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  • Thanks Steve - great idea, and I need to do that!!!

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    • Some great ideas. I am going to start using wood more often. Does anyone have any experience about the "Chop It' from Micro Mark? Looks less expensive than the Chopper, particularly with the recent sale. Would I be disappointed going with this instead of the Chopper?

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      • I've been using it for year; works just fine. replaced the hinge pin once as it was getting a bit sloppy.
        CEO, Lancre Valley Steam navigation Co.

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        • I made a paint shaker out of an old saw.



          Here's a short video of how I did it and how it works.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Haok6-_AS7k
          https://public.fotki.com/DaveInTheHat/



          https://www.facebook.com/daveinthehat/

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          • Hey Dave,

            Neat idea. Gives me an idea to use my DeWalt reciprocating saw. It comes with variable speed control.

            Bernd
            New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

            Main thread to all that's happening on the NY,V & N Rwy. The New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy. - Railroad Line Forums (railroad-line.com)

            New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy HOn30 Quarry Line https://railroad-line.com/node/31167

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            • Don't feel like becoming a master of plaster? Use Balsa Foam.

              Balsa Foam is extremely easy to carve and is impervious to solvents, glues, paints and heat. (No need for foam cutters.) Component parts can easily be attached using ACC, wood or white glue, epoxy etc. Coloring can be done using solvent or acrylic paints, soft pastels or weathering powders which can be set with alcohol, mineral spirits, or a pastel fixative, Dullcoat or hairspray. The foam has no memory, so impressions are easy to introduce into the foam surface. By applying acrylic Gesso to the carved foam, the foam surfaces become very durable without any loss of detail.

              A useful tool is the small cosmetic sample brush (small white brush) shown in the picture below. Most paint brush handle tips are too large or pointed, so it's worth going into the cosmetic section of a retailer where the ladies try on make-up and obtain a cosmetic sample brush or two. The handle tip is used in a stippling stroke to introduce 3-D texture into a carved wall. The 'glue' brush (or a stiff bristle brush) is used to round the stones and remove sharp corners as well as add texture. A toothpick is all that is needed to carve the foam. The larger 1" brush is used to remove dust from the foam without damage to the carved faces.

              One can easily carve the sample wall shown in less than 10 minutes.


              -- KP --

              Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

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              • Wow Great paint shaker'. Don't know how I missed that last March'..

                Kris, Will be trying the Balsa foam shortly'...


                Ted

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                • Kris,

                  What is balsa foam normally used for? Where can it be purchased? It looks really interesting!

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                  • Daniel,

                    I get mine from Dick Blick. The stone ends on my PA German barn are made from balsa foam.



                    Bob
                    http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30102

                    http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51837

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                    • I haven't tried balsa foam but it looks like something that I could use. I've used high density polyurethane foam. It comes in different densities and its easy to work with. Glues together with wood glue.
                      https://public.fotki.com/DaveInTheHat/



                      https://www.facebook.com/daveinthehat/

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                      • Dave, I think it's the same thing.

                        Bob
                        http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30102

                        http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51837

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                        • Actually, balsa foam is a 'plastic' product, and not a polyurethane product, although it sure feels like a polyurethane. The product was developed for commercial model builders. It is available through Amazon, Dick Blick and other art and school supply houses. It is very safe to use and is non-toxic or allergenic. It is used in class rooms for first grade and up.

                          It is heat resistant, so hot glue will not melt the stuff. It will not 'melt' with the application of strong solvents like Acetone, Mineral Spirits, MEK, or alcohol. The material has a course, almost sandy surface. The sandy nature of the product makes it a bit messy to work with, but the surface represents extremely well materials such as stone, brick and concrete with just a simple paint application. It is a bit tricky to use washes on the foam as it absorbs like a sponge, but with a bit of experience this property can be used to the modelers advantage.

                          The foam comes in two different density or weights. The lighter, 5lb foam is called balsa foam. The heaver foam, 10lb, is called balsa foam II. For very fine detailed carving of things like bricks in HO scale, I'd recommend the heavier 10 lb. foam. For most stone work in O-scale, the lighter foam would work.

                          Once carved, the foam needs to have a stiffing material added. Carving both weights of foam is about like carving a stick of butter at a refrigerator temp or slightly warmer. The foam has no memory, so impressions are easy to make. The higher weight foam, balsa foam II is designed to be used as a pattern mold material if needed. Once a stiffing agent is applied to the foam, it becomes very durable. I have been using acrylic Gesso prior to painting/coloring the foam. I have had carved foam walls at clinics in model shows pass through over 200 people handling the carving and I have not been able to find any damage or coloring loss in the sample wall. Another common stiffing material for the foam is a fabric stiffing agent called "Stiffy". I have not used the fabric stiffing agent as I've had huge success with Gesso.

                          Lots of additional information, along with about 4 different reviews of the product can be found in my New York build thread:

                          http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=44353
                          -- KP --

                          Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

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                          • I'd like to add that after seeing Kris' (KP) tutorial on using Balsa Foam, I ordered some from Dick Blick (both densities) and have used it so far to make a highway bridge, bridge abutments, a building foundation, and a concrete loading dock.

                            At first I just painted directly onto the Balsa Foam (acrylic craft paints and also Krylon spray primer) and they worked, but the Balsa Foam did indeed soak up the paint, so multiple coats were required. Then I read somewhere (MRH, I think) about using the Gesso primer, so I bought some and primed my concrete loading dock with it (Gesso) and then one coat of craft paint was all that was required.

                            I'm really sold on this stuff and can see lots of modeling possibilities.

                            Al Carter

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                            • I always use Gesso over my balsa foam, three coats. The last coat I tint to whatever color I

                              want the mortar to be or leave it white if that's what I want.

                              Bob
                              http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30102

                              http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51837

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                              • I like using machinist squares for laying out and as guides for making parts. Since a machinist square will not lay flat, I wanted some way for the blade to lay flat on the self healing mat. I had a scrap of 3/4" baltic birch plywood laying around the shop, so I sprayed some adhesive on it and glued it to the plywood. Once it was set, I ran it through my table saw with a 60 tooth plywood blade. I now have an elevated self healing mat that is square. I can use the machinist squares from all sides and know that what I cut will be square.

                                My wife found the blue tub in the background at the fabric store. It is a great size to use as a workbench trash can.

                                In the upper left corner are various containers of applicators. Round toothpicks, flat toothpicks, plastic toothpicks, sandwich picks,bamboo picks, even a jar of straight pins. All handy. Since I use round tooth picks the most, I keep some in an old spice jar that has a flip top with 3/16" holes in it. I can easily shake out a tooth pick.

                                Someone mentioned double sided tape earlier. I use the permanent double sided tape, but Scotch also make a removable double-coated tape #667. It has a very low stick for a temporary hold.


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