Full Version: Baseboard question
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Since February/March, I have been working on a small N-scale layout. It's about 27" wide (although I'm thinking of widening it to 28-29" and about 68" long. It's made from a piece of pink foam and is simply sitting on a small fold-out table.

I'm thinking of mounting it on a baseboard or piece of wood to give it some support and so I can possibly take it to train shows, etc. I do have a strong piece of fibre board that could work well, but it's very heavy. So I'm wondering if I should buy a piece of plywood and have it cut down to the layout's size -- or, could I get by with purchasing two pieces of strong green (the environmental kind), cutting it to size, and then gluing the pink foam board onto that? I think this could work as it should give me the strength needed as well as being very light. Ideally, I want something that would be fast & simple, due to time, etc.

Could you please let me know your thoughts and if either of these plans might work? Thanks in advance.
Well...plywood is heavy all by itself, so your idea about using "green" is probably the best as long as you won't have any strong forces acting on your layout during transport and handling.
MountainMan Wrote:Well...plywood is heavy all by itself, so your idea about using "green" is probably the best as long as you won't have any strong forces acting on your layout during transport and handling.

Thanks... that's what I was thinking. The layout will probably only leave the house 1-2 times per year, so I would be very careful with it and it shouldn't undergo too much wear & tear. I think/hope the green foam would give it lots of support.

Rob
Rob,

Something that large will need two or more people to move it once complete. With legs and associated parts, you're looking at a substantial "kit".

I would first recommend breaking down the layout into two modules, width x no more than 4 feet; in your case, probably three feet.

Second, with respect to construction, you need to engineer strength into the modules to keep the weight down. Don't go for a slab of plywood with 2" pink extruded foam on top. The foam is actually quite strong once reinforced with a frame of 1x4 or 1x5 pine. A cross brace underneath is needed only every 18-24".

A pair of these can be boxed as a set with end plates and makes for a compact and light package that can be moved easily by two people, or one with a cart.

This is the way that the modular club that is belonged to built them. I actually built 24" x 6' and I regret the size. I haven't even added anything to them.

Take a look at HOTrak.ca and railwaybob.com for ideas.

Andrew
Robert
A club here has built a modular layout with 2 inch pink foam with a 1x2 frame around the foam, with nothing under the foam its self. And all you need at a show is a table to set it on.
Robert, Andrew,

Thanks for this feedback. Yesterday, I placed a 1" thick pink foam board ├╝ber dear the layout. This gives it slightly more strength (as the layout is now about 3" thick) and has also allowed me to widen it by 2" which gives space to add a passing siding.

That's helpful feedback about building the frame around it, which is what I'll do next, then add a backboard scene. Not sure if I'll get to this this week though.

Andrew, since I've progressed so far already with the layout, I think it's to late to break it up into two sections without possibly damaging it. I'll probably have to simply tolerate it being so large and be careful when transporting it.

Cheers, Rob
MasonJar Wrote:Rob,
Something that large will need two or more people to move it once complete. With legs and associated parts, you're looking at a substantial "kit".
I would first recommend breaking down the layout into two modules, width x no more than 4 feet; in your case, probably three feet.
Second, with respect to construction, you need to engineer strength into the modules to keep the weight down. Don't go for a slab of plywood with 2" pink extruded foam on top. The foam is actually quite strong once reinforced with a frame of 1x4 or 1x5 pine. A cross brace underneath is needed only every 18-24".
A pair of these can be boxed as a set with end plates and makes for a compact and light package that can be moved easily by two people, or one with a cart.
This is the way that the modular club that is belonged to built them. I actually built 24" x 6' and I regret the size. I haven't even added anything to them.
Take a look at HOTrak.ca and railwaybob.com for ideas.
Andrew

Thanks again for this feedback, Andrew. Once the layout is finished, it will still be quite light since most of it is just foam board. I could easily carry it myself (when walking on the straight and level) but the hard part will be maneuvering it up & down stairs and around tight corners -- that's where I'll have to enlist the help of my sons. I'll see if I can get my neighbour -- who is a wood-worker -- to help me cut up and make the frame. His results will be much more professional than mine. (This neighbour is also slowly working on an N-scale layout.)

Are you no longer a member of the modular club? Just curious as I seem to recall you were quite active with them.

Cheers, Rob
HI Rob,

Glad to help. You're right in that even if it stays light, its size will mandate you have a helper for maneuverability.

I hope you can maybe trade some skills with your neighbour. The barter economy is great!

I haven't gone out to the modular club in a while. Lots of changes in my life in the past few years have made model railroading the lowest priority. I hope to change that now I have a new house with suitable space.

Andrew
Rob
I'm not sure if it would work, but gluing foam stiffeners around the underside of the baseboard, keeping them on edge.
I would go for 2" foam in 4" widths (but that's me...) WS foam glue.
BR60103 Wrote:Rob
I'm not sure if it would work, but gluing foam stiffeners around the underside of the baseboard, keeping them on edge.
I would go for 2" foam in 4" widths (but that's me...) WS foam glue.

Thanks, David. I'll consider this. What is WS foam glue? I found some multi-purpose wood/foam glue at Home Depot that seems to work well.

In the next year or so, I'm hoping to bring the layout to 1-2 train shows.

Cheers, Rob
Here's one photo ...although the layout has changed a little since. R

[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]
Rob
WS is Woodland Scenics. I like their foam glue. It doesn't have solvents and dries rubbery rather than hard. I think it can be softened with water.
I made a larger layout with foam sheets and a frame of inverted L girder, with support strips across the bottom.
And its tacky. I yous it for their roadbed and also to glue track down. It will also glue foam to wood. Great stuff.
Thanks, David and Robert. I should have figured that out! WS glue does sound good. I'll probably try to get some from my LHS. It sounds very useful for track.
[quote="MasonJar"I haven't gone out to the modular club in a while. Lots of changes in my life in the past few years have made model railroading the lowest priority. I hope to change that now I have a new house with suitable space.
Andrew[/quote]

I think I understand, Andrew. As noted elsewhere, I've also recently had trouble finding MRR time. I still hope to move to a larger house one day (outside of the city) where I can build a large 00 layout. Cheers, Rob