Stuart Birks StuartB Show full post »
Stuart Birks StuartB
I am always amazed how much "gas" comes out of the mixture. This is a short video I found on Youtube which shows it well.
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Stuart Birks StuartB
A much simpler tool is the disc sander.

IMG_4775a.jpg 
This is very useful for trimming plastic sheet and for creating mitered corners.

It is also very useful for putting the angles on rail for making points.

This Proxxon is very quiet in operation which makes it a pleasure to  use. A belt sander, something like this -


belt_sander.jpg 
would be more versatile but would take up more space.

Stu
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Stuart Birks StuartB
I have mentioned in another post that I make lots of jigs to help in making things. Here are a few samples.

Making point frogs.
IMG_4779A.jpg 

Assembing the louvers on the engine shed
IMG_4780A.jpg 

Soldering something, cant remember what.
IMG_4781a.jpg 

Forming the tumblehome on carrage sides
IMG_4782a.jpg 

Assembling the frames on the water tower.
IMG_4784a.jpg 

Making curved corrugated iron panels for the water tower.
IMG_4785a.jpg 

Stamping out the number plates for the lever frame.
IMG_4786a.jpg 

Putting a joggle in the rail for points.
IMG_4787a.jpg 

Making a pully for the crane in the engine shed
IMG_4788a.jpg 

Putting the window frames in exactly the right place in the engine shed.
IMG_4789a.jpg 

Many of these have been made on the milling machine. I have many more, I keep tham even though most will never be used again.

I think this shows how useful the mill can be in helping make things. Most of these were fairly quick to make and made a huge difference to the ease and time of assembly.

Stu
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Bunkerbarge
Great Jigs Stu.  I used to run a small engineering workshop many years ago that manufactured portable Ski Lifts.  A lot of the parts were aluminium.  One wall was covered with the patterns for casting the parts and the associated jigs for drilling and machining them when they came back from the foundry.  Consequently I frequently look for ways in which to ensure consistency in repetitive processes.
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Stuart Birks StuartB
I thought for quite a while about getting a surface plate and associated tools. It seemed a bit of a luxury but now I have it I use it for most of my marking out. It is really good to know that when holes are marked on on several components they will line up perfectly when assembled.
IMG_4776a.jpg 

I have stayed old school and got a vernier height gauge instead of a digital one. I had a digital caliper once, only a cheap one but the batteries kept going flat. In the end it went in the bin and I bought a dial caliper instead. Much more expensive but I know it will work whenever I pick it up.

The only mistake I made was when I found the 300mm height gauge was not much more expensive than the 200mm version so I bought the 300mm one. For most of what I do it is much bigger than necessary and so a bit clumsy to use. I am planning to get a 150mm version which will be much better for most of what I do and only get the 300mm one out when necessary.

Stu
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Bunkerbarge
What is the surface plate made of?  I have only ever come across metal ones but yours looks to be more of a stone composite.
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Stuart Birks StuartB
Hi Bunkerbarge.

The surface plate is solid granite. Similar price to metal ones but it wont rust which can be a problem in my workshop.

Stu
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Stuart Birks StuartB
A couple more tools.
IMG_4777a.jpg  IMG_4778a.jpg 

So what use are they for model making?
Well directly - nothing. I cant say I have ever made a component for a model building on either of these. But they are incredibly useful for cutting large bits of wood for making jigs. As well as being useful for making base boards and supporting structures.
I also have a router mounted on a table which produces clean accurate slots in wood. Look at the jig I posted above for forming the tumblehome on carrage sides. The parts for that were sliced up on the table saw in just a few minutes. when jigs can be made that quickly and easily then it makes sense to make a jig even for making a single part.

They can even be used for making things for around the house which gets the cost approved with no problems.

Stu
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