N scale 2 by's

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by thumsup, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    Greetings all,

    I am planning my first ever scratch building. :twisted: Big deal huh?
    I can't decide on what to use for 2 x 4, 4 x 4 and the like.
    Any help what be much appreciated.
    :cry:I'm thinking this is only the tip of the ice berg.sign1

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You are probably right in that it is just the tip of the iceberg...! ;)

    If you really want to build "board-by-board", then you simply need to convert all your dimensions to Nscale - i.e. divide by 160. So 2" x 4" is now 1/80" x 1/40" or 0.0125 x 0.025 or 12 thou(sandths) x 25 thou. Very very small.

    Unless you need that level of detail, most scratchbuilders would probably advise that you use styrene or scribed wood siding to build your structures. The walls end up thicker perhaps than the prototype, but are much sturdier!

    What sort of project are you interested in? Check out "Robin at his Best" in The Academy forum - he had great skill building Nscale buildings from cerealboard, paper and corregated card.

    Good luck!

  3. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    Thanks for the reply Andrew,

    I think I want to try a freight station and platform. The wall well be constructed of sheet stock, of something :rolleyes:. I'm wondering what to use for posts to support the roof. And what to use for the under structure of the platform.

    :thumb: Joe
  4. scottcn

    scottcn Member

    In another thread, Wabash Banks posted a picture showing a N scale shed he built using, in part, near-scale 2x4s. See


    He made his lumber by taking really really fine shavings off the end of a 1/32 in. thick sheet of basswood.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    If you are talking about the intricate "gingerbread" to hold up the eaves of the roof, try finding some cast detail parts instead. Or cut the whole thing from one piece of card, rather than trying to build it up from dimensional lumber.

    The structure under the platform is likely made of stronger stuff than 2x4. The vertical posts that carry the weight are probably 6x6 minimum, and could be up to 10x10 (the approximate size of a railroad tie). Even the cross bracing is probably on the order of 2x6 minimum, so you won't be working with *very* small pieces... just *small* pieces... ;)

  6. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    :wave: Thanks Andrew for your input. You raised some very good points for me to ponder.

    Scottcn thanks for the links, these guys do fantastic work I can only hope to achieve similar results.

    :thumb: Joe

  7. Another way to deal with 2x4 framed walls in N scale would be draw the framing either by hand or on a computer, then reduce it to make patterns and photo etch the parts. You could glue these to the backside of very thin sheathing for finished walls (only worth the effort if it'll be seen), our build a model of a structure under construction (which would look like thousands of individual pieces of lumber, though you could literally fold the walls from a single etching).
    Just a thought.
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    remember, a 2x4 in N is a 1x2 in HO...it might make finding lumber easier!
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I don't think that I'd waste my time using wood for this type of modelling: the grain is too coarse, the "fuzz" will be almost impossible to get rid of, and most types of wood glue are hard enough to apply sparingly on full-size work. :mrgreen: Evergreen makes strip styrene in a myriad of sizes, right down to HO scale 1"x1", which is about .011" square, good enough for 2"x2" in N scale. Use liquid styrene cement (I use lacquer thinner, which works well and is cheap) applied with a good-quality brush in a size that suits the task at hand. If you're not trying to replicate painted wood, Harold Minkwitz has some excellent suggestions for representing aged, unpainted wood with styrene:
    Making styrene look like aging wood

    If you're planning on an open structure, where the studs would be visible through large doors, I can understand your desire to model the complete framing. A convincing model should follow good framing practice. (Unless your prototype was improperly framed :rolleyes: ). On the other hand, if you're merely looking for board-on-board type detail, build the structure using sheet styrene of a suitable thickness (and brace it, too, if necessary), then sheath the outside in individually applied styrene "planks". This will give the impression of built-up walls, but with much more strength and stability. If you can fool the building inspector with a good first impression when he shows up, he won't even bother going inside to check out the framing of the structure. ;):-D

  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Also remember that structural strength doesn't "scale down" at the same ratio as size reduction does. Use scale lumber where needed for appearence but use oversize stiffeners when they won't be seen. It's no use detailing a building interior that isn't going to be seen.
  11. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    Thanks everyone, :curse:It's been so hot here I haven't spent any time on this.wall1 But soon I hope:cry:

    :thumb: Joe

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