Beginner seeks advice on baseboards

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by scotterdavid, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. scotterdavid

    scotterdavid New Member


    I'm now to the Gauge and to model railroading. I've decided on a layout -- I hope to build a custom version of the "scenic and relaxed" layout as marketed by Atlas on a baseboard no larger than 7ft * 3ft. The next step is to construct a baseboard, and I wondered if you guys could advise me and share your experiences with me, please. The key issue is that the board must be portable as I'm going to be working the spare bedroom. I'll need to move the layout out of the way when we have people to stay. Another priority is to be able to cut down easily to form a river bed for example.

    I've noted that I could use a variety of materials -- plywood, MDF, chipboard, sundeala, foam, however I haven't made any decision as. The combination of foam on plywood seems realistic however if this represents a good solution then are there any members in the UK who can advise me on the availability of suitable foam (grade, etc), please.

    Thank you in advance -- David.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    David, I can not advise you on this, I am "old school", I use plywood only, none of that new fangaled stuff for me, just wanted to say HI:wave: and welcome to the Gauge.

  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Actually, if you are willing to go 4" less in length, a hollow core door is a good base for a portable layout of up to 36" x 80" - the largest commonly available door size. Use a slab of 2" foam on top to give you some below track scenery space to carve out.

    If a door won't work building a tray frame to hold the 2" foam is another good method. Adapting the methods shown in to your size would work quite well.

    my thoughts, your choices
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi David. Are you in the UK? I know there are major differences in what is available in building materials between there and here; Homasote and foam insulation are rare to non-existant over there.
  5. scotterdavid

    scotterdavid New Member


    Thanks for the welcome to the gauge, and for the advice. It's true that foam insulation is very rare over here in the UK, and that is a major concern. Having said that I'm actually very interested in the method described in, and so I'll make a few enquiries to see what is about. At a recent exhibition, I learnt that the technique of using foam (stryofoam) to make the baseboard is gaining some ground in the UK, and so it is well worth investigating before I dismiss the idea.

    Thanks -- David.

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