Friday, 21 November 2014

Installing the baseboard

With the baseboards made it was time to assemble them together. This is not a portable layout, so they were clamped together then big screws used to fix them. I guess it could come apart in the future, though I won't be worrying about splitting track or wiring at baseboard joins as that would significantly complicate things. The front and rear profiles were cut from two pieces of ply, and screwed in place spanning the board joins, hopefully making the whole thing rigid.

The next trick is to pivot the board to the wall. I made up a simple frame for each rear corner: a batten screwed to the wall with a weight-bearing leg spaced away from the wall about a foot. It is this leg that the layout is bolted to with 10 mm bolts and locking nuts. The front corners simply have a leg attached also with a single bolt, so they fold down the side of the layout as it goes vertical.

The layout down, the wall-battens can be seen against the wall but they don't carry the weight of the layout. The double-deck front part of the layout adds to the strength. Underneath the layout the step/box I made recently can be seen, allowing children to operate the layout and see what they are doing, as the lower track is about 3' from the ground.

A close-up of one of the hinged bolts, which is set about 10" into the layout. The leg is in the foreground, the wall batten can be seen behind.

I forgot to take a picture of the layout stored upright, and now I'm not allowed to put it away (!), but as stowed the board is allowed to go slightly past the vertical so it gently leans on the wall. A pair of risers on the side of the layout, topped with a piece of felt to prevent marking, rest against the wall. The main weight of the layout goes down the rear legs, but enough weight is over-centre pushing against the wall to mean it isn't going to fall down.

Nonetheless, just to make sure, a couple of catches are fitted to the wall battens. This simply pivot onto a protruding screw head at the side of the layout, and mean it cannot be pulled down.

I left a cut-out under the rear of the front station board, where the station will be at a high level, and fitted a shelf. My old Gaugemaster "D" controller, which my Dad bought me for my train-set when I was a kid, fits nicely into the gap. It is secured with some wood strips all round and above, and a couple of large washers. When the layout is stowed upright this is pointing down, so the washers are pretty vital!

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