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Crossover Tools

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For this thread I will define crossover tools as tools made for one purpose but are useful in model making.  Please feel free to share your own finds.


I get catalog updates from a luthier supply outfit.  While browsing through their latest catalog, I saw a number of items that could be useful in model making.  Here are a few:


Fineline applicator



Angled head vise



6" saw blade with .023" kerf and 5/8" bore (I used this recently on a jobsite tablesaw for cutting planking.)



Ibex mini planes (5 sizes)



Drill press sanding station


And there are others, all available at StewMac.com. 

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I just "discovered" this today.  It's used for inlay work but I pulled it out to thin out some planks and it worked pretty well.





The blades are adjustable but you have to sharpen them well.  This could be easily made by in the average workshop, especially if you're good at metal work.


And, of course, for anyone who likes sharp tools, the universal sharpening stones, found pretty much anywhere woodworking tools are sold.


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Ahoy Mates


A lot of my toolmaker tools are now being used in my shipyard.Diamond files,radius gauges,scribers,height gauges,dial calipers,angle protractors,dept gauges,toolmakers square,squares,pin vises,toolmakers vices,Bridgeport Milling machine,12" lathe,surface grinder,unimat lathe,transfer punches,shim punches and die.


People asked me when I retired if I was going to sell off my tools. Hell no I said,I still have models to build. I am lucky that they were purchased over the last 48 years now,and I would hate to have to start over and buy some of them now. Just my Starrett Toolmakers Square cost's over $350.00 now! And I use it all the time on my ships.

I also have all of my Fathers Toolmaker tools to use. He taught me the trade and we worked together for 18 years before he retired. He then did wood carving making figures and then chip carving before he passed 6 years ago. I use quite a few of his tools in my model building.


Plus his wood carving tools. I just wish he was still around to do his excellent sharpening of them.


Using all these tools in model making gives me the feeling that I am still working on die's,except they are 99% wood now. I use all the skills that I learned in toolmaking in my model making now. And have always loved doing both since I grew up with my dad teaching me how to build models and later how to build and design die's.



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That inlay tool would be great for making moldings, also.......and it does look easy to build,





If you want to give it a stab, here's a closeup



The wood should be pulled into the beveled part of the blade, not the flat side.  The face you see above is the feed side and the wood should be pulled into it.

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I think it was Steve Latta who designed the tool.  Interesting thing is when you pull the strip through, it cuts it on the angled part of the blade then sort of burnishes it as it thins it out.  I tried pulling into the flat part of the blade and it didn't work so well.  I had to keep adjusting the blade to make thinner and thinner planks.  One plank slipped down and it snapped as I pulled it.


I thought it would work like a scraper but that's not the case.

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Actually yes, on looking at it, I would have thought that it would work like a scraper. So it actually works more like a flat pencil sharpener then ?


I am actually using tools and instruments from all sorts of 'trades'. In addition to the already mentioned toolmakers, watchmakers, jewellers, etc. tools,

I have raided the sewing-baskets of deceased female relatives and use some of my late father's surgical tools.


Apart from being drafted in as almost finished medical student to serve as assistant surgeon during WW2, he never worked as medical doctor (becoming what is now called a biochemist) and used some of his surgical and anatomical tools in his workshop. There are useful tools, such as solid anatomical scalpels with bone scrapers at the other end, forceps, pinzettes, artery clamps, etc.


My father also had his own hobby chemical and physical lab in the 1930s and 1940s: not sure what he would say to this now, but I used his bakelite optical bench as the basis for my rope-walk.


Old sewing baskets furnish useful rigging tools, such as miniature crochet hooks of a size that doesn't seem to be made anymore, in addition to the wide array of needles of different types and sizes.

The fly-fishing fraternity also has developed one or the other useful rigging tool and materials.

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Oh yes, forgot to mention this. There are various hand-tools used in the preparation the teeths for infillings, modelling tools for infillings (ball-ended and other), as well as the multitude of burrs and polishing tools for the hand-held power-drill that are used rather by the dental technicians when preparing crowns, false teeth etc., than the dentist as such.


The UV-hardening glues, I believe, originally came from the arsenal of the dentists.


I am still contemplating getting a dentist's endoscope. Would be good, if they did CCTV-versions, as opposed to those that need to be hooked up to the computer. This would give you a completely new perspective of your model ...


Many of these dental tools now can be bought easily through the Internet.

Edited by wefalck
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Actually yes, on looking at it, I would have thought that it would work like a scraper. So it actually works more like a flat pencil sharpener then ?

The blade does not slice into the wood.  It scrapes it.  It did not have a curled edge, like a scraper, when it arrived.  But this discussion compelled me to do some research.  And I found out I needed to curl the edge.  That I didn't is why I was getting a burnished surface.


I guess we should let the inventor explain it.

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The blade is actually very sharp, but what is curled over is where the sharp edge is.  It's a little different than a card scraper because you begin with an angled edge but this picture shows how that edge is rolled over in a 3 step process with a card scraper.


With the blade already sharpened at an angle, all one would have to do is roll over the tip of the blade creating something like in step 3.


I'll let a seasoned pro show the process of sharpening a card scraper.  It gives an idea how little pressure is required to create the perfect scraper edge.


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Still wondering about the geometry of the cutting edge. For a card-scraper you would indeed look for something like Figure 3 above. However, in this device the stock is drawn through perpendicular to the plane of the blade, not at an angle as with for the card-scraper. Therefore, a geometry as in Figure 2 seems to be more appropriate.

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Figure 2 is still unfinished.  You have to draw that burr out by running the burnisher parallel to the thin edge and then angle it down a bit until you reach Figure 3.


With the inlay thicknessing blade, you already have a sharp edge.  That needs to be rolled over toward the flat side of the blade, creating that burr.  I have a couple L-N scraping planes.  With the larger one, I created the same kind of burr, as shown in this video, as you would with the thicknessing gauge.


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Yes, I understood the description. However, this means that the burr points against the direction of movement of the stock. In consequence, it would have some sort of cutting action, rather than a scraping action. Cutting means that the cutting edge of the tool is offered to the workpiece with an angle of less than 90°, while when scraping the effective cutting angle is more than 90° (if I got my mental geometric exercise correct).

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Yes, the burr would be the edge offered first to the wood.  In the last video, Deneb shows how to find the correct angle to set the blade in the scraper plane body.  The thicknessing gauge would not have that option.  So you would have to create a very slight burr, toward the flat side of the blade, so as not to dig too deeply into the wood. 


The L-N website gives you little information about how much burr to create. 


Sharpening the Cutter:

The thicknessing gauge acts as a scraper, and so both blades cut with a burr. To sharpen, first hone the bevel of the blade lightly on 150 grit sandpaper or a medium stone. Remove burr raised by honing, then re-establish the burr with a carbide burnisher.


Using a 150 grit sandpaper seems pretty rough.  I'll give that a try and see how it goes.

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