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The issues with scratch building

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On 5/11/2020 at 2:39 PM, Bugatti Fan said:

Pat (Landman in Ontario) your Taig lathe looks incredibly very much like the Peatol Miniature lathe that I mentioned in an earlier post. Could it be the self same machine under a different brand name? Last time I saw one was at a Model Engineering Exhibition about 20 odd years ago and if my memory serves me correctly you had to buy the basic machine and add things like the motor etc.

Justin in Montreal, I think that most people go the lathe route first simply because it seems the logical place to start only having 2 axes X longitudinal and Y front to back. A milling machine has a Z axis (vertical) also to contend with. Having said that it very much depends on what sort of things one wants to make from the outset that will determine which machine to go for.

As modellers there are many different small machines available to us like miniature lathes. milling machines,  circular saws. fretsaws. wood lathes. routers,  thicknessers etc. Have a look on Proxxon's website to get an idea of their awesome  large range available. Having mentioned Proxxon before, and before somebody asks, I have no connection with that company. It is just that they have a very comprehensive range of miniature machine tools especially designed with model makers in mind. Don't take my word for it. Just have a look for yourself.

Dremel also have a range of accessories to make their tools more adaptable. One that comes to mind is an adapter to make the Dremel tool into a miniature router, so some of theirs may be worth a look if you already have a Dremel. Their tools seem to come and go over here in the UK. but I understand that they are a mainstay hobby power tool and very popular in the US. I bought one some time a go over here and it is a good bit of kit.

Yah the dremel is a mainstay in most north american homes. I have mine somewhere in storage since I moved a while back. Instead of the dremel I have been using a smaller handheld rotary tool that gives me more control. 

The reason why I questioned the lathe route, barring the 3 axis vs. 2 axis argument, I believe that most of us have already lathe experience either from back in high school, or having one at home. Pete cleared up that turning metal and wood is basically the same thing, using the same techniques but with sharper tools. Chatter still happens on wood or metal. Learning how to tool/machine (i always misuse those terms, so please forgive me if I do) is apparently simple. Even from what I have read in Joe Martins "tabletop machining guide". Mind you the comment that follows this is "even though you can use the tool, doesn't mean you are good at it."

I just thought possibly that there was another reason for the logical progression in machining from lathe to milling aside from the learning curve. Like I said previously, I decided to go the lathe route not for the learning curve, but due to cost related issues. 

And hell yah, proxxom does have a P*ss load of model/hobbyist geared tools. Proxxon, Sherline, and Taig were my main choices. Unfortunately, being in canada and requiring financing to aquire any one of these brand names was only possible through the official Canadian distributor of Sherline. So, I went with a Sherline lathe package. Ordered it this morning... Now have 5 weeks lead time before it gets to me. So in the meantime, more building with my hands and writing replies on forums as I look for more information.

 

Justin

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I have been following along with this thread and am really impressed with what you all have accomplished.  My take on scratch building is a bit different in that my efforts have been to make bodies that did not exist and had to be made from scratch in 1/24 scale.  Now granted, these are really old school techniques before todays technology was available.

Bugatti T57  - this project got stalled when both Le Mans Miniatures and Renaissance released resin kits of this Bugatti

1620591254_Bugtti_57_20181006(3)sm.jpg.9bc708810d4d7d7289664e15f554f36f.jpg

Shelby King Cobra - used the slot body back fill technique

1558564645_Kingcobra_100_1036.JPG.071bf4e43d0d32947cad37b269f88fb7.JPG

Corvette SS - Andy Martin picked this wooden buck up and ran with it.

1376992805_Corvette_SS_1957_woodenbodybuck.jpg.ec6836d08d408353d97f11e8b648ce90.jpg

Jaguar C Type - a Bill Koons Images vacuum formed body built into a full up model for Fred Cady's collection.

1746510414_Images_CJag_1167.JPG.da8f93381bf1409b024d1ee85582cd29.JPG

Jaguar_C_0.jpg.0db5ea67e4bb9892ffee88393494a77a.jpg

Jaguar_C_002.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Gramps46 said:

I have been following along with this thread and am really impressed with what you all have accomplished.  My take on scratch building is a bit different in that my efforts have been to make bodies that did not exist and had to be made from scratch in 1/24 scale.  Now granted, these are really old school techniques before todays technology was available.

Bugatti T57  - this project got stalled when both Le Mans Miniatures and Renaissance released resin kits of this Bugatti

1620591254_Bugtti_57_20181006(3)sm.jpg.9bc708810d4d7d7289664e15f554f36f.jpg

Shelby King Cobra - used the slot body back fill technique

1558564645_Kingcobra_100_1036.JPG.071bf4e43d0d32947cad37b269f88fb7.JPG

Corvette SS - Andy Martin picked this wooden buck up and ran with it.

1376992805_Corvette_SS_1957_woodenbodybuck.jpg.ec6836d08d408353d97f11e8b648ce90.jpg

Jaguar C Type - a Bill Koons Images vacuum formed body built into a full up model for Fred Cady's collection.

1746510414_Images_CJag_1167.JPG.da8f93381bf1409b024d1ee85582cd29.JPG

Jaguar_C_0.jpg.0db5ea67e4bb9892ffee88393494a77a.jpg

Jaguar_C_002.jpg

Hot dang! That is real 3d modelling! That old school method is something I need to learn. Very impressive. 

Edited by IbuildScaleModels

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Posted (edited)

Gary, there is nothing wrong with 'old school' techniques at all. Basically like any other method, no matter how sophisticated it is after all a means to an end.

Your Bugatti T57 stalled project.     Don't let the fact that LMM and Renaissance have kitted this in resin put you off as you already appear to have the body well sculpted. I think that you can buy sets of wheels in photo etched from either company.

Justin, you have made a good point about most probably getting their first experience of machining  by using lathes at school or college. My very first experience was a wood turning lathe at school when I was 13.

Edited by Bugatti Fan

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8 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

Gary, there is nothing wrong with 'old school' techniques at all. Basically like any other method, no matter how sophisticated it is after all a means to an end.

Your Bugatti T57 stalled project.     Don't let the fact that LMM and Renaissance have kitted this in resin put you off as you already appear to have the body well sculpted. I think that you can buy sets of wheels in photo etched from either company.

Justin, you have made a good point about most probably getting their first experience of machining  by using lathes at school or college. My very first experience was a wood turning lathe at school when I was 13.

Noel, and that's kind of my point. If we have the experience, why do we go back instinctively to the lathe before mill? Like I said, for me it was just logical in regards to costing it out. If I went with the mill I would have to buy a rotary table, and a 3 jaw chuck. I buy the lathe and I can make the rotary table for the cost of the metal and time investment. OR, I could just drop the money for the parts. I guess it is different for everyone, and everyone has a different budget and learning curve. Also, I really like the table top machining guide by Joe Martin. Reading it like a novel too. Even if it says not to. HAHAH!

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Justin, you are quite right about everyone having different levels of experience and budgets, and both will influence each person's approach. There will be many who have little or no machining experience so not only will they have a learning curve to go through  but also need good information about any contemplated machine purchase. On the other hand people like myself who have trained and  worked in engineering machine shops pretty much know what we will need having that experience, but even so our budgets can differ considerably and influence what we can afford to buy.

I will have to have a look at Joe Martin's table top machining guide. Looks to be an interesting read.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2020 at 3:22 AM, Bugatti Fan said:

Justin, you are quite right about everyone having different levels of experience and budgets, and both will influence each person's approach. There will be many who have little or no machining experience.

Agreed! I have no machining background and have no interest in working a lathe or mill.  Also had no interest in learning home photo etching. 

I do have ancient CAD skills where early on I was pulling decals off a pen plotter in the early 1980s. Today I make a lot of decals in computer graphics and print on my inkjet. 

I have an interest in Cricut and 3D printing, but my model building isn’t at a volume where I’d make the investment right now.
 

I do think we all need to employ any skills and tools that we care to. And if we choose otherwise, hey it’s just a hobby. Let’s do what interests us and makes us happy. Otherwise it’s called “work”!

 

 

Edited by Tom Geiger

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Tom, there is nothing wrong in your approach. Like you said it is a hobby after all. Regardless of whether anyone goes the hand skills route like yourself or partly uses machinery like me is irrelevant as long as we all enjoy what we are doing. Having done some scratch builds I tend to use machinery simply because it often takes the hard work out of making some things accurately that could also be done by hand and take a lot longer to get right. It really comes down to any modellers personal approach and of course their budget.

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On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 3:22 AM, Chariots of Fire said:

What drove me to scratch build?  I found out real quick that it became boring building the same ALF over and over with slight changes here and there.  Fire apparatus over the years have been built by so many different outfits the decision was pretty easy.  Scratch build or continue building the same old same old.  It has allowed me to do some subjects that I otherwise would not have attempted.

Along the way it has been an enjoyable experience trying different materials and methods.  Soldering has been the greatest improvement in my building BUT I am no metal worker.  Thank goodness for Evergreen stock, brass shapes and different sizes.  Peteski said it best above when he mentioned just building with styrene was way too limited.  I have to admit, though that without ACC I would be lost.  That has been the best thing since sliced bread!

Just to be clear, though, I didn't start out scratch building and I suspect most of us who do it started that way as well.  I remember trying to scratch build a truck years ago but got way ahead of myself in the skill level.  To make a long story short I destroyed a Smith Miller GMC dump truck in the process.  It is a learning experience for sure and trying new approaches is just part of that experience.

 

Hi Charles, can you please tell me what ACC stands for?

Thanks very much. This is a great thread! I've learned a lot so far.

Take care.

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It's the acronym for Acetocyanoacrylate or superglue.  I use Loctite but there are many others including Bordens, Gorilla glue, etc.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Chariots of Fire said:

It's the acronym for Acetocyanoacrylate or superglue.  I use Loctite but there are many others including Bordens, Gorilla glue, etc.

Another popular abbreviation is "CA" glue.  See  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate  for more details.

To be honest I don't even know why "ACC" is used for "Aceto-cyano-acrylate", but it sometimes is.  If anything, it should be "ACA" not "ACC".  I just call it "CA glue".

I guess it is like the blanket statement that "acrylic" automatically means water-based paints, when in fact there are many  organic-solvent-based acrylic paints.  Some modelers started the trend, and it proliferated the hobby circuit.

Edited by peteski

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ACA, ACC, AC?   It is all just Superglue to me! Just like the generic terms such as T Cut for polishing up dull paintwork on cars, and most vacuum cleaners being referred to as the Hoover.

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2 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

ACA, ACC, AC?   It is all just Superglue to me! Just like the generic terms such as T Cut for polishing up dull paintwork on cars, and most vacuum cleaners being referred to as the Hoover.

LOL Noel, neither "T Cut" nor "Hoover" are used on this side of the big pond, but there are plenty of similar examples in USA.  I have never heard of "T Cut", but I'm familiar with Hoover vacuum cleaners.  In U.S. we do use a term "Hoovered up", meaning "gobbled up fast", but I guess this would be a subject for another thread. :)

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On 5/16/2020 at 6:22 PM, Tom Geiger said:

Agreed! I have no machining background and have no interest in working a lathe or mill.  Also had no interest in learning home photo etching. 

I do have ancient CAD skills where early on I was pulling decals off a pen plotter in the early 1980s. Today I make a lot of decals in computer graphics and print on my inkjet. 

I have an interest in Cricut and 3D printing, but my model building isn’t at a volume where I’d make the investment right now.
 

I do think we all need to employ any skills and tools that we care to. And if we choose otherwise, hey it’s just a hobby. Let’s do what interests us and makes us happy. Otherwise it’s called “work”!

 

 

Haha it is work for me. But fun work... so for me it is a career. Plus I love the challenge of doing harder things. I don't do it for competition though. Competition does nothing for me. But I do love going to competitions to get inspired.

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8 minutes ago, IbuildScaleModels said:

Haha it is work for me. But fun work... so for me it is a career. Plus I love the challenge of doing harder things. I don't do it for competition though. Competition does nothing for me. But I do love going to competitions to get inspired.

The leaders in bringing new things into the hobby are often those who use those skills professionally. Followed by those who buy the equipment but often underestimate the time and effort to master those skills. 
 

Like you, I am no longer interested in competing, but I do like to show my models just for the fun of it, because I’m proud of my work.  I do try new techniques and the “let me see if I can do this...” on every build. I’m just not concerned about being on the cutting edge of contest building. I like to see and admire the work of those who do, it’s just not for me anymore.

 

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I'm sort of like you, Tom.  I have never built anything that I was doing for the purpose of competing.  If it happens to do well in a competition, ok but that's not why I build.  It's always because of the subject matter that has an appeal at the time.  And I agree, it is a lot of fun just to try new stuff.  It's amazing what you can come up with when you try.

Ever go back to your early days of model building and check out what you thought was pretty good?  I have and it makes me chuckle!😆

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Pete. I did LOL,you live and learn!     I was unaware that "using some T Cut" and "putting the Hoover around" were not terms in general use in the US. So please then let me explain it to our American friends.    Us Brits refer to any mild commercial polishing liquid for restoring a dull finish on a car as "T Cut". It was first brought on to the market by a company named Car Plan in the UK, so the name T Cut became a generic term for this sort of product over here regardless of make. OK, you all are familiar with the name Hoover as a brand of vacuum cleaner. I really don't know how the Hoover name became a generic term for a vacuum cleaner in the UK. The expression "put the Hoover around" has been used over here for as long as I can remember regardless of what make the vacuum cleaner is. HTH.

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5 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

Pete. I did LOL,you live and learn!     I was unaware that "using some T Cut" and "putting the Hoover around" were not terms in general use in the US. So please then let me explain it to our American friends.    Us Brits refer to any mild commercial polishing liquid for restoring a dull finish on a car as "T Cut". It was first brought on to the market by a company named Car Plan in the UK, so the name T Cut became a generic term for this sort of product over here regardless of make. OK, you all are familiar with the name Hoover as a brand of vacuum cleaner. I really don't know how the Hoover name became a generic term for a vacuum cleaner in the UK. The expression "put the Hoover around" has been used over here for as long as I can remember regardless of what make the vacuum cleaner is. HTH.

Just as long as you don't start talking in cockney slang i'm ok... man that rhyme scheme talk blows my mind... 

 

10 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

 “let me see if I can do this...” on every build.

Oh yah.... I feel that! That's one of my main drives. I spoke with Jerry Kieffer the other day on the phone. If you don't know who he is look him up. He too is a firm believer in "don't let anyone tell you it isn't possible. They are either jealous or haven't figured out how to do it. Because of that, they would rather tell you that what you are trying to do is impossible."

I'm a stubborn mule when it comes to stuff like that. Everything is possible. If I haven't figured it out yet, I will find a way. 

10 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

The leaders in bringing new things into the hobby are often those who use those skills professionally. Followed by those who buy the equipment but often underestimate the time and effort to master those skills. 

Yup... time. Time is always a killer. Especially seeing how much time I put into research alone. I have easily spent over 300+ hours researching the Ford GT40 MKII for my build, and then another 300+ hours plus the numerous videos I have watched and learned from regarding milling/turning. Lathe work was always a no brainer to me, guess I'm lucky like that. Now turning metal... that's a different story but the principles are the same with the inclusion of tolerances and speeds you turn at and why. Hell making a screw is just mind boggling. Making a gear... mind flipping... Making a cross slide...just...just... what the F***?

So yah. The time it takes to make stuff... that's another reason why I don't compete.

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Just read this in the Tabletop Machinist Handbook by Joe Martin of Sherline

Quote

Do you need a lathe, a mill or both?

Which tool is the most important when getting started? The lathe is the first complex piece of machinery an apprentice machinist will use to cut metal. A mill is the machine an apprentice machinist will use to make his or her first complex part. Lathes have always been a great way to learn about cutting metal, but as soon as you have that urge to build a miniature version of a steam engine, you'll find out that a mill is needed more than a lathe. The truth is, to make complex parts you need both.

I would estimate I have spent 90% of my time working with a mill compared to a lathe; however, when a part has to be turned and threaded you need a lathe. A lathe is a good place for a novice to start. It will allow you to find out about cutting metal and requires a smaller investment.

I don' t recommend buying every metal cutting tool in sight until you know you like cutting metal. Metal cutting is a complex, slow process that should be enjoyable before any large investment is made. I would suggest that if your funds are limited and you still want full machine shop capabilities, get started by buying the best mill you can afford and the least expensive lathe you can get by with. The reason is that most likely the majority of critical operations you will perform will require a vertical milling machine.

Well F*** me. LOL!

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Ah Justin,  good to see you took my advice to buy the book I recommended.  btw, the quote you just described in the book was kind of my point that I shared with you earlier, in that if you want to get the most out of learning HOW to machine and if you can afford it, buy the mill FIRST.   You'll learn more and be more capable after the fact if you can learn to use the mill properly. A couple years after I bought my mill, when I finally ordered a lathe from Sherline, it was like ho-hum....set it up and ran it.   Just that much simpler.   I'm sure you'll love your Sherline lathe when you get it.  cheers, Codi

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2 hours ago, Codi said:

Ah Justin,  good to see you took my advice to buy the book I recommended.  btw, the quote you just described in the book was kind of my point that I shared with you earlier, in that if you want to get the most out of learning HOW to machine and if you can afford it, buy the mill FIRST.   You'll learn more and be more capable after the fact if you can learn to use the mill properly. A couple years after I bought my mill, when I finally ordered a lathe from Sherline, it was like ho-hum....set it up and ran it.   Just that much simpler.   I'm sure you'll love your Sherline lathe when you get it.  cheers, Codi

Ahhhh Tim.... You are so right. The thing is, I should have got the mill first and grabbed a cheap "toy" lathe to do the rest. Thing is... all the "other" stuff I needed, if I started with the mill kit, came already with the lathe. After totaling everything up, for some reason the lathe setup was cheaper to start with. Go figure? But yah, I got the book... reading it like a novel even if it suggests not to. HAHA

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Sherline, Taig and Emco Unimat small lathes have retro fitting milling attachments for each table top machine that can be either fitted later or bought with the initial purchase. This may be a viable alternative to a separate milling machine depending on the size of parts you wish to make. Owners of these machines know of this already, but anybody contemplating buying any of these machines may like to know of this option.

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:40 AM, Chariots of Fire said:

That's the stuff!  Great to work with.  I see an IH R-190 is part of this rig also!  I did one just a short time ago.  Here is my latest project using Renshape.

012.JPG.417ab5254b480e3283c5f13fe4b6eaed.JPG

The fenders, hood and grill are all made with Renshape.

024.JPG.b8f87bf8c86dbf15d7475de87eac0d08.JPG

I saw a similar Reo at a show back in 2008 with a GMC 702 on the deck. Neat truck. I used that picture of the 702 as a reference when I scratchbuilt mine.

Photos from laptop 027.jpg

Photos from laptop 028.jpg

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On 5/18/2020 at 2:54 PM, Bugatti Fan said:

Pete. I did LOL,you live and learn!     I was unaware that "using some T Cut" and "putting the Hoover around" were not terms in general use in the US. So please then let me explain it to our American friends.    Us Brits refer to any mild commercial polishing liquid for restoring a dull finish on a car as "T Cut". It was first brought on to the market by a company named Car Plan in the UK, so the name T Cut became a generic term for this sort of product over here regardless of make. OK, you all are familiar with the name Hoover as a brand of vacuum cleaner. I really don't know how the Hoover name became a generic term for a vacuum cleaner in the UK. The expression "put the Hoover around" has been used over here for as long as I can remember regardless of what make the vacuum cleaner is. HTH.

That's like us calling all facial tissues Kleenex and all cameras Kodaks. Although whike Kleenex endures, Kodaks seem to have fallen by the wayside in favor of cameras.

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14 hours ago, landman said:

That's like us calling all facial tissues Kleenex and all cameras Kodaks. Although whike Kleenex endures, Kodaks seem to have fallen by the wayside in favor of cameras.

What's a Kodak? HAHAHA Just kidding... but honestly what the hell is Renshape? I just looked it up and it's like, what, foamcore or something? Like the foam stuff you put fake flowers into?

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