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Thread: HO scale = what in inches?

  1. Default HO scale = what in inches?

    What are the dimensions for HO into inches?

    1:87 scale foot = ? inch

    I am sure there is a list out there some where.

  2. Default

    .137931" divide 12 by 87 and you get the answer.

  3. #3


    There are 87 HO scale inches in 1 actual inch on your ruler, or 7 foot 3 inches in HO scale is 1 actual inch on your ruler.

    If you have a metric ruler with millimeters, 3 1/2 millimeters = 1 scale HO foot.

  4. #4


    Go the metric route, 3.5mm is easy to calculate.

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  5. #5


    1:87 is the scale ratio, which means that a linear measurement of 1 actual unit is equal to 87 times the scale measurement. For example, one real foot equals 87 scale HO feet. But the ratio works for any linear unit of measurement, whether it's inches, meters, millimeters, miles, furlongs, or light-years. (an HO scale light-year is 67.5 billion actual miles long, by the way )

    If you're asking how many actual inches are in a scale HO foot, then a little math is involved:

    In 1 real foot (ft), there are 87 HO scale ft (HOft).

    There are 12 real inches (in) in 1 real foot (ft).

    So you multiply 1/87 (ft/HOft) x 12/1 (in/ft), and you get a ratio of 12/87, which equals 0.1379. The "ft" units cancel out, leaving you with inches / HO scale feet. 0.1379 comes out to just shy of 9/64 inches (per scale HO foot).

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by stokesda; 08-15-2008 at 01:59 PM.
    Dan Stokes

  6. Default

    (an HO scale light-year is 67.5 billion actual miles long, by the way )

    I didn't know that!

  7. #7


    DARN Mikey, that info made my day. EDIT: Oops! I meant Stokes . (That is something like Mikey would come up with )

    Rub, you can buy yourself an HO scale rule and you will find it very handy in most all your work.
    Last edited by RexHea; 08-16-2008 at 10:26 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokesda View Post
    (an HO scale light-year is 67.5 billion actual miles long, by the way )
    I just learned something new today.
    "Not always profitable and it's never on time, but you won't have to walk when a riding on this line!" Quoted from a Broake & Howe RR Engineer
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  9. Default

    I would suggest getting an HO Scale Ruler. Mascot made a nice one that was affordable in stainless steel. Mine has HO scale feet, along with S, O, and N. There is also drill & tap information and a metric scale. Since getting into detailing locomotives years ago, the scale ruler has become an important tool on my bench.
    Last edited by River Run; 08-16-2008 at 09:00 AM.

  10. Default HO ruler and conversion

    Here is a quick ruler and conversion sheet. Print full size and measure the vert & horizontal rulers to confirm that it printed correctly.

    and if this upload doesn't work, then I'll post an URL for it.
    Last edited by Jon NFL; 08-21-2008 at 04:14 PM.

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