Having made the decision to move to N gauge I now have nothing stopping me from making a proper start on building a model railway. Laying out temporary track on my desk is fine for a bit of light amusement but it doesn't allow me to build scenery etc. I've now taken the first step by building a simple 3"x2" baseboard.
Given that I haven't built anything substantial from wood since I was in high school I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, especially as it didn't cost me anything other than time to build. When we bought our house there were a number of bits of wood and board left in both the loft and the garage which were mostly ideal for building a baseboard.
The frame is simple glued and screwed together with the top pinned and glued to it. The top is made from what I'm guessing is the back of a flat-pack wardrobe. Unfortunately the pieces weren't wide enough to cover the entire frame so I've had to use two pieces glued along the join. This seems to have worked alright, and will hopefully hold up under the added weight of the scenery. The most important point is that I managed to keep the frame square so not only does it fit on my desk (just) but it also sits flat without rocking.
At the end of the day if it turns out to be the wrong size or not strong enough it doesn't really matter as it didn't cost me anything and any scenery I build on it will be a useful learning experience even if I do end up starting over again at some future point. I still have to decide on a track plan before I can do much else but hopefully progress will be slightly more rapid than it has in the past.