable but being in the loft i also don't want to have it any heavier then it needs to be.

All of the track bed it going to be MDF or similar, i can then use polysteirene for the scenic sections giving me much more freedom with it.


Thinking about it - would it be possible to drill into the breeze blocks each end of the loft to provide support for the ends?

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dynax
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby dynax » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:44 pm

instead of using timber, why not use 12mm ply for the framework, that's what i have used, and if you are going to b&q anyway get them to cut it into 3" strips, although mine are 4" but i cut mine myself and just got the sheets cut in half to fit in the car,

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alex3410
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:55 pm

The honest reason is I have always used timber & am comfortable that I know what I am doing with it (well mostly :lol: )

The other reasons are the local store does not have it (small sheets of thin MDF only) and they dont have a cutting service - its a small store. I also will have a fair bit from the old layout to reuse which should keep the costs down.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:06 pm

Alex if the access to the unused bits of your loft is going to be under the baseboards, look to tying them down as well as supporting them. The number of times I have bashed my back or shoulders against the bottom of the baseboards (usually on the edges) makes me glad the supports were screwed down to the floor.
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Mountain
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby Mountain » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:27 pm

Also, if using MDF, if you have to cut or work on it, do any work outside and not in a confined space as the tiny fibres are very small and can cause similar breathing difficulties associated with aspestos. Carpenters know all about the dangers of MDF and aspestos etc.

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alex3410
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:40 pm

That’s a good idea about screwing then down, I handent thought of it! Knowing me I’ll knock them a fair bit :lol:

Good tip re the MDF as well, there is not really enough room to cut up the sheets in the loft anyway but well worth remembering

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alex3410
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby alex3410 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:53 pm

Turns out local store has no useable wood - the stuff i had found via their website was so warped and full of knots when i looked at it in store that its useless :twisted:

There is a building supplier nearby I will try tomorrow it's just expensive and not open at useful times (essentially i can only get there until midday Saturday vs homebase all day Sat, till 4 sun and after work until 8 )

On better news, I thought I had 4 adjustable feet but on digging through my junk box i have found 24 :shock: which should be more than enough :lol:

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Bufferstop
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:25 pm

You have to watch out for deceptive bundling as well. It might look all straight and true till you cut through the wrappings then the twists and bends reappear. It was the poor quality of cut timber that converted me to ply. 6mm thick 100mm deep well screwed and glued with reinforcing blocks along the joins is amazingly strong. If you can work accurately enough and incorporate backscene and a deep front facia you can build four foot long modules from 4mm. I don't have the patience, at three score years and fourteen I don't have time to spend on the fancy stuff.
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dynax
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Re: Base board wood question

Postby dynax » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:33 am

that's why i suggested the plywood route, timber is unreliable in small sections, there is too much fast grown, fast drying timber which reduces the quality, even with poor quality ply it will remain stable once fixed in position,


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