Building the baseboard
The main structure is built using planed timber around 50mm x 25mm (minimum size) with 75mm x 25mm ideal size edge ways on to give additional strength so the top surface remains flat when weight is added to the top surface.
It’s a good idea to use a spirit level to ensure the top is level remembering train run best on a flat level surface.
The maximum space between the cross members should not be more than 30cm assuming the top material will be a minimum thickness of 6mm (12mm is ideal) ply wood or similar material.
The cross members can be screwed together using around 60mm long CSK steel screws making sure all timbers are lined up to ensure a flat surface.
The picture on the left shows an ‘open frame’ system.
The top surface is best covered with a sheet of ply wood with a minimum thickness of 6mm (12mm is ideal)which makes a strong flat surface ready to start building a railway.
If at this stage you know you will be having any valleys where the ground level will be below the track level then build the lower level now
For a simple recess in the ground leave a piece of ply wood out on the top surface and attach a piece of ply under instead of on top of the timber frame.
As a rough guide the minimum size of board for ’00’ gauge is 4 foot by 8 foot and 2 foot by 4 foot for ‘N’ gauge. These sizes allow the use of ‘setrack’ curves but if possible try and make the sizes greater than above and use flexable track.
This would be very easy to do if the boards were around the are outside of a room.
The final thing to do is cover the plywood top with a fibre material as used for notice boards, insulation boarding, or laminate floor underlay. The advantage of using these materials is:-
easy to push track pins in without the need to use a hammer
reduces sound when trains are running