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I am currently building an OO gauge layout. It will run around 3 walls for a total length of 7.80m and extend into the room 0.90-95m. My plan is that the baseboards will be made of 2x1 and 1x1 (sorry its inches) overlaid with Sundeala. The baseboards will be either .90x95m or .90x.60m and held together with coach-bolts. So far so good, the bit I need advice on is:

1: Supports for the baseboard - I can put a batten around the walls and rest or screw the baseboard to it. If so what size wood should I use of this, my idea was 2x1in but 1in seems a bit narrow to have to screw into against a wall. I then intend putting 2x2in legs around the outside at each end and across each baseboard join.

2. I don't intend moving the layout until I move house. So is it best to set up the framework first and then fix the Sundeala afterwards or complete each baseboard with Sundeala before joining together?

3. What height should the baseboard be above the floor - is there a rule of thumb saying it should be so far below eye level or is it just personal choice? I intend to sit and operate the railway with an eye height of 1.20m.

I would be grateful of any suggestions or criticisms of the above as this is my first layout!

Thanks R
 

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Hi Randolf,

A 2x1 batton should be ok to rest the layout on. Personally I would put legs on each "module" so they can stand on their own and then screw the module to the wall, more just to lock it in place. That being said I live in an area that has the occasional earthquake!

I would build the frames and put the tops on before errecting.

I wish that I had built my layout at chest height. That being said my mean layout track height is 1.05m off the ground. 1.2m sounds like a good height to me.

John
 

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Hello Randolph.

2 x 1 minimum for the frames with 2 x 1 cross supports about every 18". Sundela isn't that strong & tends to warp a bit if there is any kind of damp. I would only use 1 x 1 if I was making an exhibition layout which needed to be light. If the layout is permanent then the thicker the better.
I am using 3 x 1 on my layout but then it will never be moved,at least not in my lifetime.

2 x 1 support around the wall will be fine unless the wall isn't paticularly strong in which case I would use 3 x 1.

Make each baseboard up seperately so that you can take it apart if & when you need to move.
Set up each board with legs as your floor may not be level in which case each set of legs will be a differant length.You can also get ajusters which fit to the bottom of each leg which means that you can ajust each leg to match the floor level.

Baseboard height is a matter of personal preference. In the US they tend to be higher because modellers over there prefer to have the layout at eye level. In the UK the layout heights are lower but what matters is what you want.

Get yourself a good spirit level & level everything.Nothing is ever as straight as it seems.

Hope this is of some help to you.If you need more help there are plenty of people here only to willing to give of their advice.

Most of all "Have fun" Take your time. It's not a race. You do as much or as little as you want when you want.

QUOTE (randolph @ 13 May 2008, 08:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am currently building an OO gauge layout. It will run around 3 walls for a total length of 7.80m and extend into the room 0.90-95m. My plan is that the baseboards will be made of 2x1 and 1x1 (sorry its inches) overlaid with Sundeala. The baseboards will be either .90x95m or .90x.60m and held together with coach-bolts. So far so good, the bit I need advice on is:

1: Supports for the baseboard - I can put a batten around the walls and rest or screw the baseboard to it. If so what size wood should I use of this, my idea was 2x1in but 1in seems a bit narrow to have to screw into against a wall. I then intend putting 2x2in legs around the outside at each end and across each baseboard join.

2. I don't intend moving the layout until I move house. So is it best to set up the framework first and then fix the Sundeala afterwards or complete each baseboard with Sundeala before joining together?

3. What height should the baseboard be above the floor - is there a rule of thumb saying it should be so far below eye level or is it just personal choice? I intend to sit and operate the railway with an eye height of 1.20m.

I would be grateful of any suggestions or criticisms of the above as this is my first layout!

Thanks R
 

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I would certainly recommend assembling in sections so that in the event of future moves all your hard work does not have to be destryed/damaged. As for height rom the ground/floor I would personally pitch this at around 40 inches (about a metre in new money)

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 13 May 2008, 17:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Randolf,

A 2x1 batton should be ok to rest the layout on. Personally I would put legs on each "module" so they can stand on their own and then screw the module to the wall, more just to lock it in place. That being said I live in an area that has the occasional earthquake!

I would build the frames and put the tops on before errecting.

I wish that I had built my layout at chest height. That being said my mean layout track height is 1.05m off the ground. 1.2m sounds like a good height to me.

John

I'm with you there John - my ideal height is bottom of baseboard supports at about 1.2, with track at about 4'6" - 1.45 m!! Thats the level that I'm reassembling my layout at right now.

I like to look across a layout almost as if I was a scale person on an embankment.

Besides, with little hair left banging the head doesn't appeal, so a height that lets me scoot under the baseboard while sitting on a wheeled seat about 300mm high without unduly bending and denting the forehead regularly is a great appeal!

It makes reaching harder but only until you remember how easy it is to make a box to stand on :) :)

Richard
 

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Hi
I agree with the others, around 1.0 to 1.2m is an ideal height. Over this and you wont reach across the layout easily, much below 1.0m and you'll end up with back ache and if your venturing underneath as Richard says it will be a head banging experience!

Wall supports&#8230; I have used 2 x 1 without any problems screwed wide side against the wall. Then if needed I've screwed another 2 x 1 onto the first making a removable (by undoing the joining screws) board section. However, if you can consider 3 x 1 or even 12mm ply cut into 3 inch wide strips and used as a baseboard framing.

Sundeala board needs a 12inch square grid underneath or it will sag between supports.

As for legs, I use a timber sold here in the UK for making internal stud walls. Its called CLS timber, has all four edges smooth planed and the corners are slightly rounded and is 63 x 38mm (2 3/4 x 1 1/2) in size and sold in various lengths up to around 2.4m. Nice solid legs when screwed to the framing and very little carpentry needed. If movement is likely then add a cross brace from lighter sized timber or ply.
 

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I have used CLS wood for the legs on my layout. It's a good size and for some reason quite a bit cheaper than ordinary planed all round wood (PAR) of about the same dimensions. Another way to save money is to use sawn wood rather than PAR for the baseboard frames. After all you won't see it when it is all finished so why bother with PAR.
 

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Ultimately we want a surface that our trains will run well on. For this you need good trackwork. For good trackwork, you need a good base to lay it on.

My view is that it is better to build your baseboard solid and well and it will avoid problems later on.

As a modeller, I love seeing private layouts that are chest height, they have real character. However I detest chest height layouts at exhibitions. The majority of people (i use the term loosely!) are under 4 foot tall and they are the future of the hobby that we need to nurture and inspire.

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 14 May 2008, 08:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As a modeller, I love seeing private layouts that are chest height, they have real character. However I detest chest height layouts at exhibitions. The majority of people (i use the term loosely!) are under 4 foot tall and they are the future of the hobby that we need to nurture and inspire.

John

I would agree with that statement 100% - also we have to think of wheelchair bound people for exhibitions.
 

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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 15 May 2008, 02:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes, but if you always view from a sitting position while operating a layout, as opposed to working on it, then you get the same effect from a lower height.

Yep, and if the boards are made modular you can stand them on their back edge to work on them too.

As to sitting.... Not with mine - it uses a lot of real estate and I have to walk around corners to even see much of it :). Besides, I still don't like bumping my head! When I do sit its on a tall-ish bar stool to see the trains

Richard
 

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Have you considered cheap flat pack kitchen unit carcasses to support the base board? Assemble the base board with a 2" x 1" frame and your choice of covering material and then either just rest it on the units or screw it on with those plastic blocks. No messing about fixing battening to walls which I can never seem to get perfectly square anyway. They are a uniform height and width, leveling is easy, they are about the right working height for most people and about the right width for a model railway. Plus of course they can be moved around to suit where the base board joints are and give you storage to boot. Even the cost is not that much more than a timber frame.
 

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QUOTE (ahammond @ 18 May 2008, 07:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have you considered cheap flat pack kitchen unit carcasses to support the base board?

I've seen that method used to good effect - not only cost effective it gives plenty of storage with the added bonus of looking very tidy (keeps the domestic CEO happy).
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 15 May 2008, 09:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As to sitting.... Not with mine - it uses a lot of real estate and I have to walk around corners to even see much of it :). Besides, I still don't like bumping my head! When I do sit its on a tall-ish bar stool to see the trains

Richard

Looks like when I manage to pick those six correct numbers I have better have some comfortable walking footwear with me for when I come over then !
 

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One day when SWMBO came into my lair (I prefer to call it a train room) and complained about how unsightly it looked due to all the boxes stored under the layout, I said (in a moment of uncommonly bravery), "perhaps you might make some curtains for it then dear".

Two weeks later curtains were installed. Mind you I had to pay for the material out of my Train budget!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I can do it .................

John
 
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