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Rail Scale ruler

7140 Views 30 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  rkapuaala
I don't know if it's considered proper, but here goes:

One one of these forums (I hope--this is the only site I inhabit) someone mentioned the Rail Scale scale ruler. Said they were good, so I bought one.

I got mine yesterday. I elected for the aluminum 1:20.3, 12" version.

Based merely on the looks of the crisp etching, I'd recommend one if you want a scale rule. They also come in the 'other' gauges. Just Google Railscale and the site will pop up.

Mine cost just a tad under $14, incl shipping from wherever they are to the frozen south bank of the Missouri. Took about eight days, but this was immediately post New Year's.

These rulers also have a standard 12" scale. They come in up to 24" length (I think!); definitely 18".

I'm pleased with it. I've been measuring stuff right and left, and y'know, this scale stuff is beginning to gel.

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Not only proper, but encouraged (I would think).

It's always nice to hear which tools folks find useful for their modem trains.

Arcata, CA
Hi Guys,

C.T.T. Inc of Dallas, TX also makes a series of clear plastic scale rules.
I have several of their 1:29 rules.
They are fairly inexpensive at around $4.00 or so. (cheap enough to have several).
I have gotten mine at Charles Ro and he used to have them in a full selection of scales.


Thanks for the thought. I forgot to add they make a six incher, and a wallet-sized card. (I have no connection with that company).

Hiya Les, I actually need a ruler just for general purposes right now. I may have to follow your example and get one of these. Thanks for sharing!


Not a problem. Lots 'n lots of folks have shared knowledge with me. Just passing it along.

I just received the Scale Card...Card, 6" and 12" rulers....Was impressed with all but the last mentioned...for $15. I think it could have been a little more substantial...it is really flimsy (maybe folks want to use it to measure the OD of pipe or something..The Card is pretty handy!


Did you get the plastic or aluminum ones? (Except for the credit card size). Mine's aluminum, and it's solid.

I bought a different brand-Scale Card>


can't get url or pic to post correctly-sorry.......

anyways, mine are all plastic....like the look of the ruler you bought-may add one of those when I can!

I've been using the Scale Card rulers, 6", 12", and 24" - GREAT tool! Highly recommended. Though a metal ruler has its advantages too.

I use a 1:29 and a 1:20.3 (Sundance Central). My wife and I carry the card in our wallets to check figure sizes when we are out shopping. I don't know how anyone can live without scale rulers. I always had at least two handy when I was modeling in HO gauge.

If one is a dedicated penny-pincher, one can sit down with his calculator and scale ratio and make up a lookup table. The single drawback to that method is, with a scale rule one can get an immediate sense of the actual size of an item. I had a bit of entertainment measuring some of my cheapo rolling stock.

All in all, I'm very glad I got mine and may one day add the 18 & 24" lenghts. I'm still not certain on the wallet size because I know 3-1/2" is about six feet in 1:20.3, and it happens that my formerly work-gnarled index finger is that length.

I may perish from this flu. Who's a deserving beginner modeller?

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Les, thanks a lot for the tip.

I I've used the Scale Card in the past and I do like it, but, it is black on clear and I sometimes have difficulty reading it.

I ordered the aluminum, in both 6" and 18". They are thin aluminum (.020") so they do have some flex in them, which I find quite handy.

One cool thing is that you can specify the scale that you want on each side. I went with 1:20 on one side and 1:1 on the other. The scale choices include HO, S, O, 1:1, 1:12, 1:20.3 1:22.5, 1:24, 1:29, and 1:32. I could have put HO on one side to make it easy to scale up from all those old drawings in Model Railroader.

Here's a picture of the 6" ruler:

I find it easy to read and use. Pretty neat stuff.
You can find them over at http://therailscale.com/
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I thought about having different 'scales' on each side of the rule, but concluded that, the way my mind creaks along, a quick reference across to the 'realworld' would be best. For me, I did a good choice. I dunno how to upscale dwgs anyway. When I get there, I'll ask here.

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I just now purchased a Rail Scale rule. I got the 1/20.3 on one side and 1:1 on the other side- aluminum 24 inch. I'm looking forward to using it.
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Posted By Les on 01/27/2009 1:24 PM

I thought about having different 'scales' on each side of the rule, but concluded that, the way my mind creaks along, a quick reference across to the 'realworld' would be best. For me, I did a good choice. I dunno how to upscale dwgs anyway. When I get there, I'll ask here.


Yes, I think that's the handiest. I need too many real world measurements to have another scale on that side. Besides, I still have my nice HO ruler from days gone by.
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I received my Rail Scale this morning. Ordered Tuesday morning, here today. Fast delivery! The scales are beautiful, exactly as advertised.

Yeah, I was very impressed with mine, too. Eventually I'll get the 18 & 24" but not right now.

I bought the card and the 12 inch and they are both accurate and great. My only complaint is that they are silk screened and not etched. I tended to be hard on tools and I can see these getting worn out easily, fortunately they are so cheap, I won't break me to buy another when I've worn out these :)
I got the 2 scale, 1:20 and 1:22 very handy to have, I can put away my calculator now :)
They're definitely not for the long haul. But, they're affordable. And, cunning soul that I am, (Now that you tell me they're accurate) I might make myself one from mild steel/brass and copy it, though it should endure all I'll ever do with it. (Beats doing the math and laying one out!)

Or, as you say, send off another $14. That's hard to beat.

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