Saturday, May 01, 2010

Box baseboard


At last, some progress on the layout in a box !

Baseboard construction had stalled while I tried to work out how to operate the points. With limited headroom (the box lid has to go on for storage and transport) to fit the engines shed, I wanted as little below the board as possible. Sadly this meant that Peco motors were too tall unless I devised a fiendish method to mount them on their side. Manual operation via rods or cables was an option but I really wanted to be able to work the model from front or back. OK you can have things poking out of both faces but it’s not tidy and I prefer motors.

My solution, currently untested, is to use Seep motors. Specifically the PM4 which incorporates a latching system that I hope will keep the scratchbuilt pointwork set to one direction or the other. Controls will be in a plastic box on the end of a lead that is long enough to sit either side of the model.

With this sorted, I could use some 20mm deep stripwood to brace the plywood top. The wood is simply cut to length and glued and pinned around the edge of the top. Nothing sophisticated here and well within my limited woodworking capabilities.

The backscene is a bit of birch ply nailed on the back. The height was set by the depth available in the box. I’d have preferred about twice as much (about a foot) to be honest but that wasn’t possible within the confines. The quality ply was chosen as I had some kicking around after my woodworking course – thin MDF would have worked just as well. Mind you, when cut it, it did smell very nice in a woody kind of way and hopefully it will resist bowing over time better than a cheaper material.

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