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Tools and tips for scratch building

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  • #46
    I don't think that guy is looking at the drum!.....tom


    • #47
      I don't think that guy is looking at the drum!.....tom


      • #48
        Bum.......mer! [:-angel]


        • #49
          One of the most difficult things one has to do is hold odd shaped or angled parts together, like cardstock roofs, while glue dries.

          I asked my wife to make me a set of bean bags which I filled with bbs - you could use fine shot as well. Each bag is 2.5" x 3". What makes each bag different is how much shot goes into each bag. The more shot, the heavier and stiffer each bag. Light bags "fold" easily over roof peaks and provides a flatter surface for more heavy bags.

          I end up using these bags several times for each kit or scratch project.

          Try ''ll like 'em.


          • #50
            Same idea as Bob's but if you are not married or....???

            Zip Lok bags with sand works well also.


            • #51
              My essentials: Scratchbuilding or otherwise, I use a small computer fan wired to an old power pack to provide fresh air on the workbench. A good idea where solvents or CA accelerator are concerned.

              A pane of glass is absolutely flat, and you can put plans underneath it, glue and paint just scrapes off with a razor.

              A mill file in varying lengths is good for squaring styrene wall edges and other large jobs. I keep a pill bottle of pins for applying cement, starting drill hole, opening clogged bottles, etc.

              A surgical scalpel is finer and sharper than an X-acto blade. I also use it to sparingly apply accelerator to CA joints.



              • #52
                "I use a small computer fan wired to an old power pack to provide fresh air on the workbench. A good idea where solvents or CA accelerator are concerned."

                I love this idea!!!!


                • #53
                  Hi everyone. I'm a newbie to railroad-line but have had my hands at scratchbuilding for some time. A very helpful tool for me is Corel Draw. I'm using Corel 9 and have converted many scanned plans and also taken measurements from existing models to produce scale plans in O scale from HO. I have also created plans in 1:20.3, 1/18th, and 1/8th for structures to fit my large scale, 1/18 diecast and 1/8 scale model collections.

                  If anyone is familiar with Corel, all you have to do is create a new page, click on Layout, page setup, rulers, make sure you are inches for units ( unless you prefer metric), click on edit scale and adjust to what ever scale you want ie: 1/4" to 1.

                  You can then use measurements from one scale to draw plans in another, which I have done from several Campbells and FSM kits. If you scan any plans in from a magazine, then import into Corel and adjust the corner handles until the measurements on the plans match the scale measurments in Corel. To make that easier, I take one of the original plan measurements and draw a straight line that is correct for Corel and adjust the handle until the original measurement matches the drawn line.

                  For confirmation, I then print off a section of the new plan and check it with my scale ruler. Each time it's right on scale. Of course, if your plans are in a larger scale than original, you have to print the plans off section by section with a regular printer and tape them together, unless you have a printer that can print on larger media.

                  At the moment, I'm building a copy of Campbells Bretts Brewery in O scale to use as a fish processing plant to fit with a dock I'm planning and Hap Hazzards from Rusty Stumps that I've ordered to build as a boat repair shop. All these will complete a waterfront scene on my On30 D and F C short line. For those of you who have seen my engine house, coal station and water tank in the On30 forum, these were all built from plans out of the Narrow Gauge Gazette converted to O scale.

                  Hope this helps anyone else out, it's sure been very helpful to me.

                  ps, I consider myself a real amateur compared to the great works I've seen here.


                  • #54
                    Hi Guys since scratch building and craftsman kits are one of my favorite parts of the hobby here are my three most used clamps. The smallest is 3/8" long and I use for delicate strips. I use these by the dozens and probably have a total of 5 bucks in a couple hundred....Just my 2 cents worth. Jerry

                    Download Attachment: train garage 069.jpg
                    174.23 KB


                    • #55

                      Originally posted by woody

                      Hi everyone. I'm a newbie to railroad-line but have had my hands at scratchbuilding for some time. A very helpful tool for me is Corel Draw. ...


                      I think your idea is great. I have tried a number of drawing programs and didn't use Corel. It sounds like Corel is easy. I did find a free CAD program A9CAD and it works well. I import lots of photos to it and then trace them out...
                      Have fun!



                      • #56
                        I also use Corel Draw for making plans. I draw my HO plans in HO scale. Then I just have to print them off. I also reduce them to Z scale. Works real good for me.

                        Christopher [:-clown]
                        Clowning around with trains.


                        • #57
                          That Corel Draw sounds like a neat program - I love Craftsman kits but so many are only in HO scale and we have O scale. It sounds like just the program I need to try to convert some plans that I have. Thank you.



                          • #58
                            Here is a great idea I picked up a long time ago from one of the Model RR mags. I have found it to be an invaluable tool in scratchbuilding. It eliminates the need to physically take measurements on site by creating photos with a built in scale. It involves the use of "story sticks". Here it is as I wrote in another topic here and in another forum:

                            "I carry story sticks with me where ever I go. They are 2 pieces of thin lattice board, one is four feet long the other two feet. The four foot one is calibrated in 1 foot increments. I use white and red reflective tape in an alternating pattern such as white red white red. That is only on the top half of the stick. the bottom is opposite alternating colors [red white red white] The 2 foot stick is marked the same way except it is marked in incremments of 6 inches and one segment is divided into 1 inch segments. Again alternating red and white. When I see something I would like to scratchbuild I simply place my story sticks on or against whatever it is and take pictures. Then I have a permanent built in scale contained in the photo to properly size the object. That is why they are called story sticks. They tell the story of what size a particular item in the photo is."

                            With these all I need to do is take a photo of the object with the storysticks in the photo and I have a built in scale that will tell me how big is that window, is the trim board 4 or 6 inches, etc. With the digital cameras we have today I can easily and quickly photo hundreds of interesting buildings put them on a CD, access them maybe years later and know exactly how big to make a structure as well as all the pieces in or on it. Like I said it is an invaluable asset for scratch building.


                            • #59
                              Good idea, Chester. Welcome to the forum.

                              That reminds me of a folding ruler I once saw used in the same way.

                              Christopher [:-clown]
                              Clowning around with trains.


                              • #60
                                Here are a few of the things that I find useful for scratchbuilding:

                                A razor blade holder; I use it more than #11's.

                                A styrene scriber (a woodworker might be horified at that description) from Lee Valley instruments - another place whose catalogue is dangerous).

                                Hair clips for gentle holding of just-glued parts.

                                Another, plastic scriber; this one cost a dollar and has another piece to allow it to be used for cutting circles.

                                Rare earth magnets, also from Lee Valley.

                                An old super-8 splicer that I use in place of a chopper for cutting stripwood. Compact and free.

                                I also dicovered our local Dollarama a year or two ago where you get clothespins for a buck, spray bottles for a buck, ground foam/grout boxes 4 for a buck, paint brushes, ACC, clamps, acrylics, car card holders, etc. etc.

                                And our local Princess Auto had an Optivisor-style magnifier headset for $6; works fine, beats $40 at the LHS (sorry guys) and at 69 next week, I'm using it a lot more these days.