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scale nail heads

edited January 2015 in Miscellaneous
I swear I saw a thread somewhere that had an idea about using graphite pencil leads for making scale O scale nail heads in wood. But, can't find it. If I remember right, the smallest size on the thread was .5mm (?), and the author thought smaller was available. I have since been anxious to use the technique.

So, I found some pencil leads in the .4, .3 and .2mm sizes (good golly, these are small). The .2 mm works out to about 5/8" in HO, a real size of .007". It sounds like it would be perfect for HO scale, let alone a more perfect size for O scale.

The web site I found them available is http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Stein-Enhanced-Silica-Pencil-Lead-0.2-mm-B/pd/11967 although I am sure others are out there.
with the lead made by Pentel. (Pentel Stein Enhanced Silica Pencil Lead - 0.2 mm - B)

You can even get a pencil to use them, making it easy to dispatch the lead. One question, which lead (B or HB) would show better?

Hope this is helpful to many.

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Tony Burgess

Comments

  • Tony, Karl put me on to that when I was doing the main building for the shipyard. I used a very thin lead of forgotten size and then kept it at a sharp point with very fine sandpaper. It worked well until I totally screwed it up by going over them later several times when I was trying to work out the texture and color. Repeated wire brushings and alcohol washes spread the pin points out to smudges. Brett correctly judged them as "sucked" if I recall.
    John
  • Sounds like the advice here is to add them after all is done. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
    Tony
  • edited January 2015
    Tony, The "B" and the "HB" denotes the hardness of the graphite.
    HB is medium and used in most general pencil applications. B is softer and I would presume creates more powdering and therefor smudging as it will dis-integrate easier to powder. H is harder and more brittle.
    I generally add the nails this way after everything else is pretty much done. In O scale I like them (when I get them right) in moderation. In HO they are very easy to become overwhelming, as with any other method.

    Karl.A
  • Thanks Karl. I am familiar with the scale of hardness. I have a full set I draw with. But it does sound like the harder one is better for modeling. And yes, I believe moderation is the key, just for that right area, maybe some boards on a dock or something, where they normally seem to pop up. So I agree, too much of a good thing spoils the look.
    Tony
  • If you really want to get crazy....make the nail hole with the pin.....then you need to find the smallest tip that you can find on those squeeze bottles....a 22g medical needle works the best......and put the smallest drop of a medium to darkish brown (rusty) in that indentation...when it drys.....it really looks like a nail head....just surface has to be dead flat....Karl is dead on though....moderation is the key....
  • If you really want to get crazy....make the nail hole with the pin.....then you need to find the smallest tip that you can find on those squeeze bottles....a 22g medical needle works the best......and put the smallest drop of a medium to darkish brown (rusty) in that indentation...when it drys.....it really looks like a nail head....just surface has to be dead flat....Karl is dead on though....moderation is the key....
    Another good tip, thanks.

  • Hi Tony - I posted a thread entitled "Details - Spikes" - under Misc. good you got the 0.2 mm! These are hard to find retail- I got some at a technical school drafting store.
  • I just picked up some .004" steel wire with a shipment from ngineering. That makes it less than 1/4" in O scale. I'm going to play around with them and see what turns out.
  • I've thought about using wire....at a scale 1/4" that's a pretty big nail....would work for a nail head...I would like to replicate a nail slightly worked out...and bent maybe.....anyone play with those tiny o scale rivets?...if you could file the head flat?....might work....now I need to go down to the shop and check....
  • Hi guys...this is a picture of my nail holes as MuddyCreakRR has mentioned by using a pin to make the nail marks but I hadn't thought about a little rust. That could be made by sticking the pin into rust powder or chalk and inserting it into the nail hole. I'm going to try that....Davidimage
  • I took the pin, dipped in alcohol, dipped in rust colored chalk. then pushed the pin into the wood. What do you all think?image
  • David, good idea, worth playing around with, and I like the look. I went "out there" and found some images and a web site on nail making from the 1900's, and they had mostly large flat ends that look to be closer to 3/8 to 1/2" across. http://www.glasgowsteelnail.com/nailmaking.htm
    They were also square, not round. Now I think we have a prototype for the large nails that we can use.
    image
    image
    image

    Those 1/2" nails would be about the same size as the .2mm in HO scale. So they might work after all.
    Tony
  • Hi Tony - I posted a thread entitled "Details - Spikes" - under Misc. good you got the 0.2 mm! These are hard to find retail- I got some at a technical school drafting store.
    Thanks James, that is the thread that inspired me on to this one, I couldn't remember where I found it. I kept looking for 'nails', and not 'spikes'. Your photos there are really fantastic. Looking at the first photo you had, there was a metal corner brace, looks like a nail sticking out there would be a good place for something like what we are trying to achieve.

    By the way, I got my pencils and lead in a few days ago and hopefully I will get a opportunity to try it out on a few spots. I bought both the .2 and .3mm leads.
    Tony
  • I think the rust effect looks nice . . .
    John
  • thanks for all the info - I called them "spikes" because i thought the leads would be too big to call "nails" but we shouldn't forget that nails were once larger than what we currently see used in typical construction. the other day I was walking how from work (in the middle of a modern city) and there by the roadside was a pile of 80 year old tie plates and spikes! An old rail bed had been uncovered and dismantled nearby. I took the spikes home for future reference -but they had to stay out in the garden…. :)
  • I think you "nailed it".
  • engine909 said:

    I think you "nailed it".

    Ahhh, ya think? :-)

  • As an added tip to this thread, surgical needles or syringe needle points work well to make holes in HO scale. Just my $.02
    Rich
  • Pennman said:

    As an added tip to this thread, surgical needles or syringe needle points work well to make holes in HO scale. Just my $.02
    Rich

    I usually use a straight pin. I have one handy on my desk at all times.
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