Baseboard for Stephenson Road
- 9mm plywood baseboard top: thick enough to be rigid and not flex too much and also able to take screws on the underside to secure point motors and other electrical bits and pieces; not too thick to add unnecessary weight. I’ve used MDF in the past but it doesn’t like moisture and doesn’t take screws particularly well to hold the electrics in place. MDF is also very dusty when being cut.
- 1/8 in cork sheet to cover the baseboard: Forms a lovely professional looking surface to work on, hides the screws attaching the ply to the frames, and provides sound insulation. A plain plywood surface will amplify the noise of trains passing over it and get in the way of any DCC sound effects.
- 18mm x 70mm planed timber for frames and bracing: I’ve used good old 2″x1″ in the past but it doesn’t quite provide enough depth to protect all that under board wiring. The extra inch is really worth it on a portable layout. Plus, Stephenson Road will have servos to activate the points, and these need more space than solenoids.
A trip to B&Q provided a pack of timber and a 4’x2′ sheet of ply. The B&Q timber cutting service reduced the ply to give me two peices 36″x9″, one for the main board surface, the other to provide the upper level.
Final task is to cover the board with cork. I used the ply set aside for the upper level as a template to cut the cork sheet to size as it is identical at the moment to the piece forming the main board. My tool of choice is a nice sharp scalpel which will go through the cork in a single stroke.
The finished result is one very nice, sturdy base to build the layout on. Quite a pleasing couple of hours work.