Basswood vs Plywood for structures

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Muddy Creek, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    I'm getting ready to build my N Scale sawmill complex and need advice on the roofing material. The building is larger than any N Scale buildings I have built in the past.

    The wall material is 1/16" basswood which I have on hand and am about to laser cut. It seems to be strong enough for the walls of the structure, but it doesn't seem rigid enough for the roof. I don't have any thicker material on hand to compare with yet. Obviously, I don't want it to sag

    The dimensions of the main mill building: 14" long X 8" wide. I was planning on not providing interior supports, the interior is not going to be detailed. The roof material will support the clerestory section. 1/8 material seems a bit thick for N scale roofing. My choices for roof decking are :
    1/16" Basswood
    1/8" Basswood
    1/16" Finland Birch Plywood
    1/8" Finland Birch Plywood (3 ply)
    1/8" Light Plywood

    Does anyone know how 1/16" birch plywood compares to 1/16" basswood?

    (I don't know the properties of the "Light Plywood offered by National Balsa)

    Please forgive the very poor quality photo of the cardstock mock-up (new digital camera expected soon):


    Any recommendations or alternate suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Birch Plywood is very stable. I use it in 1/64 single ply all the time for boards and fences in HO and On30. The 1/16 would be super strong as it's 2 or 3 ply, at least the Midwest brand I use is. Fred
  3. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Muddy, Plywood is always going to be stronger than the same thickness of wood. Because of the laminated layers. Considering the size, I would add several trusses to the inside of the roof to help support the middle. I'd go with the plywood since like Fred said it's much more stable the wood, once again because of the lamination.
  4. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    Thanks both, I'll try the 1/16th birch plywood, with a couple triangular braces inside to keep everything rigid.

    Now, to find acres of N Scale metal roofing.

  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

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