1/32 Garden Baseboards, what material?

Discussion in 'G1/32' started by Dikitriki, 18 April 2016.

  1. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    I really need some help!

    I have surveyed my garden, agreed the layout with my wife, and worked out how I am going to build the infrastructure (scaffold poles and jacks, cable trays). What I am in a complete quandry about is what running surface to attach to the cable trays. I am sure this must have been aired before elsewhere and often, but as a tyro, I would appreciate some views of those more experienced.

    I have variously considered marine ply, decking, Medite Tricoya Extreme, Filcris, HardieBacker Board.....and which of those do I cover with roofing felt or not? I feel that I have both too little and too much information. I'm not interested in cheap, I want something that will last with the minimum of maintenance.

    Can I have some pros and cons please to assist me? Thank you.

  2. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

    Re; your last sentence........ It's got to be Hardie backer board. I know I keep banging on about it (really?? Oh, I hadn't noticed.....!!) but I've not found anything to compare.

  3. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

    And you don't need the roofing felt.......:thumbs:
  4. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard,

    Not wishing to contradict Barry in anyway and I see that you have it in your list. I can vouch for Medite Tricoya Extreme. Mine is on the second season without any movement and you might recall my soak/freeze/thaw tests that I did on an offcut over the first winter?

    You don't need to cover it with felt either.

    The only stipulation that I am aware of, is that you need to use non ferrous fixings
  5. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Concrete, floated up across the edges of your trays, thin plastic sheet/gaffer tape laid in first to stop it dropping through the perforations.

    It's cheap and certainly weatherproof:)

  6. John Walker

    John Walker Active Member

    My experience with O gauge in the garden is described here:

    Baseboards and Track - O Gauge in the Garden

    Filcris plastic sheet looks like what I bought as Ecosheet. You need to take into account the expansion and contraction with this material but otherwise I have found it economical and easy to cut and screw.

    John Walker
  7. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Thank you for your replies.

    Interesting isn't it....4 different respondents and 4 different preferences.

    Baz, what do you use to cut/form HardieBacker Board. How do you attach it to the underlying structure? I note that the website spec says it is not suitable for exterior use, but that is presumably not your experience.

    Rob, I do indeed remember your tests. Did you drill holes through for wiring, and has that had any adverse effect?

    Your boards certainly have an air of permanence! While I am very impressed with them, I'm not going down that route - I do not know a friendly welder, and it seems a very labour intensive method. I assume it's also very heavy, and getting it level 4 ft off the ground may not be so easy.

    John, Filcris seems unproven and I thought quite expensive with wasteage for a layout that is rather sinuous. I am considering this seriously, but will know more later as we are preparing the bill of quantities today as it's nice and sunny.

    Dog Star likes this.
  8. Cliff Williams

    Cliff Williams Western Thunderer

    My friend recommends tricoya having had a sample sitting outside for a wee while he has been renewing when needed with tricoya.
  9. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer


    Chapter & verse here - jameshardie.co.uk/hardiebacker-12mm-cement-board - there's videos at the bottom of the page, cutting is basically score & snap, anything 'fancy' i.e. a curve, is grinding/cutting disk territory. Fixing is drill & screw. The outside tracks I've experienced were painted (two green/one black) to hid the fact that it's wall board....... not to waterproof it.....!

  10. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

  11. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard,

    No I haven't drilled for wiring. It will all go over the top to the inside of the circuit. This is due to the way that I built the supports between the posts. which make it difficult to consistently drop the wires through.

    I am not too stressed about this because it's always going to be more of a test track type than a true garden railway in the sense of Phill Dyson's where his blends into the landscape.
  12. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer


    Latest issue of G1 NL&J has number of articles about track building (must be the time of year)..........

    In amongst them is someone using HB board, down Bristol way, With an invite for anyone passing, to 'pop in', might be worth a day trip to see it in the flesh........??

    Just a thought
  13. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Hi Baz,

    Thank you for the thought. I haven't read fully the NL&J, and had missed that the layout was round Bristol way. Certainly worth a day out.

  14. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard

    Page 15, Marsh Top Garden railway - a quick check of the member list shows that it's in the Taunton area (rather than Bristol). Oh, heck that's Titfield territory (ish)..... resist, resist......

  15. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    That's a helluva garden railway, it hardly blends in to its background does it?!

    He says that cutting the hardiebacker was a pita though.

    Richard, more seriously, are your cable trays not quite structural, ie can you complete the whole thing as a continuous structure without a surface?

    If this is the case then I think the choice of surface is much less problematic as it is doing less work. On which basis I wouldn't rule out a suitably treated decent plywood cut into pieces and dropped in to your tray structure as a sort of "jigsaw". The resulting gaps would let it all drain and without the wretched roofing felt water couldn't get trapped and rot the whole thing out.

  16. Rifter

    Rifter New Member

    This is a very interesting discussion, I am in the same situation .
    The conclusion I had come up with was to lay a concrete base where possible.
    Use scaffold poles and jacks in the parts it went up towards waiste height.
    Use Hardiebacker board on these sections.
    Will post some pics v soon of progress.,...... nothing happens fast here!!!

    It has taken 3 years to get this far .
  17. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard,

    If you decide to go down the Tricoya route, regarding the wiring I would of thought you could rout out a channel along the lengths of the boards to keep the wiring in place, and either lay it on top or underneath the Tricoya strips.

    You could even get a router bit that is roughly the same diameter as the bus wire and then just push the wire into the groove as an interference fit, should the need arise to tinker with the wiring, just a thought :thumbs:.

  18. Mudhen

    Mudhen Western Thunderer

    I've used Filcris board and would highly recommend it. I seems extremely durable and is very easy to work with. Filcris will machine curved boards for you if you want them too and cut regular 8x4 sheets into strips. There are a few photos of my embryonic garden railawyay in Resources, Gardens World, Track Materials.