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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, got my son a Hornby 'Blue Highlander' starter set for his birthday. It comes with the standard 1800x1200 Trackmat. Space is limited in our house so I need to construct a table which will fold down from the wall. He will just have to remove the large items from the scenery when it's put away, but the track would be fixed. I'm looking for any tips or words of wisdom on constructing such a table. At a first guess I'll need a sheet of MDF or something similar. It would need to be strong and light so it's easily lifted. The hinge would need to be a few centimetres away from the wall to allow the thickness of the trackmat and track plus some basic shrubbery unless I can find some hinges which push the table out as it is moved towards its closed state. There would need to be a reliable method of locking the table upright so there was no chance of it coming loose and falling down.

regards,
Kristian.
 

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First of all, unless the baseboard is very thick (and so very heavy), then it will probably need bracing around the edges and across the middle with wooden battens, say 2" by 1" with the 1" side attached to the board. The easy way to get the board a short way from the wall is to first screw a length of wood (2" by 1"" again should do) to the wall. Use decent length screws (at least 1.5" into the wall plus wood thickness) and rawlplugs. Then fix the hinges to this piece of wood, which will be easier than trying to fix them directly into the wall anyway. Once everything is wired up you could make the underside look more attractive by covering it with harboard which won't add much to the weight. You could even use white faced hardboard. One good hook at the top should stop it coming down unintentionally but two might be better.

Good luck with the project. Robert.
 

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QUOTE (flobadob @ 10 Dec 2007, 20:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi, got my son a Hornby 'Blue Highlander' starter set for his birthday. It comes with the standard 1800x1200 Trackmat. Space is limited in our house so I need to construct a table which will fold down from the wall. He will just have to remove the large items from the scenery when it's put away, but the track would be fixed. I'm looking for any tips or words of wisdom on constructing such a table. At a first guess I'll need a sheet of MDF or something similar. It would need to be strong and light so it's easily lifted. The hinge would need to be a few centimetres away from the wall to allow the thickness of the trackmat and track plus some basic shrubbery unless I can find some hinges which push the table out as it is moved towards its closed state. There would need to be a reliable method of locking the table upright so there was no chance of it coming loose and falling down.

regards,
Kristian.

Hello Kristian

here's a drawing with a couple of ideas that do work - I built one like this for a friends son some time ago.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 10 Dec 2007, 13:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Kristian

here's a drawing with a couple of ideas that do work - I built one like this for a friends son some time ago.

Richard

Thanks but that image doesn't work for me. I've tried Internet Explorer and Firefox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 10 Dec 2007, 13:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>First of all, unless the baseboard is very thick (and so very heavy), then it will probably need bracing around the edges and across the middle with wooden battens, say 2" by 1" with the 1" side attached to the board. The easy way to get the board a short way from the wall is to first screw a length of wood (2" by 1"" again should do) to the wall. Use decent length screws (at least 1.5" into the wall plus wood thickness) and rawlplugs. Then fix the hinges to this piece of wood, which will be easier than trying to fix them directly into the wall anyway. Once everything is wired up you could make the underside look more attractive by covering it with harboard which won't add much to the weight. You could even use white faced hardboard. One good hook at the top should stop it coming down unintentionally but two might be better.

Good luck with the project. Robert.

Is it necessary to have such strength (and hence weight)? The board would extend 1200mm out from the wall. I thought 9mm MDF/plywood would do? What do other people use in this situation
 

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QUOTE (flobadob @ 10 Dec 2007, 22:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks but that image doesn't work for me. I've tried Internet Explorer and Firefox.

**Not sure why it won't open on the page BUT try right clicking and save it on your PC - I just did that and it works fine (its a standard JPG file)

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 10 Dec 2007, 13:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>**Not sure why it won't open on the page BUT try right clicking and save it on your PC - I just did that and it works fine (its a standard JPG file)

Richard

I dug out the html source and extracted the image. Saved it as a bitmap and it works. Got it now, thanks.
 

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QUOTE (flobadob @ 10 Dec 2007, 13:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is it necessary to have such strength (and hence weight)? The board would extend 1200mm out from the wall. I thought 9mm MDF/plywood would do? What do other people use in this situation

That thickness of board will be far too flexible for that width; it will bow like mad. You would need twice that thickness to think about doing without bracing. I have used 9mm plywood as the basis for my permanent model railway and, although it is only 400mm wide (around the walls of the garage), I have braced it every 300mm along to stop it bending.

By all means use a thin surface on which to stick your track but it will need bracing. Better and lighter than plywood is sundeala board. This is a sort of compressed cardboard (as used for notice boards) and it is very good for taking track pins. However it MUST be well braced and it is not cheap.

Without a sound baseboard everything else you do will suffer. As the board bends track will come unstuck, etc. I know that wooden bracing adds weight, cost and complexity, but it really is worth it in the end. By the way, if you intend using pins to put the track down then MDF is not a good choice as it doesn't take pins well.

Cheers, Robert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 10 Dec 2007, 14:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That thickness of board will be far too flexible for that width; it will bow like mad. You would need twice that thickness to think about doing without bracing. I have used 9mm plywood as the basis for my permanent model railway and, although it is only 400mm wide (around the walls of the garage), I have braced it every 300mm along to stop it bending.

By all means use a thin surface on which to stick your track but it will need bracing. Better and lighter than plywood is sundeala board. This is a sort of compressed cardboard (as used for notice boards) and it is very good for taking track pins. However it MUST be well braced and it is not cheap.

Without a sound baseboard everything else you do will suffer. As the board bends track will come unstuck, etc. I know that wooden bracing adds weight, cost and complexity, but it really is worth it in the end. By the way, if you intend using pins to put the track down then MDF is not a good choice as it doesn't take pins well.

Cheers, Robert.

OK, I'll try and find Sundeala board locally (UK/Aberdeenshire), failing that plywood. I'll use bracing also. Thank you for all your advice.
 

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'Railway Modeller' do a 'Shows you how' series of booklets. No.2 is 'Building Baseboards' for around 50p. Local model railway shop may have them or try www.peco-uk.com.
Patrick Stephens (PSL) do a 'Complete Guide to Model Railways' which has more detailed information than the Peco booklet. This can often be found fairly cheaply at bookstalls at model railway exhibitions or by searching on the internet.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (John Webb @ 10 Dec 2007, 21:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>'Railway Modeller' do a 'Shows you how' series of booklets. No.2 is 'Building Baseboards' for around 50p. Local model railway shop may have them or try www.peco-uk.com.
Patrick Stephens (PSL) do a 'Complete Guide to Model Railways' which has more detailed information than the Peco booklet. This can often be found fairly cheaply at bookstalls at model railway exhibitions or by searching on the internet.
Regards,
John Webb

I'll try and get hold of that book. The biggest issue I have with a board swinging down from the wall is that it could be lethal if it came down unintentionally. The board and bracing are probably quite heavy. Heavy enough anyway, especially as it will probably be located in the wee boys bedroom. Any suggestions on preventing the board from swinging down rapidly if it was unfastened by little hands? A special hinge perhaps which will dampen the swing?
 

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Above the top of the board have a batten fixed to the wall with two door-bolts attached vertically so that in the down position they hold the board against the wall. Hopefully these will be so high that your 'wee lad' cannot reach them, and both will need to be undone to release the board. It might be possible to get hold of a pair of damped stays - the sort of thing that car boot or hatch-back doors are fitted with. But I've never tried that route, so know little about them.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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You haven't mentioned how you intend to support the board when it is in the down position. I think that you will need at least two, but probably three, legs supporting the front edge. These could be hinged to the underside of the board or be completely separate. In either case you will have to make some arrangement that stops them being easily kicked out of the way and letting the whole layout collapse. My experience with young children is - work out the worst you think can happen and it probably will.

Good luck with the project. Cheers, Robert.
 

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My layout board as a kid was folded up against the wall as described, and it was a phenomonal weight. I think it was chipboard braced by 2x1 battens screwed and glued. Dad did not build by halves!


You could use styrofoam sheets as used for flooring insulation (Sheffield Insulations supply them), glue them together (PVA) and just frame them with some light timber to protect the edges and take the screws for the hinges and legs.

Just a thought!

Cheers

Ian
 

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My dad built a fold down baseboard for me when I was young. He mounted a 6" x 1" frame onto the wall which gave a lot more height so I could fix buildings, platforms etc onto the baseboard surface.

Steve
 
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