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DIY and Off Label tools?

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  • Member since
    December 2021
DIY and Off Label tools?
Posted by RichardMahogany on Thursday, December 9, 2021 2:01 PM

Greetings everyone, reintroducing myself to the hobby after 25+ years of growing up. As a collector of hobbies, and after spending silly amounts of money upon entry, I learned relatively quickly that money can be saved when purchasing hardware outside of the LHS, and or by building our own. I am aware there is no substitute for quality in many instances, but saved money in some categories is more money for kits. 

Does anyone care to share how you've saved some frustration, time and money?

Entry level tools? 

Tools for a 9 y/o?

Workspace storage and organization?

DIY airbrush hood?

Thanks in advance everyone!

"Put it in your lunchbox, Shirley!"

HAIL NIMROD!

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, December 9, 2021 2:39 PM

First...Welcome Sign. Hope your return to the hobby...and your time on this forum...is thoroughly enjoyable.

For me, as re tools, it's been shopping the 'discount' places...albeit with caution and homework.

As a for instance, I bought a 'starter,' cheapo airbrush compressor (with valve and built-in moisture trap) on Ebay. Asian manufacturer, suspiciously-low price, but I found through some fairly comprehensive digging that it was pretty well-reviewed...the major 'caution' shared in those reviews that it was a bit noisy. Well I bit, for around $30...and it's been giving me regular, steady service for 10+ years. It's actually whisper-quiet...though it did require a few extra bucks in adaptors to fit my Badger AB.

Same deal, bought a ridiculously low-priced (but well-reviewed) motor-tool set from Harbor Freight. The tool itself, a decent range of low-end burrs/drills/etc., one of those flex-shaft attachments, and even a clamp-on hanger for the workbench...in a canvas bag, instead of a fitted case...for about $20. It's not a tool I had expected to use a lot...but having it there, I use it all the time, now. It's been 2 years on, without any problems.

My 'vetting' process is always the same. I never trust reviews from the seller...and get very wary when a dozen 'outside' reviews, across multiple sites, all use exactly the same phrases, like a planted script. When the item comes, I crash-test it as best I can, checking wiring, switches...even occasionaly looking for stripped threads on screws. If something's likely to go wrong, I figure soon is best, to look for a necessary refund, exchange, whatever. Nothing is 100%, but I like to tweak the odds in my favor if I can.

Lastly...forum sites like this one are priceless fonts of information. Everybody's got individual preferences, of course, but it's a safe bet that most of the contributors here will have actual experiences -- good, and bad -- with the varieties and brands they talk about. That kind of reliable experience is invaluable.

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Thursday, December 9, 2021 2:41 PM

A sprue cutter, or a pair of diagonal cut pliers, (though you can't cut as close to the part), an exacto knife and #11 blades.(make sure the young modeler is supervised until they understand the dangers of a very sharp blade, And can demonstrate proper use.  I have a fingernail that reminds me of that from 60+ years ago).

For sanding sticks try a beauty shop supply store like Sally's.

Some use the roll around plastic storage drawer units From the big box stores 

For a booth, either a large cardboard box, or a large clear plastic storage bin in it's side.  Cut a hole for a small bathroom or computer fan and duct out a window. Furnace filter to start with.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, December 9, 2021 2:47 PM

Not to be too long-winded....Whistling

...but since you also mentioned 'workspace storage and organization,' I'll pass along my favorite, for years now: one of those 'lazy Susan' tool caddies for the work area. All the 'daily use' stuff conveniently organised and near-to-hand, beats heck out of any system I used before. Yes

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Thursday, December 9, 2021 2:51 PM

Oh yeah, for a mobile kit look for an appropriate size fishing tackle box. Can carry the most used items including glues, brushes and some bottled paint for smaller parts.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, December 9, 2021 3:05 PM

goldhammer88

Oh yeah, for a mobile kit look for an appropriate size fishing tackle box. Can carry the most used items including glues, brushes and some bottled paint for smaller parts.

Same goes for sewing boxes. Seems like each individual hobby or craft has their own 'dedicated' tool boxes...but there are often cool features in 'other' hobbies' stuff that you'd never have thought of.

Cruise the aisles in any well-stocked craft store. Lots of inspiration there.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by rob44 on Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:19 PM

You can find a few self made painting hoods right nere in the fourm area.Search the fourm of hommade paint booth, a google search will also provide a lot of ideas.

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, December 10, 2021 5:50 PM

My 2 cents. Speaking of homebuilt paint booths, years ago while driving home from work, I saw a kitchen shelf unit sitting in with someone's trash. Don't normally pick trash but it looked too nice to pass up. Took it home, gave it a coat of paint, ordered a small exhaust fan from a garden supply place, installed a cheap furnace filter. Hooked up a board that could be placed in the window when needed and attached with a heater vent. When finished, my wife looked at it and made a cheap sheer (see through) curtain for it to keep dust off of newly painted models. Also found out the I could close the curtain and keep the exhaust running for a while to aid in drying. Every once in a while, my wife comes up and takes the curtain off and tosses it in the wash. You'd really be surprised at the amount of dust that the curtain catches.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, December 11, 2021 8:54 AM

Hello!

It's true, there is a lot of money to be saved... And sometimes you can get a lot better stuff buying outside of the hobby shop - like paint brushes. Those made for artists have better value for money than those made with a kit maker logo on them.

Now starting with expensive stuff - here's my compressor made out of an old refrigerator and a gas bottle for a tank:

Fridge-compressor

Using recycled components you get a machine that is most of all very quiet.

If you want more when I was younger and had more time on my hands I have built a vacuforming machine using a vacuum cleaner as a vacuum source:

Trying to buy a comparable machine would cost you a lot of money...

Then there are smaller things - like using self-mixed liquid plastic glue. A few dollars get you materials that will last a decade or so...

One of my biggest discoveries were the surgical blades - 10$ get you 100 pieces of sterile surgical blades and a handle for them. X-acto can't stand a chance against those. Look for  Swann Morton brand, they are really excellent.

I hope it helps you - happy modelling and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Saturday, December 11, 2021 9:09 AM

fox

My 2 cents. Speaking of homebuilt paint booths, years ago while driving home from work, I saw a kitchen shelf unit sitting in with someone's trash. Don't normally pick trash but it looked too nice to pass up. Took it home, gave it a coat of paint, ordered a small exhaust fan from a garden supply place, installed a cheap furnace filter. Hooked up a board that could be placed in the window when needed and attached with a heater vent. When finished, my wife looked at it and made a cheap sheer (see through) curtain for it to keep dust off of newly painted models. Also found out the I could close the curtain and keep the exhaust running for a while to aid in drying. Every once in a while, my wife comes up and takes the curtain off and tosses it in the wash. You'd really be surprised at the amount of dust that the curtain catches.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 

I use furnace filters in mine.  They work great and are cheap to replace. I made my lastest box just so I could design it to make it easier to change filters.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, December 11, 2021 5:18 PM

Look in homeware stores for cheap plastic desktop drawer units, say, about 12" - 15" high by about 8" wide by about 12" deep.  I have one of these, with 3 drawers that hold a lot of tools and assorted items that would otherwise be left strewn around the workspace.  It cost about £5, I think -$7 or thereabouts, well worth the money.  I also have a smaller set which I was given (dropping hints in the right places can bring dividendsWink!). 

Childrens'/students' art suppliers are well worth visiting - a cheap set of artists' pastel chalks provides me with plenty of weathering pigments, and I have a similarly-priced set of oil paints for washes etc.  Again, I think each of these cost about a fiver, and these purchases were spread out over time, so there was no major outlay at one go.

Beauty sections in cheap shops - like your "dollar stores" (we have "pound shops" over here) will provide sanding sticks, tweezers, makeup brushes/applicators (for weathering uses, etc.) and probably a few other things besides.

However, I would caution against ultra-cheap paintbrushes - these are likely to ruin your work.  You don't need to go berserk, buying top quality artists' brushes, though - those sold in sets by the likes of Army Painter, Humbrol, Tamiya, etc. will set you up nicely.  You can always upgrade later, if you want to.

The best advice I could offer would be to take your time, don't splurge on fancy "must have" gadgets you see on the internet or in magazines and, before buying something, see if you already have something which can do the job - maybe with a little adaptation.  Building your kit is part of the pleasure of the hobby - welcome back!

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, December 13, 2021 8:06 AM

As far as sprue cutters go, you can use an old-school, more reasonably priced solution-a cuticle cutter:

You can find them in the health and beauty section of most pharmacies and grocery stores.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

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