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Vane

Expanding my workshop... what powertools can you recommend?

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I have started to build several kits in the Caldercraft Nelsons Navy series. Much of the work has so far been done manually with sharp knives,  sandpaper and files.  

 

So if i want to make life more easy with some powertools. What electric tools can you recommend that you are actually using to speed up your wooden ship work? 

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A good chainsaw would be a big help in harvesting your raw material, I would ask someone in your area what they use for that job. Opened up a big subject, without a hint about what your goals are, sometimes the tools you are using are the best choice, supplemented by a good rotary tool with a selection of chucks to broaden the usefulness of the thing might be a good start but not much good for cutting out Frames. Adding various fixtures that the rotary can be clamped into is often a step taken to refine cuts. You need to refine your goals to obtain useful information or you will end up with lots of chainsaws and a few axes hanging on your wall. Good luck. Use the right tool for the job.                                    280960625_DIRECTFROMCEARCLICK462.thumb.jpg.00d51efc2f81fe3a1d0da6a340fa6073.jpg

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There’s a review of power tool options in the articles database that you might find helpful if you've not already read it.

 

I’m afraid my personal approach is usually to get tempted into buying a tool then looking for a use for it. That said, I’ve found lots of uses for my table saw (Preac and latterly Byrnes), micro-mill, rotary tool, bandsaw and wood lathe (all Proxxon) and various larger tools I also use for DIY and other hobbies, such as a metal lathe and a mill.

 

Next on the wish list is a scroll saw. I recently cut a set of frames by hand with a jeweller’s piercing saw - never again!

 

Derek

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2 hours ago, jud said:

A good chainsaw would be a big help in harvesting your raw material, I would ask someone in your area what they use for that job. Opened up a big subject, without a hint about what your goals are, sometimes the tools you are using are the best choice, supplemented by a good rotary tool with a selection of chucks to broaden the usefulness of the thing might be a good start but not much good for cutting out Frames. Adding various fixtures that the rotary can be clamped into is often a step taken to refine cuts. You need to refine your goals to obtain useful information or you will end up with lots of chainsaws and a few axes hanging on your wall. Good luck. Use the right tool for the job.                                    280960625_DIRECTFROMCEARCLICK462.thumb.jpg.00d51efc2f81fe3a1d0da6a340fa6073.jpg

To specify the question. I need to finalize these 3 projects: Granado, Snake and Diana.. all in 1:64. What electrical tools will speed up the process for me?  

DSC_3249.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Y.T. said:

I just bought 5” precision disc sander. Now I do not know how I was working without it. This is a number one must IMHO. 

 

D2A70773-8C2B-4038-9B63-5E13202BD56C.jpeg

Yes, I been looking into a similar one by Proxxon. It kind of look like alot of work would be easier with this one. Especially during the early stages in the build.

 

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1 hour ago, DelF said:

There’s a review of power tool options in the articles database that you might find helpful if you've not already read it.

 

I’m afraid my personal approach is usually to get tempted into buying a tool then looking for a use for it. That said, I’ve found lots of uses for my table saw (Preac and latterly Byrnes), micro-mill, rotary tool, bandsaw and wood lathe (all Proxxon) and various larger tools I also use for DIY and other hobbies, such as a metal lathe and a mill.

 

Next on the wish list is a scroll saw. I recently cut a set of frames by hand with a jeweller’s piercing saw - never again!

 

Derek

Its so easy just to buy alot of stuff that never get used in the end.  Thats why I am asking the question. Once I start looking into this… I just want to buy it all.... but I thnk its better to aim for the essentials first.  

Proxxon seem to be the way to go I guess.

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A good rotary tool, a disc sander and a jig saw.  Many great models are built with nothing but hand tools and many a failure has been produced with lots of power tools.  Go slow and buy what you need when you need it.

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Posted (edited)

I use the MicroMark Handheld Micro Sander a lot. Has several different shaped head attachments and has three grits available. 180, 220, 400.

 

Another great add is the Syren Ship Company Serving Machine. Really adds to your models rigging.

Edited by Jim Rogers

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17 minutes ago, Vane said:

Proxxon seem to be the way to go I guess.

Proxxon appears to be a relatively decent mid-range-quality product line designed for and marketed to amateur modelers. If they serve your needs at your price point, go for it. However, there is always the tendency to "over buy" when it comes to tools. Sometimes fewer of the better, but higher priced, tools is the wiser way to go. You have to get your priorities clear. If you are going to only be building kit models and plan to use the materials in the kits you buy, you don't have to buy power tools that are essential for milling your own scale strip wood. If you expect to be planking with higher quality wood than what is found in most kits, or even building the new "semi-scratch" "modular" kits (see Syren's new kit business plan post in here,) you will need a mini-table saw and there's really only one that's so far above the others that the small additional cost is well worth it, so you'll want a Byrnes. If you are going to be doing a lot of shaping small parts, you'll probably want a good disk sander. (See the recent thread on disk sanders.) If you will be doing any sort of metal work, there's a whole other category of tools, lathes, mills, jeweler's torches, and so on, that will tempt you. Everybody needs a small rotary tool. Personally, I consider the Dremel moto-tool to be the minimum of what's worth spending money on, but most eventually graduate to a Foredom flex-shaft rotary tool or a "dental engine" eventually. If you are going to be cutting your own frames and bulkheads, you'll want a decent scroll saw. A small drill press is always worthwhile. The list can go on and on.

 

The best advice I was ever given is to never buy a tool until you actually need (not just want) one and then only buy the absolutely best one you can afford. In this way, you can eventually build a good collection of what you need that will last a lifetime and once you've got them, if they are high quality, you won't be buying the same tool over and over again as the cheap ones wear out.

 

In the modeling game, remember that many of the best  and highest quality tools are adapted from other trades and professions, notably jewelry making, electronics assembly, dentistry, surgery, and the like. Often such tools can be purchased used in good condition for much less than the "hobby grade" tools marketed to modelers. (Micro-Mark and Model Expo catalogues, while seductive, are the worst offenders in this regard.) Search this forum and read through the "tools" section and you will see the same machines mentioned time and again. You can rely on the store of experience of MSW members. 

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Sorry, I just noticed that you're located in Stockholm. Your access to some of the tools (e.g. Byrnes Model Machines, Foredom flex-shaft rotary tools, and Dremel rotary tools) may be limited, or the shipping and import duties prohibitively high. You do have Proxxon in Europe, of course and I expect there are plenty of European companies offering high quality tools outside of the modeling market. Like the language, I guess we have to "translate" our tool recommendations, too! :D 

 

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Go back in your mind - to your past builds and envision the steps that took the most time or were repetitive.  Then try to imagine a power tool that would speed that up.

Then, start your next project and when you get to such a place, buy the tool that you think will help.

By focusing on kits, your tool needs will be significant less than a scratch builder.

 

A heavy and an expensive power tool investment is going self sufficient in your lumber.  Full size cutting and milling (resawing).

Scratch POF responds well to the appropriate tools.

Scratch POB can get by with less.

Unless you intend to fabricate your own new power tools, that require working steel or Al,  two seductive tools that will not get enough use to justify their cost = a lathe and a mill.

 

You are in a position to cut an individual path, should you wish to come over to the dark side = scratch POF.  You have easier access to plans of vessels important to your region - 

Chapman and the Danish museum.

 

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Jaager, glad to see someone expanded on my chainsaw post, modeling kits certainly have made many power tools overkill. Some start scratch building at the cured log, end product may resemble a kit, but it requires much more effort. Some mighty fine models were produced long ago without power tools as you know. Your list of methods clarifies my statement about goals much better than I did, that is the primary starting point for acquiring and it sets the limits for useful power tools.

 

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1 hour ago, jud said:

.... Some mighty fine models were produced long ago without power tools as you know....

 

No power tools were used for these but they used all sorts of jigs required to do same work as today are achieved with power tools.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jaager said:

Go back in your mind - to your past builds and envision the steps that took the most time or were repetitive.  Then try to imagine a power tool that would speed that up.

 

I went back in my memory. I did not find use of rotary Dremel tool. I read in this topic that Dremel rotary tool is most useful power tool in this hobby. I own a Proxxon rotary tool, same thing as Dremel, for a year now but I never used it.  I am very curious.

 

By the way my Proxxon rotary tool was purchased together with drill stand so its usefulness is still to be revealed.

 

Edited by Y.T.

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I have a very old electrical minidrill that I want to upgrade. Probably to Proxxon 12v with a stand so that drilling holes in the Canon carriages gets simplier.  Disk sander also seam handy instead of tappering all stripes with a knife. Once i get to the yard stage again, a mini lathe should  be a bliss.

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4 hours ago, grsjax said:

A good rotary tool, a disc sander and a jig saw.  Many great models are built with nothing but hand tools and many a failure has been produced with lots of power tools.  Go slow and buy what you need when you need it.

This is probably the best advice.  

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Once i get to the yard stage again, a mini lathe should  be a bliss.

Quote

 

 

Fixing a dowel or wood balk in lathe jaws and being able to turn a even - constant tapper - a nice dream.  Reality and practicality drown that dream in mot instances.

The spars are often too long for lathe models in our price range.  In scales where they are short enough, their diameter = difficult to resist the lateral force of a cutting tool 

without breaking. 

Clamp an electric drill to turn the spar and use sandpaper to shape it.  Amazon (and probably others) sell low cost ball bearings with a range of OD and ID sizes.

A jig to hold the bearing is easy to make and wooden or cardboard wedges can support the outboard end of the spar with no friction heating up the spar piece as it turns.

Edited by Jaager

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I work on a larger scale than model ships, but having build a few guitars and other finer things, here's my two cents for smaller work.

 

1. A drill press can do many jobs- drill and sand. 

2.  A good jigsaw (scrollsaw) - Hegner and DeWalt make good machines

 

A sander? - a combo disc/belt sander can be very handy.

 

I'd invest in some finer hand tools - a sturdy bench with a vise (or two), fine-tooths Japanese pullsaws, , some knives,  a good small handplane.  

 

Whatever tools you buy,  place them on a study workbench to reduce vibration as much as possible, maybe with some vibration absorbing materials underneath them.  Vibration is bane of all tools, especially powertools.

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Power tools make modelling more accurate, maybe faster (as you start undertaking more tasks). They need space, solid work benches and some dust management system. (vacuum, filtration, masks). 

 

I also find my scroll saw, disc sander, and drill press the most useful, they are permanently plugged in and used constantly (scratch building). Dremel rotary tool also, but less.

 

I built my own disc sander quite easily spending very little, 200 mm (8 inches) is I think the minimum, as you can only use half of it. 

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5 hours ago, Vane said:

These are what i have at the top of the list so far.... its not a huge investment. Less than 400euros in total.

Vane,

 

Check out the battery operated Dremel 8050  and charging station, on sale for $ 65.00 Maintains a charge for a long time, can be used with all attachments with collets. I have abused mine and just waiting for the bearings to fall out. its lightweight and your not encumbered by a cord.

 

Showing my age its like the 1950s Timex watch commercials " it takes a licking and keeps on ticking".

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have all of the above tools you have shown, they rarely get used to be honest, plus a Proxxon mill now, this is the tool I use most, can't beat it in my opinion. Useful for everything once you get used to it Proxxon bs/e belt sander38536.png

Regards

Paul

Edited by paulsutcliffe

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Good advice above use your  hand tools and current power tool, then decide what hobs you need help.  For me sanding  neened the most help so I found a mall disc sander/beltsander at a tag sale for $5.00   My local hobby store wanted $65 for the same machine!!)

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Usually the hobbyshops dont sell so much and prices are thereafter. Nowadays i basically order everything online. Also I think alot of the tools you need for modelling preferable should be small and light and dont need to be that powerful. When it comes to a drill/rotary tool i think i will go with a 12v instead of batteridriven, simply because of size and weight. 

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On 8/18/2019 at 2:17 PM, Vane said:

Yes, I been looking into a similar one by Proxxon. It kind of look like alot of work would be easier with this one. Especially during the early stages in the build.

 

The disc sander is one of my most used tools too.  It was a big game changer for me.

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On 8/19/2019 at 3:59 AM, Vane said:

These are what i have at the top of the list so far.... its not a huge investment. Less than 400euros in total.

720638_l.jpg

1300520V_1.jpg

image.jpg

this sander is great

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I am also thinking of buying a Proxxon handheld drill/grinder but am uncertain which model is best, there are many to choose from. Anyone got an advise?

 

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