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What kind of tool do you use to align the corners of your scratch built and kit structures?


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Im going to print out some 90-degree corner clamps tomorrow. I'm curious what everyone who builds from kits is using to align their corners.

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What clamps are you printing out?

So I have used a number of different things

  • for larger stuff I use metal 123 blocks to just prop stuff up against for corner glueing. You can use a neodymium magnet to hold the vertical piece against block and even the bottom piece if you put it all on a metal plate. But warning using magnets it can move stuff around at at times makes it hard to stay in just the right place.
  • ive also made some small wood blocks that I embedded some neodymium disc magnets in to suck them down on a metal plate (4x4 metal junction box covers are great for this like a buck bit sturdy and flat). These are good for little bits where you don’t need to really hold the vertical piece and magnets holding bits is just not practical. I played with using some old Lego blocks with neodymium cylinder magnets in the holes under them instead of wood blocks (figured easier for those to make w.o a shop to cut nice blocks) to just build the jig shape you want but lock it down onto the metal plate. Unfortunately the block sides were not perfectly flat and square so was not great for small bits. But these may have been old knockoff blocks so I need to loop back sometime and retry with nice new real Lego blocks sometime. Also wanted to play with little plastic corner squares for clamping
  • i have some L magnet corner clamp sets but never really liked them as hard to get things aligned and then setting it all down it can tweak things out again
  • my main goto solution for sankei walls is my little home made corner clamps with a stick and a couple of alligator hair clips. Give just enough pressure to hold the sankei parts but easy to do micro adjustments. I can also see all of the exposed corner edge to kale sure it’s not gapping or a bit wonky which you loose with many other clamps. These are based off the “right clamps” which are expensive and a bit hard to use with n scale stuff. A friend had a pair and I tried them and it took a bit to get stuff lined up. I like my cheapo solution better. You can bend the outer alligator jaw to fit 2 or 3 ply’s of sankei laserboard.




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Wow those are some GREAT tools that you've made I almost feel shameful printing out something lol. I kind of like the magnetic clamps that's why Im considering printing them out. I love the homemade corner clamps you've made they are very ingenious I think. 

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Thanks, but I borrowed the idea from the “right clamp” type of clamp design that have been around a long time. I just find the hair clips suit my needs just right.


I’ve pretty much moved to just the old hair clip clamps for most construction, simple and works well. Magnetic corner clamps just cause more issues usually holding too tight for final alignment. Then again setting them down could tweak things. I’ve always meant to make nicer ones but the simple stick, clips and some epoxy is dirt simple and just works. I did take the inside corner off the block so any glue that may squish out won’t stick to the jig.


I like simple.



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