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Baseboard Construction




Well I have made a start on some baseboard construction trials. As the scenic board will require an underbridge, I need to be able to create some vertical depth to the scenery. I could achieve this either by having a raised track bed or by splitting the baseboard level.



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My initial thoughts are towards using the open framed baseboard with a raised track bed method. I feel this allows for a more natural landscape to be created which the track runs through rather than on.


I have no intention to make this an exhibition layout, but it still needs to be lightweight and portable. It will be built in a converted attic and this space is used for other activities so the layout will not be permanently erected.


I have seen various type of baseboard on the exhibition scene and have always liked the composite girder/cellular type – two thin outer sheets of ply/MDF with internal blocks of wood. I found a useful "How to guide" on the web by John Chivers of Barry and Penarth Model Railway Club showing this form of construction Building Lightweight Baseboards


However, I decided to try out smaller sections and so my trial is made from two 100mm wide strips of 3mm MDF sandwiching 45mm x 12mm blocks at approximately 275mm centres. The joint are glued and screwed.


My first trial was 2" long and appeared to be OK, but being in a rush I wanted the glue to dry quickly and so I put in front of the log burner. Upon retuning an hour later my nice straight side was now curved like a banana!! So lesson 1 do not dry in front of direct heat.


My next effort was a 45" long side. This appears to be OK and very strong in the vertical plane, but it is possible to deflect horizontally with the MDF bending between each block. In guess the 3mm is a bit too thin. But with further cross bracing it should be OK.


My next test will be a radius board. I hope that the MDF will be more suited to this type of board, but time will tell


Anyway here are some photographs of the base board trials.


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First trial - before I dried it into a banana



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Close up of the corner joint



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