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Gauge 00 Exhibition Baseboard

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I'm setting up a Gauge 00 Exhibition baseboard 2000x1100mm which will take up to a radius 3 track plan, my design is based on lightweight construction so easy to move around, a four unit system 1000x550mm each, two x two of the units will bolt together making two closed transportable units which will fit on the back seat of my car. The baseboard will also be set-up at home to play with and to test models that I'm working on.

This is a drawing of one of the 1000x550mm units which will be constructed in 9mm birch ply, it will have a 40mm expanded styrene deck (not shown) to keep the weight down, there are four M8 bolt fixings through MS dowel pins in each unit, to bolt the four units together.

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This is the 20mm MS bar stock that the dowel system is turned from- 1 dowel pin and 2 sleeves for each bolt which goes through the dowel and clamps the units together against the sleeves, the sleeves will be permanently fixed into each unit. The bolt and dowel pin are removed when disassembling so nothing sticks out the side for transporting.

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After a bit of turning, though not finished yet.

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A dowel pin and the two sleeves, one sleeve still needs a flange and a knurl put on it.

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And the 9mm birch ply frame parts kindly & accurately cut by baseboard Dave. Boards this size cannot be worked on in my workshop so I have made a ply worktable that fits to the coffee table in my living room with T Slot clamping system to aid construction of this and other jobs.

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Other items like sky boards, support system and scenery are planned and will come along later. The scenery is going to be based around Dun Laoghaire, Salthill and Seapoint- I hope, with keeping the baseboard compact we'll have to see how things pan out!

Now for a bit of gluing.........

Eoin

 

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1 hour ago, Irishrailwayman said:

A hot glue gun fixes the boards together in seconds.

Yes I can attest to that but wow keep your fingers away from the blasted glue for a few mins after application - wear gloves. I got a nasty burn putting these together. Which only took about 15 minutes per board. Hot glue gun is great though. All my other boards from years ago were glued and screwed (PVA).

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Then glass fibre/PVA Tape the joints and seal with paint for moisture stability easy of adding scenery later, etc

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1 hour ago, Irishrailwayman said:

A hot glue gun fixes the boards together in seconds.

Hi Irishrailwayman

Yes hot glue is handy, but the majority of this system is laminated construction, there is a laminated inner frame for strength- when this baseboard is at home it will be assembled and hoofed up to ceiling level in my sitting room- for easy access and maximum fun!

Hot glue wont work for laminating so PVA & nail gun it will be...

18 minutes ago, Noel said:

Yes I can attest to that but wow keep your fingers away from the blasted glue for a few mins after application - wear gloves. I got a nasty burn putting these together. Which only took about 15 minutes per board. Hot glue gun is great though. All my other boards from years ago were glued and screwed (PVA).

Then glass fibre/PVA Tape the joints and seal with paint for moisture stability easy of adding scenery later, etc

Hi Noel

I have seen your glass fibre tape & PVA construction in your posts! I'm not to sure about this construction- PVA is a soft material and would not give the same rock hard finish that resin reinforced with the tape would do, which is what's normally used with glass fibre tape, what I thought when I saw your post was, if one goes to the trouble of taping the joins and painting on PVA why not go the whole-hog and use resin!

and Noel when things are hot- 'don't Touch' as mammy always said😀

Eoin

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Yes on reflection I wish I had used resin instead of PVA but when I saw how 'Little Siddintons' large O gauge baseboards had survived so much movement, erection and disassembly, in and out of transit vans I suspect the PVA/Tape mix will suffice. Gort only has two 5x2ft boards so should avoid being subjected to too much wear and tear and will fit in the back of my car. On Kingsbridge the ply is glued and screwed to the structural frame for added strength and I can walk on the boards it is so strong and stable. Yes PVA doesn't take that long to dry when laminating so while I've had some success with the hot glue gun i'm not a passionate evangelist for it, there are other methods that work just as well and don't take that much extra time. An advantage of smaller base boards is being able to work on them upside down, or on their sides, whereas on Kingsbridge I have to crawl around under the boards to do wiring and stuff.

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The advantage of hot glue's rapid setting is that the top board is forced to take up and hold the flat surface of the computer precision cut of the supporting boards. The fibre-glass webbing and PVA provide back-up for the longer term but are not subject to too much strain.

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Posted (edited)

As the person who designed the O gauge ply and glue construction , it’s true the method works best with fibreglass resin and fibreglass  tape 

However our experience with the O gauge is that while the main baseboards are resin and are effectively bomb proof , the pva baseboards are surviving the rough and tumble more then adequately 

the sides are not designed for lateral loading, their primary purpose is to stress the top and keep it flat 

the end cheeks are 15mm ply ( all ply is high grade birch ply , either MR glue or WBP glue  , I would reccomend staying well away from cheaper grades of ply ) 

The biggest stress area , can come  on the end cheeks as they are dismantled , any vertical movement with the steel dowels still engaged effectively causes one board to act as a lever on the end check joints . 

Roughly abused the pva units will fracture , however interesting the hot glue is so strongly bonded it usually rips the surface lamination fron the ply in the process. 

Hence in the pva /hot glue variant a lot of strength comes from the hot glue it would seem 

in the original fibreglass design ( my own layout is all resin ) there is appreciable additional strength from the fibreglass , the ply will completely fail before the joint releases. 

The pva variant is a compromise albeit a good one and it’s difficult to badly apply pva whereas fibreglass laminating resin needs some experience and a room temperature over 15 degrees C , not to mention the all persuasive styrene monomer smell that lingers and really requires breathing filters 

having said that I glassed mine in my back spare bedroom , during a winter !! ( I have a tolerant wife ) 

i put one test board in my outside steel garden shed for 6 months of the winter braced at an odd angle , no distortion or delamination was observed 

the primary advantagous of the method are 

(1) exceptional ridigity combined with low weight due to the use of 6mm ply yet fast construction , an experienced person can assemble a 5, x 2.5’ in 40 minutes fully glassed 

(3) if diagonally braced , good resistance to torsional stress , tests show on a 5’ X 2.5’ board raising the opposite corner 4mm will lift the diagonal opppsing corner 

(4)  the use of computerised cuting delivers dimensional accuracies without resorting to fully designed up baseboards like laser cut  

 

(5) no on site specialist equipment is needed nor any carpentry skills other then a couple of squares and a few clamps , a decent chop saw is useful but not essential 

(6) no screws or nails used in the main body of the board  

(7) the hot glue method means the board is instantly transportable and can be glassed in another location , brought home in a car  etc 

(8) the design is such that variations can be accomdated without recourse to more computerised cutting ( ie curved  baseboards ) , lift sections 

 

(9) the construction method can produce open frame variants 

 

(10 ) did I say it’s strong , a 5’ by 2.5’ supported just on its bare ends exhibits 2mm sag when a 10 stone man sat in the middle !! , yet such a baseboard can be comfortable carried by one person 

There are some disadvantages 

(1)  the use of legs fixed to the sides is not really supported , as the 6mm ( 120 mm deep ) sides are not designed to handle significant  horizontal loading ( as opppsed to vertical loading ) 

the design is optimised for self standing trestles 

(2) the same issues arises with structures that leverage the side frames , like lighting supports and pelmets  , these really need to be free standing from the floor even if tied to the sides for stability 

(3) not everyone is comfortable with polyester laminating resin 

 

 The design was subjected to some limited finite stress analysis in fusion 360 . 

If anyone would like to discuss the construction method , the O gauge layout will be at Easter WMRC , Belfast , august 2019 and Dublin ( Blackrock 2019) 

dave 

 

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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I would say however that the method is not suitable for cheap Malaysian ply , my experience with it suggests the layers are not well bonded , and the surface tends to be more dense and less absorbent  then birch ply. 

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Posted (edited)
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 On Kingsbridge the ply is glued and screwed to the structural frame for added strength and I can walk on the boards it is so strong and stable.

Noel. The most problematic  construction, in my experience ,  is dissimilar woods , In far too many cases Ive seen the 2"x1" being stabilised by the ply and not the other way round.  Then to compensate for what is a fundamentally bad approach , the thickness of everything is beefed up, ( and gets corresponding heavy )  While this " solves " the issue , its really a poor way to go about it . This is even truer today , as commonly available deal is often forced growth,  poorly dried and inaccurate. Th timber and ply commonly available in local builders providers is invariably rubbish and is the cheapest around type of stuff as most purchasers dont care about warpage or humidity issues 

That method of construction largely evolved because it was what people could easily get in their local hardware store, getting good quality ply is still very difficult to this day and requires use of a specialist provider , glue and tape construction is not common to the average DIYer or railway modeller,  ( nor is laminating or other specialist methodologies ) hence we have the Deal and ply construction 

Its easy to make something strong and heavy , its easy to make something light and weak , the  trick is strong and light.

 

Note that many construction systems will allow you to " walk on the boards", the issue is what is the resulting deflection !,  and more importantly over time how they react to moisture and changes in humidity and temperature . Everard Junction has an interesting discussion on what went wrong with his baseboards over the years.

IN my opinion , ply on ply construction ( however you approach the particular construction ) using good quality ply is the best approach while still avoiding terribly exotic materials or advanced construction techniques . Laser cut , all ply boards ( which we tested for the O gauge and discounted )  makes exceptionally light and strong baseboards, but requires all the baseboards to be accurately designed in advance. The use of interlocking tabs in laser cut , makes the joins very strong and in fact the test boards we made up ( which can be seen in the club) didnt need tape and glue.

There is a multitude of baseboard methods, and many will " suffice " , some are " good" and a few are class leading.  Again it all depends on what you want as the design goal, cost, weight , strength etc 

 

This leaves aside discussion on other forms of compressed sheet , other then ply as, thats another ball game entirely , or composite sandwich  foam types ( which I did consider for the O gauge and still feel has promise 

Dave 

 

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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Posted (edited)
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This is a drawing of one of the 1000x550mm units which will be constructed in 9mm birch ply, it will have a 40mm expanded styrene deck 

I would suggest you consider extruded polystyrene rather then expanded 

Also I would be interested to see how the torsional rigidity works out .  I found that without diagonal cross bracing , the ply construction was  rigid both across and along the horizontal axis , but exhibited considerable diagonal movement , now this isnt such an issue where boards are levelled  before the layout is used , but we did add diagonals to  our O gauge boards ( which are a good bit bigger the 1000x 500) and to all other ply and tape boards we have subsequently made up  ( Over 40 at the last count ) The layout is so rigid when erected that the certain mal adjusted trestles often don't contact the floor , rather then the layout sagging 

I had considered a extruded styrene base , and also experimented with a lamination of ply/extruded styrene /ply  using 3mm ply and 100mm extruded XPS300 , It has much promise , but really needs a vacuum bag , which I dont have . But this type of composite construction doesnt even need side supports for a frame ( other  then for cosmetic reasons and joining boards together ) )

I would like to see your boards once they are finished 

 

Dave 

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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Hi Dave

This in a Gauge N baseboard module which is the same construction design as the one above except;-  it was constructed in cheepo 6mm ply with the 40mm insulation for the deck but has no laminated internal frame like the one above. The flat gusset piece in the corners are glued to the frame and to the underside of the insulation, the insulation is glued in with 'No More Nails' glue on the 40mm edge which makes the board fairly rigid in all directions, each module weighs in at 2lb.

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These boards fit end to end. The end plates are doubled up with a rectangular slot to take the support system, fixing two boards together involves sandwiching the support leg between the two boards in the slot and using a C clamp to hold in place.

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These units can go on a table or use their own support system! but I found it was to light and liable to be knocked over so had to add Lidl lifting weights to the leg bases.

Eoin

 

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Posted (edited)

Oh thats an impressive baseboard. Strong as an Ox for N and yet weights nothing. :tumbsup:

There's always more than one good way of peeling an orange! :)

PS. Sealing the plywood with a good sealer/primer coat of paint IMHO can do more to aid moisture resistance and warp stability than anything else, especially the underside of the boards as well as the topside.

Edited by Noel
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Main frames now laminated and clamped down to the bench for the day, just in case they might want to take a warp!

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Next step is to mate up sides and ends for dowel pin hole drilling and to route the wire slots ......

Eoin

 

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Back to baseboard!

So I finished off the steel dowel and bolt system, drilled holes in, routed slots in, and stuck the frames together;-

First, was to install the dowel sleeves into the appropriate sides, with sides clamped to fit the sleeves n dowels are bolted up to draw the sleeves into the wood.

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Once the dowelling was done the frames were stuck together with staples and wood glue, the gussets in the corners have horizontal screw fixings through the frames.

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40mm insulation being glued in with No More Nails.

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Two of the boards bolted up for first test fit, can't put the other two on yet as the glues not dry!

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Now need to work out the track plan- see if any mods are required, and then we'r a painting......

Eoin

 

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I finally got the baseboards finished to the point of starting to lay the track and test if the DARTs can get around it;-

Undercoat going on,

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Setting up track based on the old system I used for testing models being worked on, but it was always to close to the edge of the board- OK at home but not for display. I took it to the last Bray Fair and found my display table support idea will not work to well, so Screwfix trestles will have to do for the moment.

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The Seapoint Martello Tower makes an appearance again!

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and the final solution, I think! all runs well the DART can go everywhere with no problems. Flexible track was used to tighten up the layout to get in from the edges. The track is set up on 3mm MDF sheets to mark and cut out track boards which will be screw fixed to the baseboards with a jigsaw inset track piece for the joins!

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I have a plan.....

Eoin

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