Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tools: Midwest Products Scale Lumber Gauge - I4A$$

I'm working on three projects now in the shop, all scratchbuilt.  Going between HO and O scales is tough when you have scale lumber laying all over the shop.  So I decided to order this scale lumber gauge from Midwest.  It cost me $6.

This "ruler" is heavy plastic and marked on two sides.  On one edge are cut outs for measuring scale lumber in different sizes.  Here you can see 1" and O-scale 1/4" notches.  A "10" under O-scale means this is a 10" wide board.

On the other end of the red side you can find HO and N scale.  ALMOST?  What the !#@$! is almost?  The scale says ALMOST HO and ALMOST N.  Now, pardon me, but I thought a measuring device was about precision!  I guess not.

Let's check it out.  I took a hardwood dowel and checked for an area that was 12" in HO scale. I put the dowel in at the point I measured and it was 12".  Looks good.  There doesn't appear to be any difference in the blue and red side, other than the color.

The same dowel should be a 6" width in O-scale, and it does measure correctly.  The gauge is fairly thick an the wood hangs in the cut out well without sliding left and right.  This should provide a good measurement.

I checked the 12" ruler with my steel rule and the marking were accurate, crisp and easy to ready.  There are holes on either end of the Scale Lumber Gauge for easy mounting.

As a review, the jury is out.  I don't like ALMOST on a measuring tool and I ALMOST didn't buy it.  However, it appears to be more accurate than it gives itself credit for.  I'll keep using it on my workbench for a while and let you know.  Guess you can't go wrong with $6 so if you do scratchbuild, you may want one.

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