BAYKO Floors

Perhaps surprisingly, I believe BAYKO Floors were always a key component in building good quality models [even though I don't like the way they stick out]. This is particularly true when building large models, where the need to keep control of the Rods, and hence the model, is paramount.
Plastic moulding, particularly pre-war, wasn't the most exact of sciences. Dimensions could vary widely, probably thanks either to cooling problems after parts were released from the mould, or to variations in the amount of material fed into the mould in the first place.
Two standard Bases of very different sizes
This may not be noticeable to the naked eye, but, if you don't believe me, try lining up a few Bases, particularly if you bought them at different times, differences of ⅛ inch [3 mm] are not unknown - just look at the image [left] supplied by Gary Birch.
Combine this with the comparatively flimsy gauge of BAYKO Rods [75 thou = 1.905 mm], and this could lead to instability in large or complex models.
This was recognised as a potential issue from day one - BAYKO Floors were the solution.
They can provide floors, verandahs, ceilings or flat roofs in different models. In doing so, they also realign the Rods, ensuring a much more robust, stable structure, both in the final model and during the building process.
The formula was a success from the start, the only issue being a tendency to chip or break under the influence of careless hands - or feet!
BAYKO Floors were made from Paxolin, very similar to the material used, in more recent decades, for electronic circuit boards. I understand from Gary Birch that Paxolin is a particular brand name for R.B.P. - 'Resin-Bonded Paper', the resin being none other than the phenol formaldehyde of early bakelite BAYKO Brick fame - just think about that brown colour.
The full BAYKO Floors dimensional and form details are : -

Period
Thickness
Holes
Corners
Comments
Pre-War
1/32 in = 0.793 mm
5/64 in = 1.984 mm
Square
Holes too small [opinion] - damage common.
Late Pre-War
1/64 in = 0.397 mm
5/64 in = 1.984 mm
Usually Square*
Austerity driven, including Tie-Bar replacements.
Early Post-War
1/64 in = 0.397 mm
7/64 in = 2.778 mm
Usually Round*
Brief experiment with 'super large' holes.
Post-War
1/64 in = 0.397 mm
3/32 in = 2.381 mm
Round
Goldilocks wins out!
c.f. Rod diameter 1.905 mm.
* It is not possible to be definitive.

In my opinion, the pre-war holes were too small. The 4% tolerance [0.079 mm] being, in my humble opinion, insufficient to cope with the combination of manufacturing variations and subsequent rusting, thus contributing significantly to the routine [based on seeing a lot of them] damage done to Pre-war Floors, even, I suspect, with careful use. The short-lived, immediately post-war, experiment with 'super large' holes was a fair response, but a failure - the Floors were just too slack. Goldilocks finally had her way around 1947/1948.
Speaking of holes, there has long been a debate over how the holes were made. Were they drilled or were they punched? Robin Throp acquired a 15 x 5 holes Floor where the holes have not been properly formed, answering the question definitively in favour of punching. Sadly, following his death, this Floor seems to have vanished, but he did show it to me earlier.
For some reason, lost in the mists of time, Plimpton never published part numbers for Floors, so I assume they [the numbers not the Floors!] never existed.  Mr MECCANO, sensibly, rectified this oversight.
Floor sizes were pretty consistent throughout BAYKO's life, though the war caused various periods when different sizes weren't available.
Before reading on, I suggest you look at, and slide your mouse over, the image [below, right] to reveal the BAYKO Floor sizes.
The largest BAYKO floor ever produced, [15 x 23 holes] [top left] was only available for the first year or so, being either too cumbersome for budding modellers; too vulnerable to treading, handling or usage damage; or too expensive to produce, stock and pack - I suspect the first.
Things changed in 1935 though the sets still contained the same area of Floors, but in a different format, listed as "Large Floor Divided (3 sections)". Specifically these were one [15 x 11 holes] [top right] and two [15 x 6 holes], [bottom, second from right corner].
The variously named Small Floor, Floor or Floor No. 2 [15 x 11 holes] was available throughout, though it didn't re-emerge until 1948 post-war.
Extension Floors 6 Hole [15 x 6 holes] were also available virtually throughout, from 1935 to the last knockings.
The full range of BAYKO Floor sizes
Extension Floors 5 Hole [15 x 5 holes] [bottom right] were also introduced in 1935, reintroduced in 1949, but then dropped from sets by Mr MECCANO, in 1960, though still available separately - being allocated part #B102.
Turret Floors [7 x 7 holes] [dead centre] were available throughout, though reintroduction was delayed a little after the war, until 1948. The chosen name is interesting in so far as the Square Turrets, which made best use of them, weren't actually introduced until 1938, i.e. four years after their namesake Floor. Church and Castle towers were the main applications.
A strange size [11 x 8 holes] [bottom left] only existed in the sheltered world of sets #20 to #23, from 1938 to the war, so they too are not very common. The very similar [11 x 7 holes] [left middle] was introduced at the same time, but lasted to the end after reappearing in 1948. The only logic that I can think may be behind this is that the two Floors together covered the same area as the standard 11 x 15 holes Floor, though clearly offering less support.
An additional size, [13 x 9 holes] [bottom middle] emerged in the later 'New Series' sets, when metal shortages for Tie Bars forced a rethink; then emerged again, from 1947 onwards in set #2 and larger.
One of the quirkier aspects of BAYKO Floors is the changing names used for the different sizes. The table below is based on information collated mainly from BAYKO manuals in their various guises. Plimpton managed eighteen variations of names for their eight different sizes, with different sizes sharing the same name at different times (!) One minor detail, the manual references, in the table below, relate primarily to the set contents lists. Older names for floors were then, confusingly, often perpetuated via the model floor plans in later editions of the manual.
This entry [below] is strange, even by the standards of other BAYKO Floors! I believe that the “Large Floor Divided (3 sections)” actually comprises 1 x Small Floor [15 x 11 holes] and 2 x Extension Pieces [15 x 6 holes] which, together, are the same area as a Large Floor [15 x 23 holes], though without the same effectiveness of control.
These entries [below] indicate that : -
Either the Floor had yet to be 'invented' - i.e. entries above [earlier than] the typed information.
Or the Floor was no longer produced - i.e. entries below [later than] the typed information.
Or, occasionally, that a particular Floor was not included at that time, or in those sets.
For completeness, shortly before the war put an end to BAYKO production, 2 sizes of Floor [Small and Medium] were added to sets, as appropriate, to replace Tie-Bars because no metal was available…

BAYKO Floor Sizes and the Different Names Used

Manual / Dates
15 x 23
15 x 11
15 x 6
15 x 5
7 x 7
11 x 7
11 x 8
13 x 9
Sets 1 to 5
1934 to 1935
Large Floor
Small Floor
   
Turret Floor
     
Set 6
1935
Large Floor
Large Floor Divided
(3 sections)
 
Turret Floor
     
Sets 1 to 6
1935 to 1938
 
Floor (!)
Extension
Piece
Extension
Piece
5 Hole
Turret Floor
     
Sets 20 to 23
1938 to 1941
   
Extension
Piece
6 Hole
Extension
Piece
5 Hole
 
11 x 7
11 x 8
 
'New Series'
1939 to 1940
 
Floor (!)
6-Hole
Extension
Floor
5-Hole
Extension
Floor
Turret Floor
     
'New Series'
Shortages 1941?
 
Floor (!)
6-Hole
Extension
Floor
5-Hole Extension
Floor
Turret Floor
Small Floor
 
Medium Floor
Leaflet
1946 to 1947
   
Extension
Floor
6-Hole
Extension
Floor
5-Hole
Turret Floor
   
Floor (!)
20 Page Manual
1947 to 1948
             
Floor (!)
Set 3 [only] Manual
1948
 
Floor
No. 2
6-Hole
Extension
Floor
 
Turret Floor
Floor
No. 0
 
Floor
No. 1
Sets 0 to 3 Manual
1949 to 1959
 
15 x 11
15 x 6
15 x 5
7 x 7
11 x 7
 
13 x 9
MECCANO era Manual
Sets 11 to 14
 
15 x 11
15 x 6
 
7 x 7
11 x 7
 
13 x 9
MECCANO era Part #
 
B110
B104
B102
B100
B106
 
B108
Manual / Dates
15 x 23
15 x 11
15 x 6
15 x 5
7 x 7
11 x 7
11 x 8
13 x 9

How much flooring should you use when building larger models?
There isn't a single answer to this, but, after a fair amount of experience building large BAYKO models, I'd rarely go up more than six bricks without putting in another layer of Floors, particularly if the model will have to survive the rigours of travelling to and from exhibitions.
 
As a hopefully useful footnote : -
If you're building with lots of Bases and with the structure secured by several Floors you may find an issue with the Floors buckling.
As mentioned above, the problem is caused by inaccuracies in dimensions, almost certainly of the Bases, not the Floors.
The answer / cure is simple : -
Mount the model on a base board [M.D.F. is excellent] - which is good practice anyway with large models.
Remove every second or third row of Base Links [in both directions].
Carefully spread the model to find its correct shape and size so that the Floor buckling disappears.
Screw the Bases to the base board to keep the model rigid - no need to screw every Base, 2 screws per group of Bases is perfectly adequate.
Problem solved!
A Gramme of Prevention is better than a Kilogram of Cure : -
If you're reading this while at the planning stage, you can pre-empt the problem - organise the Bases in 'blocks', 2 or 3 Bases wide; space these accurately, using 1-Brick Rods and Floors; fasten the 'blocks' to the baseboard as described above; finally remove the Rods and Floors.
Problem prevented!
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
   

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