Board design to store under the bed?

Discussion of model railway baseboard design and construction
Daveyboy
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Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Daveyboy » Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:48 pm

Hello all

I’m looking to make a rough and ready layout for the kids which is naturally a stepping stone into better things to come - whether that’s for them or me :)

space is as ever at a premium but I’m thinking of storing it under a king size bed when not in use (not a divan - so there’s plenty of height)

6’ x 4’ would fit the bill as it fits nicely under the bed and allows for continuous running. there’s some fab track plans for this beginner size in another thread in this forum. Yes I’m aware this shape/size is far from ideal, but I have to balance this with being a family home!

As the kids will move this, it needs to be light but strong. I took inspiration for a Celotex/kingspan insulation board base from this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_8WzxHrhlI

Anyway onto my questions:
1) I don’t think Celotex (25 or 50mm) will be rigid enough for frequent movement, so Im thinking it needs mounting onto a thin (4mm?) ply base, and with a rigid frame. seems a lot quicker and easier than a conventional board on a frame. Any comments?

2) I’m looking for ideas to allow quick and easy addition/removal of legs to get it off the floor. Conventional screw mounted legs wouldn’t work well with the celotex/thin ply construction and certainly would be a pain to assemble/remove frequently. Anyone used trestles? Something like this
https://www.screwfix.com/p/sawhorse-10-2cm-2-pack/7965p

could I get away with 2 or would that be quite unstable on a 6x4 board and need 4?

Appreciate any feedback

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roganty
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby roganty » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:28 pm

I have to ask - will the baseboard be in one piece?

No matter how light the construction is I can image it would be a pain in the backside to manoeuvre a 6x4 slab out from under the bed.

Have you checked to see if there is a supporting leg in the middle of the bed?

Having the baseboard in sections could give you different configuration options (An end-to-end layout, U-shaped, a 6x4 slab, or arranged with an operating well in the middle)
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Dad-1
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:47 am

Your range of options is extensive, each with their own benefits and limits.
I'll start with the trestles bit first. I have 6 bought many years ago and are so useful. Current use has been
as a bench while I work on a 20 foot long 'O' gauge loop. The earliest use was to support a 16 foot long end
to end layout that did several exhibitions. Visual reference here .

Image

Here you can just see the trestle end on the right. Reflection from a protective screen by public viewing.

Image

One danger anything on the top can slide with side pressure (Kids ?) unless heavy enough to anchor by weight.

I don't know your bed construction and if there are additional legs under the centre that may foul. You say it's
quite high off the ground so simple slide under may work. At our club rooms we have insulation board with a
thin upper ply sheet. This has 3 to 4" skirting around the edge and has proved strong, light and reasonably durable.
Indicating that such a construction can be rough and ready and probably last until either you or the children
demand something better.

Good luck

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Daveyboy
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Daveyboy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:23 pm

Thanks for your replies gents

The easy bit is the bed has no centre leg! So a large board will fit underneath and as I got the mattress up the stairs, I think ply and foam could.

Roganty - fair point about kids manhandling a large board, but my kids are 10 and 12 and I’m thinking with teamwork they could do it. I do like the modular board idea and it would offer more flexibility and certainly ease of movement. But the downside to me would be making kid proof track & electrical connections. As I intend this to be free standing, twice the boards probably means twice the legs to make each module like a mini table. I think that idea works better if it’s sitting on something solid when it’s up and running.

dad1/Geoff - those trestles look good and wide - do you know where they came from?
And I was imagining the ply mounted UNDER the insulation board, with track glued to the foam - but that’s upside down? Please confirm what’s the benefit of ply on top?

Just for info I was looking at copying this imaginative layout
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=48935

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f1_mw
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby f1_mw » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:49 pm

I've just purchased some of those cheapo saw horses for woodworking use - they are surprisingly sturdy and may well save me making any legs for my new project! I would definitely want to include some locating pins to stop the layout sliding around on the top, though.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:03 am

I built a poly foam baseboard as if it was a timber frame, 25mm thick top, 25mm x 75mm side runners and cross braces, glued underneath with "No More Nails", then cocktail sticks driven in at forty-five degrees through the top down into the runners. I put a thin ply overlay on the front, 12mm ply ends to take the joining dowels and a 300mm tall upstand at the back for a backscene. It's the depth that gives the rigidity, flexing whilst handling is deadly for your track, it either pulls it off the board, which is annoying, or pulls the rails out of the sleepers, which is annoying and expensive. It lasted about 5years until I had a permanent site for it and was probably erected and dismantled half a dozen times, so the room could be used as a spare bedroom. The sections stood on their ends in a built in wardrobe until the room was free again.
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Tom@Crewe
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Tom@Crewe » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:11 am

I did see somewhere, A person had bought one of those storage lift up beds and built the layout inside.

May cost more for bed but you have more room because you don't have to pull out the layout from under bed!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ottoman-Storag ... 0979249316

or make something like this

https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/storage-beds
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Dad-1
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:52 pm

Hi Daveyboy,

The club's layout boards were an aluminium skinned insulating board and stuck down track would get bumped
didn't stay flat enough, prone to short circuits, generally just not robust enough. Holes could get pushed in it.
Our fix was to remove all track and overlay with ply. The track was pinned in place and great care was used
when re-wiring and since given many years of heavy use. All 7 boards have built in folding legs, but a single big
board with built in legs would probably be too heavy as a sufficiently strong mounting needs to built in.

My trestles were from B&Q about 12 years ago and I've never seen the same type again. For a big board 4
trestles would do the job fine.

For Kids a roundy, Roundy is best. I recall going faster & faster until my trains derailed, so make sure they can't
escape off the top !! Falling over is one thing, crashing off a table is another thing all together !!

Don't forget a 4 foot wide board under a bed needs another 4 feet alongside when you slide it out.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Daveyboy
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Daveyboy » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:02 am

Thanks for all your replies

Tom I’m loving the under bed concept of efficient use of space, but I can’t see that getting past the wife’s approval.

Geoff - yes there’s space to pull out the board at the end of the bed. It’s a worry that your clubs insulation board caused you electrical faults as I’m hoping for trouble free running. Makes me wonder if perhaps it would be better to take the bull by the horns and make an old school frame under ply.

Bufferstop yes absolutely rigidity is the key. Which brings me to my next hurdle. I can’t fit 6x4 sheets in my car (ply or insulation...) and delivery won’t be for a while. So if I was to use two 3x4 ply sheets instead, does that weaken things considerably? I’m assuming the frame gives the strength, so based upon my above thoughts a rigid frame is the key.

Finally if I add an operators hole in the middle, does that affect the bracing underneath to make up for the hole? I did read in another thread on this site that triangles are the key, so perhaps it just needs some careful planning.

Looks like you guys have upgraded my thoughts from a rough n ready roundy track to something more significant !

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Bufferstop
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:02 pm

A multi-part board in foam can't be fully self supporting, trestles with timber supports across them are simpler than trying to make frames with attached legs. Geoff (Dad-1) seems to be using a substantial plank! I put 12mm ply ends on mine and locked them together with "knock-down" joining blocks, the type with a screw and captive nut to lock them together. I made the pairs of joining faces complete with joining blocks before attaching them to the ends of the boards. I put the boards on a flat surface spread "No More Nails on the ends and pressed them against the joined together end pieces, laid a heavy board over the joint, then used a picture framing chord clamp to hold it all together until the glue had set. I'd use dowels and snap catches now. My boards sat on top of strategically planned furniture, low book cases and a chest of draws.
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Mountain
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Mountain » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:22 am

Daveyboy wrote:Thanks for all your replies

Tom I’m loving the under bed concept of efficient use of space, but I can’t see that getting past the wife’s approval.


Shhh! Does the wife have to know it is there? :D

Daveyboy
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Re: Board design to store under the bed?

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:06 am

Ha ha funny, but I think she might notice me smuggling a king size bed in!

Regarding ply, I have seen horror stories here of Asian sourced ply warping. How do you find Scandinavian ply? Is it a case of ringing around wood yards rather than the large diy chains (maybe I’m being harsh but generally they’re more profit than quality orientated)


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