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Adding legs to our budget model railway baseboard

Now that the first two baseboard modules are assembled it’s time to sort out the legs. We’ve been looking at various options including bolting them on with coach-bolts & wing nuts to make them easy to remove so that if and when the layout is taken to any shows or used for demonstration, the whole thing will fit in the car!

train set to model railwayAfter much deliberation, and not wanting to add any unnecessary costs to the project, we’ve opted for a simple  “Slot In” leg arrangement which is an adaptation of that used by Chris Hatton in his excellent book, From Train Set to Model Railway.

Baseboard Leg Socket - Enables quick and simple assembly and dismantling

Baseboard Leg Socket – Enables quick and simple assembly and dismantling

The construction is very quick and easy indeed. All you need is a few off-cuts of the same wood used for the legs and baseboard underframe, a little wood glue and 8 x 1.5″ screws.

All we did was cut 4 short sections of leg timber (approx 2.5″). Then cut 4 lengths of underframe timer the width of a leg plus 2.5″. These were then used to create “pockets” on the each corner on the underside of the baseboard panels.

Trying a leg for size - It's a snug fit, but it works a treat

Trying a leg for size – It’s a snug fit, but it works a treat

At present, the 4 legged baseboard seems sturdy enough, although we are planning to add removable crossbraces to the legs very shortly to prevent any of the legs becoming wobbly. Of course, there’s also the issue if the joint expanding and contracting over time. So we’ll look at making it slightly looser and possibly putting a bolt through the entire thing if we can lay our hands on something suitable as we go along.

It's got legs... Four of them, and it's pretty sturdy now too!

It’s got legs… Four of them, and it’s pretty sturdy now too!

Dismantling the baseboards is nice and easy with this method. When we need to relocate the layout, all we have to do, is pull each baseboard leg out of its socket and we’re ready to go. Reassembly is then just a quick! Just slot the legs back in and we’re all ready to bolt on the next section.

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3 Responses to The Budget OO Gauge Layout Project – Baseboard Legs

  1. Frank says:

    Hi! Liked your legs. In the U.S. this type of leg is often used for NTrak modules. On our clubs modules (before retrofitting with folding legs, which make the modules bloody heavy) we modified your design by installing a threaded insert (a fitment with a outside wood screw thread and a machine bolt thread on the inside) into the wood allowing you to tighten up the leg in the pocket with a machine bolt or wing nut. I don’t know if such threaded inserts are available in Britain. We used a 1/4″-20 threaded insert, but of course we’re not metric yet. An alternative fitting which does the same thing is called a T-Nut. It is a threaded cylinder with 3 or 4 prongs, you just drill a hole and tap the T-Nut in. This way you can make the leg a mite smaller than the pocket allowing for expansion, but still tighten the leg up as necessary. Moreover this will allow you to adjust the legs up and down a little to stop wobble on uneven floors.

  2. John says:

    Hi why not use a standard Table corner brace and dowel screw , Solid fix and can be assembled in quick time and dismantled again and again.

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