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what powertools to buy


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apart from a cheap rotary tool and a corded drill i have no powertools at all

 

as i would like to eventualy do scratch builds i want to slowly build up the necessary tools for it

 

so after some thinking i tought the best would be a tool to cut wooden strips and dowels to the required length

 

at the moment i am using a mini mitre block with saw but i have noticed that especialy on thicker parts the cuts are not straight

 

what would be the best tool to do this more easily especialy if you need to cut a fair bit to the same length it takes a while

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I am a bit of a minimalist (some would say "cheap") so don't have many power tools. Here is a list of how much my tools get used

 

#1 = Dremel-type rotary tool,

#2 = Preac modeler's table saw

#3 = Drill press

#4 = belt/disc sander.

 

The drill press can be used for drum-sanding and very simple lathe functions using files/sandpaper on wood.

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As far as Power tools go I use the following in descending order of importance to me:

 

- Rotary or Dremel - I prefer the battery operated. I use this almost every day. Except when I am rigging.

- Sander - I have a Jim Byrnes Sander and I use it almost as often as I use the dremel.

- Table Saw - I have the Jim Saw and I love it. Lately I have started using it even more to create my own planks.

- Table Top Drill press - I use this for all kinds of uses including Sanding drums and X Y Table for precision drilling.

- Skill saw - Very handy when cutting small pieces or irregular shapes.

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thanks for all the replies

i know a lot of tools can be used for more as they are intended.

 

most are just a motor that rotates a shaft with something at the end to attach certain tools.

 

yes i dont want to waste money on unused tools

 

a big part of building is cutting pieces to a certain length so a simple setup to do that would be a big help

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wow! I used 2 power tools on my Harriet lane so far... a cordless drill to drill the mast locations (since my manual hand drill doesn't take bits that big) and a router to make the stand more interesting). My husband on the other hand likes using the dremel frequently, along with the power drill. We bought him a scroll saw since the kit he is working on doesn't have laser cut pieces and we figured that'd be faster to use than hand cutting...I do think when I start working on larger models I'll start using a few more power tools...

my tool wish list is

Metal Lathe

Drill Press

Table saw

 

I guess my point is you can get good results without fancy machinery...

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Sarah,

 

What size lathe are you looking for? Unimat/Sherline/Proxxon (Micromark) or something a little bigger?

 

Regarding a drill press, I have the one for the Dremel (minus the Dremel). If you like, I can bring that along to the next meeting (I've been using my U3 milling head as a drill press lately, so I don't need it).

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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The best tool to cut planking strips into equal lengths (without going to power) is (IMO) a Chopper II - a guilottine that uses single-edge razor blades and has adjustable "stops" for precise even-length cuts.

 

When I started my second wooden ship (30+ years ago) I bought two power tools - a smaller and cheaper version of a Dremel, and a Dremel Scroll Saw. The first went to it's grave many years ago, the latter is still going strong and is one of the "most-used" power tools in my workshop (the Byrnes Table Saw and Disc Sander would just outrank it). With practice you can cut just about anything with the scroll saw.

 

BTW - I have virtually every power tool you can think of ;)  .

 

:cheers: Danny

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What size lathe are you looking for? Unimat/Sherline/Proxxon (Micromark) or something a little bigger?

 

Regarding a drill press, I have the one for the Dremel (minus the Dremel). If you like, I can bring that along to the next meeting (I've been using my U3 milling head as a drill press lately, so I don't need it).

As far as the lathe, I was thinking either the MicroLux Micro Lathe or the harbor freight equivalent...I want something where I can do precise work as I don't anticipate most of my work to be larger than 1:64

 

I've seen the dremel drill press but I don't think that'll do what I'm looking for, as I'd want it to be a bit more of a all purpose tool that I could use for my classic car work too....but THANKS :)

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I've seen the dremel drill press

 

Leave that one alone Sherry - I have one and never bother using it. The bigger 5-speed Taiwanese Drill Press does all that work much more accurately.

 

Shame you are in the US - I have a Sherline Lathe for sale, but freight charges would kill the value.

 

:cheesr:  Danny

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I have and use a lot of power tools as I cut all my own timber for scratchbuilding. Table saw for ripping larger pieces down, then bandsaw for the smaller stuff, and thickness sander to finish.  I have picked up most of the power tools on special or second hand over the last few years, mostly before I started with ships.

The tools I use most for ship building are the thickness sander and disc sander that I built myself out of parts I had in the shed.

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hmm that choppper II or the copper III seems a good choice. lets see if its available in oz

 

Sure is - I got mine from a Model Railroad shop north of Newcastle, but some of the others in Sydney or Modeller's Shipyard at Blaxland in the Blue Mountains probably carry them or can order one in for you.

 

:cheers:  Danny

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What do you use a table saw for?

 

Like the OP the only power tool I own is my Dremel. My next purchase is probably going to be a sander.

I guess a table saw is one of those things that you don't think about if you don't have it, but once you do you see millions of uses for it.

 

One example, start with a thickness-sanded piece of wood, say 1/8" thick or the width of a scale deck plank (I thickness-sand with my drill-press), and the length of a scale deck-plank. The width of this block of wood doesn't matter, you will just keep cutting off planks until it gets too thin to work with. You can set the table saw to cut all the deck planks for the ship in a very short period of time.

 

I paint both sides of the wood black to simulate caulking, then run the wood through the table saw set to maybe 1/16". This gives me planks 1/8"wide x 1/16" thick and whatever length I want the scale planks to be. They are all identical and ready to apply to the deck. You can use any wood species you like and the caulking is automatic.

 

If you have a mast or yard and want to turn a shoulder at the end, lower the saw blade so it is just slightly above the table and spin the dowel in your fingers as the blade shaves off the perimeter, leaving a perfectly concentric end.

 

Need to cut slots for riding-bitt parts to interlock? Set the blade height for the depth you need the slot to be, and adjust the fence until you cut the slots the width you need and you will have square, straight slots that will interlock perfectly.

 

It takes some experimenting, but you can make a jig to cut slots in a piece of thickness-sanded wood, and then cross-cut the slotted wood to make grating strips any size or species of wood you want.

 

Like I said, millions of uses once you start to look for them. If mine ever died it would be replaced imediately, even if I had to eat Kraft-Dinner for a month to afford it!

Edited by HSM
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Adrieke, you may have to get one on-line - here's one link : Chopper II

 

I'll see if I can find the site for the shop I bought mine from (it was a while ago), but I know I paid more than $64 for it - more like $85 - but it's a better tool than the one Modeller's Shipyard sells. The Chopper has a "self-healing" cutting mat and is a fair bit wider.

 

:cheers:  Danny

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The best tool to cut planking strips into equal lengths (without going to power) is (IMO) a Chopper II - a guilottine that uses single-edge razor blades and has adjustable "stops" for precise even-length cuts.

 

When I started my second wooden ship (30+ years ago) I bought two power tools - a smaller and cheaper version of a Dremel, and a Dremel Scroll Saw. The first went to it's grave many years ago, the latter is still going strong and is one of the "most-used" power tools in my workshop (the Byrnes Table Saw and Disc Sander would just outrank it). With practice you can cut just about anything with the scroll saw.

 

BTW - I have virtually every power tool you can think of ;)  .

 

:cheers: Danny

 

I vote for a scroll saw as well.  I have a Dremel model that gets a ton of use for cutting out frames and other small, curvy parts and bits.

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I guess a table saw is one of those things that you don't think about if you don't have it, but once you do you see millions of uses for it.

Thanks for the reply HSM. I had a good look at your post. It looks to me that everything the table saw can do would be of most benefit to the scratch builder? I build from kits - I have no need to cut planks from a block of wood, or make grill grates because these are usually already supplied in the kit.

 

From my last few builds, the tools I need most are something to sand the hull after planking, because doing it with a sanding block is a massive pain. I also need something to help shape the planks precisely before they are installed. I am getting better at planking, but I still use too much wood filler for my liking.

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Hi Amfibius,

 

From my last few builds, the tools I need most are something to sand the hull after planking, because doing it with a sanding block is a massive pain. I also need something to help shape the planks precisely before they are installed. I am getting better at planking, but I still use too much wood filler for my liking.

 

One goes with the other - as you get better at shaping planks (and there is no power tool that will do it for you any easier than you can do with a sanding block) you'll find the hull becomes much easier to sand by hand.

 

For the time being, use a heavy grit paper (80 is about the best) for your initial "rough" sand and finish it off with lighter grits to 240 grit. If you Contact Cement the paper to a cork block it makes it a lot easier too. Buy an extra cork block and shape a "half-round" into it to do inside curves.

 

Replacing the paper is easy if you have a heat gun - a hair drier on max power would do the job of softening the glue but it may take a while.

 

Final sanding should be done without a block - use 400 grit held in the palm of your hand.

 

:cheers:  Danny

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I’m about to start my first build.  The last few month I have been working on making sure I have all the tools that I will need.  I’m lucky I already have a few that I think will help will this project. I have bought some too. Over the years I have done a lot of veneer work and re-manufacture of   small parts (rebuilding furniture) and one of my tools that I find useful is a router. I think with a good table and a few jigs you could make (square) holes , taper anything ( e.g.: masks, planks, )  corners, shapes of any kind,  just to name a few.                 I’m I wrong that a router is too much for this? I find that the model tool sellers do not sell any  why?

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    For many years my only power tool was a dremel.  I did get the Dremel drill press.  As somebody mentioned, it is not that great, but it does most of what Iwant it to do.  If I had to do over...

 

    A couple years ago I got the Byrnes Saw (Jim hates when you call it that).  It is great, I LOVE it.  It allows me to do some things more precisely than if done by hand...and other things I could never do before.  I am mor einto kit bashing and scratch building now, but I think that was due to the addition of the tool.  Note:  Any mini table saw with the same properties would be equally helpful, but I really like the precision the B-Saw gives with the micrometer function.

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