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Reflections from back at base



The Dorking show was an interesting experience, and back at base we had time to reflect. One surprising area of interest for visitors was our timber work. The Club chairman had offered us a curtain to modestly cover the baseboard legs but we turned it down, thinking that the "layout under construction" tag was better met by having everything open. It turned out to be a good decision. Many people asked about our designs.


The baseboards were discussed in an earlier blog, but as a reminder I'll post a picture from back then.




The main bearers are from two 100mm wide parallel strips of 6mm ply kept in alignment by regular wood blocks. Cross members are glued and screwed and triangular bracing beams keep the corners at right angles/ This structure means we can have a curved baseboard edge which is not only more aesthetically pleasing but breaks away from the parallel to the edge trackwork that screams "model!"


When this photo was taken the boards were mounted on a frame built for another layout. Since then our carpenter, Lee, has made a set of legs specifically for this layout.


As with the baseboards, strength comes from shape rather than heft. The legs are tee-shaped, formed by taking two relatively thin timbers and glueing and screwing them to form a tee-girder. Two legs are them mounted together with cross braces, again from relatively thin timber. Screw-in feet allow for height adjustment. Hopefully the diagram will make this clear, the right hand diagram is the fixed leg structure.baseboard_supports.png.bfe003c4fb87d5bed12e237314cbef3e.png

The fixed legs support either the end of a baseboard or a suitable cross-member. Removable bracing, secured by 6mm bolts with wing nuts for rapid assembly/disassembly, connect the fixed legs together. Since the dimensions between legs will vary, each set is built individually. Clearly marking up which goes where is something we have painfully learned is essential.


The result is a layout infrastructure that is light but strong and rigid. As the club meet in a church hall and layouts need to be erected and taken down each working session, minimising weight is very important. Some of our boards have to be lifted onto a six foot high shelf, and the legs similarly hand on a high hook in the store. However this has proved a successful design



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