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What sizes of balsa or spruce are scale to 2x4's and lumber sizes?

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What sizes of balsa or spruce are scale to 2x4's and lumber sizes?

Old 02-24-2024, 02:53 PM
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GiantScale
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Default What sizes of balsa or spruce are scale to 2x4's and lumber sizes?

Id like to build a scale model of the framing of my 48x72 dream house which is a pole barn hybrid..

The scale isn't as critical as the balsa dimensions needing to be close to scale, because I want to support the second level off of the laminated posts by "letting in" the ribbon boards for the floor and roof. A form of balloon framing, but spanning 12', and I feel a model will help me communicate my idea for the build because most people build their second level off of a poured slab.. But no codes here..

Anyway, what I'm looking for is balsa or spruce strips that are close to scale of 2x8's and hopefully other common sizes like 2x4's and 2x14, without having to cut each piece, which isn't going to happen lol.

Any suggestions on a vendor with tons of sizes?

Thanks

Last edited by GiantScale; 02-24-2024 at 02:59 PM.
Old 04-15-2024, 09:52 PM
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Mckenna86
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In scale modeling, balsa or spruce sizes that are equivalent to 2x4's and lumber sizes typically range from around 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch in thickness. These sizes are commonly used for building structural elements such as beams, framing, and supports in scale models, mirroring the proportions of real-world construction materials.
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:13 AM
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Outrider6
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Here are the places that I buy balsa, spruce and basswood from:

https://gravesrc.com/airplanes/building-supplies/wood/

https://balsausa.com/

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/wp/index.html


As mentioned above, sizes are generally based in 1/8" increments, except for 1/16" thick balsa. You will have to do the math and work out what sizes are closest to scale. Plus, keep in mind that if you want to get exact, you need to take into account that lumber sizes are nominal, and not exact. For example, a 2x4 is supposed to be 1-1/2" x 3-1/2", but they gyp us and give us 1-3/8" x 3-3/8". And a 2x8 is really supposed to be 1-1/2" x 7-1/4". Idiotic nominal sizes, apparently devised by either dumb people or crooks. Why not just give us the size they say it is?



Last edited by Outrider6; 04-16-2024 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 04-16-2024, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Outrider6
Here are the places that I buy balsa, spruce and basswood from:

https://gravesrc.com/airplanes/building-supplies/wood/

https://balsausa.com/

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/wp/index.html


As mentioned above, sizes are generally based in 1/8" increments, except for 1/16" thick balsa. You will have to do the math and work out what sizes are closest to scale. Plus, keep in mind that if you want to get exact, you need to take into account that lumber sizes are nominal, and not exact. For example, a 2x4 is supposed to be 1-1/2" x 3-1/2", but they gyp us and give us 1-3/8" x 3-3/8". And a 2x8 is really supposed to be 1-1/2" x 7-1/4". Idiotic nominal sizes, apparently devised by either dumb people or crooks. Why not just give us the size they say it is?
Rough wood is usually in the stated dimensions but finished wood is smaller due to the finishing process. This usually removes about 3/8 of an inch, not 1/2. If you are getting that much difference you are buying wood at the wrong place. And if you really want that 3/8" back, buy rough wood and plane it yourself. Their "gyping" is a lot of work. Even good tape measures include markings that account for this difference. Lastly, good woodworkers will even take finished wood down more by planing and jointing. And they account for this in their designs.

1/8" is very close to 1/12 scale of 2" lumber. And for your house dimensions 1/12 scale allows you to take feet measurements directly to inches. Personally, I would use 1/8 scale or 1/16 because they are inverse multiples of 2 and wood dimensions are typically multiples of 2. 2" rough lumber scales exactly to 1/8" balsa. If you really want that extra 3/8" taken out use sandpaper. BTW, there are a significant number of large ships and aircraft scaled in 1/32 just because it is an inverse multiple of 2.

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