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On hand supplies question


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What supplies do you guys(and gals) keep on hand for scratch building? 
 

Sheet styrene? Most common sizes to have?

styrene Rod and tube? Sizes?

Other types and shapes of styrene to keep handy for building custom stuff, roll cages, etc.

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Styrene, got tons of the stuff.  Sheet material bought off the scrap pile at a (now closed) plastics company, $.75/lb.  Thicknesses range from .040" to about 1/8".  Sheets are huge, much bigger than the packaged hobby stuff.  I bought a couple of 4' x 8' sheets of .020" and cut them into sheets sized to fit my vacuum forming machine.

Also have a pile of .020" scraps (cutoffs from when I had some parts vacuformed in volume).  I also save the odd packaging insert, if it is styrene and the shape(s) look interesting.  For other thicknesses, I buy as needed, and have leftover from that.

For rod, tube, and strip, I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of packages rather than chase to the LHS ten or twelve miles away every time I decide I need something.  

To start, decide what you want to build, scale it down, and get the needed materials in those sizes.  Your roll cages will probably be one diameter, frame rails will be whatever (whether round tube, or rectangular).  Then get additional materials as needed.  You'll build a stockpile soon enough.

You don't want to spend a ton of money on stuff you will never use.  But, if an assortment of materials turns up second-hand (toy show, IPMS meet, estate sale, flea market, whatever) and you can pick that stuff up for pennies on the dollar compared to original price, go for it.

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17 minutes ago, Mark said:

Styrene, got tons of the stuff.  Sheet material bought off the scrap pile at a (now closed) plastics company, $.75/lb.  Thicknesses range from .040" to about 1/8".  Sheets are huge, much bigger than the packaged hobby stuff.  I bought a couple of 4' x 8' sheets of .020" and cut them into sheets sized to fit my vacuum forming machine.

Also have a pile of .020" scraps (cutoffs from when I had some parts vacuformed in volume).  I also save the odd packaging insert, if it is styrene and the shape(s) look interesting.  For other thicknesses, I buy as needed, and have leftover from that.

For rod, tube, and strip, I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of packages rather than chase to the LHS ten or twelve miles away every time I decide I need something.  

To start, decide what you want to build, scale it down, and get the needed materials in those sizes.  Your roll cages will probably be one diameter, frame rails will be whatever (whether round tube, or rectangular).  Then get additional materials as needed.  You'll build a stockpile soon enough.

You don't want to spend a ton of money on stuff you will never use.  But, if an assortment of materials turns up second-hand (toy show, IPMS meet, estate sale, flea market, whatever) and you can pick that stuff up for pennies on the dollar compared to original price, go for it.

I pretty much have the sheet stuff covered, I work for a printing company and can get sheet styrene in 4’x8’ sheets in everything from .010-.060 thickness.

My main thing I guess really is what are the most common used sizes of rod and tube diameters and what other sizes and shapes are commonly used for scratch building. 
 

Just trying to figure out what I need to pick up next trip to hobby shop. 
 

Thank you for your input, it helped a lot sir. 👍🏻

Edited by Keef
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Earlier in the year, when my Evergreen and Plastruct supplies were running low, I ordered one of every set of square, round, half round, strip and angle that this eBay seller stocks: https://www.ebay.com/sch/kdarr70/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Excellent value, way cheaper than the big names and I never seem to be short of anything 'normal' that I would need. 

I bought some 20ft x 4ft rolls of styrene in various thicknesses too so I've got plenty of that to work with, and as you'd expect, buying bulk of that stuff makes it better value than buying the hobby-sized packs.  0.010, 0.020 and 0.040 are my usual go-tos for that stuff, depending on what I'm intending to do with it.

I'm lucky too that the local Ace Hardware is only a block away, and they stock all the K&S metal sizes, but I try and keep at least a couple of packs of each in stock anyway.

Add to that I've got a decent selection of about every color of paint and plenty of primer and clear, and I only really need to go 'shopping' for something for a project if it's something out of the ordinary or I'm looking to match a specific color that would be hard to mix.

I try and make sure to grab glue whenever I see it at a good price too - Dollar General or Dollar Tree usually have 4 or five kinds of superglue or Krazy Glue or something useful at good prices...

Never hurts to have an at-home hobby store! 

Edited by CabDriver
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With tubing or rod (bar) stock, sometimes you can't necessarily get the exact scale size that you want.  Sometimes the scale size falls between two readily available sizes.  When that happens, I'll take the smaller size, my thinking is that whatever paint is applied will be thicker than scale, especially if applied with a brush.

Sometimes details or scratchbuilt items end up looking "overbuilt": oversize plug wires, too-large exhaust and header tubing, and "sheet aluminum" that's nearly as thick as the 1:1 item it's supposed to represent.  A lot of things can't be done in exact scale (parts would end up being too weak to handle) but I'll try to use the smallest/thinnest material that can be easily handled and has enough strength to support the finished model when necessary.

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All good.

 It's going to seem like too much until you're working away at the bench and need something at 7:00 when the hobby shop 12 miles away closed at 6:00.  Don't have to build the inventory of supplies up all at once.  Just add it a bit at a time. 

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3 hours ago, Muncie said:

All good.

 It's going to seem like too much until you're working away at the bench and need something at 7:00 when the hobby shop 12 miles away closed at 6:00.  Don't have to build the inventory of supplies up all at once.  Just add it a bit at a time. 

And when the hobby shop opens and you get what you need….grab a package or two of other shapes. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.😈

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Over the years I've slowly picked up the sizes of strip, rod, tube, sheet, etc., that I felt I'd ever need and I'm so glad I did.   As Mark said, it sure beats having to wait for what you need.  Especially in my case where I have no LHS to run to.

IMG-0992 (Medium).JPG

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Sheet aluminum is also useful. Beveridge cans are useful, but sometimes difficult to flatten. Any sheet metal shops in the area might sell you scrap, also a recycling yard. My late father-in-law gave me a tip about tools- buy them as you need them, instead of trying to buy what you think you may need all at once. I use nail sticks for most of my sanding now, and have picked up a few useful files at yard sales- a chain saw file has been a most useful tool over the years!

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The larger tools (those that aren't made for hobby use) like large files for example, can be picked up at flea markets, garage sales, or automotive swap meets.  The boomers that used those items in their day jobs are retired or retiring, and if they are fairly well off they will hire people to do remodeling or major home repair projects instead of doing it themselves.  Using a large flat file to get a true edge on a piece of sheet plastic isn't working the tool nearly as much as it can handle.

As for the supplies like sheet/rod/tube/strip styrene, maybe just buy one or two packs every time you buy a kit.  The stockpile will build up soon enough.

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Probably a little easier to just post these pics of my supplies. Besides the tube, and rod styrene, the strip styrene in the first pic comes in real handy at times too. Some brass and aluminum rod, and tube, also is useful for making driveshafts and attaching wheel backs etc. 

I totally agree with Greg on having a few things you might need sometime, than not having it. 

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3CC5076C-70D4-4B30-80F5-B647063260B3.jpeg

Edited by Brutalform
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Evergreen sells "Odds and Ends" (item #9002) that is a half pound of random styrene that likely is cut offs from their sheets and shapes. If you're starting out and not exactly sure what you need, this might be a good place to start and MSRP is less than $10 so it won't break the bank.

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