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Old 10-06-2018, 08:35 PM   #1
mcleod4569
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Default Putting a base board on a desk

Hi people, I am new to the forum and considering getting back into model railways after a long absence. Apologies if the advice I am looking for has been provided elsewhere but this forum has so many pages and posts and I have not been able to find help with what I am looking for.

Space is very limited in my house and so I am considering getting a baseboard to sit on a desk I have in my room so I can run an n gauge layout on it. Because it will (hopefully) be sitting on a desk, I will not have to build any legs or a stand for it to sit on.

I was hoping I could get some baseboard advice, about materials, where I might buy them etc

Hopefully what I have in mind is possible.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:54 PM   #2
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The biggest challenge with putting a baseboard on a desk is the fact that you cannot access the undersides for easy wiring. However I have mounted my baseboards mainly on kitchen units and bookshelves and, of course, accepted the fact that wiring will then all have to be on the top of the board and still remain accessible. This will make the scenery more of a challenge but I am happy to pay the price.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:49 PM   #3
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Will it be a case of adding rubber feet to the bottom of the layout or actually built onto the desk? There are many ways to built layouts. The main thing is getting a nice solid even surface to lay the track on.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:16 PM   #4
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You can put all the wiring on the board instead of under it. Just camouflage it with the scenery.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:33 AM   #5
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Some years ago I built a OO layout on a 1800x600 timber board and used rubber door stoppers underneath so that I could move it and place it on a table or any other flat area when I needed to work on it, or use it. Standard timber design, 70X20 pine frame with a 9mm plywood board. All wiring underneath with space for points motors. When not in use it was stored on its edge, wherever was convenient. Add another 100 or 200mm width a you would certainly have enough space for a continuous circuit N gauge layout, which is still light enough to man handle.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Goat View Post
Will it be a case of adding rubber feet to the bottom of the layout or actually built onto the desk? There are many ways to built layouts. The main thing is getting a nice solid even surface to lay the track on.
Well I was hoping that I would be able to move it around if needed be so I guess rubber feet would be the way I would go. It wasn't going to be physically attached to the desk.

The layout I have in mind would only have 1 continuous loop with a passing track and some sidings so I would only need the one wire connection wouldn't I? Easily concealed with shrubbery of some kind.

So from what I have gathered the general feeling in the model railway community is that 9mm plywood is the way to go regarding baseboards. I got the feeling that I should avoid Sundeala like the plague because it warps apparently. But I was thinking about this because I have read that it is easier to pin track down. Is it difficult to do this using plywood? I would prefer to use pins so I can have the option to make any changes in the future and I thought if the track was glued down then this would make it a lot more difficult.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:49 AM   #7
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I used 9mm ply, the track pins (peco sl-14) are just slightly longer than board thickness plus track thickness (N gauge) this may be a moot point in oo. But something to consider if you like the current flavour of your desktop!
The pins themselves are quite easy to push through the ply. I held the pin with needle nose pliers (or track cutters) whichever was nearest and a gentle tap or two with a tac hammer.

You would need some type of framework I would say, to strengthen the board,so that could be designed such that the pins are not an issue.

(But I’m only a rookie so, pinch of salt!)
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:21 AM   #8
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Hi

It would not be an issue building a standard type baseboard that is portable and can sit on a desk when in use and moved elsewhere when not in use, N-Gauge give the option for quite a small workable layout, even a continuous loop sand a siding will be quite dooable.

9mm ply for the top, a simple wooden frame to stop worping and give enough room underneath for all the wiring and point motors, rubber feet to protect the desk top from damage.

Try not to over complicate things to start with regarding the amount of track and how many buildings you want to incorporate. Mind you in N-Gauge a 3x2ft baseboard would make a nice TMD, Engine Maintenance yard or dock/shunting yard, with a hidden fiddle yard if you plane it well, and those things can be quite busy and look quite natural.

Paul
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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I've just done a baseboard for a desk. 32mm x 32mm lengths to make a frame with some 9mm board on top - I actually used a number of old laminate flooring boards as the top, with some cork on top to level out. Wiring will fit between table and the board.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul-H View Post
Hi

It would not be an issue building a standard type baseboard that is portable and can sit on a desk when in use and moved elsewhere when not in use, N-Gauge give the option for quite a small workable layout, even a continuous loop sand a siding will be quite dooable.

9mm ply for the top, a simple wooden frame to stop worping and give enough room underneath for all the wiring and point motors, rubber feet to protect the desk top from damage.

Try not to over complicate things to start with regarding the amount of track and how many buildings you want to incorporate. Mind you in N-Gauge a 3x2ft baseboard would make a nice TMD, Engine Maintenance yard or dock/shunting yard, with a hidden fiddle yard if you plane it well, and those things can be quite busy and look quite natural.

Paul
I wasn't going to worry about point motors and all the extra wiring that entails. I don't think my budget is going to stretch to that. I was going to just operate points by hand.

I'm not looking for anything super complex. Just something nice and simple(ish ).

Would places like Wickes, B&Q or Homebase be able to cut a baseboard for me to the right dimensions I need?
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