Scratchbuilding materials

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by n-scaler-dude, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    I've got a multi-part quesrtion for those who have been around the scratchbuilding block:

    When you are working on a project and you run out of a certain size wood you need, or other materials, and you can't acquire what's needed for a while, do you:

    1. Continue working and improvise with what you have because of a need to finsih the project?


    2. Set it aside and wait until you can get what you need, and start another ptoject?

    Just looking for opinions I guess. Lately, it seems, everything I start I have to abandon because I am missing something needed to continue.

    On a similar subject, where is a good source for scale basswood, that might be (hopefully) cheaper than buying it at the local hobby shop?

    The stuff I've been using is from Northeastern Scale Lumber Inc. The problem is that it costs around $2 for about 10 1-foot strips, which can get quite costly if you want to build something entirely out of wood....lika a trestle or covered bridge.

  2. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    You might consider purchasing a small, precision table saw to cut your own scale lumber for the big projects. I think it was t. who posted on the tips and tricks thread about cutting scale lumber.
  4. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    drew - I checked out that website and it looks like a good price for what it is. Unfortunately, what I need is thinner than the 1/32" sheets. The scale lumber I have been getting is about 2mm wide by...well, it's thinner than a piece of poster board yet not quite as thin as a piece of paper ("N" scale 2" x 12"). If I could find some sheets similar to that thickness I'd have no problem slicing them with a razor blade.

    jon - I saw that post in the "tips" thread, but don't have a clue where to get a precision table saw. Is it like one of those Dremel table saws??

    Have you, or anyone else for that matter, tried using a scroll saw? I have one which I use in my partime business that uses blades that are .008" thick (a very fine cut!). I guess the problem would be keeping the blade cutting straight for extended cuts. Smaller cuts I'd probably have no problem.

    Also, a good quality scroll saw might be handy for making other details as well. Things like fancy brackets for stations or depots, or other cuts that are not straight, could be done with this.

    In fact I think I'll give it a try, just for the hay of it.:) :) :) :)
  5. Railery

    Railery Member

    To answer your question, i go with 2. :)
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I was unable to locate a dremel table saw, but if they still make it or you can find a used one, it would probably fit the ticket. I did find this on how to make one or how to use your scroll saw as atable saw:

    I've thought about using a makita 3" circular saw, inverted and attached to a table.

    Micromark has one for $119 , but you have to pay a lot more for one with a tilt blade :(
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

  8. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    Wow!, great and innovative minds must think alike:D :D :D

    I was thinking all night, while at work, on how I could rip thin strips of wood using my scroll saw. I got home, taped a long metal ruler 1 N-scale foot from the blade, found a sheet of 1/32" thick basswood and turned the machine on.

    The material is so thin that there is absolutley no "wandering" of the scroll saw blade, so an almost perfect strip of wood is cut. One other great thing about this method is that if you use the absolute finest blades available, there is virtually no "tear-out" or feathering on the backside. There is also very little waste or sawdust since the blade is so thin.

    I found all this out before I got online and read this board and it looks like hobbyists are always on the lookout for new ways of doing things.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm a goin' to rip me a bunch of lumber and stock the shelves!:D :D :D :D

    Also, if anyone is interested in trying this themselves, I'd recommend staying away from those old Dremel scroll saws. You know, the ones with 1 speed (like lightning!!) that seem to vibrate all over your table like those old football games?!
  9. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

    Good Idea!


    that's a good plan, but I think I'll have to wait till my tools aren't quite so frozen:mad: :mad: :mad:

  10. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    Frozen???, What's this frozen word you speak??

    Just do like I do, remove all unnecessary household furniture (chairs, sofa, tables, etc...) and replace it with funstuff (woodworking tools, hobby things, stereo equipment, etc...):rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I've been doin the same thing with my table saw for years; it's so junky it works better to just clamp a 2X2 on the table. I wouldn't even think of using it for modeling, 'cept to cross cut a caboose free hand once in a while :D :D :D
  12. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member


    And let me guess, you can cut cabooses in half, 'after' the meds, or 'before':confused: :confused:

  13. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

    OK, sure, and the misses can just stay out in the back shed:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Works for me;) ;)
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Here's that story :)
  15. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

    Now I get it!!!

    Yup, OK, Jon, you actually used a table saw to cut a caboose in half. You have/had pretty steady hands?

    Sounds like me, trying to free hand very small pieces on my router table! When the bit grabbed the end grain, the wood was gone!!

  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    And I still gots all 11 fingers!

  17. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    jon didn't you have 12 fingers only jon would use a table saw to cut a car in half:eek: :eek: :D :D :D :D rich
  18. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hey yer right! Wait I'm bleedin', no wait I'm OK. Yep all 12. You can count 'em!

  19. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Boy jon, that hair transplant did wonders. :p

    Speaking of fun with saw's, The shop foreman today was ripping a boad on the table saw. The saw kicked the board back and beaned him right in the willy. then it jumped back on the saw and got him again in the same spot. This happed in a split second. Me and the other three workers dropped to the floor laughing. He also dropped to the floor but he wasn't laughing.:p :D

  20. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    ouch ouch, big time:eek: :eek: :( :(

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