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Favorite modeling tools


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Everyone has a fave, right?

I'll start. These locking tweezers are really great at holding small parts for painting. Part of a whole set at Harbor Freight for less than $10, IIRC

It'd be great to see what others can't live without.

 

Edit: Posted in wrong subforum. Mods, can you move to Tips & Tricks?

IMG_6327.jpg.562617d1627aab1b8e5c875dd53eed9a.jpg

 

 

Edited by rightrudder
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IMO, those "favorite this and that" threads are a bit silly.

My favorite tool is whatever I'm using at the moment during model building session.  It could be one of hundred of tools I own (because one can never have too many tools).   So, they all are my favorite at one time or another.

I also bet you dollars to donuts that if it came to that, you *COULD* live without those tweezers.  :)  I however would likely leave my hobby if there was no more CA glue.  And it is not even a tool.

 

As for tweezers, I have tweezers (with lots of CA glue in the background). :D

Tweezers_zpsc2415612.jpg

Edited by peteski
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Side cutters as they are the first thing that gets used after opening a kit. Followed by the hobby knife and sanding sticks

Really like the God Hand drill sets excellent quality and use them a lot. Painting clips for holding small parts.

And cant build without toothpicks.

vn0YN5O.jpg

 

 

 

 

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A tip of the cap to fellow board member SfanGoch for his recommendation.  I wanted to find something better to replace an old Dremel that had never been a great asset, so I asked this board for their thoughts.  He posted the model number of a 5-speed Dremel which would allow me to grind off significant amounts of plastic (if needed) without causing it to melt, which my original 1-speed Dremel was infamous for.  Found a great deal on ebay and never looked back.

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11 hours ago, Cool Hand said:

Side cutters as they are the first thing that gets used after opening a kit. Followed by the hobby knife and sanding sticks

Really like the God Hand drill sets excellent quality and use them a lot. Painting clips for holding small parts.

And cant build without toothpicks.

vn0YN5O.jpg

 

 

 

 

Nice. I need to get more tiny drill bits; I've got a couple of them in pin vises right now but I didn't have the right size for a spindle modification I did. Fortunately, I found piano wire in the correct diameter, and with heat from a trusty Bic lighter, I melted the hole to size.

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It'd be hard to make a complete list of my favorite tools as they are all my favorite otherwise I wouldn't have them. One of the most versatile tools I use daily are 1-2-3 Machinist blocks.  They have many uses from aligning parts, small parts drying rack, etc etc. 

61GwAPcNprL._AC_SS450_.jpg

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1 hour ago, RSchnell said:

It'd be hard to make a complete list of my favorite tools as they are all my favorite otherwise I wouldn't have them...

Agreed entirely.

Still, I have a few that are a little "more favorite" than others.

One of 'em is an old wood-box set (like this) of X-Actos that were my father's. Though I have lotsa newer ones, these are kinda special.

Vintage X-acto Knife Kit in Wooden Box with lots of extra ...

Small number drills and a pin vise, most definitely.

20pc Mini Micro Drill HSS Bits Set Index 61-80 w/ Metal ...

Another go-to, constantly, is my Mitutoyo digital caliper, like this. I keep a set of cheaper ones in every toolbox, in every shop.

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digimatic Absolute Caliper 150mm (6 ...

Steel triangles and squares rate high too.

XActo Drawing Triangle Square Stainless Steel Precision ...

But the number one favorite is my vintage Unimat lathe, like this, that converts in seconds to a vertical milling machine. As I'm always collecting more tooling for it, there soon won't be anything it can't do...except run itself.   B)

Sold: Emco Unimat SL Lathe Collection - Niels Machines

 

 


 

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5 hours ago, Monty said:

A tip of the cap to fellow board member SfanGoch for his recommendation.  I wanted to find something better to replace an old Dremel that had never been a great asset, so I asked this board for their thoughts.  He posted the model number of a 5-speed Dremel which would allow me to grind off significant amounts of plastic (if needed) without causing it to melt, which my original 1-speed Dremel was infamous for.  Found a great deal on ebay and never looked back.

I have one mounted on my Dremel drill press....🙂

Here's what one looks like.... The head tilts 90° degrees for some side drilling... or milling with an 1/8 inch (.125") end mill... there are smaller end mills also..

41yNzyBCbHL._AC_SY580_.jpg

Edited by deuces wild
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34 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Agreed entirely.

Still, I have a few that are a little "more favorite" than others.

One of 'em is an old wood-box set (like this) of X-Actos that were my father's. Though I have lotsa newer ones, these are kinda special.

Vintage X-acto Knife Kit in Wooden Box with lots of extra ...

Small number drills and a pin vise, most definitely.

20pc Mini Micro Drill HSS Bits Set Index 61-80 w/ Metal ...

Another go-to, constantly, is my Mitutoyo digital caliper, like this. I keep a set of cheaper ones in every toolbox, in every shop.

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digimatic Absolute Caliper 150mm (6 ...

Steel triangles and squares rate high too.

XActo Drawing Triangle Square Stainless Steel Precision ...

But the number one favorite is my vintage Unimat lathe, like this, that converts in seconds to a vertical milling machine. As I'm always collecting more tooling for it, there soon won't be anything it can't do...except run itself.   B)

Sold: Emco Unimat SL Lathe Collection - Niels Machines

 

 


 

That lathe is awesome! I need to find one of those. I got into model building from my grandfather who built everything from stick & tissue model airplanes to model cars. I still use some of his model tools when I sit down at the desk-which was my great grandfather's desk he used at his auto parts store in the 1920s. I guess the desk counts as a tool too!

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1 hour ago, RSchnell said:

That lathe is awesome! I need to find one of those. I got into model building from my grandfather who built everything from stick & tissue model airplanes to model cars. I still use some of his model tools when I sit down at the desk-which was my great grandfather's desk he used at his auto parts store in the 1920s. I guess the desk counts as a tool too!

Those are nice little lathes. If you can't find one, Sherline currently still makes lathes which are similar size, and they have lots of accessories available.  I have owned a Sherline for over 30 years and love it.

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18 minutes ago, NOBLNG said:

These are my favourite tools and I’ve got a complete set of ten.🙂 Despite a few close calls over the years, I’ve managed not to lose any of them.

 

Irreplaceable, custom-made just for you. Take good care of 'em.  There's not another set just like that anywhere in the universe.  B)

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On 1/25/2022 at 5:06 PM, RSchnell said:

That lathe is awesome! I need to find one of those.

They're still popular, and there's a fair sized community of enthusiasts. Lotsa parts and accessories still available, and even some stuff newly manufactured.

I first saw one advertised in a 1959 (I think) Model Railroader, had no earthly idea what it was or what you did with it. Over the next few years I read articles in the mag about guys scratch-building spectacular jewel-like locomotives and began to get a yen for one. Quit model trains, then hobby modeling altogether at around 18. Fast forward to about 2015, after I'd learned to use real machine tools and got back into modeling...one day I just decided it was time.   B)

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I gotta keep my eye open for one of those Dremel drill presses. I didn't even know the had them. The drill press I use wont accept the really small bits that the Dremel will.

 

 

Edited by Mike C.
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4 minutes ago, Mike C. said:

 ...The drill press I use wont accept the really small bits that the Dremel will.

One Q&D solution to that is to cut a double-ended pin vise in half, chuck your bit in the pin vise, then chuck the pin vise in the drill.

Double Ended Pin Vise with Reversible Collets | Gesswein

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2 hours ago, Mike C. said:

The drill press I use wont accept the really small bits that the Dremel will.

Bill has a good solution, as long as the pin vise is decent quality. I don’t recall where I got the little chuck on the right, but it runs very true. The set in the middle was a push drill that was very sloppy, so I cut the chuck off of it. It runs fairly true. Both will take down to a #80 (.0135”) drill bit. The cheapo 4 piece set on the left is completely useless, even for hand use, as they all hold the drill bit at a crooked off center angle.

6BC49FE9-2EFF-445F-9334-0BEEBE7208C6.jpeg

Edited by NOBLNG
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I like the press because sometimes you need to hold the work at a perfect 90 degree anglebut I really should pick up one of those pin vices. I would imagine they would be good for engine wiring and such.

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3 hours ago, NOBLNG said:

Bill has a good solution, as long as the pin vise is decent quality. I don’t recall where I got the little chuck on the right, but it runs very true. The set in the middle was a push drill that was very sloppy, so I cut the chuck off of it. It runs fairly true. Both will take down to a #80 (.0135”) drill bit. The cheapo 4 piece set on the left is completely useless, even for hand use, as they all hold the drill bit at a crooked off center angle.

6BC49FE9-2EFF-445F-9334-0BEEBE7208C6.jpeg

That's why I like my set of pin vises from Starrett which I posted in another thread....

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On 1/27/2022 at 8:56 PM, NOBLNG said:

These are my favourite tools and I’ve got a complete set of ten.🙂 Despite a few close calls over the years, I’ve managed not to lose any of them.🤪

983CFD4C-37E8-4243-8518-C1F217DA7C0A.jpeg

Funny, my set came with wrinkles & cuts & bruises..........LOL🤣

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