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MODEL MAKING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT - 1

V. Ryan 2008

 

A craft knife and cutting mat are essential model making tools. They can be used to cut model making foam boards as well as paper and card. A craft knife should always be used with a steel ruler when cutting straight lines, ensuring that hands and fingers are kept behind the cutting edge.

 

A model maker will inevitably need a selection of scissors to cut shapes. Scissors have the relative advantage of being comparatively safe compared to craft knives. Left handed scissors are useful for left handed people.

A hot wire cutter can be used to shape a variety of model making foams including Styrofoam. This is a specialist model making material easily cut and shaped by a hot wire. Styrofoam can also be cut and shaped with hand tools although less accurately.
Most hot wire cutters have a central wire fixed between two points and a hand held wire cutter. This is useful for free had styling and shaping.

A small bench drill is used to drilling holes and they are cheap to purchase. Always clamp the model making materials down whilst drilling. The usual safety rules apply to the smaller bench sized machines as apply to full size machine drills.

 

Fretsaws are used when cutting lightweight materials such as MDF, plywood, plastic materials and model making materials such as depron and zepron.

A glue gun can be used to quickly fix materials together. However, the glue can be very hot and so care should be taken when using the gun. Foams tend to melt if glued with a hot glue gun. Test a scrap piece of material first. This type of glue is best used with harder materials.

Glues such as UHU POR or POLY ZAP are amongst the most suitable for foam based boards although balsa glue can be used for balsa wood.
Glue is carefully applied to join all the parts permanently together.

     
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