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Tools and tips for scratch building

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  • railmus
    replied
    Bum.......mer! [:-angel]

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  • Sully
    replied
    I don't think that guy is looking at the drum!.....tom

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  • Sully
    replied
    I don't think that guy is looking at the drum!.....tom

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  • dave1905
    replied
    I have found that a dial caliper is tremendously helpful in scratchbuilding. Combine it with a pocket calculator and for less than $35 you can have an unbeatable combination.

    An Optivisor is also very helpful.

    I like to use sheets of wet-dry sandpaper (220, 400, 600 grit) for smoothing and straightening. I have scrap of particle board shelving I use as a work surface to sand on.

    Dave H.

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  • DaveInTheHat
    replied
    I made a gizmo to make 50 gallon drums.





    There's a short 'how to' on my Fotki page

    http://public.fotki.com/DaveInTheHat...0-gallon-drum/

    Leave a comment:


  • Hume_Lumber_Co
    replied
    I was wondering if anyone has tried the Jim Jones Balsa Stripper:



    http://www.mindspring.com/~thayer5/f...onesstrip.html

    I found an updated version:

    http://www.timgoldstein.com/secure/E...pplies%3ATools



    And here is some more ideas for the stripper:

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_38...tm.htm#3864393

    thanks,

    Matthew

    Leave a comment:


  • Hume_Lumber_Co
    replied
    Wow! I have learned a lot from reading this topic. You caused me to make my own wish list:

    Wood Strip Cutter that Mark (mhdishere) brought up

    Chopper for strip wood

    90 degree punch… I have cut, and filed all my windows. This looks a lot easier

    double sided tape

    Laser cutting station (in my dreams!)

    Home made casting molds… (another dream)

    I consider myself a novice and try to avoid spending too much money. It just makes it more challenging. I like scratch building and really enjoy simple short list of tools that I build most everything with:

    Number 11 Xcato

    Supper glue with brush (I use toothpick for places that only need a little glue.)

    Blacken-it

    MRR forum

    AutoCAD (free from http://www.a9tech.com/).

    Small needle file

    (yeah my whole list is less than $US 20)

    I started less than a modeling two years ago. I think my experience would give a lot of don’t does this as a novice.

    I started with the HOn30 Keystone Shay & NWSL Power Kit. (see http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=10164)



    I don’t think anyone would advise a novice to start with a non-powered white metal train kit that has an aftermarket powering kit. This took me 9 months to just get running. The bumpers hand to be scratch built to have connectors.

    I wanted the train to have something to pull, so I designed my own logging disconnect:



    I just used a drawing program in word… Here is what it looks like:



    A year after I started I decided to build the large (50’x166’) logging mill. (see http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=11962)

    Using many photos of the mill I made a CAD drawing of the mill and cut it out an fit it together:



    This is where I am at currently with it:



    Everything including windows are scratch built. Now I realize this was a monster of a project for my first structure.

    Finally recently I wised up and just made a little logging bunk house (10’x20’) done in scale lumber and even windows are scratch built:



    I used the CAD tool to get all of my dimensions on the two structures. I never used a scale ruler.

    It would have been better to sharpen my skills on smaller projects then move up. This is in part why I am yet to finish anything. I still want to experiment with weather and such before I finish the mill.

    BUT my point of this long entry is most everything here is done with a Xacto and supper glue! All the other tools are helpful and save time, but if you want to you can do it the hard way.

    Matthew

    Leave a comment:


  • Old_Fogy
    replied
    quote:


    Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy


    Gary, sounds like your enthusiasm is reaching the sky! Modelbuilding can certainly be rewarding.

    I use Titebond or Titebond II when gluing wood to wood. It dries pretty quickly, really, a lot quicker than Elmer's white glue. And like John and Mike said, Aileen's Tacky Glue is great! I use it for a wide range of applications.

    And I think if you are scratchbuilding, you will be really glad you bought a Chopper. I've worn out my old masonite based model and have the new model now. It's a great tool.

    Oh, and as to the scale rule, I've got several kicking around, but I find myself using the six inch one the most. Also, I bought a dial caliper set several years ago that is graduated in HO measurements, and find it very useful.


    Greetings, Al,

    Yes, I'm enthusiastic and I hope the enthusiasm continues. It's healthy.

    I've ordered the Chopper and am searching for a place that sells the HO scale ruler. I suspect that will be easy as well.

    Almost every modeling material I now have came after I joined this forum. Because of the help and encouragement from members of this esteemed group, I've made the leap and am thrilled that I can challenge myself to be as much a craftsman as those who share their wealth here.

    Fellows like yourself become the catalyst for fellows like myself who want to create things with their hands, yet find no source to booast them forward. The source sits right here on this forum.

    Thanks for your feedback and encouragement.

    Gary (Old Fogy)

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  • Old_Fogy
    replied
    quote:


    Originally posted by Bbags


    quote:


    Originally posted by Old Fogy


    At age 75.5, I'm not old after all.

    Gary (Old Fogy)


    Gary,
    While I am 9 years your junior I expect to keep on doing this for another 25 years or so.

    I may need all that time to finish my layout and build all the kits I have on the shelf.

    That is without all the new kits I will purchase down the road.

    I guess I better go for 30 more years of modeling.


    John, so long as you're healthy -- bodily and mentally, you'll live "forever." You must stay active in both categories. Thus, model building can keep your mental juices energized and your body active.

    I'm starting model building, a process I should have begun many decades ago. I saw no need for building my own when I could purchase structures at a reasonable price.

    But the enjoyment, pleasure and finally the satisfaction is not the same when you build from scratch -- that goes for almost any venture or adventure.

    Gary (Old Fogy)

    For many people getting old is literally and physically the pits.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bbags
    replied
    quote:


    Originally posted by Old Fogy


    At age 75.5, I'm not old after all.

    Gary (Old Fogy)


    Gary,
    While I am 9 years your junior I expect to keep on doing this for another 25 years or so.

    I may need all that time to finish my layout and build all the kits I have on the shelf.

    That is without all the new kits I will purchase down the road.

    I guess I better go for 30 more years of modeling.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tabooma_County_Rwy
    replied
    Gary, sounds like your enthusiasm is reaching the sky! Modelbuilding can certainly be rewarding.

    I use Titebond or Titebond II when gluing wood to wood. It dries pretty quickly, really, a lot quicker than Elmer's white glue. And like John and Mike said, Aileen's Tacky Glue is great! I use it for a wide range of applications.

    And I think if you are scratchbuilding, you will be really glad you bought a Chopper. I've worn out my old masonite based model and have the new model now. It's a great tool.

    Oh, and as to the scale rule, I've got several kicking around, but I find myself using the six inch one the most. Also, I bought a dial caliper set several years ago that is graduated in HO measurements, and find it very useful.

    Leave a comment:


  • Old_Fogy
    replied
    Thank you, Mike and John. Hasn't taken long to learn that constructing home-made models can lead to a workbench chock full of paints, brushes, knives, blades, adhesives, sheets of wood, magnifying glasses and a host of tools of various sizes and shapes, and for various purposes.

    I've got to the point in my venture as a novice scratchbuilder where I have tinted strips of wood with both black and brown India ink and a building plan. Getting to this point has been exciting and educational. I'm learning a new vocabulary and discovering yet another channel through which to funnel my creativity.

    It's truly satisfying taking a mere abstract thought and transferring it to concrete conclusion as many of you have. I hope you do not underrate what you are doing.

    I'm about to order the chopper from MicroMart along with a few other essentials. [John, you're correct. MicroMart's catalog can empty a wallet in no time.] My earnest attempt at creating something you can hold in your hands from something that was only a thought should begin this week.

    At age 75.5, I'm not old after all.

    Gary (Old Fogy)

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeC
    replied
    Gary, there is a variety of scale rulers available, but I think a lot of modelers use General's stainless steel scale rulers. The one I have is 1" wide X 12" long and is marked for HO and O on one side and S, N, and metric/decimal equivalents on the other. If you can't find one in your local hobby/train store, it can be ordered from Walthers, cat. # 285-1251. They also have a 6" ruler available. Additionally, Midwest Products makes a combo ruler/ scale stripwood gauge for sizing stripwood. It's pretty handy to have at times also.

    You'll probably get lots of different answers about adhesives, most based on personal preferences. I like Aleene's Tacky for most wood-to-wood applications, but others prefer wood glue, white glue, yellow glue, etc. And you'll get a wide variety of suggestions for ACC's and epoxies also, I imagine.

    For me, the NWSL Chopper is definitely a "must have!" I use mine mainly to cut pieces of wood to exact, identical lengths, such as would be required for studs and framing. I have two Choppers. One is the "old" model with the masonite base, and the other is the "new" one with the smaller cast metal base and replaceable cutting pad. I use them both, depending upon the task and the size (length) of the wood I'm working with. I don't know if the old-style Choppers are still available now.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bbags
    replied
    Hi Gary,

    I bought my scale ruler at a local hobby shop.

    For the chopper if you are going to scratch build then it is a really big help.

    I bought mine from Micro-Mark which specializes in tools for modeling.

    You should be able to also purchase the scale rule there also.

    Be careful for you can spend a fortune just by looking through their web site.

    http://www.micromark.com/

    As for glue everyone has their favorites but I use a variety of Aleene's tacky glues that are found in Walmart along with the craft paints.

    I also use super glue which I buy at a hardware store.

    I like the Loctite Super Glue Gel.

    I am sure others will add to these suggestions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Old_Fogy
    replied
    Several modelers on this thread have noted the importance of a scale ruler.I agree that converting measurements to the scale level, say HO, would result in an accurate construction of the scale level. I work on HO, thus where can I purchase one?

    Also, what about adhesives? Some modelers cite Elmers's Wood Glue as an effective adhesive, but what quick-drying cement or glue is also preferred? Is there a so-called standard wood or plastic cement used by the majority modelers?

    Also cited among some messages is the Northwest Short Line Chopper used to cut wooden strips at various angles. Is this a "must have" tool for the workbench?

    Gary (Old Fogy)

    Leave a comment:

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