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Switched from X-Acto to Excel blades......

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I recently switched from X-Acto to Excel blade. I not only find the Excel blades to be as good or better than X-Acto but I find it much less frustrating obtaining the variety of blades I use. 

 

1. Hobby shops never seem to have the blade types I use. Yes, they always have some of the blade types I need  but never all of them in stock.

2. Buying on-line seems to lead to the same problem. Using places like Amazon I have to order from multiple vendors and some of them take far too long to ship.

 

I like the fact I can go to the Excel website, choose the blades I want, choose the quantity I want and get them in a short time. As far I can see, one can't order directly from X-Acto.

 

Just makes my life easier.

 

Dave

 

 

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Here is a tip and I promise it works.  Find or dig out that old belt you no longer wear.  Cut a six inch length off it, I square both ends and glue using contact cement the smooth side facing up on a block of wood.  Now, while you are cutting and using what flavor blade you prefer, every now and again, reach over and swipe that blade, sharp side across the leather.  You will find your blades go a whole lot further before you need to change.  Works on scalpel blades as well.  Remember straight razors, you kept sharp with a razor strap, and I bet there might be one or two here who remembers one being put across that back side by Grand Pa. 😥

Rick

 

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I have had difficultly finding a variety of X-Acto blades at hobby shops. But recently I was looking through an art supply store and they had every type of blade and handle. I stocked up on the pieces that I was short on.

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I guess  that when we begin to  build model ship in kit, there are a lot of things to learn. One of the first tool we buy is an X-Acto at the hobby store.

Then we come to the MSW forum and we learn that there is so much more cutting than this hobby knife.

This subject comes back very often in the tool section and the day you will try, a Swann Morton scalpel blade  by example, you will never go back to  X-Acto.

 

A good knife is the first step, sharpening is the next one.

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22 hours ago, RickyGene said:

Here is a tip and I promise it works.  Find or dig out that old belt you no longer wear.  Cut a six inch length off it, I square both ends and glue using contact cement the smooth side facing up on a block of wood.  Now, while you are cutting and using what flavor blade you prefer, every now and again, reach over and swipe that blade, sharp side across the leather.  You will find your blades go a whole lot further before you need to change.  Works on scalpel blades as well.  Remember straight razors, you kept sharp with a razor strap, and I bet there might be one or two here who remembers one being put across that back side by Grand Pa. 😥

Rick

 

Charge the leather strop with jeweler's rouge (green or white aluminum oxide) and the blade will sharpen when you strop it.

 

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Most 'hobby'-shops tend to sell things in small quantities at elevated prices to innocent/ignorant modellers. Very few tools are specifically made for us, but rather are adapted from other trades, includings medicine, jewellers, horologists, dentists, etc. It pays to check out the tools of profession that work on small and delicate things.

 

Whatever you may think about ebay, it has opened up the market for all sorts of things that would be otherwise difficult to come by or might get thrown into the (recycle) bin.

 

I got a life-time supply of scalpel blades in all sorts of shapes at a very good price from an ebay-dealer, who sold sterilised scalpels in packs of 100 that where beyond the 'best before date', i.e. the date up to which the manufacturer guaranteed the sterile condition. Presumably a medical supplier or a hospital had thrown them out.

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1 hour ago, Bob Cleek said:

Charge the leather strop with jeweler's rouge (green or white aluminum oxide) and the blade will sharpen when you strop it.

 

 Jeweller's rouge is Iron Oxide (FeO) mixed into a paste with water. 'Rouge' because of the colour of the oxide. Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3) is typically white)

 

I work in science and use it FeO regularly.

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I did pick up 2 boxes of disposable scalpels on EBay, very reasonable. The only issue I have with these is the blades are very thin and flexible and, because of this, aren't always the best choice for the job. But they do have their place.

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12 hours ago, James H said:

 Jeweller's rouge is Iron Oxide (FeO) mixed into a paste with water. 'Rouge' because of the colour of the oxide. Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3) is typically white)

 

I work in science and use it FeO regularly.

You're absolutely correct. Iron oxide is rust colored and aluminum oxide is white-ish colored.  People who work in the jewelry trade, however, often refer to all polishing compounds as "rouge," regardless of the color. Technically, I suppose it's only the iron oxide polishing compound that's "rouge," which means "red,"  but you'll see terms like "green rouge" and "white rouge" used frequently by the manufacturers.

 

https://www.amazon.com/JEWELERS-POLISH-SILVER-JEWELRY-DIALUX/dp/B00WTWUXY0/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=green+jewelers+rouge&qid=1573985922&sr=8-4

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5 minutes ago, Bob Cleek said:

You're absolutely correct. Iron oxide is rust colored and aluminum oxide is white-ish colored.  People who work in the jewelry trade, however, often refer to all polishing compounds as "rouge," regardless of the color. Technically, I suppose it's only the iron oxide polishing compound that's "rouge," which means "red,"  but you'll see terms like "green rouge" and "white rouge" used frequently by the manufacturers.

 

https://www.amazon.com/JEWELERS-POLISH-SILVER-JEWELRY-DIALUX/dp/B00WTWUXY0/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=green+jewelers+rouge&qid=1573985922&sr=8-4

 

Well I never! 😜

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Lee Valley has  a very good green polishing compound.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/sharpening/compounds-and-pastes/32984-veritas-honing-compound

It is use for a mirror bright finish and also it removes light metal fuzz created in sharpening at the apex (the meeting of the both sides of the blade).

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http://www.hocktools.com/products/knives.html  is the best steel grade I tried for a knife blade already made.  Vossiewulf , a member of this forum, bought many knife blades and  he gave me a knife handle  and a blade. I resharpened the blade and this one of my best knife I use.

 

The shape of the blade is something like between  an exacto an a surgery blade #11 by Swann Morton. Hardened at RC62, it will not break like the surgery blade. Finding a GOOD blade, is only half the battle, Sharpening is the other half. A good waterstone is very helpfull. With the help of Vossiewulf, we covered these subjects inside my build log: starting  at p.15.

 

Having a well sharpened blade automatically means that... you will not need to use an exacto anymore because, in comparison, an exacto blade does not cut.

But even if I write these words, many peoples will still  continue to use an exacto. I guess that a good way to learn is to go by comparisons. If you never try another brand of knife than exacto, you will always think that it is the best blade and this will remain true, until you try a better one.

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I have also found hobby and craft shops are limiting their selection and stock on blades. Many on line charge a lot in shipping fees,making the final price really expensive. I recently came across https://widgetsupply.com/

They have a good selection of Excel blades and other supplies. I have placed a couple of orders with them,which arrived promptly (same state),with reasonable shipping rates.

 

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