Ply Or Chipboard

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
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Mountain
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Mountain » Thu May 14, 2020 1:36 pm

Roger (RJ) wrote:I started a loft layout some years ago, about 10 foot by 16 foot total size with a large open area in the middle, sufficient headroom but uninsulated, floored with chipboard in the main operating area. It was dusty and draughty, very cold in winter and absolutely roasting hot in summer. I gave up building the layout before I completed it. It was just too uncomfortable to be in the loft for most of the year.

I now have a small layout in a spare bedroom, still uncompleted (barely started really!!) but i enjoy using it and I'm comfortable.

Edit. Forgot to say my loft layout used ¾ inch chipboard without sufficient framing and it sagged badly after some time, my spare bedroom layout uses 6mm ply with a 2x1" frame at approx 12" spacing and that's easy to get track pins (Peco) into but they do protrude underneath. 9mm ply would be better I think.


I have not purchased Peco track pins for years. When I last purchased a pack, they were very thin wimpy things and most of them bent when they were gently hammered in, so I changed tack and purchased Hornby track pins instead (Todays Hornby track pins are even wider and slightly longer then they were before they moved production to China. I have both types including brass tacks from Gaugemaster? I think Gaugemaster). How ever did you manage to get Peco track pins into plywood!?

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Flashbang
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Flashbang » Thu May 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Peco track pins SL-14 with no underlay i.e sleepers directly on 9mm ply surface, do protrude through if pushed fully down onto the sleeper tops. I have the old scares from scratches and cuts to confirm this fact!! :wink:

I always use the SL-14 Peco pins, but now I've learnt to never push them right in. Instead, I push them in via a pre drilled hole in the sleeper and baseboard by using a pin vice style drill or a Dremel with a 0.8 drill. In fact I've even used a de-headed Peco SL-14 pin itself as a drill bit. When the pin is about 3/4 inserted I bend the top portion over so as it lays along the sleeper top. Test track and once all ok, ballast and glue as usual, then after the glue has dried pull the bent pins out and discard them. No unrealistic nail heads visible then! :D
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Dad-1
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Dad-1 » Thu May 14, 2020 2:45 pm

Flashbang's quite right protruding Peco pin can be savage !! Once had my hand stuck in a narrow gap,
like good barbs they let me in, but wouldn't let go !!
On my very thin ply tops I cut the peco pins with some small hand cutters.
Always drill the sleepers as the plastic is dense enough to make driving through difficult to impossible.
On thicker material I drill to about 80% of pin depth, driving in the remainder with great care. On my
current shunting layout build I used my mini disc cutter to remove any traces of protruding pins.

No way would I use Hornby 'nails', the delicate Peco pin is as much as I want to see, I've often thought
about pulling out after ballasting, but never get around to it.

I'd agree about lofts, too hot and then too cold. Even worse is the narrow drop down ladder, that recently
seems like a mountain for me (78 this month) As a result the layout up there doesn't get the regular use it
once had. This layout was not built for a loft, but used for a while at exhibitions, just 12" wide, but 16 feet
long 'Inside the fence' out and back. Made on conti board which sagged and ended up with a wooden frame
underneath. That was a disaster as the wood, roofing timber, was damp and shrunk giving me two 6 foot
convex lengths. A get out of jail was sawing 3/4 of the way through the warped underframe every 10 to 12
inches, then fixing some hard heavy hockey stick section to hold the relief gaps open. Built in 2008 and
still doing great service when I venture up.

Reading so many of our experiences it's always a learning curve. There is no one perfect answer to meet
everyone's requirement. If there was perhaps we wouldn't have such an interesting and lively web forum ?

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

Bigmet
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Bigmet » Thu May 14, 2020 2:51 pm

Roger (RJ) wrote:... loft layout ... dusty and draughty, very cold in winter and absolutely roasting hot in summer...

That brings it all back! It was the only available place for a layout of any size when I was in my parent's home, and I was impatient for the day that I was allowed unsupervised access. Discomfort was ignored. I could have a good length of run and didn't have to pack it away regularly when we had visitors staying with us.

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Roger (RJ) » Thu May 14, 2020 2:55 pm

Mountain wrote:I have not purchased Peco track pins for years. When I last purchased a pack, they were very thin wimpy things and most of them bent when they were gently hammered in, so I changed tack and purchased Hornby track pins instead (Todays Hornby track pins are even wider and slightly longer then they were before they moved production to China. I have both types including brass tacks from Gaugemaster? I think Gaugemaster). How ever did you manage to get Peco track pins into plywood!?


I push the track pins in with the pliers of my Leatheman multitool, similar to this https://www.multi-tool-store.co.uk/mult ... SBEALw_wcB and like Flashbang, I bend the tops over now to stop too much sticking out under the layout and to make removal much easier.

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Mountain
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Mountain » Thu May 14, 2020 8:17 pm

I understand not wanting the sharp end of those pins pushing through the underside of ones layout. They are like needles!

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Bufferstop
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Bufferstop » Thu May 14, 2020 11:52 pm

I'm another of the bend 'em over school, pressed down hard along the length of the sleeper they are less noticeable than the little domes sitting on the sleeper. Been doing it ever since I moved to ply, Having to drill a pilot hole is no hardship.
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Bigglesof266
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Bigglesof266 » Fri May 15, 2020 3:11 am

Thanks to those who commented on loft locations. Gained a refreshed perspective aptly summed up as seeing the previous viewpoint now being a case of being the grass always looking greener on the other side of the fence.

Jury is still out on location my next layout build. Length restriction notwithstanding the air conditioned spare bedroom is undeniably the otherwise ideal location, perfect if I wanted to run shunting, marshalling or branch line operations. It's OK for DMU, branch line push-pull and even kinda' withstands suspension of disbelief with slow long mineral/coal because of their crawl speed. Just frustrating for compromise stand-off representative length Express rakes even at their scale speeds. Have a couple of months to think about options and push plans around before actioning a decision. Maybe a new shed in the back yard, maybe half the existing internal garage floor space, or maybe the 4th bedroom again.

Thanks for your comments.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Bigglesof266 » Fri May 15, 2020 3:21 am

Pins or...

My first layout, I used track pins. Can't recall now whether they were Peco or Hornby, possibly even a mix. Didn't notice issues but that would have been because I used 12mm chipboard for my baseboard and pre-driled pilot holes (had to the chipboard so hard and dense).

Current layout (6mm high quality ply) I used Woodland Scenics track bed and glue.

Next layout I'll go with the foam and glue route again.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Ply Or Chipboard

Postby Bigglesof266 » Fri May 15, 2020 3:36 am

Bigmet wrote:In a house move some years ago, we lucked into a property that had a 30 x10 ft unobstructed interior space in a brick outbuilding in the rear garden.

Thanks for that comprehensive detailed reply Bigmet. I'm definitely suffering 30ft 'envy'. :lol:

Offered me insight and perspective, leaving me with quite a few ideas and things to think over.

Love my expresses, but I equally enjoy branchline DMU and push-pull pax operations as well as local freight, inc. shed siding shunting about, so I'll have to really consider what I want from my next layout as the latter is better served by my space available unless I alter location. I suppose the tell is that always seem to end up playing more with my Class 4MT, Class 4T, Q1 and M7 push-pull than expresses. They have more play value (engaging activity?) for wont of a better description.

Again my thanks or taking the time and effort to help out. Very much appreciated.


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