Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

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Bayl
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Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Bayl » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:48 pm

Hi all, first things first, this is my inaugural attempt at using a forum so anything could happen.
Although I've been a member for over a year now I'm only just making some tentative steps towards actually making something,and already have a couple of questions.
Firstly, when folding photo etch, should the etched fold line be on the inside or outside of the fold?
And secondly, what is the best way to secure the C&L finescale track to your base bard, I.e. Without using pins.
I know it's basic stuff, but I find myself at the start of what may well be a rather steep learning curve.
Cheers for now, Adam.

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John Bateson
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby John Bateson » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:09 pm

Firstly, when folding photo etch, should the etched fold line be on the inside or outside of the fold?


Always fold with the half etch on the inside unless specified by the designer of the etch. Normally the fold distance will be the width of the etch material, i.e. 0.3 mm etc
Will Litchfield posted a useful note here some time ago, and to sharpen up the fold corner you can either
a) use a triangular file on the half etch until a 'reveal' line begins to show on the outside
or
b) use a sharp point such as a scriber to mark the fold point on the inside until a reveal mark begins to show on the outside

Either of these methods will draw the fold closer to the thickness of the material being folded.

And secondly, what is the best way to secure the C&L finescale track to your base board

Usual method is to use cosmetic plastic chairs from C&L, I use wooden sleepers from the Scalefour Stores suitably coloured and then a suitable plastic glue to set them in place, flooding - in a well ventilated area of course, using appropriate gauges. Slater's Mek-Pak is one of these glues but others on here will suggest alternatives. On straight track this is all that is needed but on curved track I use a rivet through the sleeper and solder the track to this. These rivets are also available from the stores.

If history is anything to go by you are about to be deluged with advice on how sleepers should be fixed to your baseboard, the great majority of it will be helpful but with many different outlooks.

John

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David B
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby David B » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:19 pm

Follow John's post. However, if you are making a 180o bend, folding something right over, then the etch line is usually on the outside.

Hardwicke
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Hardwicke » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:41 pm

I know a lot of people still prefer the actual wooden sleepers but I cannot see why when there are C&L /P4 Track Company / call then what you will , almost ready made sleepering units. apart from on very old and poor track, can you see the grain of the wood. If you want this, a rough wire brush over the sleepers before adding anything will give it a pronounced "grain".
The instructions tell you exactly how the make correctly measured sleepering. A couple of cuts and its done. Plastic-weld solvent sold my many model shops or traders is the best. A quick wipe of solvent over a few sleepers and the chairs ready threaded onto the rails, just "click" in place. If you need to move any which occasionally happens uses a flat chisel craft blade. You can choose Exacto, Swann Morton or a cheap one from Aldi. Slide it under the chair from each side and it lift hopefully. If you do destroy it thread a new one in carefully. I give the track a spray of brown - the exact colours depend on it it is new track, main lines, sidings, etc and a grey sprayed from above with the sleepers. You can run a brush along the chairs loaded with white spirit or turps to bring then back to brown.
I use 1/8th inch or 1/16th inch cork depending on your preference. 1/16th is enough I find for sound deadening and is flexible enough when you need to cut it for curves. On main lines I just put a sheet across all lines as mine don't have a pronounced ballast shoulder between lines. The cork is laid on a balsa board reinforced with sanding sealer. I use solvent free Evo-stick impact adhesive. It has a little give so if you ever change plans it can be dug up.
The sleepers are pinned to this and the curves built up as per the track instructions. This will set the track in the basic formation. Once happy with this, I spread PVA glue over it all, pin the track down again and sprinkle the ballast over the lot. After about 10-30 minutes I use a large brush to remove the excess ballast. This also allows the air to get to the glue underneath and you can see where it hasn't taken. I use weight on a piece of wood to hold it all down. Full beer bottles come in handy ! You can build and ballast about a yard/metre a night including threading the chairs. Forge Mill Sidings had two lines built in two days before its first ever partial public appearance. The parts arrived on Thursday and were ballasted and carried in on Saturday morning.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:34 pm

And secondly, what is the best way to secure the C&L finescale track to your base bard, I.e. Without using pins.

See http://www.norgrove.me.uk/shed-relay.html, might answer some questions.
I lay C&L flexi exactly the same as ply and rivet track.
Regards

Hardwicke
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Hardwicke » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:23 pm

I'm not sure if it was clear but the pins I use are the little ones you use on pin boards. They only hold the track in place whilst the glue dries. The head lets them grip the sleeper or rail down, without getting in the way of the weights. If they do just use smaller bits of wood, or remove them as you weigh the track down as the glue dries.

Hardwicke
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Hardwicke » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:27 pm

I've used K&L (now C&L) track on Swanage built in the 90's and ExactoScale - now P4 Track Co on Forge Mill Sidings and Kirkcliffe both built in the last 15 years.No issues with movement, just my occasionally bad track-building when I've had to make non-standard formations.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:21 pm

Hardwicke wrote:I've used K&L (now C&L) track on Swanage built in the 90's and ExactoScale - now P4 Track Co on Forge Mill Sidings and Kirkcliffe both built in the last 15 years.No issues with movement, just my occasionally bad track-building when I've had to make non-standard formations.

Would love to see some pictures
Tim Lee

Philip Hall
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:10 am

I shall be using FastTrack bases on ‘Mellstock’ because they are accurate for gauge, strong and simple, and after some assembly it will be a bit like using Peco Streamline! I too don’t have a problem with plastic sleepers; I feel the grain of wooden sleepering is not that obvious and for me the time saved is useful. For the same reason (time) I can happily live with the chair mouldings that do not have protruding keys. A great innovation of late has been the Peco bullhead fishplates, which properly hold the rail right up to the lower edge of the head and should help with proper alignment.

I have always glued down track with PVA to a base of some sort, but this time I shall be using 1/8” (or thereabouts) cork. I also will probably not be using PVA in an attempt to obtain some sort of soundproofing. For sidings, sound insulation is not so much a problem and gluing and ballasting in one go is probably going to be OK. For the running lines, though, I want to get this as near perfect as I can, given that I intend (at times) to have decent length trains swishing around at 60-70 odd. I also would like to incorporate a little superelevation in places. So these lines will be ballasted later, once all is wired up and fully tested, and the track will initially be lightly pinned in place.

I am investigating what would be the best adhesive to stick the cork sheet to the baseboard surface, which is white Contiboard (melamine faced building board). I don’t think PVA will stick well to the melamine; anyone have any ideas?

Philip

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Paul Townsend » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:12 am

Philip Hall wrote:I shall be using FastTrack bases on ‘Mellstock’ because they are accurate for gauge, strong and simple, and after some assembly it will be a bit like using Peco Streamline! I too don’t have a problem with plastic sleepers; I feel the grain of wooden sleepering is not that obvious and for me the time saved is useful. For the same reason (time) I can happily live with the chair mouldings that do not have protruding keys. A great innovation of late has been the Peco bullhead fishplates, which properly hold the rail right up to the lower edge of the head and should help with proper alignment.

I have always glued down track with PVA to a base of some sort, but this time I shall be using 1/8” (or thereabouts) cork. I also will probably not be using PVA in an attempt to obtain some sort of soundproofing. For sidings, sound insulation is not so much a problem and gluing and ballasting in one go is probably going to be OK. For the running lines, though, I want to get this as near perfect as I can, given that I intend (at times) to have decent length trains swishing around at 60-70 odd. I also would like to incorporate a little superelevation in places. So these lines will be ballasted later, once all is wired up and fully tested, and the track will initially be lightly pinned in place.

I am investigating what would be the best adhesive to stick the cork sheet to the baseboard surface, which is white Contiboard (melamine faced building board). I don’t think PVA will stick well to the melamine; anyone have any ideas?

Philip

I am concerned about use of Contiboard for Baseboards.
I have used this material for shelf and cupboards construction for years and if kept dry it seems reliable.

However, our house move of 2 years ago gave us a kitchen using the stuff. Door and drawer fielded panels are beginning to delaminates in places where I have no reason to suspect dampness. This in a supposed top quality kitchen of about 10 years ago

Albert Hall
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Albert Hall » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:11 am

I agree with Paul. I have used old Contiboard for shelving in garden sheds where it starts to delaminate within a few years due to temperature and humidity variations. So unless you are building in a properly heated room or are prepared to invest in some sort of climate control I would definitely avoid it and invest in good quality ply from a reputable timber merchant as opposed to a diy store.

Roy

Terry Bendall
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:28 am

Philip Hall wrote:I don’t think PVA will stick well to the melamine; anyone have any ideas?


Highly unlikely Philip since the plastic surface is not absorbent, although with a large surface are it may be sufficient for cork. I would go for plywood, and for preference birch ply.

Terry Bendall.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:43 am

I would be interested to know if anyone has ever experimented with moisture resistant flooring chipboard for base boards?
Tim Lee

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:44 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Philip Hall wrote:I don’t think PVA will stick well to the melamine; anyone have any ideas?


Highly unlikely Philip since the plastic surface is not absorbent, although with a large surface are it may be sufficient for cork. I would go for plywood, and for preference birch ply.

Terry Bendall.

I have a couple of small test tracks on redundant sections of Contiboard shelves, I used PVA to stick cork underlay on these and it has remained well stuck for around 10 years now.
Contiboard shelves in my garage have been in place for 20 years plus with no sign of delamination or sagging, but some melamine faced chipboard shelves in the old kitchen units have sagged although I'm pretty sure they have been damp at some stage. I think genuine contiboard uses a higher quality chipboard than the usual DIY store chipboard and I would not see any issue using it for baseboards with the usual care to support against sagging.
Regards

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:50 am

Le Corbusier wrote:I would be interested to know if anyone has ever experimented with moisture resistant flooring chipboard for base boards?

No I haven't, it would be going in the opposite direction to the trend for lightweight boards. I have 12mm chipboard baseboards from 40+ years ago, when they were recommended by the MRSG and these have stood the test of time well, on the other hand chipboard purchased in the last 20 years has needed much more support and is visibly of inferior quality.
Flooring chipboard, IMHO, would be to thick and to heavy for anything meant to be portable.
Regards

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:24 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:
Le Corbusier wrote:I would be interested to know if anyone has ever experimented with moisture resistant flooring chipboard for base boards?

No I haven't, it would be going in the opposite direction to the trend for lightweight boards. I have 12mm chipboard baseboards from 40+ years ago, when they were recommended by the MRSG and these have stood the test of time well, on the other hand chipboard purchased in the last 20 years has needed much more support and is visibly of inferior quality.
Flooring chipboard, IMHO, would be to thick and to heavy for anything meant to be portable.
Regards

Thanks Keith,

I was thinking for permanent installations ... we still use the waterproof T&G flooring in buildings as it is quite strong and stable (in some ways better than ply and much cheaper), so I was wondering if it might be suitable for baseboards.
Tim Lee

John Palmer
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby John Palmer » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:37 pm

For our Burnham layout we used 3/4” flooring grade chipboard mounted on 3” X 1/2” ply frames. The chipboard decking extends over the the full area of each board. These boards are fast approaching 40 years of age and, like Keith's, they have lasted well and show no signs of distortion. I haven't made a close inspection of chipboard that has been more recently manufactured and am sorry to note Keith's comment that it is of visibly inferior quality. But for that comment I would have no problem in repeating the approach we adopted for Burnham.

I know it runs counter to current wisdom, but from the outset we envisaged that Burnham would be a portable layout notwithstanding the weight 'penalty' we knew we would incur through our choice of materials for its baseboards. The layout comprises 7 boards in total, 6 of which get moved in pairs with top surfaces face-to-face and separated from each other by suitable 'stand-off'/jointing boards. The fiddle yards boards measure 6' X 2', so are quite heavy when moved as a pair. Personally, I still have no problem single handedly moving any pair of boards over short distances, though that may change as age enfeebles me. Since four is the absolute minimum size of crew required to exhibit the layout, the manual labour required to move it is sure to be to hand, and to my way of thinking that reduces considerations of baseboard weight to minor importance. Other members of our group may disagree!

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:25 pm

NB my quality comment related to 12mm 'normal' chipboard, not flooring grade.
Comparing 1960s UK and 1970s Australian which were good with 1990s Uk which was not so good.
Regards

Philip Hall
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Philip Hall » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:41 pm

Paul, Terry, Keith,

Thanks for your concern and advice! I have to say first of all that the boards are a bit of a done deal, as they went in as we were finishing the outfitting of the building and are now very much part of the fabric of the place. I have had the track plan for Mellstock aka Okehampton in my head for so long now and the basic shape of the boards was worked out as we went round the room. What won’t fit on the boards doesn’t go on the railway; a very old fashioned way of doing things but this building is dual purpose, mostly my railway and workshop but a lot of household storage as well. Therefore the boards are essentially the tops to a lot of units and storage. Nothing is going under the boards, all wiring and controls are going on top. My days of heaving boards about and ducking underneath with a soldering iron are long gone.

I thought long and hard about the surfaces, and finally settled on genuine Contiboard because of Steve Hall’s use of it on his storage sidings on Drighlington. He had written that the most successful baseboards he had, with virtually no trackwork problems, were on the fiddle yard sections. I discussed it with him and realised that it would give me a lovely clean flat surface to work on. There were some economic considerations because the building had cost quite a bit, but also I had been given a lot of bookshelves of similar thickness which my carpenter friend would be able to use for bracing etc. The railway is not going anywhere, so the support structure is extremely rigid and heavy, the surface is attached with lots of screws and will happily take my weight. Support for the outer framing is cantilevered out from the bottom edge of the walls so there are no legs anywhere to obstruct storage. So far I am not sure whether the building is holding the railway up or vice versa.

The building is a very substantial wooden structure, heavily insulated with domestic pvcU windows and door and fully carpeted. Even without heating in the coldest weather we have had this year it has not been really cold in there, and I went down this afternoon and it wasn’t at all bad. I have a large oil filled radiator which will comfortably bring the room up to 20° in about half an hour. Once warm it stays that way for a very long time, so it’s a bit like being in a room in the house. I tend in the coldest weather to leave the radiator ticking over on a frost free setting or at about 10°. As such I don’t think I should have much trouble with the Contiboard, and I was careful to get the proper stuff as Keith has suggested. If I do have any damp problems, which I don’t foresee, I can always get a dehumidifier.

I should also say that half of the railway (the scenic side) will have the Contiboard just as a sub base, with the track laid on 15mm timber sections on top, or on a structure supporting an embankment. They might be ply, I might use up offcuts of Contiboard, we shall see. The other half, the storage sidings, will be laid on cork on top of the melamine, as will a narrow shelf laid in front of the windows to take the track around the room. My carpenter friend who has done almost all of the work has given me a surface within half a millimetre of dead level all the way around the room (20’ x 21’). It all went in about 9 months ago and the levels are still the same. The narrow shelf is still straight as a die, but knowing the man who built it, I should not be surprised.

To get back to gluing down the cork, I have a mind to try spray carpet adhesive; I could use EvoStik but the new non sniffable formula clumps a bit when you spread it out. Another possibility is high tack double sided tape? All the track will be lightly pinned down at first so holding down the underlay before eventual ballasting and gluing.

Philip

Hardwicke
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Hardwicke » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:20 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:Would love to see some pictures

20180307_161655_Film1.jpg
Not a view normally seen at exhibitions.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:27 pm

All the track will be lightly pinned down at first so holding down the underlay before eventual ballasting and gluing.

Pinning into Contiboard is not a trivial excercise :) You are going to need to drill a hole for every pin unless prepared to use a heavy hammer at great risk to the track. Double sided tape would be a lot less work.
Regards

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steve howe
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby steve howe » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:14 am

I built my first P4 layout on veneered chipboard as sold for furniture making. The veneer's surface was absorbent enough to accept wood glue and soft enough to get pins into, although chipboard of any kind is still hard for fine pins, 40 years on its still perfectly flat and stable (the weight is another issue!)

Steve

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Attaching track to base board and bending photo etch

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:29 pm

It is possible to attach track to baseboards using only small amounts of glue to start with and rely on the ballast to do its proper job of holding track in place later. I am covering this on my latest thread looking at my new Wemyss layout which is under construction on my workbench thread. It is a little unconventional, but it does work allowing alterations to be made even some time later after the track is up and running and you have tested it . As long as you do not have extremes of temperature it will work.

I do use a cork underlay so is conventional in that sense, even if the baseboards are a bit less conventional.

I am working up the thread just now and it might just be of some interest to you.

It is at:

https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=89&p=59780#p59780

Allan :)


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