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Cutting tiny parts from the sprue

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  • Member since
    June 2017
Cutting tiny parts from the sprue
Posted by Chemteacher on Sunday, October 11, 2020 12:23 AM

Quick question.  How do you guys keep tiny, thin parts from being damaged when cutting them from the sprue? I'm talking about stuff like control sticks, landing gear struts, etc...  While working on an Airfix 1/72 P-40, the joystick snapped in half as I cut it from the sprue using sprue cutters. I had even set the part on a bed of tape to prevent it from flying off when cut. Thanks for any advice. 

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix 1/72 P-40B

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Sunday, October 11, 2020 12:36 AM
A new sharp #11 blade and lots of small cuts slowly across the sprue attachment point.
  • Member since
    March 2017
Posted by cf18hornet on Sunday, October 11, 2020 1:31 AM

If I feel that a small part like you describe will be damaged when removing from the sprue I simply use a lighter to heat up a blade. Then the hot blade just melts through the attach point of the part and the sprue and problem solved. No broken parts. 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, October 11, 2020 5:06 AM

I have had the same problem with tiny parts that have more than one attachment point to the sprue.  When I run into that situation now, I use my jeweler's saw with an 8/0 spiral blade in it.  It cuts through the attachment points quickly and gently, putting no stress on the part itself.  Just be slow and let the blade do the work.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, October 11, 2020 5:31 AM

For thinner parts i use mylnger nosed Xuron sprue cutters and i don't cut right up to the part. I find it easier to remove the attachment when the part is not on the sprue.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/MPM 1/72nd Bf 109G-12

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Sunday, October 11, 2020 5:40 AM

I use several methods.   I use a JLC razor saw and either cut close to the part or cut the injection port next to the sprue frame and clean up with a xacto/scalpel.    I will do the same with a pair of. sprue nippers.   

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Nashua, NH
Posted by Mr Mike on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:06 AM

Sometimes, you have to look at how the part is attached to the sprue and determine which point to cut first that would put less stress on the part.  Cutting the wrong point could put a lot of stress on that part and cause it to break.

"That's Spenser with an "S", like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:28 AM

Go To Yout Local Hobby Store or Catalogue;

 You may be lucky and find the sets like I have of Photoetched saws. They are as thick as an X-Acto blade or almost as thin as a piece of cardstock. Gently stroke back and forth use no unnecessary pressure! These have worked for me for over twenty years!

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:45 AM
Thanks for the tips. I will certainly try these.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix 1/72 P-40B

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:09 PM

I have a block I made up for this purpose,  It is a 4 x 5 block of MDH with a little platauo on it made from a piece of 1/4 inch basswood.  The piece is a triange (acute).  I have about a sixteenth radius fairing that angle into an arc.  This piece acts as an anvil for my X-acto knife.  Do not use a #11 blade- the point brakes to easily- for cutting PE.  I keep one of two blades in it, either a chisel blade or a wide blade with a quarter circle on the end and the cutting edge on the bottom.  These wide angle pointed blades last a lot longer than a sharp angled edge.  The rounded triangle allows me to put sprue on it such the sprue link to be cut lies on the surface of the basswood for good cuttting.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: NEVER USE PHOTO BUCKET - IT'S A THREAD WRECKER.
Posted by disastermaster on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:36 AM

Mr Mike

Sometimes, you have to look at how the part is attached to the sprue and determine which point to cut first that would put less stress on the part.  Cutting the wrong point could put a lot of stress on that part and cause it to break.

 

                                         https://www.animaatjes.nl/plaatjes/b/bingo/animaatjes-bingo-064845.gif
That's the way I've always done it.
 
            Never a problem.

https://i.imgur.com/Gcc59Dk.png

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