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I see next months Hornby Magazine is going to have an article on "brilliant baseboards". I have seen them at a few exhibitions and i am seriously thinking of getting a 4x2 panel to make a kind on photographic location for my models (both railway and other models).

Have any of you used them? the panels themselves seen quite reasonably priced. i think the legs are a bit steep but £65 for a decent baseboard seems quite reasonable to me. you would have to spend £30 just on the materials and then all the cutting.

What do you guys think?

their website is here http://brilliant-baseboards.co.uk/

At the leatherhead show, they had another baseboard suspended far above the layout board to provide a good solid base for lights. i wish i had taken a picture. i thought it looked great.

Peter
 

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They look very good and well constructed but, and I am not sure of wood prices in the UK at the moment, I can buy wood here and make one myself for far less than that. Having said that it provides a good options for someone who does not have those skills.
 

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Hi Neil,

I agree with Pedromorgan on cost and am also not sure about the MDF construction as it is susceptible to moisture/humidity unless it is sealed. I am using a similar type of open grid baseboard construction for my layout but my chosen material is 12mm marine ply on a 250mm x 250mm grid with 6mm marine ply for tops and track base. Once assembled 2 coats of polyurethane varnish are applied to seal and preserve the wood. Construction is not difficult (simple halving joints).

I suppose at the end of the day it all comes down to what you are prepared to pay for someone else's time and profit. Personally I would have to be pretty desperate (i.e. wheelchair bound) to pay those sort of prices.

Expat.
 

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the trouble for mee is that although i have all the skills and could knock one of these up very easily, i am living in a small flat so dust is a real issue and i have no way of transporting an 8x4 sheet.

The legs really are a bit steep. (£30 for 2 legs!)

Peter
 

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Hi Pedro,

Have you thought of joining an evening couse in carpentry at your local poly. That way you could pre-fab the base-boards and just assemble them at home. There are also sometimes evening classes at local schools which have a carpentry workshop.

You will also find that, for a small price, your local B&Q will do most of the long cutting and just leave you with the joints themselves to cut.

I also live in an apartment so have the same problem with dust but have a friend with a garage.

Where there's a will there's a way and at those sort of prices any and all alternatives should be considered.

Expat.
 

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Hi Peter,

I saw these boards at Croydon last year & was very impressed with them. The downside is of course the costs & as Expat says you have to pay for someone else's time, which, in a commercial world is probably in the £30/hour range for a machine shop.

The legs are probably more expensive in proportion due to the amount of holes in them for height adjustment (if I remember correctly each leg is actually 2 sections).

AFAIK they are avialable in MDF or ply.

Most of the DIY's do a sheet cutting service, for around 50p/cut with some included in the price - don't know if this will be any help to yuo.
 

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When I saw these at Warley, I was very impressed by the quality.

£95 for a 1200mmx600mm by 130mm including 4 legs bolts and glue.
Maybe a little expensive, but if I didn't have the time or tools to make my own I would certainly pay the price.

The legs are expensive, but it is two lengths of Birch ply joined together with biscuits and glue, that is a lot of machining work to cut the biscuit slots then clamping them all up!
A little over kill I think!

If I were to buy any I would buy the baseboard and make my own legs.

Got to say though they do look the dogs dangley's, problem is you will never see them!!
 

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for board materials, why buy 'new?'

Very often, material quality form the major DIY chains is suspect to say the least.

Scrounging from skips is so much more fun.........[permission granted first, of course]

why do boards 'need' to be rectangular?

or, are we all looking for a 'hidden' limitation of size for our wee empires?

and legs can be found in all sorts of 'unlikley' guises??
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 8 Mar 2008, 15:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very often, material quality form the major DIY chains is suspect to say the least.

The only real advantage of the "sheds" IMHO is the opening hours - local timber yards usually have excellent quality at prices often cheaper than the sheds - many of them offer a cutting service too.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 8 Mar 2008, 16:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>the trouble for mee is that although i have all the skills and could knock one of these up very easily, i am living in a small flat so dust is a real issue and i have no way of transporting an 8x4 sheet.

The legs really are a bit steep. (£30 for 2 legs!)

Peter
Appreciated, I am in the fortunate position of being able to set up a workbench in the garden and generateing my sawdust there. A while back when I first got my mitre saw I used to use it in the garage but now that I have my layout in there I cannot operate in the garage due to the hge amount of dust it generates.

30 quid for two legs is a bit steep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE (alastairq)for board materials, why buy 'new?'

In my case i live in a small flat and its going to be on display all the time to visitors and friends. its got to look pretty. a nice, well made plywood baseboard does have an air of quality to it that i feel even non railway minded people will apreciate.

Peter
 

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If you have a small high quality of finescale layout in mind and carpentry skills are suspect then the price don't look too bad!

It would also speed up the construction side of things too
 

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QUOTE In my case i live in a small flat and its going to be on display all the time to visitors and friends. its got to look pretty. a nice, well made plywood baseboard does have an air of quality to it that i feel even non railway minded people will apreciate.

the 'appearance' of the board will be superficial in any event........whatever combination of materials are used to create the subframe...there are many suitable 'finishing' products available to improve the outward appearance.

To my mind, knowing one has 'spent' so much of one's surplus cash on the board, so it 'must' be right, doesn't sit well.....for one thing, what goes on top will eventually cost just too much anyways......so savings that can be made by thinking 'out of the box'....must be a good thing?

plus.....a ready-made board really restricts the modeller's freedom of expression.

the difference between, a board...however nice it looks.....with a train on it......and a piece of 'modelling theatre'...which will do more to appeal to the non-cognoscenti visitors?
 

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as an example....17 or 18 years ago I was actively involved in the creation of the NMRA HO modular layout thing.

whereby, one built one's module conforming to the minimal parameters of main line position,and baseboard dimensions....with the rest being 'free' for expression.

surprisingly, a 4 foot by 2 foot board, with set main line positions, really proved to be a limitation........even multiples of said boards still lead to imaginative struggles.

as for using/setting up, at home,the struggle really began.

eventually I designed and built my own layout, with the restrictions simply being, the size of the location......
 

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I have seen an excellent 1970's DB layout on the web by a Dutch gentleman who used MDF but he used it in the home which would be a more stable enviroment than say an out building or shed, and I have also heared that there is a cancer risk from MDF particles which has put me off MDF type construction. So what wood should one use I have been told everything from Marine ply, Birch ply and WBP exterior grade ply for baseboard construction in an out building

Shaun
 

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I can understand where Peter's coming from here. There does seem to be a divide between those with houses, cars and garages - and those without. If like Peter, you're in the latter category , everything gets more difficult.

The first time I built a model railway baseboard (2 off 3' x 1') I was living in a one bedroom flat and there was barely room to store the finished boards , never mind a decent selection of hand tools . Yes I got the bits precut at a local timber yard , and fortunately it was just round the corner as I had to carry the bits back in my arms. Cutting out halved tenons on the bits with just a junior hacksaw , a chisel , and a plastic benchhook in my bedroom is not one of my happier memories (There was no room for such luxuries as a Black and Decker Workmate - tools had to be stored in the bottom of the airing cupboard, along with the vacuum cleaner) . And I woke up next morning wheezing from the sawdust

The second effort was just over a year ago . This time the flat was bigger, a landing was available , the baseboard design was rather more sophisticated , and a reasonable selection of handtools was available , as well as a Black and Decker Workbox. It still took about 2 months, and a certain amount of mess, to construct a pair of boards 4'3" x 1' max, and that was with me putting in a pretty sustained effort. I'm not sure what 2 months of Peter's modelling time is worth, but given that he builds stuff for other people it has some financial value, and it's probably more than £95 .... The results of my efforts , though highly serviceable, aren't exactly a cabinetmaker's showpiece

I still don't have the facilities or equipment to attempt the Barry Norman style glued composite ply girder type board which is very popular - I've no way of clamping up long beams nor a workbench on which to clamp up corners

What exactly is wrong with MDF? I know the dust is potentially hazardous if you inhale it while cutting , but quite a bit of furnirture is made with MDF carcases
 

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QUOTE (Merry Go Round @ 10 Mar 2008, 13:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have seen an excellent 1970's DB layout on the web by a Dutch gentleman who used MDF but he used it in the home which would be a more stable enviroment than say an out building or shed, and I have also heared that there is a cancer risk from MDF particles which has put me off MDF type construction. So what wood should one use I have been told everything from Marine ply, Birch ply and WBP exterior grade ply for baseboard construction in an out building

Shaun

I would opt for marine ply in preference.

As a guide, I'd opt for a plywood that, for the thickness, has the most 'plys'''......the problem with the cheaper plywoods is the central layer...

I have in the past, obtained a smallish offcut of quite 'thin' marine ply...and was able to cut it with several passes of a stanley knife.....the strips were layered up as per Barry Norman......with small blocks of softwood inserted in between....glued and clamped.

The clamps I used were the cheap plastic variety.....it all worked well, surprisingly...for a small [plank] layout.
I also found the cheap [£10] B&Q ''workmates'' to not only function as tools...but also as 'stands' or legs for then boards.

the issue here in my view, centres on the overall weight of the board.

I suspect we may be 'guilty' of being influenced by the cheapo furniture makers, who generally substitute rigidity from good workmanship, with the sheer weight of over-thick chipboard.

that ply laminate board I made bordered on the flimsy, at first sight,,,,,,yet proved surprisingly strong, and rigid...
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 10 Mar 2008, 14:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>, but quite a bit of furnirture is made with MDF carcases

In workshops with industrial extractors, breathing apparatus, and protective clothing, almost to asbestos extraction standard. Also unprotected MDF acts like a sponge in damp atmospheres warps easy, weakens over time, and breaks up, just like the old chip-board.
Marine ply used to be the prefered material, but new plys now are almost up to marine standard.
Ever built a layout, got track to line up at board joins, take it apart, then when you put it together again they don't line up , board creep due to change in atmospheric conditions, there's less chance of that with plywood.
I prefer to use the 'sandwich' style sides to baseboards, thats two thicknesses of ply with softwood spacers, 10mm(3/8") top, and diagonal strengtheners underneath give added rigidity.
Paul M.
 
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