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Economical means of joining and aligning portable base board ends - Baseboards. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2016 09:52 pm
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Casseroled Badger

Joined: Thu Oct 2nd, 2008
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, Gateway To Dartmoor.. , United Kingdom
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Rather than use the much vaunted 'pattern makers dowels' or a commercial means of repeatedly joining base board edges in register, I offer the following method. No components can be lost or mislaid, making it ideal for a travelling layout.

You'll need a suitable 'bolt' and 'nut', a length of  wire coat hanger, some scraps of concentric copper tubing and a few washers and screws. If you can't find suitable copper tube then consider 'slip couplings'.

Standard couplings have a ridge in the centre which lets pipe enter only halfway.  The slip coupling does not have a ridge so it can move freely wherever you need it, and makes an ideal means of lining a hole in a base board end member so that a piece of plain pipe slides accurately inside. They are available in various sizes at plumbers' merchants.

The nut and bolt I have chosen are an 8mm nut soft soldered to a 25mm washer, and for a bolt, the type of screw fitting used to hold head boards to divan beds, usually free for the asking at bed and furniture stores as long as you phrase your request suitably!

The 'nut' soldered to a washer is screwed to the inside of one end member, but only loosely, as a little free play will facilitate easy screw insertion. The copper aligning pipe slides in and out and a small raised portion stops it falling outwards whilst the coat hanger wire stops it falling inwards, it cannot be lost or mislaid.  A screw mounted upon washers stops the screw member being lost by falling inwards.
The adjacent end members of the base board frame are clamped together whilst the screw and copper tube holes are drilled, before frame assembly, ensuring perfect alignment.
Despite over 40 years of woodworking experience I blanche at the the thought of retrospectively fitting 'Pattern Maker's Dowels' to a completed framework to secure perfect alignment. They are best used to accurately mate two parts of a component before they are worked upon to be incorporated in a pattern. In the ordinary course of events a male member is left to protrude vulnerably whereas this suggestion allows both elements to withdraw safely leaving a smooth face to the framework.

I've shown my use of concentric copper pipe before on Bear's End, but before I hit on the idea of coat hanger wire to keep the inner tubes from being lost, and washers to stop the bolt elemnts from dropping out.

I hope this helps,

'You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil...' Aesop's Fables

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin

In the land of the slap-dash and implausible, mediocrity is king
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 Posted: Tue Apr 5th, 2016 01:31 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3555

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Hi Doug,

I like those oversize hand knobs - plenty of torque and no need for spanners/sockets (and smooth edges as well - bonus!). I shall them in mind for the home modules. The club modules are another story.


©Nigel C. Phillips
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