Modeling tools

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Shay2, Mar 8, 2001.

  1. Shay2

    Shay2 Member

    What power tools do you use for kit/scratch building?
    I would be lost without my variable speed Dremel and my cordless drill.
    I use cut-off disks and polishing wheels and of course, drill bits in the drill.
    In scratch building It might be nice to have a fine tooth electric saw, maybe a small scroll saw. Something to cut plastic sheets in a straight line.
    Also, a variable speed sander with a 6 inch surface would be nice, not a palm sander, but something table mounted.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    I couldn't Do any work without my Dremel, in fact I have six of them, plus 2 cordless. The cordless I only use a hobby shows to demonstrate the hi strength cut off disks I sell.Of the other 6 I have 4 of them set up in a rack I built of split PVC pipe with a 4 gang plug to power them thru a micro switch under each Dremel "nest" . The whole thing is run by a sewing machine rheostat, the Dremels are left on & the one you pick up then is fully regulated by the rheostat. I keep one of the three sizes of cut off disk I market on each of them & the 4th to put different bits in as I need them. I keep one more, again rheostat controlled. at the drill press & another at the Unimat lathe. The lathe & drill press I could not be without either. Of course Shay 2 is probably talking more about structure scratch building than what I am doing with some of these tools. I do scratch structures, but mostly I build steam & steam geared locos in brass As far as a saws go I cut sheet&strip, both plastic & wood with a cut off disk in the Dremel.

    L V Dave
  3. Shay2

    Shay2 Member

    Hey Dave!
    Now there's an idea I can get into.
    We have a local Flea Market that sells dremel's for $15.00 each. I like the idea
    of having several with a different attachment in each. Save some time fumbling to change tool ends and in my case breaking almost every disk I try to remove.
    I've only tried one Brass Engine requiring drilled holes and it was a Shay. As a novice, that one got me in over my head, but I did finish it.
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    I also use the variable speed Dremel plus many drills. Also needle files of all shapes. Mostly I scratchbuild structures, but have on the odd occasion scratchbuilt a climax body to fit the MDC climax.

    Hey Dave
    How about making me a galloping goose, seeing as I cannot get the bus body for one.
    Project for you to do for little ole me, I'll pay you for it.

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 03-09-2001).]
  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    This thread got me thinking how spoiled we have all become, tool & product wise. Anybody remember Mel Thornburgh(sp?) He used to publish articles in M/R in the 40's & 50's on scratch building brass engines, he was VERY good. Mel did it all with out even an electric drill, he used a hand operated eggbeater type drill & files to make turnings, soldered with a big old copper ,heated in a blow torch. He made ALL the parts,possibly excepting wheels, used no castings( bell-air pumps- generators- etc.)& did incredibly detailed locos. I built (in 94-95) a K 4 PRR Pacific using the material from his article that was done starting in Dec-49 thru June or so 1950, it was really fun trying to do things as we had to 50 years ago. I did "cheat' a bit , used modern tools & a few castings( gen-airpump- bell) but did build his trailing & lead trucks, valve gear & all the rest. The old magazines are a great source of inspiration .

    L V Dave
  6. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Dave, you and a couple of other's have 'put a bee in my bonnet' (oh gawd, another old groaner!) I'm going to be looking for those ole editions, diligently. I mave have to scratch build my longed for Class A, someday. Any ideas about where to locate back issues and 'antique' issues? VGN
  7. Shay2

    Shay2 Member

    I just received a catalog from a company called "Micro-Mark". They seem to have about any tool, power or otherwise anyone might want for modeling.
    Has anyone ever done business with them or heard of them? They are located in New Jersey and say they ship worldwide.


    Rush Run River Logging Co.
  8. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Shay 2, MicroMark is OK Have bought from them & will again. Virginian, Klambach publishing & NMRA have lists of all modeling magazines & the articles in them. I think they offer reprints for a small fee. I have most all M/R from about 49 on till mid 80's.f you know what issues you want I can help.

    L V Dave
  9. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    I've bought from Micro Mark, and was happy with their service and prices.

    Yes, yes, on the old construction articles. How about the Model Railroader series (reprinted in the 1954 Kalmbach book, "Build Your Own Model Cars and Locos,") on building a "kitchen table locomotive." Charles Smith showed how to build a pretty nice HO 4-4-0 boiler, cab and tender (with purchased frame, drivers and pony truck) USING CARD STOCK AND WOOD! He even made the pilot from scale lumber!

    After many, many years of wishing (and saving up for it) I recently gave myself a present: A Sherline lathe, mill, and some accessories. I'm no machinist, but I'm learning, and have already surprised myself on what I've been able to accomplish. I have found, unexpectedly, that the mill is the more valuable to me of the two.

    Another "tool" is that a couple of years ago I took an evening class on jewelry making that concentrated on lost wax casting. The instructor was a bit put off by the sort of things I wanted to cast, but she has gotten over it. Rather than spend the money and space on casting equipment of my own, I figure on retaking the course every other year or so (with the instructor's blessing) to have access to the great equipment in the classroom.


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