Newbie baseboards ?

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Newbie baseboards ?


Post by AndyH » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:41 am

Hi all, I've finally got my acquired and accumulated 30+ year old trainset out the attic and currently have it on the floor in spare bedroom, the good news is it's still going strong. At the heart is Hornby hm2000 controller with twin control and 2 uncontrolled inputs.

Anyway looking to mount on wall. From my initial research, I understand 12mm ply is better then MDF.

Not sure on depth I'm 165cm tall and "standard" seems to be 2ft/600mm is that enough or is 700-750mm depth better? Standard U shape with bit along 4th wall P2P and turn around loops near either end . So access be only from the front, I don't really want to put a cess holes in the bench

What size will.i.need for the ovals near the end so train can run from one end and back, 4th radii 1500mm square? I currently must have 3rd radii as measured 1150mm?

What's the best height? I'm also trying to get our kids 5 & 12 year olds in to it. Table height and me sit or bench height so easier for me to work at standing height and youngest stands on step?
Thanks Andy

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Re: Newbie baseboards ?


Post by Stese » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:37 am

Hi Andy,

the height dilemma is a big one... and it really does depend on who is going to work on/play with the layout most.

If you are going to do it yourself, then getting down on low boards is going to hurt your back and knees... and you'll also struggle to get under the board if you run any wiring under there.

I'd personally suggest going with a good working height for you, as it will improve access and comfort for you... if your carpentry skills aren't bad you could always build a storage step on the floor that can be used to store things, and allow the younger children to access the layout.

As for the width... It's really how far you or your children can comfortably reach... 2ft works for me at approx waist height... the kids however, not so much.

Just my 2p.


Steve D.

Edit : - I've just reread about the radii of your curves... if you know the radius of the curve, then just double it to get the diameter... but remember that is usually measured on the track center, so you'll need to add a little more to give you room for the outer edge.
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Re: Newbie baseboards ?


Post by Brian » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:51 pm

Height is a very personal thing and what works for one may not suit another. Generally, layouts are around 36" to 39" inches above floor to baseboard top. Lower or taller can be used. I build mine to 1Mtr or 39" inches above floor.

Depth front to rear is important as you need to be able to reach items along the rear and also clean and maintain any track along the further edge. Its recommended not to go beyond 600mm or roughly 2' feet front to rear. You risk damaging any items along the front and just set back from the front if reaching over. Experiment... Place say cans of soup/beans/anything to represent structures that would be on the finished layout along the front edge and set in from the front on a 600mm deep kitchen worktop or a table, then try reaching the rear edge and see if the items placed along the front edge are touched or moved. This will show your reach etc. Its not very far before things can get damaged. :o

You haven't mentioned what scale your working in but for the moment I'll assume its OO so here if using Hornby sectional track or Peco Setrack (they are the same) there are four radius available. Radius 1 is the tightest and really needs avoiding as only small locos and rolling stock can get around this very tight curve and radius 4 is the largest. This link takes you to the Hornby track geometry plan ... ry-PDF.pdf Note 1; as I said, Hornby and Peco Setrack are the same sizes, but have different part numbers. Note 2; Peco Streamline is much different and is not a drop in replacement for Peco Setrack or Hornby items plus the track centring is closer. 50mm for Streamline and 67mm for Setrack and Hornby. You will need to add approx 30mm extra minimum to the overall width of a half circle.

Remember the baseboard is the foundation of the layout. If its able to flex or warp and sag it will produce very poor running. Therefore its always recommended to brace the baseboards undersides with at least 21 x 44mm (2" x 1") PSE timber installed narrow edge to baseboards underside and ideally a deeper timber is better. Cross bracing is also needed at around 15"-16" inches (400 to 500mm) centres too.
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Re: Newbie baseboards ?


Post by Phil s » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi Andy, totally agree with whats been said above. My 2p worth would be to ply wood over MDF, I used 9mm ply BUT it does sit on a frame made of 2"x2" timber so not going to sag or bow. If your plan is to not to have a frame then you may want to go to 12mm thick.

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