Recommended tools

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All contents (including photos and drawings) - ©  Derek Mackenzie

Do NOT be put off by this list - tools can be acquired over a long period - they just make things easier.


A lot of them are just DIY stuff - most serious modellers will probably have a lot of this stuff anyway.









Some say only buy the best. Sadly price is not always a guarantee of quality.


A lot of the more common items below can be bought cheaply on ebay - whilst not always the best quality, they are often good enough.


My most used set of 6 screwdrivers (short ones fitting into a fat handle) were bought for £1 in Woolworths 30 years ago - still in daily use.








Tools for G1 etched railway model construction














Primarily soldered

Primarily glued

Soldering







Gas torches








large - DIY store type

essential


optional



medium


preferable


optional



small needle torch

rarely used

optional


Soldering iron

50W


essential


essential - there are still some things you need to solder



a temperature display is nice, just so you can see when it is hot enough


Resistance solderer

essential


optional


Pencil sharpener for sharpening resistance electrodes


box cutter knife (throw away blade type) for trimming back the copper sheath on the resistance electrodes before sharpening them








Drilling out etches




Pin vises



useful




Small drill set



essential




Tapping size drills


essential




countersink



essential




Broaches



essential

easier to use than small drills, harder to lose or break

A pin vise is a good alternative for holes in etches that need to be cleared out.

Broaches are better still for this.


hand drill



essential







power drill - various types can be used

optional










Cutting parts out of fret


small chisel



essential

see Xuron cutter



small hammer



essential

Used to tap the chisel or the box cutter knife blade to cut the tabs


assorted files (needle and larger)

box cutter knife (throw away blade type)

Xuron 170-II Micro-shear flush cutter

essential




essential

see Xuron cutter



essential

Excellent - replaces all except files for cutting parts out of fret (and even the file use is minimised)

That was what I originally thought, but the blades rapidly wore out - far too soft.

I have since modified it by soldering bits of disposable cutter blades onto the tool blades.

Now I mostly use a pair of scissors I bought on ebay at a cheaper price than the Xuron cutters,

            but had to grind the blades shorter to give enough leverage to cut the etch

                      I ended up with 3/4" blades & 4" handles - measured from pivot.

You may be able to find something better than does not require modifications -

  try searching for "medical scissors" on ebay (or google shopping) -

    look for something with short blades and long handles -















































 long blades are unsuitable as they require too much leverage

Rolling sheet metal



Extended jaws vise

small portable vise

various sizes of rod or large drills

essential




essential




essential










Bending strips and wire


round nosed pliers

very useful



needle nosed pliers


essential




standard pliers



very useful



mole grips



very useful



wire cutters



essential




Cutting wire


Brass or Nickel silver

Side cutters

essential




Piano wire


Side cutters

essential


tough and disposable (HSS if you can get it)







Piano wire will wreck (dent) most cutters




Carborundum or diamond disc in a rotary tool









Tapping holes in etches



8BA tap



essential


HSS ones are best, carbon steel is good enough for tapping etches.


10BA tap



essential


HSS ones are best, carbon steel is good enough for tapping etches.


tap wrench (or tapping stand, or pin vises)

essential










Gripping etches


Vises - various - see above

Pliers - various - see above

Clamps - various

essential




essential




essential


strong clothes pegs are useful - plastic (not for soldering) or wood


masking tape



very useful for temporarily holding things together - or use "hot tape" near soldering


metal strips for clamping whilst gas soldering

essential










Inserting & tightening nuts & bolts


Spanners


box

useful






nut spinners

essential

6,  8, 10BA





flat

essential






small adjustable

useful




Screwdrivers


jewellers - various

essential






larger ones

essential




pearl grips



very useful for getting screws into awkward positions








Cleaning etches


Fibre glass pen



essential




ditto - wire



very useful



ultrasonic cleaner

very useful



citric acid crystals

very useful

great for removing oxides after gas soldering or brazing


Scrapers - small chisel, jewellers screwdrivers - see above








Rivet punching


Rivet punch or pillar drill

essential

A proper rivet punch works best


assorted punches and matching anvils

essential










Miscellaneous and consumables


digital calipers



essential




small square



essential




Loctite - various


essential

You will need a threadlocker grade for most screws/nuts







and possibly a retainer grade for greater holding power


solder - various



essential




flux - various



essential




masking tape



very useful



spare carbon electrodes for resistance solderer

essential

















Painting




































Recommended reading


Larger Scale Model Railway Etched Kit Building

Peter Smith



The Finishing Touch

Robert Shephard



Air Brushing and spray painting manual

Ian Peacock



Screw threads and twist drills

Ian Bradley



Carr's Soldering Handbook





Soldering and Brazing

Tubal Cain