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19 replies to this topic

#1
Poochie

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I'm sure this has been discussed numerous times, but I need to know tools i HAVE to have before I start my first ship. As I mentioned in the introductions, I have a Midwest Lobster Smack on the way.  Is a plank bender a necessity? I don't mind buying a good tool once. Hull clamps, pin vice, razor saw, mini vise are other tools that I'm not sure if absolutely needed or not for a novice level ship like I'm going to undertake.  

  I know that some of you who have built many ships have quite a collection of tools, paints, air guns, mills and so forth. I'm feel certain that I'll pursue this hobby but I'm not 100% sure since it's brand new to me.  Let me know what essential tools you know I'll need and I can pick them up before the ship kit arrives. Thanks.


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#2
CaptainSteve

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Hiya Poochie. Welcome to ModelShipWorld. This a question which gets asked a lot. True. A lot of us do manage to accumulate a vast array of tools over the course of a few kits. I know I have.

BUT ... your question was what are the ESSENTIAL tools.

 

If you are just starting out, the only essential tools (IMO) would be: some Exacto knives (#11 blade would be most common), sandpaper (various grades), a good PVA glue (white glue), a ruler, a pencil and some paint-brushes. These should be enough to get you started, especially if your build is, as you say, a Beginner's kit. 

 

You will quickly work out if you need anything else. For additional items, most of the time you will get by with things found around your home: Clothes pegs, bull-dog clips, Lego pieces (Yes, that's right. They make excellent tools for checking right angles), etc etc.

 

Of course, once you get a little further into our hobby, you will be asking yourself just HOW you managed to survive without a Jim Byrnes table-saw, a $4000 CNC mill and your own laser-cutter. But that time will come ...

 

Enjoy your modelling.


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#3
Jaager

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To answer your first question: no.  A plank bender is not essential.

The type that you may be looking at is a soldering iron with a specialized

attachment with a French curve type surface.  There are several ways

to bend planking and that tool may not be all that good a choice.

There are several threads here on the topic that you might review.

At the least, Harbor Freight has a low end resistance iron for $4 if you 

want to try a dry heat method.

 

For hull mounting clamps, there are vac base and screw clamp swivel vises

of various sizes and prices.- an electronic catalog has one for $13

and will multitask more than a dedicated tool.


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#4
Kurt Van Dahm

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Poochie:

Midwest has a list of tools needed to build the kit in the instructions for their Lobster Smack.  There are additional or replacement tools that will make it easier to build but the minimum are listed right in the instructions.

Kurt


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#5
BANYAN

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Poochiie, have a look in the sites database of articles for a good article on this subject and many others that can assist you.

 

http://modelshipworl...-and-tools.php 

 

cheers

 

Pat


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#6
Poochie

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Thanks for all the info. I already have the basic tools since I used to do woodworking. I also see that this hobby, like woodworking, has the potential to let you spend lots of money if you want to. But the link BANYAN gave has tips for building some of your own jigs. That's what I like to do. I'll probably pick up a razor saw and a pin vice. The model will let me know other things I need.  I appreciate it!


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#7
KeithW

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Poochie I built my first two models without a plank bender. I used a household clothes iron to bend the planks. I bought a plank bender before my current build, but I still prefer using the clothes iron. The plank bender is better for precise curves, but the clothes iron is much faster. 


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Regards, Keith

gallery_1526_572_501.jpg 2007 (completed): HMS Bounty - Artesania Latina  gallery_1526_579_484.jpg 2013 (completed): Viking Ship Drakkar - Amati  post-1526-0-02110200-1403452426.jpg 2014 (completed): HMS Bounty Launch - Model Shipways
post-1526-0-63099100-1404175751.jpg Current: HMS Royal William - Euromodel

#8
Poochie

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When you used the iron, did you use just the heat from it or steam too?


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#9
Silkjc

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Get a dremel/other rotary tool or forever regret your bad decisions in life.

 

In Aus we have a cheap knockoff brand 'Ozito' which can be had for 30$ which is decent quality and 2 year warranty.


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#10
Silkjc

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Usually when using a bending iron I found it worked best to have the planks saturated. Applying the iron to them vaporises the water and dries the wood out, which allows for good heat transfer to the cell walls of the wood making it 'rubbery'. If it dries out too much I usually apply some more water. If I don't do this it is very easy to get scorch marks on the dry wood from the iron.

 

Everyone has their own methods of doing it, there are some good plank bending guides in the MSW wiki here. 


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#11
KeithW

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When you used the iron, did you use just the heat from it or steam too?

 

No steam. Soak the wood in water (I use my bathtub - no need for fancy wooden cylinders) for a minimum of 1 hour (more if the wood is thicker than 1mm), then apply the iron. 


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Regards, Keith

gallery_1526_572_501.jpg 2007 (completed): HMS Bounty - Artesania Latina  gallery_1526_579_484.jpg 2013 (completed): Viking Ship Drakkar - Amati  post-1526-0-02110200-1403452426.jpg 2014 (completed): HMS Bounty Launch - Model Shipways
post-1526-0-63099100-1404175751.jpg Current: HMS Royal William - Euromodel

#12
allanyed

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Poochie,

A couple pieces of 1 inch PVC pipe in different lengths and an end cap on each works well to soak wood and saves water and abuse from the admiral if using the bath tub or anything else in the bathroom or kitchen.

Allan


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#13
Poochie

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Thanks again. You guys are giving me some valuable info here. And Silkjc, we (the US) have several knock off brands of a dremel tool. WEN is one of 'em. There's one on Amazon that comes with a flexible shaft for $20.  So soak the planks, apply heat, and bend. Got it. I'm sure I'll have to mess a couple of dozen up to get the hang of it. But that's cool.

I'll ask about painting on a new thread. Basically brush vs airgun. The eBay dude mailed the ship kits out today with tracking numbers. I should get them Tuesday the 17th. 


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#14
RussR

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I came across a rotary tool at Harbor Freight for only $9.99. It may not be as powerful or flexible as my Dremel 4000. But I find that I reach for this tool 1st because it is so handy and easy to use. But, it only has one speed.

RussR

 

post-25634-0-43316400-1477232783.jpg


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#15
grsjax

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I came across a rotary tool at Harbor Freight for only $9.99. It may not be as powerful or flexible as my Dremel 4000. But I find that I reach for this tool 1st because it is so handy and easy to use. But, it only has one speed.

RussR

 

attachicon.gifpost-25634-0-43316400-1477232783.jpg

It is, IMHO, worthless.  Not enough power to be useful for much of anything.  Look for a sale on the Dremel knock off of your choice or go on eBay and look for a good deal on a used one.


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My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.


#16
Jaager

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Russ,

I got that one too.  It does not need to meet much resistance before it 

stops.  I tried a  " 3-12V, 2A Selectable Output Supply "

Found one for $15  at Marlin P Jones -  and it seemed to work better

with more juice - so the problem may be the power supply.  I can't be

sure because I need to get parts to make the connection.

The power supply wants banana plugs  - which end with alligator clamps

or bare wire and the tool wants a plug like computer external HD DC power

supplies use.  I am waiting for Jones to restock some other parts before I

order.  Maybe more Volts will burn out the motor but it is that or nothing.


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#17
Duffer

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Hi Poochie and everyone who posted above.

 

Your selection of tools is always a choice between quality and price.  If you will be using a tool a lot, then go for the quality.  

 

As you progress with this great hobby, you will accumulate more tools, as the need arises.  I have given away or sold tools that did not measure up to my needs or wants and gotten better quality.

 

The Harbor Freight rotary tool shown above is a good example.  It is under powered but is useful for drilling very small holes.  I sold mine; Dremel is the tool of choice for me.

 

When buying used rotary tools, the 2 most important items to check are the collet runout and the bearings.  

 

All the best~!                    Duff


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#18
RussR

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It is, IMHO, worthless.  Not enough power to be useful for much of anything.  Look for a sale on the Dremel knock off of your choice or go on eBay and look for a good deal on a used one.

I wouldn't necessarily call it worthless. Like I said for something that needs more "soup" I use my Dremel 4000. But for something to knock off an edge and keep going it works without digging out my Dremel.


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#19
Silkjc

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I posted in another thread the aussie version of that under powered drill dremel thingo. I use it as my dedicated treenailing drill and it is by no means worthless. It saves me 2 minutes changing collets frequently! It does have a fair bit of vibration though so to get crisp holes you need to use a short drill.


Edited by Silkjc, 13 January 2017 - 12:52 PM.

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#20
vossiewulf

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I don't see you mention files. You need both a set of medium sized files, single cut not double cut. You can get these for not much at any hardware store. The other is a set of needle files. If budget is a factor, just get standard hobby store needle files, also pretty much any online hobby store carry them. They should be $10-$15 for a set of 6 or 8. 

 

Actually that's an important question - are you trying to go with the cheapest options available, or do you want to buy good quality basic tools that will last? I definitely recommend the latter, mostly because in my opinion the cheapest tools generally work so poorly that they cause lots of frustration, the kind of frustration that makes people give up. Good tools used correctly make whatever they're supposed to do easy and efficient.

 

If you're willing to spend some money, you'll get an order of magnitude better performance by getting real jeweler's needle files.

 

On the other hand, some good tools aren't expensive - I use a ring holder regularly for holding small parts.

 

If you haven't noticed a trend, most of the hand tools I have now are professional jeweler's tools from Otto Frei or Contenti. They work so much better than hardware store tools that they make previously difficult jobs very easy.


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