The Many Uses of Wax Paper

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DeckRoid, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Last night as I was bemoaning the fact that I don't have enough windows to finish my current project, my wife asked me why I don't scratch build them.
    I answered my usual, "because it's too difficult."

    But are they? It got me to thinking about building my own. I would only build the simple looking windows, none of the crazy nifty ones you can get with 9 small windows over 1 medium sized one. I can do the simple rectangle with a cross piece of wood... why not try?

    Then I noticed my wax paper sitting there on top of my work area. Hmm.

    Normally, when I go to put pre-built windows in my buildings, I either use a black-out piece cardboard or give the plastic a shot of Dulcoat so you can't quite see inside.

    If I used wax paper as the glass, and made it taunt, would that work? Would it look ok? I admit that there are some buildings where I will have clear glass so we can see inside, but for the most part, I am blacking out most of my buildings.

    I don't know if this belongs in the HO forum or the scratchin' & scratchin' forum...

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you try one, the worst thing to happen is it won't look right. I think it might work to model the typical dust covered windows that are found in industrial buildings. If you want any clear windows with a modeled interior to show off behind them, you might use the same technique with Saran Wrap.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I've used wax paper for my engine shop's windows. I think it looks just fine.

  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    You know, til a couple of days ago, I didn't think they still made wax paper.
    A guy I worked with has his sandwhich wrapped with it.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    another use: track laying

    I use wax paper to separate items to be joined with contact cement. To glue flex track to roadbed, first I form the flex track to shape. Then I coat both surfaces and let it dry. Put wax paper over the roadbed with a fold over at one end, then lay the track in position and shift as required. Now pull the fold up and remove the wax paper slowly and press the track down. Ther may be a few snags, but keep at it.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I have used wax paper for windows for years. Works great if you want a dirty, dusty look. And, if you scrape the wax before you install it, it looks like somebody tried to clean the windows and gave up. Also, if you light your buildings the light coming thru the windows is not as bright and harsh as clear plastic.

  7. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Ralph: it looks a lot more than just 'fine'.:thumb:

    If you don't want to use leds, try a reflector, spaced about 1/4 inch behind the window. A piece of card or plastic covered with cooking foil does the trick nicely.

    (I've been using Mr. Webster's spellings here, going along with the majority, but I couldn't quite bring myself to change our very British 'aluminium'.):mrgreen:

  8. I'm rather fond of the way you guys spell colour, and this use of lorry, lift, and bonnet (in leiu of truck, elevator, and hood, respectively), are all just dandy. But every time I hear the word aluminium... it's just crazy talk! I mean, you've added an extra syllable to a perfectly fine word.
  9. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    It's perfectly good English.
    Analogies: palladium, selenium, aluminium, newbrainium.

    More such craziness in its own thread, so as not to highjack perfectly good threads. (Well, not too much, anyhow.):rolleyes:

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If you want to try making your own windows, build them right onto an oversized piece of wax paper. You can scribe lines on the paper with a sharp point (don't press too hard) to help you get the windows the right size and keep them square. Then glue the components directly to the paper (i.e. "glass") and then trim away the excess.

  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    What does one use to glue waxed paper? ;) Old craftsman-type kits often recommended that drawings used as assembly templates be covered with waxed paper, as the glue wouldn't stick to the paper. :p:-D

  12. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member


    I think wood glue works just fine. I had some spill on my work bench and laid a piece of wax paper over it on accident. Parts of it are still there to this day from 2001.

    As for Al -You - Min - E- Mum or Alyoo-minum its a regional thing. When I was in Savannah, GA any cola product as a Coke. In Seattle, WA, it is very hard to find a cup of coffee. Seriously.

    "No, no, I don't want a latte. No, I am sure I don't need a double, half-caf, venti low-fat mochachino. I want a d*^!@ cup of coffee. JUST coffee."

    Locality makes the difference.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    On the subject of aluminum/aluminium, I found this quite interesting.
    There was at one time a debate over the proper spelling of the name of the element from which GERN Brand Flux is refined: originally, it was called Fluxum, but many thought that the pronunciation sounded rather rude, so it was changed to Fluxium. :p ;) :-D

  14. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Which apparent rudeness, being blindingly obvious, gave rise to the expression:
    "That's a load of nobrainium."

  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Has anyone tried using cellphane to represent "glass"?
  16. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Wax Paper - History Lesson...

    On the subject of language:

    Is that Wax Paper or Waxed Paper? :p

    I think that yellow or white glue will stick to the dull side of the Waxed Paper, but not so well to the shiny Waxed side.

    As far as using it for windows. It depends on the era that you are modelling.

    It is actually prototypical to use waxed paper for windows in the 1800's and earlier.

    Glass was very expensive and had to be imported from Europe, so only the rich folks in town would have any in their windows.

    Partially due to the manufacturing process, and partially due to long distance shipping, glass was only available in small pieces roughly 1-foot square. That's why old buildings have multi-pain windows.

    Colonial Settlers/Pioneers used waxed paper or skins for their windows. It is translucent and lets light through.

    Shutters weren't just for decoration. They were needed to keep out severe weather and protect the fragile waxed paper or expensive imported glass.

    For craftsman model buildings, use real glass. The really thin pieces used for microscope slides.
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I started on a building using clear plastic as the base and paper overlays for surface texture. I built windows on the clear plastic. Unfortunately, the glue I used on the clear plastic didn't completely hold.
  18. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Out West, oiled paper was far jmore common initially.
  19. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Oiled Paper

    Howdy Mountian Man,

    Yes, out West, oiled paper was far more common initially.

    Then again, back then, wax wasn't always wax either.

    Tallow/Rendered-fat was used for candles and other waxy applications.

    I was thinking of "wax" in a broader sense than just Parafin Wax.
  20. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Right you are! :cool:

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