Baseboard Materials

On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 19:58:13 -0400 (EDT), "Wolf Kirchmeir"
It could be argued that for broad areas, such as stations, rather
than narrow shelfs, particularly suited to undulating terrain, a flat table top is a good approach. In a typical UK outline station the ground would be predominately level. Also using a square frame with a sheet securely attached to the top you're employing the characteristics of box girder construction (see, it all goes back to Brunel :-).
That said I personally prefer the open frame approach, I just like a good argument, sorry open and balanced debate :-)
--
Chris White
http://www.bentleymrg.org.uk /
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So why is West Dulwich station moving away from the track and sliding down the embankment?
The ground around Lewisham station is nowhere near level, same with Catford stations.

--
John Sullivan
OO in the garden http://www.yddraiggoch.demon.co.uk/railway/railway.html
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John Sullivan wrote:

They had a falling out and are in the process of separating legally.
R.
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>table top is a good approach. In a typical UK outline station the >ground would be predominately level.
Yes, the ground the station and yard are built on are predominantly flat. Though it's visually more interesting if there are subtly variations between the running lines and say the goods yard.
However, the land around the station is rarely flat, so why a completely flat "baseboard"?
The only part of the "baseboard" that would, could, should be flat is that which supports the track and the platforms. Even this should be raised above the "L" girder benchwork by three to six inches. Using the "L" girder method allows landforms to easily rise and fall above and below track level, something that of difficult to achieve using the traditional UK flat "baseboard".
:Baseboard" is, in my opinion, a poor noun to use. Its very nature implies a completely flat surface. The North American "benchwork" is, I feel, a much better name for the structure that supports the sub-roadbed upon which the track is laid.
-- Cheers Roger T.
http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra / Home of the Great Eastern Railway
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"Roger T." wrote:

For "scale" model railways, yes. OTOH, a completely flat baseboard is exactly the sort of thing you want for introducing your enfant terribles to modelling. They can have their oval of track and plenty of flat space for pushing about houses, cars, tanks, etc. My grandfather, bless him, made me a 6'x4' affair when I was a nipper, just a bordered flat sheet of ply painted green with an oval of Hornby track, and helped me make Superquick kits, a hill/tunnel out of chickenwire and papier mache, etc. I happily drew on roads, rubbed them out, recreated various WW2 battles with Airfix soldiers, made a snow scene with copious quantities of mother's cotton wool and talcum powder that completely gummed up the works of my brother's Hornby Peak (whooops), and generally had fun, and learnt without realising I was doing learning. (Of course, this may have been so I didn't mangle grandfather's vintage 1950s TT layout with my five-year-old mitts :-) And a flat baseboard was absolutely essential for standing Airfix soldiers up on :-)
R.
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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 17:18:28 +0100, Richard

Remember them well - Also I have recently, well a couple of years back, built a layout is a very crowded space, I used spur shelving to support 'conti-board' shelving (resin based chipboard covered with thin plastic. Used for domestic shelving). I covered that with a soft fibre board sold as expansion joint insertion material for concrete. This is soft enough to allow chanels to be carved into the top for power feed wires and wire-in-tube point/switch controls. The supporting shelf and top materials were a total of about an inch thick, the layout ran round the walls sandwiched between other shelving. It worked well and allowed the lads books to be stored in the same space. I am currently building something similar in my shed as a test track. Flat basebaods do have some advantages.
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there
track
should
be
profile.
I have laid track directly onto plywood in some of my yards, and have had no problems. The main reason to use cork or other 'road bed' material is to easily model the ballast profile and drainage ditches and make pinning of track easier. If you use white glue to hold down your ballast, the sound deadening ability of the road bed material is negated. I have noticed that if you have scenery on your layout the sound is decreased. Then again trains make noise.
--
Terry Flynn

For HO scale track standards go to
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If you use a flexible glue (e.g. artist's matt medium or bookbinder's glue) on top of cork for your ballast, it won't transmit as much noise.
--
Martin S.

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Hard to get hold of the PVA stuff (book binding glue) but its worth it I think.
Re baseboards I was in the merchant navy for years, which made modelling difficult, I play in N so I used to take away a few kits to play with. To test these on I had a single sheet of ply, cut to fit inside the lid of my suitcase with a 'layout' of peco set track laid on peco foam. Not sure that qualifies as a layout but it worked. I built a small layout (5' x 2' - the minimum to offer a decent hidden fiddle yard at the back) for home use but as the home was being virtually re-built when I was on leave it had to live in the under stairs cupboard To keep things light it was made from two sheets of thin play (about 4 or 5mm) on a simple but-jointed 'ladder' frame made from well seasoned 1" x 1". It worked fine, the track again used Peco underlay held down with evostick I think. The box construction meant it never warped. Later I added a nine inch hich ply strip along two sides and the back, these were glued and screwed to the inch by inch. That layout was passed to a kiddie some years ago and last I heard (a years or so back) it was used at christmas under a tree with the lone remaining working loco (out of three) trundling round. That was pretty lightweight but I still had to attack a handle to it so you could manouver it onto the coffee-table, ironing board or over the bath to play with it.
I was into military 1:72 for some time until the god son wanted a train set. The space was restricted vertically so I fitted spur shelving and used plastic covered chipboard (contiboard in the UK) which proved noisy and difficult to lay in the power leads and point control rods - I added a layer of the brown felt-like stuff used as an expansion insert in concrete (cellfoam is a fairly generic name for it) which made it easy to cut trenches to lay wires and wire in tube point control. This made a baseboard about an inch thick, with the spur supports at 15 inches it has lasted several years with no distortion despite having been moved and it currently lives in an unheated outside shed (it is now a 'battle board' for his toy soldiers).
Based on the above I am currently building a micro-layout for someone else on the ladder frame sandwich and plan to re-build the God son's layout for myself in my own shed using spur and contiboard. I may build another test track but I want to try using foam board for it (a bit like the ply construction discussed in this thread)
Both these methods are 'flat sheet' boards but the cellfoam gives me half an inch of depth, enough for streams and the like, screwing a strip of ply under a gap between two boards gives me a fraction over an inch, this can be dropped further using spacers under the main board.
Not sure this'll help but both methods do work
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snipped-for-privacy@notigg.not.no wrote:

<Details snipped>
If you want to see a fully scenicked layout in a suitcase (originally one, now expanded to 3 suitcases) see http://www.val-ease-central.com I've seen this several times, and it is just amaZing!
--
Martin S.

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Thanks - Impressive. One of the things that got me into N/2mm was a layout built in the 1930's. The lad had nowhere to have a permanent setup so he built one in a violin case, the top and bottom of the case were separated and joined at the end of the neck to provide and end-to-end layout - Mind you he had to scratch build everything and even had to make his own motor. More recently someone has built a 2mm scale layout that boxes up into a flight bag for travelling, after all no reason to be bored just because your'e on holiday!
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snipped-for-privacy@notigg.not.no wrote:

At a recent model train show in the USA, I saw what was billed as "the World's smallest scale model train". The scale was smaller than 1:900, and a layout with a circle of track was displayed on a 4"x4" (10cm x 10cm) base, complete with scenery. The loco and cars were barely 2cm long. They didn't actually have wheels running on rails; the train was diven by a belt below the track. Nevertheless, it would be quite a conversation piece for one's office desk.
--
Martin S.

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Everone has different ideas:-) I use a top surface of 12mm chipboard with a top layer of 12mm "pinex" which is a softer version of the UK soft board. I use a 75x25mm pine perimeter frame with cross pieces every 600mm. For baseboards longer that 1200mm I go to 100mmx25mm pine. Everything is glued and nailed or screwed. The extra weight minimises vibration/sound in the baseboard structure, as well as absorbing movement when operators lean on/bump the baseboard.
I've built lighter baseboards, but I've also had problems with lighter surfaces warping during scenicking and ballasting, which is the end for any layout.
Regards, Greg.P.
Dick Ganderton wrote:

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I use MDF and whilst I appreciate that I'm newly returned to the hobby (last time I played trains chipboard was state of the art) I've found it very solid, so much so that I let alone my 6 year old can actually climb onto the table when building scenery without the table suffering any ill effects. I have to point out though that it is a permanent layout, that is it doesn't have to be taken apart and carried about. It has no grain, doesn't splinter, can be machined, drilled, glued to with ease (normal warning for working with MDF to be inserted here). It also comes very, very flat. As for stability, (baring in mind that it's indoors) I set up a 8'x4' table two years ago and found that earlier this year when I took it down the board was in such good condition I could cut it up to make a "L" shaped 2' wide table, still flat, still stable and I can still sit on it :-)
Certainly for an indoor, permanent layout I really do believe it to be ideal as a baseboard. If I was building a portable layout then yes, I'd definately go for a lighter material but to be frank that may mean that I'd use 1/2" MDF rather than the 3/4" I'm using it the moment. If I was working in a damper enviorment then I'd reconsider and use another material entirely.

Rollocks, certainly pre-drill the trackwork but MDF accepts and holds nails (and screws for BB building) without any difficulty.

I may well be moving to the loft or garage before to long, obviously a little more subject to damp/condensation than a centrally heated bedroom so if it's not to much trouble would you consider sending me a copy of the above as well. Cheers.
--

All the best,

Chris Wilson
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 23:02:55 +0100, Dick Ganderton

Some baseboards built using Dick's design concept.
http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~sprocket/progress/prog04.html http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~sprocket/timesaver/timesaver01.html http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~sprocket/baseboard/base02.html
Jim.
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wrote:

The base board method described on the above web pages is great for stiff light weight portable layouts, but it has a number of disadvantages if building a permanent layout, the main one being it is complex and requires lots of accurate cutting compared to the US style L girder system. I also notice it has frequent supports below the track which get in the way of under the track point motors .
--
Terry Flynn

For HO scale track standards go to
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Terry Flynn wrote:

Well, you'll just have to learn to cut accurately, won't you?
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stiff
requires
Has Mark the expert had any experience at building a layout using L girder? If he has he should know you don't need to cut accurately. I do not need to cut as accurately or as frequently as someone building a light weight portable layout. We wait for Mark's description of his base board construction and any innovations or advantages, after all the changes of prototype and scales he has made, assuming his stories are true on the various news groups. .
--
Terry Flynn

For HO scale track standards go to
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 13:46:01 +1000, "Terry Flynn"
Terry,

I would also suggest that you build some baseboards using the lightweight ply methods so that you might stop implying that the method is complex and requires skilled carpentry.
Jim.
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Jim Guthrie wrote:

A cursory glance at Flynn's website will reveal that he has a paucity of modelling skills, so in all likelihood these methods would be well beyond his capabilities.
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