Fruit box baseboards (Was how to join query)

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John New
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Fruit box baseboards (Was how to join query)

Postby John New » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:30 pm

Probably Simon is the expert on this as I know he has used multiple sections with his Rue D'tropal modules (seen the photo's) but rather than PM him direct I thought the answer might help a few of us hence this open post.

How have people addressed the issue of alignment etc when using cardboard baseboards? None of the usual techniques with wood seem directly appropriate due to the softness of the cardboard but one might be adaptable IF the right diameter/bore tube and dowell are available.

My thought so far for alignment is plastic tubes glued to one board with a protruding dowell on the other board and perhaps velcro to keep the two attached.

I would like to dabble with fruit box baseboards but storage practicality will mean me either restricting the layout size to a single box or having to find a means of accurately aligning multiples.
Last edited by John New on Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Colin Peake » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:32 pm

John, it's worth having a look at Ken Gibbons' cardboard layout on RMweb: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=21331 - he has used some timber in the construction and a novel form of baseboard connection.

I have been pondering this idea for some time and have concluded that to get foamcore or cardboard based boards to align/join, at some stage you will have to include a little timber...

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:15 pm

when I originally planned my multi box layout, I intended to use velco strip to hold boxes together. In the end I did not use anything. Track ended just short of box ends and short pieces of track crossed over box ends to join sections. Only problem was power supply, so before Crewe in January intend to add separate power supply to each box.

The other problem was caused by boxes not having flat bottoms so I supported each end on slats of wood.

Next issue of Continental Modeller(January issue) will have full article on layout and other cardboard modelling ideas.

One thing I might try for next layouts is to fix wood slats under box ends, which might then allow some type of bolted joining if necessary.
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Postby John New » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:17 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps. The RM Web one useful as although I am a user of RMWeb, and recommend it despite the majority standard gauge emphasis, I had missed that thread as there is just so much on there to read.

Elastics look more effective than my idea of velcro and it does work as we had a folding door on a wardrobe held shut that way in the past I had not made the cross connection.

I also know that the rail section accross base board joints works and it was a probable for use as the brass pins with track soldered on at baseboard edges wasn't going to work on cardboard.

My Christmas pizza will probably go onto a plywood square for speed of construction this year with added stability in the car when it gets taken to relatives over the holiday for grandkids to see. (300 mile trip so needs the stability)

Image

The picture is from second article following the Bradford Waterworks NG system write up on this IRS web-page. I only saw it yesterday and it has really got my imagination rolling already at the scenic possibilities and end to end on three cardboard fruit boxes in T shape with Y track plan is a distinct possibility. Just a critter and a couple of tippers oh so simple but effective.
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Postby Will Vale » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:54 pm

By a strange coincidence I found this picture last night as well!

Apparently it's the Decauville catalogue illustration of their equipment being used to move Tutankhamun's effects from the tomb. I can't help but think that Decauville added or emphasised some of the track in the photo since it has quite an unreal quality to it.

[edit] Looking at it again and re-reading the text, this is probably a totally different dig, sorry. I think maybe all the railway equipment in the photo has been painted onto the negative.

There's another picture here, partway down:

http://www.travelegypt.com/siteinfo/tutexcavation.htm

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Postby Geeky Gecko » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:16 pm

For my layout, made of solid card rather than corrugated, I simply use two 6mm bolts through the ends, which are reinforced with a few layers of card, with large washers. This was supposed to be temporary but has survived many joining/unjoining events. The layout is placed on it's back and alignment is by eye and touch. The bolts also carry the power across the join. Each rail end is soldered to a small wood screw screwed into the card surface.
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Postby Korschtal » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:05 pm

Thanks for this- I've been trying to figure out how to do this sort of thing. Westerooge was partially cardboard, and although the join wasn't too bad I'm not entirely happy with it.

Colin: Thanks for the RM web link, that's really helpful...

Geeky Gecko: Have you pictures of your idea?
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Postby John New » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:56 pm

Geeky Gecko: Have you pictures of your idea?


Me too please.
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Postby Oztrainz » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:26 pm

Hi all,
Have a look at case clips similar to those on older style suitcases.
Advantages:
come in a range of sizes,
positively locate both sides in X-Y axes across flat surfaces,
can be mounted to join vertical surfaces where there is sufficient depth,
If 2 used, then screw or solder track connections to each caselock half on each module so they can can be used to provide electrical contact across the join for traction power. (WARNING get polarity correct)
can be hot glued to cardboard when in closed position so as not to overtension the joint.

Disadvantages:
may be too visually obvious and require hiding under a building or similar
Large sized one may be bulky.

I use them on thin MDF to secure both halves of a fold out layout in 0-16.5 I hope that this helps provide another option.
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Postby shortliner » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:08 pm

Gents - I don't know if this will work with cardboard, but look about 5 posts down on this page at my Ingleferry Wharf photos
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topi ... ichpage=10
The boards clip together by inserting wooden strips into the plastic extrusions

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Postby John New » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:15 pm

Shortliner wrote -

Gents - I don't know if this will work with cardboard, but look about 5 posts down on this page at my Ingleferry Wharf photos
Image

Neat idea and looks easier to set up initially than my similar thought of the round tubes and dowels.

I have seen references to your layout before and really like the idea behind it, good work.

PS - Hope you didn't mind the image link, I can edit it out if you want.
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Postby shortliner » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:04 pm

No problem at all

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Postby John New » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:45 pm

My Christmas layout is progressing albeit in a slightly random (gnutty?) manner. It now has a name I am happy with (Reindeer Falls) and has a build blog on line here.

My Christmas pizza will probably go onto a plywood square for speed of construction this year


I did buy a 4 x 2 sheet of plywood before finally taking the plunge and sticking with baseboard option A, the pair of fruit boxes. That decision brings me to add this observation here from my build blog:-

"Observation on fruit boxes - As I am sure anyone who handles these at work already appreciates the size, shape and variety arriving in the green grocery section of your local store is large. I had not been aware of this previously, assuming there would be set sizes to aid mechanical handling, but have discovered it now. If you are going to use boxes in multiple therefore it is essential that you get enough of the same size at the same time or stick to those being used for a regular product into the store to give you a chance of getting idenitcal extras on a future date."
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joining solid card not corrugated card baseboards

Postby Geeky Gecko » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:45 am

Here's a picture :
Image
Nothing new or radical. In my original post I was simply trying to illustrate that cardboard is fairly strong and correct track alignment is not to difficult on narrow boards. You can just see some of the screws to which the rails are soldered, which are also used for electrical connection.
Last edited by Geeky Gecko on Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jez kirkwood » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:21 pm

I may be missing something here but if aligning a cardboard baseboard is so difficult why not just use wood? radical or what!! I realise that wood is heavier than card but is this really an issue with a baseboard the size of a fruitbox??
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Postby Simon Andrews » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:39 pm

Jez, I won't try to second guess John's motivation, but the members of this forum have a tradition of using / recycling everyday items where possible to both save money and for green reasons. This thread; http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=2021&highlight=cardboard+challenge is an excellent example of this approach.

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Image

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Postby John New » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:02 pm

a tradition of using / recycling everyday items where possible to both save money and for green


That challange was what got me experimenting with alternatives to wood last year along with seeing the work others had acheived. Additionally in a past paid employment role I was responsible for a while for the local service Unit promoting recycling (Repair - reuse - recycle) and so the concept of giving what are very sturdy items a second use has strong appeal, I actually believe that message although no longer with any professional involvement.

Cost partly comes into it, as what I save on timber can go into stock etc, as does board weight in transit.

Perhaps I am a maverick experimenting with this cardboard and other recycled materials approach but as my woodworking skills are basic and so much modern wood warps I am giving the green alternative a go. It also fits in with my general interest in card modelling which seems to be a very neglected medium in the C21. My card skills are nowhere near the standard of others who post here but they are improving all the time and I can also design from scratch in card.
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Postby michael » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:14 pm

John you can also think of card as highly processed wood :)
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Postby Jez kirkwood » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:43 pm

Very interesting - I'm with you all the way on reusing/recycling. Both me and my dad (and now my kids) have extensively used card for buildings and other scenic items - I guess I'm just not convinced by the baseboard idea it may work ok for a small single board layout but in my experience baseboard joints are always a weak point, both from a structural and a scenic point of veiw, and I always try to design layouts with no joints on the scenic section. From what I've seen there are very few layouts on this forum that really need baseboard joints and it seems odd to compromise the strength of the whole layout just to use a couple of free boxes when with a bit more skip hunting it would easily be possible to find something better suited to the job. By the way the baseboard for my current 1:12 layout is made from bits of at least two previous layouts together with timber from some old bunkbeds the kids out grew (my attic is full of bits of wood waiting to be reused), also I have a small woodburner in the shed so the offcuts keep me warm whilst modelling in the winter!!
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Postby michael » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:08 am

Ok Jez we need a pic of the said shed and the wood burner. I also have a possible workshop that will be warmed with wood, we were living in it untill a few weeks ago, now we are in the new house the camper is vacant :idea: :!: the camper will be a great place to become a new workshop :wink: ... it was the plan all along.
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Postby John New » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:06 pm

Jez wrote

.....it may work ok for a small single board layout but in my experience baseboard joints are always a weak point, both from a structural and a scenic point of veiw,....


I fully agree with you Jez and many words have been written about the fault line gaps in scenic sections. However storage space is an issue hence my evaluating the possibility of this project being made as a two-piece unit. The base size of 780mm x 590mm (30” x 23 ¼”) is OK as a single unit but for larger size, or L shape, bases needing splitting I think the consensus here is that a composite wood/cardboard structure would be needed.

With regard to this project having how added the top layer using the two advert boards glued on to provide the extra lamination bridging the joint of the two boxes I am very pleased with how strong it appears to be.

Today's build log update with photos is here if anyone is interested.
John
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Re: Fruit box baseboards (Was how to join query)

Postby John New » Sat May 06, 2017 9:01 pm

With regard to this project having how added the top layer using the two advert boards glued on to provide the extra lamination bridging the joint of the two boxes I am very pleased with how strong it appears to be


Is it really nine years since the above post!

The original box structure has survived slightly damp storage in my trailer during that long period of inactivity and has recently been pulled out with a view to reuse. The Corex (Advert boards) were a failure and have been stripped off today, fortunately without damage to the boxes. The track that was on them was also partly damaged but most has been recovered for reuse.

They were a failure for two reasons -
1) They were the prime reason why this project got put into abeyance, I couldn't get anything to stick to them for the scenics etc. (The subsequent inactivity is another story, railway prototype research and then a Uni degree managing to divert me away from active modelling). Even what stuck originally, PVA and gravel ballast and double side sticky tape to locate the track elsewhere failed over time.
2) As I discovered today the over printing of the adverts has also led to them being somewhat patchy in adhesion to the underlying box. They just peeled off today leaving some of the printing stuck to the glue!

What I have proved though is that the cardboard fruit boxes themselves do seem stable over time.
John
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