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Tools and tips for scratch building

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  • Bbags
    Good point George.

    I have used that method many times to find the center of a piece of wood.

    A lot easier to divide by 2 in the metric scale than to divide by two using feet and inches.

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  • George_D

    Along the line of a scale ruler is a metric ruler. Those of you not saddled with inches and fractions won't appreciate how handy it is when you have to cut a piece to fit. It's also easy to calculate the midpoint of something or to divide something into equal segments, like figuring the location of piers on a loading dock.

    Remember, you're not making any conversions from inches to metric, you're working only in metric.


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  • Bbags
    started a topic Tools and tips for scratch building

    Tools and tips for scratch building

    Hi all.

    This sticky will be for any tools or tips that you might offer to make scratch building easier.

    To start:

    One of the most important tools to me is a scale ruler that is graduated in your scale for scratch building.

    I think if you are going to build in HO(choose your scale) then you should learn to think in HO.

    Therefore I use a metal scale rule which has marked on it HO feet and inches.

    Therefore when I think of something being 10 feet long I am thinking of 10 HO feet rather than 10 feet in the real world.

    I also prefer to use scale lumber rather than dimensional lumber since scale lumber is measured in HO feet and inches whereas dimensional lumber is measured in real world measurements.

    I know that a 2" by 4" in the real world is more like 1 3/4" by 3 1/2".

    This is due to the fact that lumber is measured in sawn size(when first cut) and not actual size which is smaller due to dressing and/or drying.

    However if I want my studs to be 2" by 4"s then I buy 2" by 4" stripwood.

    Now that I have become an HO person building an HO structure it is much easier for me to visualize sizes.

    Now it is time for others to add there own choice of tools and/tips for scratch building.

    Thanks for your participation in advance.