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Must-have tools
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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 09:16 pm
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Mavryk
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I'm just starting to get into this whole scratch building hobby but my tools are almost non exsistant. I have a metal saw, and an x-acto knife. Would some of you be kind enough to give me a list of some must-have tools? I'll be working with wood most of the time but also using styrene.

Thanks in advance.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 09:36 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Three absolutely essential tools for what you propose

Zona razor saw

Exacto handle, with #11 blades

Scale rule for your chosen scale.

From there, you can add hundreds of other tools--but you're not going to get much done without these three.


Herb 



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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 09:38 pm
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mwiz64
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I love my NWSL Chopper. It really makes quick work of cutting strip wood and styrene. After that, I like my Foredom so much mort than a Dremel. It foot speed control and it has gobs of torque allowing you to use it a speeds much slower than a Dremel without stalling.

After that, get yourself all sorts of different grits of sand paper and be willing to make all sorts of different shape sanding blocks. An old guy once told me the mark of a good modeler is the assortment of different sanding blocks he has made. I have lots. I make new ones all the time too.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 10:51 pm
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Dwayne
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Pin vise, jewlers file set, miniture screwdrivers, soldering iron, track gauges if you're going to handlay track, small diagonal cutter and a dremel tool. And the most necessary tool... money. :)



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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 11:06 pm
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Mavryk
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Dwayne wrote:
Pin vise, jewlers file set, miniture screwdrivers, soldering iron, track gauges if you're going to handlay track, small diagonal cutter and a dremel tool. And the most necessary tool... money. :)

....with money being the hardest to get.

Thanks for the info guys. I'm ghonna start puicking away at this list as soon as I can.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 06:53 am
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Dallas_M
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Here's an incredibly cheap & simple one that goes well with using stripwood: a BROWN PAPER BAG!

Yup, next time you're at the grocery, ask for paper ... tuck away a couple of those. Tear or cut off a piece and use that as your "final sanding" on stripwood (or even instead of sanding on stuff that looks okay). By some mysterious principle, that coarse paper will do a beautiful job of removing wood fuzzies.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 07:49 am
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mwiz64
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Interesting tip, Dallas. I'm going to have to try that.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 08:04 am
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Mavryk
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Ya, no kidding, VERY good tip. Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time I've seen a brown paper bag anywhere. Do you think a chuck of corrugated cardboard will work the same way? If so, it comes as it's own sanding block.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 08:56 am
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NathanO
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You can ask for a paper bag at Target, they still have them. Some of the local Mom & Pop stores in our area have them or if you have a Hobby Lobby or place like that they some times have them for sale.

You may find having several of each tool good to have. I have two small pin vises that I use generally set up for two sizes of holes I tend to drill when working on a model.

I have an X-Acto knife set with three different size handles and many different blades.

Besides my 'big' tools for working around the house I have some small needle nose pliers, small wire cutters, and several different types of glue to use depending on what I am working on.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 09:17 am
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mwiz64
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Here is one that I find quite valuable. It's a small disposable plastic bulb for holding CA or ACC. It's clear plastic with a long narrow tube at the end and it allows you to place very small drops of glue as opposed to the larger drops you get straight from the bottle. The nice part is that the tubes on the end are about an inch long and when they get clogged at the tip, you just slice the end off. They last a long time and are very cheap. My LHS sells them. I'm not sure of a mail order source. You might also find them at a craft store.

Also, single edged razor blades come in handy. I buy them at the hardware in boxes of 100 for a few bucks. When they get dull on one side, flip them around. When they get dull on the other, pitch 'em and get another. These are also the blades used in the NWSL Chopper 2 that I mentioned above. That's a great tool....

I also like the snap off blade type box cutters. They are cheap and a new blade is just a snap away.

There are some jobs where only the sharpest of blades will do. Go to your local medical supply store and buy a scalpel and some blades. Be very careful... That baby will lay you open like nothing you've ever seen. When you are there at the medical store, get some ace bandages. They make wonderful devices for holding parts tight around round forms.

There is a product called See Temp. Google it. It's wonderful for laying over blue prints and other drawings to trace over and make templates. Why would you want to build from a template? Because you might want to make several parts of the same irregular shape and it makes doing so so much easier. In that same vein, don't be afraid to make jigs to hold parts to shape and to help you with making several parts of the very same shape and size.

Last edited on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 09:25 am by mwiz64



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