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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I am need of some help and advice....

I am about to construct a base board for my 00 guage Hornby 3 rail layout which has been dusted off from the loft and shown the light of day again, this has never been set up permanatly in one location, always been used on the carpet and table then cleared away again.

I am really unsure of the best material to use for the base board and frame.

There are many recomendations for sundela and it seems cheap and simple but does require a big base frame and this will be tight for all the electric points and signlas the track will have on it, there will always be a brace which needs cutting to allow cable to be passed through for connecting.

The layout is 8' x 5' so not massive but must be movable so not to heavy as I am looking to show it (yes it will be a pain to move but I have a nice size van)

I am also concerned that if I use a plywood or mdf the amount of screws needed to hold the track will be a pain to get in...

Help and avice would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Powerscape
 

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Welcome to MRF.

There has been a lot of discussion recently on MRF about Sundela & generally by the time you have used enough bracing to provide a stable surface you may as well have used something like 9mm ply. Certainly, Sundela will almost certainly not be robust enough for a portable layout.

MDF does give you a very smooth surface but is diffecult to screw into (although pilot holes will help).

Ply will probably be your best best - are you intending to have one board or have you considered using, say two 4' x 5' boards. Although you can get larger than 8' x 4' ply (used for shuttering) two boards may be more managable, even with a decent sized van - some exhibition venues can be quite restrictive (stairs, tight corners & so on).

Hope this helps.
 

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Hello from me also. I agree with Brian,maybe with one large board the chances of flexing will be increased resulting in damage to fixed items. Plus I've recently noticed how heavy a layout gets after just a small amount of progress, this then would increase the chances of dropping it .
Im dreading the day my layout has to be moved,its 7 1/2 x 15 1/2 in one piece, (I think a chainsaw would be involved!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both your replies the feedback is very much appreciated.

Sounds like I will be looking at ply wood then, do you only need to brace the unit around the edges and throught the middle mainly then as opposed to a large frame?

Yes your concerns are the same as I had the layput will be heavy and a little of a pain to shift in and out of some venues I am sure, my problem is that I have managed to get a lot into the layout with a good size shunting yard, terminal station and turntable which I felt may be a real pain to split into to boards, especially since I have a family memeber who is mad on signaling and wants to ensure it is almost as true to life as possbile so we have a number of signals to contend with.

My worries are
A) The wiring and re joingin it so often
How do you find the location to cut the board for the join as nothing will run in a straight line, so it means going through points and curves etc.
C) How do you make it easy to join a cut board with 3 rail.

I would love to split the layout for easy moving but need a more knowledge I think.

Cheers

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Hi there powerscape ....I think I'd be inclined to use two ply sheets each being 4x5.
Brace them around the outside and put some dowel holes in the two mating faces to ensure that it all lines up correctly.
Design the layout so that the joining section contains ony straights and screw the track down well [by screwing the track down you will give the ply more stiffness .....three rail "dublo" track is pretty sturdy stuff]
The final four sections ? [? I'm assuming it will be just two loops] would be inserted just before mating the two two boards together and then lock the whole lot together with the dowel pins.
I had a three rail layout as a child......It was on a 6x3 ply board just braced around the edges with 1"x1.5" wood .......and it withstood being moved [by an 8 to 13 year old yours truly] all around my parents house without any damage ....I even worked out for myself how to move it from my bedroom to the "front room" down a flight of stairs without damage ....on my own!

I still have it .....although it is now mounted on MDF board



It makes for a bit of "moving scenery" on my 00 layout ....and reminds me of my childhood.

hth....
Looking forward to seeing you and your layout at a show somewhere ....keep us posted.

best regards
T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Again great advice thank you.

It is great to see a layout of 3 rail and the story of how it has stood being moved in time.

Cheers

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