Friday, October 28, 2011

Putting a big baseboard in a small box

Folding Baseboard

Ta Daaa ! A folding baseboard - That's how I get a layout 148cm long into a box half that length.

Construction is simple enough. 6mm plywood cut to size by my friendly local wood shop. Stripwood from the mouldings rack in the same shop is fitted around the bottom edge. Some leftover 2 by 1 from the shed slots into the corners through holes cut in the ply. The folding is thanks to a pair of brass hinges from the leftover hinge drawer in the garage. Locking from a pair of brass catches - I had to buy these as we don't have to hand.

Woodwork is made much easier thanks to getting the ply cut and owning one of those cheap mitre saw things from a DIY shed. It's nice to be confident that the cuts are at 90 degrees in the softwood. I was keen to ensure the baseboard tops were level at the join, so spent a bit of time making the hinge supports as near the same height at possible. Those supports should allow me to fit low buildings (did I mention this test track will probably get some scenery) as long as they don't clash when the board folds.
Corner joint
I'm particularly chuffed with the corners which are strengthened by insetting the 2 by 1 by thinning it on two corners so it fits nicely. The horizontal cuts were performed on the mitre and the verticals in a vice using a hacksaw with a metal blade - the finer teeth are great for this sort of job as they don't tear the wood - then finishing with a chisel using techniques I picked up on the woodwork course I attended a couple of years ago. Cabinet makers will scoff but this is a step up for my tree hacking.
The whole lot fits in the box tightly. I could have done to allowed a few more mm over the width for those catches or found some that folded flatter, but it works so I'll not worry too much.


Jim said...

'Friendly local woodshop'? Not B&Q I take it - I tried them for a similar job and the two pieces ended up 3mm different in width, with very ragged edges. Is yours an independent shop?

Phil Parker said...

Yes - a proper old-fashioned hardware shop (Torries in Warwick). Try small towns for these sort of places, especialy rural ones.

On the other hand, some of the DIY sheds can do the job. The Melbridge Dock baseboards came from Do It All many years ago. I suspect it's mostly down to the care that the woodcutting person puts in to the job. Best bet is to go during the week when they are quiet I suspect.