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Finally, a New Layout - Baseboards. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 10:56 am
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allan downes
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The most boring subject in railway modelling is baseboard construction but not when Brossard writes about it.

Entertainment value plus.


Allan


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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 01:19 pm
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Brossard
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Oh yes, some conflict, blood and unlikely manoeuvers.  A bit like Star Trek for us geeks.

John



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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 02:07 pm
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BCDR
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Hi John,

One of the finer points in life -  a well built and sturdy baseboard. And one of the essentials in the modeler's armamentarium. And I'm with you when it comes to using HD closed-cell foam for the top. Worse than cheap construction plywood or OSB (which often contains wax, which is not exactly compatible with most glues).

As modelers we think a new model locomotive and the latest sound decoder is a bargain at a couple of hundred (£, $, euros), yet often go for the cheapest and often inappropriate materials when building baseboards. Or spend days on a card structure and only 30 minutes making a baseboard. Although I suspect a real appreciation of the black art of baseboard building only comes with modules, where 1/8" out on the length or breadth or a couple of degrees off on a corner is a disaster. Use the best materials available, measure thrice, cut once, when done sit back and admire, it's a thing of beauty worthy of a place in the Tate. Boring? Never!

Nigel



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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 02:45 pm
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Brossard
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Quite agree Nigel, I've seen some horrid baseboards in my time and even built some as my experience grew.  It is definitely worth spending the money and taking the time to build a solid foundation for your layout.  Without it (as I learned many years ago) the layout will be nothing but trouble.

That said, my woodworking skills are dreadful.  I can't cut a straight line and rely on planes and rasps to correct my errors.  I use the lumber yard to precut as much of the wood as possible.  Nevertheless, I think my boards will do just fine.

John



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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 05:59 pm
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allan downes
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For my first ever layout - a magnificent and unbelievable disaster in Graham Farish N gauge and Peco track  pinned down with felt nails between the sleepers -  I used scaffold planks for the baseboards. Being pre warped from the start these  were the last thing any Farish loco wanted to face when the juice was turned on so I gave it to my 7yr old son and told everyone that he built it.

Allan.


 

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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2016 06:14 pm
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Brossard
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One of the first revelations that I had with my very first board was that using 1 x 2 lumber was a mistake.  As you say, Allan, this wood is pre warped and rather than the ply top straightening it, the wood warps the ply too.

I've always used ply for everything since that time with the best birch ply for the ends which are critical.

Naughty of you to blame the lad though. :Red Card

John



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 Posted: Wed Nov 9th, 2016 12:25 pm
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allan downes
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Brossard wrote: One of the first revelations that I had with my very first board was that using 1 x 2 lumber was a mistake.  As you say, Allan, this wood is pre warped and rather than the ply top straightening it, the wood warps the ply too.

I've always used ply for everything since that time with the best birch ply for the ends which are critical.

Naughty of you to blame the lad though. :Red Card

John

Had I known you at the time John I could have blamed you after following your instructions. :sad:


Allan

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 Posted: Wed Nov 9th, 2016 01:40 pm
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One of the original Sod's Law (Murphy over here) and Corollaries thereof, as written up in The Worm Runner's Digest (I kid you not, this was a semi-serious publication to do with planarian worms) was as follows:

"If in doubt read the instructions". Looks like we need to add another corollary:

"If in doubt blame the instructions". Or, alternatively, "If in doubt blame the loss of the instructions".

And of course a rider to said corollary:

"If still in doubt blame the author of said instructions". Whether lost or found makes no difference, it's not your fault either way. Perfect!

Those of use who have paid good money for and attempted to build various brass kits ancient and modern can relate to instructions that purport to be in English but are in fact a rejected draft from that gang of monkeys writing Shakespeare.

I digress.

Making baseboards is basic stuff, measure thrice, cut once, cut at the correct angles, glue with pressure, sit back and admire. And don't buy cheap. No instructions needed. The only thing to make sure of is not to use a dividing tape measure (real inches on one edge, half on the other, useful for finding the middle of a piece of wood or a wall when hanging pictures). Interesting things can happen.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed Nov 9th, 2016 03:58 pm
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Brossard
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We need the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing who or what to blame for our mistakes.

John



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 Posted: Wed Apr 5th, 2017 03:13 pm
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Brossard
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I've been quiet over the last few weeks because I'm on iteration 3 of the layout.  Having had a think and getting the input from a couple of friends, I came up with a horseshoe shape.  Not quite a circuit because my basement really isn't big enough but one where there's a reasonable length to get trains up to speed instead of lurching directly off the sector plate onto the layout.

The concept is this:



The scenic boards will bend round and widen in order to get some reasonable track laid.  The dotted line is 2' from the wall at the right and will allow me and my corporation to navigate around the layout.  The actual rightmost board will be made to meet the dotted line.  This requires some intricate miter work that is beyond me so my friend said he would do the cutting.

At the moment, I have done a second corner and made inserts to widen the radius so that the curve can be something a little between 4' and 5' (4' is minimum for 7mm).

Here's the situation:



Sector plate board exiting onto a 4' long board.



The "U" shown in the sketch.  Note the 9" inserts.  The alcove is 11' wide.  Note also that the left corner has been dropped by 7" in order to construct an embankment and some lower level scenery.  I think this makes for additional interest instead of being flat as so often happens with layouts.  The foam core construction is a mock up to make track planning easier.

John



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