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"Where Do I buy Masonite or hardboard?" Topic

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Dicedorq Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 4:43 p.m. PST


Went to Lowes and Home Depot; their boards are too thick to cut with heavy scissors. Now I had masonite or hardboard, but i ran out and don't remember where I bought it. Help.

Also, is there an alternative base I could use that is easier to obtain?



Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2007 4:50 p.m. PST

Masonite you could cut with heavy scissors? I don't think I've ever seen it that thin.


lugal hdan11 Jul 2007 5:07 p.m. PST

You can get very cheap masonite clipboards from stores like Target.

phililphall Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 5:28 p.m. PST

I don't want to shake hands with anyone who can cut masonite with scissors.

Jeff01 Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 5:31 p.m. PST

I found some hardboard that was slightly less than 1/8 inch thick at a surplus store, but that's the only time I've seen anything under 1/8 inch. Typioally you'll find hardboard in 1/8 inch and 1/4 thicknesses. Even the clipboards I've seen are 1/8 inch.

How kind of heavy scissors were you using Donald? Heavy metal shears (tin snips) or Nibblers?

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2007 6:30 p.m. PST

I have used lots of Masonite but never seen some the average person, or me, at least, could cut with scissors.

Masonite is a type of hardboard formed using the Mason method (invented by William H. Mason) by taking wooden chips and blasting them into long fibres using steam and then forming them into boards. The boards are then pressed and heated to form the finished boards. No glue or other material is added. The long fibres give Masonite a high bending strength, tensile strength, density and stability.

Dicedorq Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 6:48 p.m. PST

Yes I've been cutting this masonite board with just heavy sciccors and I am a weakling; the board was pretty thin but very durable and didn't warp with paint and glue. But I've looked high and low for this stuff cut thin and can't find it.

What do you guys use for basing terrain if not thin masonite? From the pictures I've seen on Gamesworkshop, it seemed like they were working with the stuff I had.

Dicedorq Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 6:53 p.m. PST

BTW I'm using a Wiss M-300.

new guy Inactive Member11 Jul 2007 8:48 p.m. PST


We have a supplier who provides much of the material we use to build terrain models here in the States… They are not aware of a "Masonite" product that is less than 1/8 inch. There are other hardboard products in the marketplace that would be available from a supplier like: who have a Masonite product: that may help, but it is still 1/8 inch thick.

Good luck.

Bill I/S

bsrlee12 Jul 2007 12:34 a.m. PST

Maybe you are using MDF? Kind of creamy colour instead of dark brown like hardboard. I have seen special use sheetgoods that was less than 1/8 (3mm) but it only available to furniture factories in pallet lots – the stuff you see used as the backs of 'sidewalk furniture'.

So, one way to get what you want may be to 'salvage' it from discarded furniture at the lower end of town.

Cold Steel Inactive Member12 Jul 2007 2:12 a.m. PST

Look in the phone book for a plywood specialty suppplier. They usually can it in many different thicknesses. I use 1/8" frequently.

Dicedorq Inactive Member12 Jul 2007 2:32 a.m. PST

thanks for the feedback guys, but I'm going to experiment with thick cardboard as a base. crossing my fingers that it won't warp.

phililphall Inactive Member12 Jul 2007 4:55 a.m. PST

Been a long time since I used Masonite. I don't recall, is it smooth on both sides? I seem to remember another similar product that had a smooth side and a rough side, usually used to make pegboard that a strong guy could cut with "scissors". Pegboard is much more flexible than Masonite. I remember trying to cut Masonite with a jig saw and that was a nightmare.

rmaker12 Jul 2007 6:14 p.m. PST

Masonite is usually smooth on one side and rough on the other, because part of the process involves drying on screen shelves. Most pegboard in the US is Masonite with holes. The holes make it more flexible, but weaker. You can cut it with scisors IF you cut along a line of holes AND you have strong hands.

Dicedorq Inactive Member12 Jul 2007 7:40 p.m. PST

I must have been using pegboard then because both sides were not smooth, but I wouldn't call it rough.

Jeff01 Inactive Member12 Jul 2007 10:16 p.m. PST

I've seen hardboard (usually generic not the Masonite brand name) with both sides smooth and one side smooth and the other waffle pattern. The local stores don't make a distinction which can be irritating, but I have form special uses for both.

I generally use each type with the smooth side up. I use the kind with 2 smooth sides to make movement trays so they slide easier across cloth mats, etc. Conversely I use the type with one rough side, rough side down, for bases on terrain pieces that I don't want to move.

I generally use 1/8 inch thick, but I have used 1/4 inch thick for walls. (Not that 1/8 inch wouldn't be strong enough, but 1/4 inch gives a wall more realistic thickness – 28mm terrain BTW).

FWIW I've seen pegboard with and without a rough side. And it also comes in 1/8 and 1/4 inch thicknesses.

new guy Inactive Member13 Jul 2007 10:10 a.m. PST


Be careful what you use to color a paper base. Water based paints will warp the base as will using white glue to affix flocking. Also playing on a sand table will warp the bases.

Using a thick paper illustration board like Strathmore will work but will be susceptible to moisture of any kind so you need to be careful. If you use a cheap poster board it will warp very easily.

Bill I/S

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