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Recommendations for essential tools for a beginner?


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Hi all,

 

I've just started this model ship building - I've bought myself the AL HMS Bounty Jolly Boat - can anyone recommend useful tools that I should consider investing in? I'd love if you'd suggest brands that make good quality. I bought a horrible AL tweezer and their glue had turned hard, so I'm not in love with their stuff.

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No 3 scalpel handle plus at least 25 number 11 blades, lots of rubber bands, mini clamps, assorted grades of sandpaper, mini vice/drill with drill bits from .25mm up to 1.00mm, water based wood glue (don't know what's available in SA), Helping hand http://www.ebay.com/itm/Helping-3Th-Hand-Soldering-Stand-Magnifier-Glass-Clamps-Modelling-Stand-US-stock-/141503727975, tweezers nicked form someone's makeup kit, likewise a nail buffer ( double sided sticky tape will fix fine sandpaper to it for sanding curves.) The ability to improvise tools from bent bits of wire also helps.

Don't go mad buying stuff until you find you really need it - you can end up with expensive tools that you only use once that way!!

 

Rick

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There's a couple of guides to tools on the NRG resources page - check here

 

http://modelshipworldforum.com/ship-model-materials-and-tools.php

 

The most used tools for me are my hobby knife and #11 and #10 blades as well as x-acto saw blades. Needle files get quite a lot of use and several sanding blocks and sticks. mini clamps get used with great frequency during rigging, as does my third hand device. And, of course, it's good to invest in a decent pin vice and micro drill bitts. And tweezers - a good stainless steel set of needle-nose and bent-nose tweezers are essential.

hamilton

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Welcome, Cindyp.  I agree with all that has already been said, but would like to add that a rotary tool is also a handy tool.  This is not absolutely necessary, since what it will do can be done with ordinary hand tools, but it does speed some tedious tasks, such as shaping filler blocks.  Since you are a beginner, I would recommend buying the tools you find you need as you progress.  I could suggest planes and chisels, but these tend to be expensive unless you are prepared to make your own.  But that too requires other tools... A vicious cycle.

 

The most valuable tool, I find though, is one you probably already have... And that is patience.  Wooden ships do not come together over a couple of nights of construction, but only after months.  I am not saying this to overwhelm you, but rather, to view each little task as a model in and of itself.  It is much more satisfying to complete a part and see it as an accomplishment, than to look at the whole and wonder what could have possessed you to take on such a monumental task.  For instance, view each individual plank as an accomplishment unto itself, and you will have a lot more fun, and will be more likely to complete the model.  I wish you luck with your first build, and look forward to you build log here so we can follow your progress.

 

Matt

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One of the tools I use most often is cheap and home made. Get some 10mm dowel and a pack of domestic sewing needles, chop up the dowel into handle size pieces (60mm is OK), drill a suitable hole in the centre of one end then glue in a needle with CA (aka Superglue). The resulting tools are incredibly useful for applying tiny drops of glue (keep the end clean with a knife) and for generally positioning and poking things.

 

I hope you enjoy your new hobby!

 

Philip

Edited by Philg88
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CindyP

 

I know this will add to your shopping list, and I agree with the above lists, especially a good xacto handle and blades jewelers files and rotary tool    I would add good chisels as a first or second step.  If you start using them early on you will find them to be invaluable for kit or scratch building, POB, or POF.    I have no idea what brands are available in South Africa, but Hirsch, Veritas and Sorby are three brands that are quite good, and there are any more.  You do not need many. I use 3, 6, 12, and 25 mm for almost all l my chisel needs.  A good sharpening stone and jig will keep you in razor sharp cutting mode for years to come.   As with anything else, you get what you pay for.  

Allan

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Welcome to the Hobby!! I would add a good light and magnification. A table top swivel lamp with a built in magnifier will work but a headset such as an Optivisor is better still. Being able to see what you are working is very critical and no matter how good your eyesight is, staring at these tiny pieces or trying to tie miniature knots will strain your eyes and cause them to hurt in time.

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Hi Cindy,

 

I agree with those who say buy what you when you need it and buy the best quality you can afford. Buying cheap tools usually means you end up buying them twice.

 

Though not a tool, my strongest recommendation is that you start a MSW biuld log, you will overwhelmed with sound advice, great suggestions about technique, and an amazing number of friends.

 

Best,

John

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Welcome, Cindyp. I agree with all that has already been said, but would like to add that a rotary tool is also a handy tool. This is not absolutely necessary, since what it will do can be done with ordinary hand tools, but it does speed some tedious tasks, such as shaping filler blocks. Since you are a beginner, I would recommend buying the tools you find you need as you progress. I could suggest planes and chisels, but these tend to be expensive unless you are prepared to make your own. But that too requires other tools... A vicious cycle.

 

The most valuable tool, I find though, is one you probably already have... And that is patience. Wooden ships do not come together over a couple of nights of construction, but only after months. I am not saying this to overwhelm you, but rather, to view each little task as a model in and of itself. It is much more satisfying to complete a part and see it as an accomplishment, than to look at the whole and wonder what could have possessed you to take on such a monumental task. For instance, view each individual plank as an accomplishment unto itself, and you will have a lot more fun, and will be more likely to complete the model. I wish you luck with your first build, and look forward to you build log here so we can follow your progress.

 

Matt

Thanks, my husband can get that for me for my birthday :)

 

I'm going to start a log today, looking forward to the tips that others have to offer.

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Hi Cindy,

 

I agree with those who say buy what you when you need it and buy the best quality you can afford. Buying cheap tools usually means you end up buying them twice.

 

Though not a tool, my strongest recommendation is that you start a MSW biuld log, you will overwhelmed with sound advice, great suggestions about technique, and an amazing number of friends.

 

Best,

John

Thanks John. I've been trying to buy quality tools -I hate flimsy hard-to-use stuff. In my city there's just one hobby shop and their range isn't extensive. As a result I've bought most of my stuff online and it's been difficult to judge. The AL stuff has been very disappointing at that price.

 

I'm planning to start my build log today. This forum has been so useful

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and a No-Wobble workbench with some means to hold the workpiece, such as a heavy desk or table with a vise or benchstop. Don't use your shirt-tail as a workbench.

LOL I've been working with a board on my lap on the couch. I think once I start a larger ship I will need a workbench. I am looking to get a good vise to hold the workpiece,can you recommend anything? Name brands would be useful

Edited by Cindyp
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A vise similar to this one might be suitable.  I found one in a local homecenter for $15.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=Hobbico+-+Multi-Angle+Hobby+Vise+-+HCAR0680&rlz=1CASMAE_enUS553US554&oq=Hobbico+-+Multi-Angle+Hobby+Vise+-+HCAR0680&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=Hobbico+-+Multi-Angle+Hobby+Vise+-+HCAR0680&tbm=shop

 

I posted a link to this tabletop workbench a few weeks ago.  Note that it has a vise, and other clamping fixtures, and mounts for a small anvil and rotary tool.

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=UyYDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA158#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

I've intended to make this for my daughter (an aspiring jeweler), and i guess i should get to it.  Instead of a clamping block on the bottom as shown in the plans (for clamping it in big workbench vise), I will pad underside with cork and then use  'L'-bolts to clamp it to a dining room table.   The clamps will be similar to those used on an architect's lamp. 

 

 

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=UyYDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA158#v=onepage&q&f=false

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