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tools required for styrene?

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posted this question in the wrong section before, so I'll put it here now. What tools should I buy if I want to start scratch building parts from styrene? Also, what thickness of styrene sheets should I buy?

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X-acto knives, razor saws, needle files, flat files, riffler files, drills (including a pin-vise and small bits), clothespins and other assorted clamps, hemostats, various kinds of tweezers, sandpaper in various grits, sanding-blocks (flat and shaped), a straight edge and steel right-angle, a small miter-box, straight-pins, fine-line Sharpie markers, a Dremel tool and attachments, a compass, ...lotsa stuff.

Depends on what you want to start making.

As you learn, you'll also figure out what you like to use for various projects and parts. I find sheets of .010", .020", .030" and about .060" to be the most useful, and if you're working in 1/24-1/25 scale, then 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm round rod are pretty common for chassis and roll-cage work. Rectangular and strip-stock too, plus tubing in various diameters.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Bill listed most of the popular hand tools that would cover the majority of any scratchbuilding you'd want to do.  If you find yourself needing more, then the move up to a mini mill/lathe would be a next step, but that would be a ways off.  As for plastic stock, again Bill hit the popular sheet and rod sizes but I've amassed quite a selection of Evergreen/Plastruct stock in all shapes and sizes.  Keeping them organized to be able to find them quickly can be a pain however.  It's nice to have what you need at hand when a brainstorm comes over you when building, rather than having to wait for a trip to your LHS or online order to arrive.  With my fading memory I'd often forget what I needed the particular stock for when I finally did get it ;)

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How sturdy/stable is that when you are using it? It looks like it might be kind of wobbly with the small base. I really need one if it is pretty stable. Both for models and doing wiring/soldering when I am working on wiring harnesses.



actually, the base is very heavy. although  a bit top heavy with the glass. i have accidentally bumped it (lightly) when the glass was horizontal and it fell right over.

Edited by Greg K
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Not required, but I recommend a digital Caliper for super accurate measuring. 




Not only for measuring - you can use the pointy ends of the jaws to scribe measured distances directly onto a piece of styrene.  Very handy!  You can sometimes find the 6" model for as low as $10 at Harbor Freight or other similar dealers.

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