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Model Rail Baseboards

Your first Model Railway system with be normally laid out on the floor or on the Dining room table, however these are always going to be temporary layouts. There will come a point when you want to make the layout more permanent, & sophisticated so you are going to look at the loft, spare room, garage, or shed. Now you are going to need tailor made tables (Baseboards), this arguably is one of the biggest jobs you’ll undertake. Once you’ve decided on size and shape, the next question is what’s the best way to achieve this, are you going to make the baseboard yourself or are you going to have it made for you.
 
There are a number of good baseboard manufacturers around.
 
If you are going down the route of making it yourself, here are a few points to bear in mind.
 
It is very difficult to make a board joint better later – so spend time getting the basics right.
 
You need to decide what type of wood to use for the top and for the legs. You want something sturdy enough to support not just the track, but electrics, buildings, maybe hills and mountains while also being soft and flexible enough to push track pins into it and drill small holes for wiring yet sturdy enough not to distort.
 
The majority of manufacturers use Furniture grade MDF for the table top in thicknesses from 9mm to 19mm. The advantage of thinner board is the lightness, however the disadvantage is strength.
The Frame should be made out of 75 x 19mm PSE Softwood (Planed Square Edge Softwood), with cross bracing at 300mm. The cross bracing will need to have holes for cables, normally 25mm is an adequate size.
You will need to have an idea of your layout and the approximate position of points and signals as they have wires that go through the baseboard - you don't want then going through and into a crossbrace.

ModelRail
Baseboards
An example of the framework with cross bracing.

The legs for your baseboard could be 'L' shape or solid.
Legs would be placed on the inside corner of the frame and glued
& screwed to the frame. use the HW572 Bracket for strength.
HW572
The following are a few items that will help with the construction of your baseboard.
HW550  Chromatised Dowel Set.
Alignment dowels ensure the accurate alignment of model railway baseboards.
These dowels are used only to ensure correct alignment of the
baseboards and therefore the tracks, they do not secure the boards
together. To join baseboards securely either toggle clips  HW555 can
be used, these being especially useful on portable layouts or
nuts & bolts which are more suited to permanent baseboards.

HW550
HW555 Toggle Locking Clip.
A sturdy toggle clip for connection model railway baseboards, made in
1.2mm & 1.6mm steel with a zinc plated finish. A useful feature is the
provision of a hole for a locking pin (not included) to prevent accidental
opening of the catch. Depending on the structure of your baseboard these
could be positioned either on the sides or underside across the join.
HW555
HW560 Baseboard 46mm diameter Adjustable Foot 50mm Length
Hexagonal nut, M10 thread. Can also be used in combination with
‘knock in sleeve’ HW571 and threaded adjustment bracket HW570
Adjustment with HW571 is approximately 40mm, however with
HW570 the adjustment is 10mm.
HW560
HW562 Baseboard 30mm diameter Adjustable Foot
A 80mm in length M10 threaded bolt with a 30mm foot on the
base. Each foot has a plastic protective cover to protect flooring.
Load carrying capacity approx 300kg (static)
Can be used with HW571 to give a maximum adjustment of 60mm
or with the  HW570 to give a maximum adjustment of 20mm.
HW562
HW570 Galvanised Foot Adjuster bracket.
Galvanised steel 3mm thick leg bracket.
HW570
HW571 Galvanised Foot Adjuster 'T' Nut
For mounting thread fixing castors or height adjusters under
wooden bases, with 4 prongs
Internal thread: M10;
External Ø: 25 mm;
Sleeve Ø: 11.3 mm;
Rim thickness: 1.3 mm;
Length: 11 mm
HW571
HW572 Galvanised Angle Bracket. Pack of 8
Can be used to strengthen the frame cross bracing, and
table legs

HW572
The following are a few items that will help with the interconnection of your baseboard

CN152 Solder Tag Strip 2 x 28 way
A Paxolin base with 2 sets of 18 tinned tags. Ideal for soldering
multiple wires to one point, can use one set as a positive rail and
the other set as a negative rail. Due to multiple fixing holes it can
be cut into your specific length. Fixing Centre  9.5mm
CN152
CN165 Power Distribution Board 18 way Screw Terminal Connection
A DC Power Distribution Board - if you are not into soldering. There is
a set of Input Terminals and a set of extension terminals for the next
Distribution Board. The output consists of 18 Positive terminals and
18 negative terminals. The board has a Power ON indicator, GREEN
if correct polarity, RED if the polarity is reversed, ORANGE if DC is
Connected. Each board has a position to record the voltage, and the
board No. Length 140mm, Width  40mm, Height  15mm

CN165
CN166 DC Plug Input Power Distribution Board 18 way
The unit has 14 Positive and 14 Negative Terminals. The input power
can be connected either by wires, a 2.1mm DC plug or a 2.5mm DC plug
 the input terminal will handle up to 15 Amps, the board can be used
for DC voltages up to 24vDC & DCC. The LED will show Green if the
Polarity is correct, Red if the Polarity is reversed by mistake or Orange
if you are running a DCC system. Write on patch for board Voltage
and Board No. There are 6 Fixing holes available.
CN166
CN179  12 way Pluggable Connector.
Pluggable industrial quality terminal strips moulded in PLP with
flammability rating of UL94V-2. Incorporating the following features:
plug-in terminal strip, 12 poles, 8mm pitch, 6A current rating,
450V voltage rating, screw termination, 2.5mm² wire size, nickel plated
brass contact material, polypropylene housing material, white colour,
+85°C temperature, male/female, UL94-V2 self-extinguishing moulding,
IMQ and CE approved.
CN179
Scart In Line 25 way Connection System
Scart
CN206                                                   CN204                                                   CN202                                         CN200
1.5m Male to Male Cable                   Chassis Socket                                    Female In line Socket               Male In line Plug