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Author Topic: Baseboards  (Read 607 times)

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Offline PRB

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Baseboards
« on: April 23, 2018, 02:53:05 pm »
Hi
I have never modelled in 2mm before and am about to make a start, I'd like to construct 2 x 4' by 1' baseboards, the object being to make them as light as possible whilst not losing rigidity.
Instead of the usual 2 by 1 timber framing covered by whatever board I was planning to make beams 3" deep using 2 lengths of 3 ply with blocks in between with holes drilled on the internal side of the ply, then lay the track bed on the open frame.
Materials have changed since I first built a baseboard and I'm wondering if what I'm proposing would make a suitable base or are there newer lighter, stronger ways to build them these days.

Online jpendle

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 03:44:03 pm »
I’m using 1” thick expanded polystyrene (XPS) on my layout. Here in the states its widely available.

So far I’ve only seen one issue in that it doesn’t like solvents. I overdid it a bit with some brown primer and the surface started to melt.

Regards,

John P

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 03:59:58 pm »
Having recently purchased a sheet of 3.6mm ply I have found it to be very 'flexible' and would therefore recommend maybe 6mm ply. I have used 6mm ply for my backscenes and like it's rigidity. I would certainly agree with an 'open board' plan using your choice of surface under the track areas only as it allows scenics above and below track level, especially if you mount all the track on, say, 44mm blocks of planed timber :hmmm:

Offline JasonBz

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 04:08:58 pm »
I’m using 1” thick expanded polystyrene (XPS) on my layout. Here in the states its widely available.

So far I’ve only seen one issue in that it doesn’t like solvents. I overdid it a bit with some brown primer and the surface started to melt.

Regards,

John P

Just a side note:
That is not what we in the UK may think of as "expanded polystyrene - The stuff made of lots of little balls.

It is the  close celled extruded product normally made by Celotex or Kingspan over here.

Offline PRB

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 04:45:04 pm »
Having recently purchased a sheet of 3.6mm ply I have found it to be very 'flexible' and would therefore recommend maybe 6mm ply.

Thanks, I did wonder about this but was hoping that sandwiching blocks of planed timber at 6" centres between the two strips of 3 ply would have the same effect as thicker ply and that things would be further secured when the cross members were screwed together.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 04:58:11 pm »
I would certainly recommend an open frame style of construction, it's so much better for creating scenic contouring which goes below the track datum line, and is lighter than a solid top. Also better for access to wiring etc. if you have multi-level trackwork.
Try a google image search for layout baseboard construction, and also for layout benchwork (seems to be the US term for open frame baseboards) - there are many styles/methods you could consider. 

I usually create an open-topped "box" of 9mm ply with a couple of cross beams depending on length, with the track bed also of 9mm ply supported by risers from the cross beams.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 05:00:09 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline JasonBz

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 05:05:18 pm »
For something as small as 4'x1' whatever you make it out of is not going to be very heavy.

Ply girders are very good if you are aiming for something large and/or complicated - but they really are rather a lot of faffing around when a length of straight 3x1PSE will do the same job with one cut of the saw!

Offline Dancess

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 05:56:23 pm »
I’m using 1” thick expanded polystyrene (XPS) on my layout. Here in the states its widely available.

So far I’ve only seen one issue in that it doesn’t like solvents. I overdid it a bit with some brown primer and the surface started to melt.

Regards,

John P

I've used extruded polystyrene which is used here for insulation. Easy to cut once you've finalised track plan so you can get below track level scenery.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 05:58:24 pm by Dancess, Reason: change of words »
Building layout in attic - at last!!

Offline The Q

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 06:46:17 pm »
I've used 2 inch extruded polystyrene,  edged with 5 mm ply to protect the edges, then another layer was glued on top with water based glue. https://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-11663102-solvent-free-grab-adhesive-white-310ml-12-pack/61428
 This top layer was carved into hill sides, track beds etc...
This is in EM gauge.

I will be building a couple of extension boards for my n gauge layout the same way.

Note if you use a foil faced boards as a baseboard, do not take one foil off as the board will turn into a banana, it's all on or all off, and you will lose a strength by taking the foils off.

Oh I've seen people sandwich expanded  polystyrene as the layer between thin ply for strength.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 06:51:34 pm by The Q »

Offline Caz

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 06:53:46 pm »
Here in Spain they make their baseboards entirely from 9mm or 10mm which is quite rigid but very light.  The vertical part of the baseboards are about 10cm deep giving good rigidity, the ply top is the glued and screwed the these with an additional bit of ply or wood in the corners.

Wish I'd have know about it when I built Claywell from 2 x 1 battens and a ply top making quite heavy.

Offline kirky

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 08:04:50 pm »
We've used ply girders extensively on Northallerton. There are ten boards on Northallerton, each being 1500 mm long by 700 mm by 100 mm deep. You can see pictures of the baseboard construction on page one of the Northallerton thread in link below.
We used 6mm ply which isn't actually 6 mm, its only just 5 mm. I guess if you measure the thickness of 3 mil ply it will be less than that. You'll have to use digital callipers though.
I wouldnt build a layout out of anything but ply girders, nowadays, although I have tried all sorts of other methods. I have found ply girders to be the most versatile and stable method of baseboard construction. I would keep it open frame for lightness.
Just on the lightness, we have two boards folded on top of each other when we go to exhibitions, giving us 5 boxes to transport. Each box can be easily lifted by two fat blokes.
Hope this helps.

Kirky
Northallerton is in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at the Normanton and Pontefract exhibition. New College, Park Lane, Pontefract. 26/27th January 2019



Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline longbow

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 08:24:05 pm »
And to round off the list of modern options, there are laser-cut baseboards available off the shelf.

Online Yet_Another

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 08:33:06 pm »
And to round off the list of modern options, there are laser-cut baseboards available off the shelf.
I was just about to add that. There are several companies providing the service, with custom-sized modules available as well. Very light, very stiff, but generally flat tops. I'm using a raised trackbed of 50mm EPS to allow some below track level modelling.
Tony

'...things are not done by those who sit down to count the cost of every thought and act.' - Sir Daniel Gooch of IKB

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 09:03:02 pm »
... I'd like to construct 2 x 4' by 1' baseboards, the object being to make them as light as possible whilst not losing rigidity.

Three of these boards (under construction in 2005) are 38" x 12". 9mm ply with stripwood battens/cross members and mostly open top except where I needed a full width flat surface. The depth of the "box" allows the legs to fold up inside for transport.


Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online AlexanderJesse

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Re: Baseboards
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 11:24:48 am »
Something ultralight, while really strong... if you want to go for closed baseboard is honeycomb cardboard
In the uk (for example,... just a 2second search for pictures) http://ultraboard.co.uk/products/

On a 1inch board you can stand on. as long as not too much tension is put on, you can even put in screws...
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