Tool Supply Questions

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by JKim, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this the right forum but I'd like to pick up a few supplies to help me in my model building.

    One is sheet styrene. It seems useful to have some sheet styrene around to do various things like adding shims for ill fitting joints or fabbing up a custom part. I was going to pick up some sheets off of EBay but I wasn't sure what kinds of thickness I should be looking at. I know it would vary based on what kinds of things I'd be trying to do but can anyone give me a range of sheet thicknesses that might be useful for someone that concentrates on 1/48 WWII aircraft?

    Also, I'd like to pick up a small drill bit set. Sometimes the conical cut of a sharp Xacto blade is not the correct choice. I see some mini/micro drill bit sets out there. Some of them come with something called a "pin vise". I take it that the pin vise can be used to hold the drill bit to be used manually by hand. It also seems like the pin vise can be taken apart and parts of it can be used as a chuck that will hold the drill bit for use on a Dremel? Is this correct?
     
  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I have a variety pack of plastic sheet from Gale Force Nine It comes in 5¼x9¼ sheets: 3x010", 3x.030" and 3x.060". Evergreen also makes plastic Evergreen Scale Models as does Plastruct Plastruct, Inc. - Home I like my pin vice which came with bits and I purchased another sets of bits as the very small ones break easily. I'm also looking at purchasing a set of these drill bits...
    pcb drill bits | eBay

    Geo
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Good info from Geo. I have just two sheets of plastic card and they've lasted me a long time. They caliper out to 0.25mm and 0.5mm and these do me for all my 1/48 needs. I've often glued combinations of pieces cut from these sheets together to get various thicker pieces.

    The pin vice below is very close to the one I have and seems to match what you describe. Mine came with two chucks totaling 4 bore sizes that can be used with drills up to almost 1/16". The spare chuck fits inside the shaft, which comes apart. Very useful tool for drilling out gun barrels, exhaust stacks, etc.

    ppv2237-d.jpg
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the scale you work in as to the thickness of sheeting you should think about. i work in 1/72, and 0.25mm is about as thick a sheet as will be useful.

    Funny thing about pin Vices. They are all pretty much going to do the job, but the most difficult thing i find is avoiding losing the drills, and also keeping the sizes properly boxed and in order....otherwise they tend to just jumble down into a hopless bit of chaos
     
  5. at6

    at6 Well-Known Member

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    A pin vise is a handy little tool to have. As for using in a Dremel, I've never seen one that would work for that. Besides, a Dremel is too fast and results in melted plastic from heat build up which causes binding and breaking of the bit.
     
  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #6 N4521U, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    As for Dremel, the 2 speeds of the Minimite cordless are 6,500 and 13,000 rpm and I had one when I was lived in the States and it was perfect. Not so fast that it would melt plastic if you used spriral tools for shaping. The big ones are like 16,000 or something. I can't get thr Minimite one here in Oz for less than an arm and a leg. They are small and easy to handle. Easy to get from the US as well, check and make sure the charger is compatible tho, we have 240V AC here, where in the States it's all 110V AC.
    7300 MiniMite Cordless / Model: 7300

    Drill bits, you can get sets with shanks that fit the dremell. Nice thing about them is you can use them with your fingers. I have two sets. This set is the larger 1.0 to 2mm in nice steps.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/291190294284?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    This set is .3mm to 1.2mm.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/291190294284?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    I do use the PCB, CNC bits at .3mm for my buckles on stringing.
    DO NOT get anything Diamond, IMHO. they just stink.

    If you get the Dremell shank bits, you don't have to change the chuck in the pin vice all the time, one size fits all.

    Hope this helps.

    Bill
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    And breaking the smaller bits :) Mine are always in less than perfect order as well but I usually just offer them up until I get one the correct size!

    As for Dremels.....never had to use one in thirty years of model building. In fact I've never used any powered tools for building plastic kits. I know many swear by a Dremel type tool, particularly when working with resin, but I find the correct hand tool and some elbow grease work just fine.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree. In most cases, a power tool such as a Dremmel, or the similar tools sold on model web sites, are far too fast for plastic modelling, even at their slowest setting.
    I have one which I only use with a circular saw for cutting metal tube and similar materials, or maybe the odd polishing job. But I think I've used it twice in the last four years or so.
    Also, they tend to be a bit large, when trying to do delicate work. Like Steve, I prefer the extra effort, but closer 'precision' and finer control, of the correct hand tool.
    Now, where did I put that lump hammer .........................
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to say that a Dremel is not a useful tool. I'm just saying that for plastic modelling it is rarely (if ever) really needed. For someone starting to gather together a collection of tools for modelling in plastic I would put a Dremel well towards the bottom of the list. There are dozens of other tools which will see more use :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  10. at6

    at6 Well-Known Member

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    I some times use a Dremel like a lathe to shape replacement prop shafts or for some quick shaping with sand paper. Makes a great carving tool for wood and most definitely good for cutting metal rod material. I do have the flex shaft which I have yet to use.
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I have used a Dremel - carefully - just to thin cockpit walls to receive a resin insert. It's very useful for that and I could not image doing this any other way.
     
  12. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #12 N4521U, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    Well then............................. anyone notice I mentioned SPEEDS???????????????????????
    He asked about Dremells!

    Why do I bother!
    I do a lot of scratch building and shaping and the bloody Dremell comes in handy!
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    And as more than one of us has pointed out even the lower speeds are sometimes dangerously fast for working plastic. I don't think a Dremel is a very good tool for this. I've never said or implied that it isn't a very good tool for many other applications.

    The OP didn't ask specifically about a Dremel except in the context of adapting it with parts of a pin vice to take drill bits. That question was answered very well by you, above.

    Again, he would be wasting his time and money buying a Dremel to use as a drill for styrene. A manual pin vice (or set to take a wide range of bit sizes, as I use) will be far more useful.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  14. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Dont even need a pin vice if you get dremell shank drills.
    I use my fingers.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Which supports the point I'm making. A powered drill of any type is not needed to work plastic.

    I've never used the shanked drill bits so I don't know whether they are easier or harder to manipulate (literally) than regular bits in a pin vice. I do know that a pin vice is designed to be used by hand whereas a shanked bit is designed to fit a chuck rather than human fingers :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #16 parsifal, Aug 2, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    I use dremel with a variable speed so i can slow it right down, but still its a sledge hammer in the modelling world. its useful, like when im trying make the cockpit area bigger to fit an aftermarket IP or similar, and ive used it for polishing or buffing work at times. Ill sometimes use a buffing disc dippedin car polish to do really fine polishing work. Because its a machine, it can deliver precise sanding angles, and at least give a consistent texture if its not possible to polish everything out....You can get flat, straight surfaces with no curves at the side or droopy bits.

    most cutting i use a small hand saw, and most drilling i use the pin vice. if im working metal, ill use it, stick it in the vice and use it like a bench grinder. Ive got a flxible attachment that i sometimes use as well if im scuplting an iregular shape, usually out of wood....an engarving tool basically.

    but its a dangerous tool in model making becuse it can be altogether too powerful and too large for most jobs...and thats even at slow speeds

    Other tools i use a lot are locksmiths files ...needles file i think they are called, whilst for sanding I use good old rubber or cork block, cut to size and attached to a stick or the wooden end of a paint brush. i know vic has these sanding que tips that are very good, but i cannot find them, so i make do. Nail files are useful, but the fine sanding still needs the paper. Some people go to 4000 grain, but i seldom use finer 2000, the reason is Im just too impatient. ill do the majority of the work with 500-1000, then finish things off with the 2000. ive sometimes used automotive wet and dry, which reduces the grit scratches when i rub it back wet.

    An imortant tool for me are the forceps. i use surgical forceps. if you are going to spend big money spend it on two thigs, a good knife and a a good set of forceps. I also would recommend various probes (like dentisits probes) and prongs that you can get from most hobby shops.

    I also bought these miniature modelling or sculpting knives for working the filler which Ive found really useful. i of course have two or three widths of masking tape.

    Another handy item are brushes...good ones. Terry knows about brushes better than anyone, and no matter how much I try to use the airbrush, i alsways find jobs for the brush brigades. Brushes are another item you should be prepred to spend a bit on. Dinky brushes are very nnoying after a while

    clamps are useful and for someone like me with poor eyesight, I finnd a good magnifying glass with light a must have piece of kit as well
     
  17. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I F'n give up........................................ you are probably right.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    As Parsifal, the tools I use most are scalpels usually with #10 and #11 blades. There is no substitute for a good knife. Side cutters, which I use to snip parts from the sprue. A good pair will do the job as well as the purpose built and expensive sprue cutters. Tweezers and haemostats (which are locking forceps) for all those fiddly bits, though one will still ping off into the ether from time to time. A set of small files of differing shapes from flat to round. A good razor saw, particularly useful for freeing resin from casting blocks. A set of micro drill bits and pin vices. Tooth picks/cocktail sticks, a million uses for these. For sanding, as above, I use wet 'n' dry from 800-2400 grit. I also sometimes use wire wool to finish.
    A good magnifier of the type you can wear on your head. It doesn't need huge magnification. Mine is either 1.5 or 1.75 and is ideal for all the routine stuff. I have another separate magnifier for use if I need to really magnify an area or part.
    Finally, the most important tool of all and you can't buy it......patience.
    Over the years I have acquired a cupboard full of tools, most of which I use from time to time. The relative few above are those which see more or less constant use.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  19. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree with the Steve's post above. The tool set is the same I have and use. Of course I use a similar to the Dremel micro drill device too. Mostly for removing of plastic excesses and works with resin , metal and other hard materials. The pin vice is a very useful tool as well. I have it too.
     
  20. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I already have a dremel that I use mostly to grind and polish. I just thought that drill bits COULD be used in the dremel if appropriate but I can see how it might be overkill for styrene. I am going to pick up a pin vise... hand drilling seems like it would suit my needs. Again, thanks for all of the great tips!
     
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