Jump to content


Anybody Know What Type Saw Would Work For Diorama Lumber?


  • You cannot reply to this topic
20 replies to this topic

#1 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

I've had no luck finding true scale (1:24, 1:25) diorama lumber and have decided the best bet is to just cut my own.  I realize lots of places offer something they call 'close,' but I really don't want a 2 x 4 that scales out to 3 x 6 or so in 1:1.  Additionally, this will provide the opportunity to use a variety of different woods (more interested in correct lumber size than grain).

 

I have a table saw, chop saw, circular, jig, and dremel, but obviously none of those would be suitable.  I considered picking up a scroll saw, but not sure that will be fine enough.  I need to get sizes down to at least .073 x .146.  Any suggestions as to the proper piece of equipment would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.



#2 Ace-Garageguy

Ace-Garageguy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,607 posts
  • Location:Down two, then left.
  • Full Name:Bill Engwer

Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:14 AM

Many many years ago when I built model railroad and architectural models, I'd start with an appropriate thickness of balsa or basswood sheet, clamp a steel straight-edge to it, and slice away with multiple passes of the ol' X-acto.

 

A lot of scale lumber in high-end HO building kits these days is laser-cut, and things like Guillows balsa airplane kits are still die-stamp-cut, I believe.

 

Do you already have a Dremel 4" table saw?



#3 jamesG

jamesG

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Location:jacksonville fl.
  • Full Name:James gaughenbaugh

Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:15 AM

depends on the type and size of wood youre starting with. if you use something like balsa or basswood you can use an x-acto.



#4 Kit Basher

Kit Basher

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 824 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Full Name:Hugh

Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:47 AM

For ripping thin balsa and basswood, a Master Airscrew balsa stripper works well. As you can see, it also works on styrene.

 

stripper001.jpg

 

You can make thin stock on a full size table saw by ripping a wide board and taking the finished piece off the waste side of the blade. It's difficult to make multiple pieces of consistent thicknesses this way, so it's best if you can rip a board long and thick enough to make all the lumber of a given thickness that you need in one pass.

 

You might also look at veneer as a source for thin stock. Hope that helps.



#5 SoCalCarCulture

SoCalCarCulture

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 435 posts
  • Location:Orange County, CA
  • Full Name:Dave Lindsay

Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

Have you tried this company?

 

http://www.northeast...calelumber.com/

 

Lots of resources available on my Model Car Resources page!


Edited by SoCalCarCulture, 22 January 2013 - 08:00 AM.


#6 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

I'd start with an appropriate thickness of balsa or basswood sheet, clamp a steel straight-edge to it, and slice away with multiple passes of the ol' X-acto.

 

Do you already have a Dremel 4" table saw?

 

I tried that without as much success as I'd hoped for.  Haven't found an appropriate thickness standard in those woods as I need.

 

I don't have a 4" Dremel table saw, just the small hand-held one.  Didn't even realize there was one, but a quick search led to that and others.  I knew there must be smaller, more accurate saws, but hadn't found them until the Dremel Table Saw search.  Now I see there are a variety of Hobby - or 'mini' - saws on the market.  Some of them can guage in the thousandths of an inch, but are around $500 to start.  Fortunately, I only need hundredths, and they seem to be available for under $200.

 

Really appreciate the help and getting me started in the right direction.



#7 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

James.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I've tried that and it doesn't seem to work so well for me, especially in multiple cuts trying to get a consistent size.  I'm more hoping to be able to consistently cut fairly hard woods to pretty small tolerances.

 

Hugh,

 

I knew those existed, but hadn't even thought of trying it.  I will check into them again, though.  I can see the benefit of having one in the tool box.  Thanks.

 

Dave,

 

I had seen that site.  Looks like they have some great stuff, but it seemed mostly to be HO or, at least, I didn't find the scale I'm looking for.

 

Your resource site is nice - certainly worth bookmarking.  The Micro-Mark is interesting.  Has some less expensive Hobby Saws, so I'll check some reviews on those.  Hadn't seen your site before.  Again, thanks.



#8 Tom Geiger

Tom Geiger

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,627 posts
  • Location:Exton, PA
  • Full Name:Tom Geiger

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

I've had no luck finding true scale (1:24, 1:25) diorama lumber and have decided the best bet is to just cut my own.  I realize lots of places offer something they call 'close,' but I really don't want a 2 x 4 that scales out to 3 x 6 or so in 1:1.  Additionally, this will provide the opportunity to use a variety of different woods (more interested in correct lumber size than grain).

 

I have a table saw, chop saw, circular, jig, and dremel, but obviously none of those would be suitable.  I considered picking up a scroll saw, but not sure that will be fine enough.  I need to get sizes down to at least .073 x .146.  Any suggestions as to the proper piece of equipment would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

 

MVC008F-vi.jpg

 

Actually a 2x4 measures out to something like 1.75" x 3.75".   I can't help you with rip cuts, but I use the Chopper tool to get all my lengths right and straight on both woods and plastics. It costs about $50 but it will last forever!



#9 southpier

southpier

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,939 posts
  • Location:northeast coast
  • Full Name:joe smythe

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

unless it's for the zen of it, i think you're trying to reinvent the wheel.

 

http://www.northeast...calelumber.com/

 

http://www.mtalbert....r/products.html

 

http://www.kapplerus...y2k/p-value.htm

 

http://www.modellers...odelingstr.html

 

http://www.blackbearcc.com/s_wood.htm

 

http://www.woodswork...ist 2009-06.pdf



#10 Art Anderson

Art Anderson

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,097 posts

Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

It seems to me that a lot of the time, we tend to get hung up in EXACT scale measurement down to the proverbial "gnat's eyelash". when in fact many measurements that are even being discussed in this thread are not readily discernible to the ordinary, unassisted human eye.  In addition, when discussing wood (balsa, basswood, or even hardwoods) that's a material that is virtually impossible to cut micrometer perfect and have it stay that way, due to it's being a porous, moisture-sensitive material.  For example, basswood cut to perfect shape at a factory someplace will NOT hold the same width or thickness in say, Phoenix AZ in July as it might have in other parts of the country with much more humid conditions (ever wonder why a cabinet door (or even wooden door that is part of one's dwelling) doesn't always fit the same at differences throughout the year?

 

Five or even ten thousandths of an inch in the thickness or width of a 1/25 or 1/24 scale basswood 2X4 stud frankly will not be seen by even the most discriminating viewer of a diorama building, as long as its in a wooden structure, not something laid onto a finely machined surface (and who among us does that either in metal or plastic to combine with wood?). 

 

All that said, in the field of model railroading, there do exist 1/48 scale ("O Scale) sizes of scale lumber.   Now, 1/48 scale is exactly half the size of 1/24 scale, so a scale 4X8 plank in 1/48 scale will be a 2X4 in  1/24 (true 2X4's are cut to 2" X 4", and then planed down to remove all the rough splintering before they are sold for building a house (originally as much for fire prevention as anything else), and if one is replicating a wooden frame building constructed say, prior to the late 1930's, unplanned structural lumber was pretty much what they used.

 

Another thing is the "Illusion of real" here:  In scale modeling, we often put up with little compromises, for varied reasons, but if the end result looks realistic, minute variances in thickness and weight of material really do tend to disappear, because the whole presentation just seems to scream "REAL" and/or "ACCURATE".

 

Just some thoughts I have on the subject.

 

Art



#11 CadillacPat

CadillacPat

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 771 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Full Name:Pat Parker

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

I've had no luck finding true scale (1:24, 1:25) diorama lumber and have decided the best bet is to just cut my own.  I realize lots of places offer something they call 'close,' but I really don't want a 2 x 4 that scales out to 3 x 6 or so in 1:1.  Additionally, this will provide the opportunity to use a variety of different woods (more interested in correct lumber size than grain).

 

I have a table saw, chop saw, circular, jig, and dremel, but obviously none of those would be suitable.  I considered picking up a scroll saw, but not sure that will be fine enough.  I need to get sizes down to at least .073 x .146.  Any suggestions as to the proper piece of equipment would be greatly appreciated.  Th

 

 

 

I commend you on your outlook that you want your cuts to be as accurate as possible.

I would keep searching for the saw that will give you cuts that YOU are satisfied with.

You will always hear other people say, that's good enough or that's accurate enough, but if you continue on the path you are on your work will always stand out from other's who compromise their beliefs.

 

CadillacPat



#12 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:27 AM

unless it's for the zen of it, i think you're trying to reinvent the wheel.

 

http://www.northeast...calelumber.com/

 

http://www.mtalbert....r/products.html

 

http://www.kapplerus...y2k/p-value.htm

 

http://www.modellers...odelingstr.html

 

http://www.blackbearcc.com/s_wood.htm

 

http://www.woodswork...ist 2009-06.pdf

 

 

Appreciate the input.  I'm seeing all sorts of scales in these links, but must be completely overlooking the 1:24, which is what I need.



#13 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:43 AM

Art,

 

Hadn't even thought of that (1:48 scale and doubling). Still, the fact that 2 x 4's are planed to 1 3/4 x 3 1/2 is the problem I'm running into. Also, I wasn't really sure when the planing started as a general rule, but had thought probably earlier than the '30's. That's very good to know - especially since a couple things I'm planning are late '20's, early '30's. Thank you.

 

CadillacPat,

 

Thanks for the encouragement.  That pretty well sums up my feelings on the situation.

 

Tom,

 

That Chopper Tool looks interesting, but the one area I'm not having a problem is the crosscut.  The Dremel works great for that, including angles.  Thanks.



#14 Ace-Garageguy

Ace-Garageguy

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,607 posts
  • Location:Down two, then left.
  • Full Name:Bill Engwer

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:23 AM

A rough 2X4 is listed as being an actual 1.625"X3.625". A dressed 2X4 is listed as being an actual 1.5"X3.5".

 

For a dressed 2X4 in 1.25 scale, divide 1.5 by 25, and divide 3.5 by 25. This will give you a piece of wood that's .06"X.14". No matter WHAT scale the scale-lumber says it is on the package, it it measures out to .06"X.14", it's a 1/25 scale dressed 2X4. Most stripwood I've encountered lists the actual dimensions on the packege.

 

Any other scales and any other sizes are determined in exactly the same way.

 

A variety of woods can be modeled by using appropriate stains, as the grain in-scale is too small to see without magnification anyway.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 24 January 2013 - 07:28 AM.


#15 Kit Basher

Kit Basher

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 824 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Full Name:Hugh

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

In case it's helpful, the dimensions for modern surfaced lumber are as follows: 1"= 0.75, 2"=1.5, 3"=2.5, 4"=3.5, 6"= 5.5, 8"= 7.25, 10"= 9.25, 12"= 11.25. I'll let you make your own scale conversions.



#16 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

Bill,

 

You're right - thanks for the correction - was thinking 1.75 for some reason. Guess I was trying to stick with the 2:4 ratio.

 

Hugh,

 

Thanks.  Thought I knew the dressed sizes off the top of my head, but Bill just showed me I probably need this.

 

Anyway, appreciate all the comments and help.  Think I've found a couple possibilities for what I need and will check some reviews and decide on something.  Again, thanks everybody.



#17 southpier

southpier

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,939 posts
  • Location:northeast coast
  • Full Name:joe smythe

Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

look for the actual dimension of the piece. just like buying styrene or brass stock.

 

maybe this will help:  http://modelclass.tripod.com/index.htm

 

if something is listed as 1/48 scale, figure it will be half that size in 1/24. you can do it!

 

an easy way is to go to a dollhouse building website and look for 1/2" scale or G model railroading scale.  btw: Ozark Miniatures has some great stuff!

 

http://www.ozarkmini...idCategory=1237

 

 

 

 

..... but must be completely overlooking the 1:24, which is what I need.

 


Edited by southpier, 24 January 2013 - 03:09 PM.


#18 Johnny K

Johnny K

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Chicagoland Area
  • Full Name:Johnny Knight

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

Joe,

 

Yes, thanks for the Ozark Miniatures Site.  It does have the 1:24 scale listed, but it's still in nominal sizes, which is fine.  As noted earlier, after someone else (Art, I think) mentioned it, I realized I hadn't even considered 1:48 as being workable.

 

After looking at the availability and prices for the amount I need, I realize I'm just better off to buy a saw and cut my own.  I'll pick one of those out next week and get it ordered.

 

I appreciate your input.  Thanks.



#19 Kit Basher

Kit Basher

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 824 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Full Name:Hugh

Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Johnny, if you get a saw, please let us know which one you get, and perhaps offer us (or at least me) a review of it. I also need to cut very small pieces of wood sometimes and would be interested in your results. Thanks



#20 Lunajammer

Lunajammer

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,536 posts
  • Location:Fargo, ND
  • Full Name:Mike Laliberte

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

For what it's worth, and I don't know if this is within the spirit of your goals, but from the 1940's and earlier, not all 2x4's were necessarily spot-on accurate anyway because many times builders ripped and planed their boards at the construction sites. Made painfully obvious while renovating my own home and all the walls were wavy because the 2x4 studs were not exactly similar.