Scratch Building
Tools & Jigs

Alclad II
Custom Mixes
MM Metalizers


  1. X-Acto Knives
    A knife with a very sharp blade for scraping off mold lines and trimming parts.
  2. #11 & #16 Blades
    I buy #11 and #16  blades for the X-Acto knives in bulk from an art supplies store as its much cheaper that buying just a few at a time.
    Danger! Always try to cut away from yourself with these extremely sharp blades
  3. Jewellers Saw & Blades
    The jeweller's saw can be used for cutting apart bodywork, etc. that should be separate pieces.
  4. #4/0 & #3/0 Blades
    You can get blades for the jeweller's saw as fine as #4/0. I use #3/0 for making very fine cuts with removing very little material. I also use #1 blades for less critical cuts since the blades are more durable.
  1. Micro Drills
    Used to hold extremely small (less than 1/16") drill bits when drilling by hand. I usually use the pin vise for drilling out holes in disc brake rotors, holes for wires, etc. Here are the sizes (#61-80) that I regularly use:
    Size Thousandths
    of an inch
    61 0.0390 0.9906
    62 0.0380 0.9652
    63 0.0370 0.9398
    64 0.0360 0.9144
    65 0.0350 0.8890
    66 0.0340 0.8636
    67 0.0320 0.8128
    68 0.0310 0.7874
    69 0.0292 0.7417
    70 0.0280 0.7112
    Size Thousandths
    of an inch
    71 0.0260 0.6604
    72 0.0250 0.6350
    73 0.0240 0.6096
    74 0.0225 0.5715
    75 0.0210 0.5334
    76 0.0200 0.5080
    77 0.0180 0.4572
    78 0.0160 0.4064
    79 0.0145 0.3683
    80 0.0135 0.3429
  2. Pin-Vise
    Used to hold the micro drills. One pin-vise I use acts as a mini hand drill.
  1. Flex-I-Files
    These files look like a C-clamp and have a narrow strip of sandpaper between the ends of the "C". This makes sanding through the openings of complex parts and ideal for round pieces like missiles, exhaust pipes, etc.

    I find the available sanding strips far too coarse for plastic modelling purposes. André showed me how to make strips easily from wet/dry sandpaper and some CA glue. Cut the strips 15cm long x 0.7cm wide. Fold over 1.5cm at each each end of the strip. Then use a drop of CA to glue the ends making a 'loop' for the Flex-I-File studs to go through. I've made 400, 600, 1000 and 1500 grit sanding strips.

    Flex-I-File strips

    Also, when using the Flex-I-File on curved surfaces, lightly squeeze the file so the strip isn't so tight. This will allow the sanding strip to conform to the part giving a far better result.

  2. Wet/Dry Sandpaper
    Use wet/dry sandpaper of at least 400grit. I use 400, 600, 1000 and 1500. Look in the automotive section of you favourite hardware store.
  3. Needle Files
    For rough shaping before using sandpaper for final shaping and smoothing. Use only carefully on plastic as the files easily gouge plastic. 

Dremel MotoTool 395 w/Flex Shaft
For drilling, cutting, grinding and sanding just about everything. The Flex Shaft allows me to hang the unit up and have the cutting head separate. A lot like a dentist's drill. This drill can turn accessories at up to 30,000rpm. Be very careful in the way you use this. I rarely use this on plastic since it lowest speed of 5,000rpm will melt, rather than cut, plastic.

Contact Coaster
Last revised on: March 2, 2004
Copyright © 1998-2007, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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