Assembling a collection of tools is the act of an individual, based on their
needs and tempered by their desire. How much impulse can you control?
You may want to buy a tool merely to have one, and keeping the tool in your
tool chest is a waste. Having the tool handy to accomplish the proper job is
a goal. I have discovered that it may be difficult for some decisions due to
the enormous variety of tools and their intended use. One important note is
finding the right tool for the proper job, also consider the durability
(quality) of the tool. You want it to last. Than again with power tools, a
new and improved version is always upcoming. Tool maintenance and proper us
is a key part of the arts.
listed below are my personal tools in my tool chest. By providing this
list, it is not to say these are the tools you must have. The list is to
help identify a tool with a brief description on how it may be used and
maintained. I hope this will help you in finding what you need.
If you are looking to
buy tools I don't sell them, but I have some links to good reliable
suppliers. TOOL STORES
CAD Programs - (Computer Assisted
Drafting) come in a variety of formats. Some capable of 3D modeling
and other 2D. It all depend on what the pocket book allows you to
spend. You might find some FREE software that can do the job by searching
the WEB for CAD or DRAFTING TOOLS.
The catch is with full size drawings larger than
81/2 x 11sheets are not achievable with your standard printers, so you may
need to find a print shop that will plot the file for you. Many
of the print shop will be able to plot the file, however you may want to
find out what CAD programs they are supporting before you go and download or
buy a CAD program.
native program is AutoCAD, however this tools is far more the tool
we do require some form of measuring. An old cliché "measure twice cut once"
This lend itself to enforce the fact we need to measure something in order
to built it. It is important to have the right tool to do the right job, and
there are many types of measuring tool for specific jobs. This is my humble
list, and I am more likely going to expand on this when the next requirement
Machinist Ruler - is very useful for those small measurements down to
the 64th of an inch and also comes with Metric increments. With
mine a handy conversion table is listed on the back.
Rulers - The reason for metal rulers is that they can be used as a
straight edge for cutting, and that edge will not wear down easily from
Vernier Caliper - This tool is invaluable with ship building and
machines. I have two, one made of plastic (cheap, cheap) and the other of
steel. My recommendation is the steel one, it will last longer and not
stick much. The Vernier caliper is an extremely precise measuring
instrument; the reading error is 1/20 mm = 0.05 mm. Some insight on
how to use it or
to read it.
Mini triangle -
This tool is made of metal 2"x4". This helps me with setting-up thing
Typically a hole gauge, Helps me identify the dowel size and also doubles
up as a dowel maker. Also the screw gauge, it helps me identify the
Protractor - The one I use is like a miniature T-square, but it is
adjustable to the angles.
Tape Ruler -
Typically used to measure larger items beyond my rulers length.
Compass Set -
is used to accomplish complex radius on layouts
- In my opinion they are the best pencil money can buy. To sharpen
them all you need is 120 sand paper.
Felt Pen - I use them because they will mark-up just about
anything. My preference is Sharpie, like the name they have sharp tips.
they now have a double ended permanent marker called Sharpie twin tip.
Check it out.
Automatic Center Punch -
is a spring loaded center punch. No hammer is required. It's main function
is to mark the surface of the metal by creating a crater for the drill bit
to find the center of the hole to be. This tools also double up as a
counter sinker for pin mails when building ships. This is something I
discovered building the
INDEPENDENCE (1775). I came very handy and easy to use, also did a
very fine job. With this smaller model the tip is fine enough to use as a
Lamps are an important part of any hobby. They
enable us to work on our subjects more effectively. The better the lighting
the better the detailing. :>) Bad lighting can cause back
problems, I'm no sure how, but it does. So provide yourself with proper
lighting at your work space. There are a variety of lamps you can use. The
key is to have it accessible where needed. If you have permanent workbench
set-up or work shop, florescent lighting may be the way to go, however for
some people florescent lighting is irritating because they are sensitive to
this type of lighting.
Desk Lamps - are most commonly used because they are affordable and
they can be placed where you need them. My preference for a desk lamp is
the boom type. I have several of them, they are relics from my profession
as a Draftsman, from the days when paper and pen where used to draw with
and the desk lamp was a very important part of my tool set. Now not needed
Floor Lamp -
allow to place lighting where needed without table surface to mount
Goose Neck Lamp
- My experience has taught me that these are best suited for power
tools like drill press, scroll saw, band saw and other tools alike. You
will find some are designed for this purpose.
Is application tool similar to knife a thin blade without a sharp edge. They
come in various shapes for to accommodate the mode of applying the substance
for the job. This could be filler where the texture may be like a putty,
therefore a stiffer blade would be more appropriate. Thinner blades provide
better as spreaders. I have use these to apply fillers and glues. Some of
these are hard to find.
Spatulas - make for good spreaders
Knives - are ideal for applying putties and fillers into small places.
They are also a harder tool to find.
This probably the most widely used tool in all hobbies. The sharper the
better the result. Sharp tools make the job go faster and with less strain.
There are no perfect tool for the job. the only perfection is the hand that
guide it. If it doesn't feel right then change the blade. The harder the
material the sharper the cutting edge should be. When you are working with
hand tools (blades) you will slice your work not attempt to push the edge
through. crushing the material ahead is not cutting and dulls the blade
faster. Perceptively their is little difference between a blade and a saw by
drawing it across the material you would be slicing the material.
Xacto No. 11 -
This is my favorite detailing blade for almost all applications. I buy
my blades in a box of hundred, it is cheaper this way.
knife - Will serve all general purposes to larger jobs.
Razor Blades - is for the large jobs. I cut boards with this.
Cutter - Sometime I forget to buy strip stock, so I make my own using
this tool. It's adjustable up to an inch.
- on occasions I carve, and the right tool make the job easier.
Files & rasps remove material in segments. The trick is to remember to push
off the material. Files and rasps don't cut on the return trip. Bare down on
the push and lift up on the return, his will prevent clog age. Maintenance
is required on occasions by using a file brush and a pick or sharp pointy
object like an XACTO No.11 blade to remove the clog material where the file
brush was unable. This can be arduous and slow, patience is required.