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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am contemplating using Sundeala Board for my layout. According to my local builders merchant it comes in the following types:

9mm Sundeala Board K-Internal 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'K' Quality 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'A' Quality 2440 x 1220mm

Can anyone advise me as to which type I should purchase.

Thanks R
 

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Sundeala board is used for notice boards and is also ideal for railway base boards, but needs to be fixed (screwed) to a firm surface, or it will bend out of shape if its allowed too, "A" Quality is for sheltered exterior areas, so if your layout is going to be in a damp enviroment (say a garage) you need "A" type 12 x 2440 x 1220 at about £50 per sheet, not cheap, "K" Quality is for internal work, and were no dampness is present, this comes in 6mm at £25 per sheet or 9mm at £35 per sheet, this is what i have had on my layout for some years now with no problems at all. hope this is of help
 

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I have Sundeala board in the loft. The wide variations in environmental conditions both temperature and humidity mean that it changes size a lot even though it is securely screwed down. I plan to replace it.

David
 

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Sundeala can also be found in more manageable sizes, under their 'hobby' label...I bought several sheets all packaged up nicely from a local model shop some years ago......it is quite thin....however, if I were doing it again, I would use a ply sub-base, topped off with sundeala.......like a layer cake.

gawd..back in the early 60's I used wood fiber insulation board...as recommended by the Peco empire.

track was TT....fibre sleeper bases, rail spiked down ...home-made points....all peco stuff.....lovely jubbly.....I don't think!
 

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I've used Sundeala on my layout but would consider other options in the future. I made the mistake of storing my Sundeala for several months before constructing the frames. When it came to screwing them down, the boards had warped. I've levelled the surface with a surform where necessary, but this was a lot of extra work. If the Sundeala is of good quality and is fastened to your frames in a flat state, it should be OK. Alternatively, I don't think you would go far wrong using a plywood base with a cork layer for the trackbed. You would still need to support the plywood with a wooden frame, but this need not be as intricate as one for Sundeala.

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QUOTE (randolph @ 21 Apr 2008, 13:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am contemplating using Sundeala Board for my layout. According to my local builders merchant it comes in the following types:

9mm Sundeala Board K-Internal 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'K' Quality 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'A' Quality 2440 x 1220mm

Can anyone advise me as to which type I should purchase.

Thanks R

As previous replies have noted Sundeala warps even in relatively good environmental conditions.

But an even bigger problem is finding a supplier that has got flat sheets in the first place. I would avoid a builders merchants where storgae conditions and handling are not really very good for this sort of material.

Many hobby shops sell it but be very particular about their condition when you buy them. Since they warp in one direction so easily you would think you cound persuade them to go back but it is not so!!
 

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Posts on another recent topic in the Forum (which I cannot find) have suggested that Sundeala and other wood boards are painted over to 'seal' them from the damp in the air which can eventually cause warping.

A specialist timber merchant is more likely to store Sundeala boards correctly, but finding such a place these days can be difficult, alas.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all you advice, which leads me to a further question. Thanks John for the link to the other thread.

If I use Sundeala Board it seems that I must brace every 30cms. My question is that in my layout plan I have a couple of areas which have quite a few points and it is impossible to miss having a support under a point so how do I house the point motor if the support beam is in the way - can the motor be located to the side or does it have to be directly under the point? My original idea was to miss out a brace but it seems that the board will then sag!

By the way the layout is OO and will be the first one that I have built!
 

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One way round the last difficulty is to plan the layout full size before building the framing for the sundeala. Then you can space the support framework a little to one side of where a point motor is to go. Although the framing should be every 300mm approximately it doesn't have to adhere to this precisely. If the gaps turn out to be 350, 320, 250, 270, etc I don't think that will matter too much.

Good luck with the project. Don't expect perfection first time - or second time for that matter! Cheers, Robert.
 

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If you can lay your hands on some H&M (Hammant and Morgan) point motors, particularly if they still have the optional cranks with them, it is possible to site the point motor to one side of the point and link it to the point by wire (eg an 'omega loop'). These motors are often available at swap-meets, toy fairs and the like.

If you are in the UK then it may be worth contacting Brian Baker on 020 8508 4040; he runs a company specialising in refurbishing H&M equipment and I have bought a number of H&M point motors off him.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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Randolph,
I have used Sundeala board for over 30 years. I find it easy to work with and it suits my type of modelling. It has never been affected by the small amounts of water used in scenery construction and when adequately supported (as per previous posts) it has never warped. No doubt there are other materials that will do the job just as well but if you really want to use Sundeala in a normal domestic environment and can obtain correctly stored flat sheets then I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
QUOTE If I use Sundeala Board it seems that I must brace every 30cms. My question is that in my layout plan I have a couple of areas which have quite a few points and it is impossible to miss having a support under a point so how do I house the point motor if the support beam is in the way - can the motor be located to the side or does it have to be directly under the point? My original idea was to miss out a brace but it seems that the board will then sag!

I assume that you will be using something like 21mm x 44mm timber for the bracing. If so, have you considered increasing the depth of timber used by about 18-21mm so that you can make a small cutout in the bracing to accommodate the point motor? It might be worth doing this if you have a lot of points that coincide with the bracing. On my present N-Gauge layout I have similar problems with points so I have actually sandwiched a strip of 18mm x 18mm timber between the normal bracing and the Sundeala. This makes it easier to remove pieces for the point motors.
 

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QUOTE (randolph @ 21 Apr 2008, 22:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am contemplating using Sundeala Board for my layout. According to my local builders merchant it comes in the following types:

9mm Sundeala Board K-Internal 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'K' Quality 2440 x 1220mm
12mm Sundeala 'A' Quality 2440 x 1220mm

Can anyone advise me as to which type I should purchase.

Thanks R

This is a recurring question which pops up on every model railway forum every so often!

My advice would be don't use any of them!

I have had to help too many fellow modellers out of their 'Sundeala disasters' to accept its suitability for model railways!
It warps at rates Captain Kirk would be proud of and I have seen several layouts ruined by the stuff. No matter how you batten it down, it always finds a way to curl at the edges or sink in unsupported areas - even at the recommended 30cm intervals.

By the time you add up the cost and the extra supporting necessary, you'll find it cheaper to use ply which is a far more suitable product and does not warp at all - indeed my layout is all 12mm ply and was stored in my parent's garage (while we moved house) for a year here in Sydney Australia conditions: down to zero over winter nights and up to 45 degrees by day. The layout was not affected at all.

Unfortunately, the model railway press advertises Sundeala for model railways when it really isn't suitable.

Ply is really the only way to go. Particle boards are always susceptible to moisture.

Graham Plowman
 

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I certainly would not use "Sundeala" type board by themselves.
In a previous layout, I used that type of board glued to a 12mm / 1/2" chipboard/MDF which was supported every 15".
Three reasons why-
Allows for point rodding to slide switches to be below the surface.
Allows for variations in scenery base.
All of my track at the time was handlaid - 4 spikes at every 2nd sleeper - it was easy to spike thru balsa sleeper, 1/16th cork base then into baseboard.

If you must use it, support in very well, not on just framing every 12" but on top of other boards.
Ok, it costs more & take time but the hobby is not a "fast food" hobby .
 
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