Guide to Making A 3% Grade Measuring Tool
When it all comes down to modeling a layout, some people mdel hilly areas while others model flat areas. This How to would not apply to those with a flat layout. For those of you wanting to model hilly areas, you problably want your tracks going up and down grade, but the question that has been asked numerous times by other model railroaders is what percentage would be scale for HO. I have been doing some reasearch and found that around 3% or less would look and operation wise work correctly. If you have weak locomotives, I suggest going less than 3%, not doing grades, or replacing the motor so your engines will be able to handle them. Most modern engines made by higher quality brands should be able to.
First, to start out with you will need a small piece of plywood, plexigass, or cardboard. You will also need a 2ft long level(Must be 2ft long) and some tape.
Secondly, take the cardboard and mar a 3/4 of an in line across it.
Third, Line the bottem of the level up on the lin, leaving the 3/4 of an inch facing downward.
Fourth, Tape your measurement to the level.
To use this start of by puting the free end of the level on the highest riser. On the riser you want to be down 3% set the 3/4" pice facing down. Now slide the lowest riser up and down till the center buble reads level. There you have it, you have made a 3% grade simply.