Ask Phil: What are angle plates?

22 December 2021
Watching your baseboard building video, I'd like to know what the jig you used to hold the pieces of wood is? Richard, by e-mail

The original micro layout building video can be found here and it shows me using some metal angle plates to hold the plywood ends while I pin and glue the baseboard top in place. Working single-handed, these sort of tools are invaluable. They might sit on the shelf most of the time, but when you need them, you're glad they are around.

Angle plates

I own two pairs of plates, small and medium sizes. The small was the first to arrive on the workbench well over a decade ago, and proved so useful that they were quickly joined by the medium-sized version.

Angle plates aren't sophisticated tools - basically, an accurately made lump of steel that can be used to support components vertically either by standing an angle either side, or clipping the part to the plate.

Content continues after advertisements

You can see the small version in use as I build a Gauge One brake van, a model the size of a OO building. At 50mm wide, it just fits inside (the medium is 70mm wide).

As well as supporting walls etc. they are usefully heavy. 399g for the small and 1056g for the medium. Sat upside down on a building roof, the small version will hold it down while glue dries.

Useful tools like this aren't cheap - a quick look online (search: ground angle plate) shows the small angles costing £20 each with the medium a fiver more - but they won't wear out. Mine have provided many years of useful service and will probably outlive me! To me, this makes the investment well worthwhile.