Homemade Tools

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    Making "Homemade" Tools for your hobby workshop - Ain't Hard!    Whether its a simple sanding block, or something a bit more complicated.   You may already have most of what's required to make the item, amid your scrap parts - maybe. for example.    If not, check out - Flea Markets, Electronics' Parts Suppliers and local - Auctions & Sales, for reduced priced - used tools and old parts and items, or even Craft Stores = for example.    You'd be surprised what you'll find for pennies on the dollar, that can be converted or abused & heavily used - battery powered - toys.    

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The Hot Wire - Foam Cutter

Tap Drawing To Enlarge

Hotwr.gif (3717 bytes)    This thing, easily cuts all types of Styrofoam ( Blocks & Sheets ) into any shape or form desired.    I designed my system to have 2 - Wands, meaning a "Large Bow" = for cutting large foam hulls, plus a smaller "Hand Wand" for smaller cutting tasks.    Like - for example, carving a stern - tunnel into the foam core of a models hull.    (( WARNING .... This Is Not A Toy! ))  DANGEROUS TO OPERATE!!   The Hot Wire gets - RED HOT and can easily - Burn You .... So be careful using this device and be sure any helpers - assisting you, are aware of the dangers too!

HOT WIRE .... Parts List -

#1 ... Ac or Dc - Model Train Transformer  ( 12 to 18 volts  output at  2 - 4 Amps. )  Most any train transformer will do, including similar Power Transformers with variable Ac or Dc - outputs.  Purchased or Scrapped from your parts, that meet required Voltage & Amps.

#2 ... Dowel Wood - Rods =  ( Handle & Bow ) making parts of 1/4" &  3/4" Dia.. Rods    NOTE ... Make the Bow and Hand Wand to the widths you require, to cut any size foam.    Usually a ni-chrome wire stretched between the bow - ends, that's 2 1/2 feet wide - at most.    Works fine for most any job you'll use this system for.    As for the Hand Wand, it should be a U-shaped - short piece of nichrome wire, about 4 inches in length = between the forks of the wand.    Then before use, shape the wire to desired shapes for carving jobs, then turn the power - On and gently start carving.

#3 ... Nichrome Wire Sources = Hobby Shops or Hobby Suppliers =  A resistor wire that heats up, to cut or melt Styrofoam.

#4 ... Two Scrap pieces of Brass Tubing, used to make - heat insulators to avoid the wood dowel rods from being burned by the nichrome wire.

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE .......    Set your Transformers - voltage settings, at the lowest voltage setting - First.    Then turn the system - On.    Slowly increase the voltage until the "Nichrome Wire" starts to smoke and heat up.    Testing the heat settings on a piece of scrap foam - First, before you start cutting anything,  adjusting the voltage setting accordingly.    WARNING .... Never set the voltage higher  than is needed to cut your foam, Slow & Smoothly.   The wire can be easily - Burn Out and will break apart and easily injure you or someone else!

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Homemade "Paint Bottle - Shaker!

Powered by 9 volt or AA = Battery Pack, or Small DC Power Supply

Tap Drawing To Enlarge

Paintshk.gif (5518 bytes)     This Sucker - Works!    Its cheap and easily mixes small bottles of paint.    Just open the bottle and add a few drops of the proper - Paint Thinner.    Then, tighten the lid and drop the bottle ( Upside Down ), into the shaker.   Then - Flip the Switch and wait a few minuets for the paint to re-mix and its ready to use again!    If you use a deeper - Tin Can, when making your "Paint Shaker, it will stir - Two Bottles ... At Once.    Just wait a few extra minuets for all paints to become - well shaken, before their used on a project and check the paints - consistency too.    And by the way, make sure the Tin Can -  used to build your - shaker, is large enough to fit - ALL SIZES" of paint bottles, which you prefer using, or will use ...... "OK!"     

    The Battery needs - a long very flexible wire to allow it to be mounted elsewhere on the table, so make the wires length - doesn;t effect the shaker or stiffen its motions.    So make the wires as long as you need, to be lounted elsewhere on your bench.   And the "Washer", is attached to the motors - drive shaft, so it wobbles ( drill an Offset Hole into it ), so it shakes the whole thing..... "The more it wobbles, the better it shakes the Paint!"     Use CA - Super Glue, to mount the motor = to the bottom of the can, or make a metal strap to clamp the motor to the can, if you wish, but its gotta be =TIGHT!    And you'll need a couple of small ( 4 ) "Wood Eye Screws" to mount the can and battery on your workbench.     And then just hang the cans = two rubber bands, on two of the eye screws and the battery and wire on the othere, so the can hangs loose - by itself.     Then add the bottles of paint - to be mixed and throw the switch and watcher - Sh-Sh-Sh-A-a-a-a-k!

Paint Shaker - Parts List

#1 ... (4) AA Batteries, or a 9 Volt Battery, or use a Junked Out = Small DC - Power Supply = 6 to 12 volt output.    And wire the power supply into the switch, in place of the battery system!    

#2 ... AA Battery Pack = ( Radio Shack ) plastic Pack - made to hold 4 - AA Batteries. 

#3 ... Mini On/Off - Toggle Switch.

#4 ... ( 3 feet ) of small insulated - Twin Lead - stranded = Speaker Wire. 

#5 ... Small 12 Volt DC Motor. (  Radio Shack )

#6 ... ( 1 ) Old FLAT - WASHER, to make the Vibrator.     Drill an Off-set Hole in the washer = Way Off Center, but the same diameter as the motors - drive shaft diameter is.    Then use a couple of drops of CA Glue to mountit on the shaft of the motor - firmly    Just make sure the washer spins freely and doesn't bump the can as it spins around on the motor's drive shaft.    That will insure a good vibration effect is provided to the can and the paints inside it,  as their mixed or remixed.

#7 ... ( 1 ) Tin Can ( Small - But Long Enough ) to fit two bottles of paint - inside the can = One On Top of the Other.    ( NOTE ... I used an old Hair Spray Can - for mine! )

#8 ... ( 2 ) Heavy Duty - Rubber Bands.    Used to mount the shaker on your workbench

#9 ... ( 4 ) Wood Eye Screws - Small ones, to screw into the bench, to hang the paint shaker - On. Plus the Battery Pack too, in a nearby location.

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Build A Model - Transport & Launcher

    This idea, is mainly for "Older & Disabled" Modelers - like myself, needing assistance in getting models from the vehicle to the pond and then = launched.    And this idea builds - fairly easy, and works great for anyone that needs to save their backs,  from a lot of aches & pains!    NOTE .... A common Two Wheel - Cargo Dolly, may be a bit heavy, but can work also, if provide a couple of helpful additions.    Like for example, a wooden platform to widen its base to fit the models - hauled on it.    Straps of added arms, to support or hang the tool box - similar the drawings shown below - shows as an example.    Remember, you have a radio ( 's ), plus tools and support equipment to carry too, besides the boat & barges!

Tap Drawing To Enlarge

Boatcart.gif (10241 bytes)    Built from PVC Plastic Pipe ( Dia. of PVC Pipe - Is Your Choice ), but I'd suggest at least 3/4" diameter pipe for the smallest diameter of pipe - used.    Along with a pair of Old Lawnmower wheels and a threaded rod for their axles, with a couple of nuts to hold them.   And this could also be remodeled or fashioned out of an old metal Two - Wheel "Hand Dolly" too.    And should "Break- Down" to fit inside your vehicle.    Some builders may want to use a small pair of soft wheels ( air inflated tires ) , to soften the ride on their models, which is also - a fine idea too.    When transporting boats - long distances, from a vehicle to the lake or at events, you'll be glad you built one of these = They sure save your back!

    Note the "Handle Bars" are adjustable in height, and also how their mounted  ( IN Either Direction ) on top of the two vertical back supports of the launcher.    They can be positioned either way, to assist in balancing a model, when its being launched into the water or just hauled on the transport/launcher.    Just remember to remove your - Tool Box, prior to launching the model, unless ya like Soggy Tools!

Parts List -

#1 ... Several lengths of 1" - 1 1/2" to 2" Diameter - PVC Pipe ( Requires 2 Sizes of pipe - One Fitting into The Other - for the adjustable - handles ), plus Elbows, T's and End Caps.

#2 ... 30" Length of "Threaded Rod" for the Axle, plus ( 6 ) Nuts and ( 6 ) Washers for wheel spacers

#3 ... ( 2 ) Old Lawn Mower - Wheels ...... Option = "Small Air Inflated Tires" to soften bumps!

#4 ... Several Large - Cotter Pins, plus a short length of Rope, to tie the Cotter Pins - to the frame to avoid loosing them, when launching boats.

#5 ... Short Piece of Carpet ... Glue around frame area of Legs on the Launcher.    Avoids damage to models, as their launched, transported and retrieved.

#6 ... ADDED OPTION =  Tool Box, a small plastic tool box to hold r/c radios, batteries, parts and tools.

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Building A Dry-dock Display / Carrier

Designed to work with the above - Transport / Launcher

Tap Drawing To Enlarge

Drydock.gif (8056 bytes)    The Dry-Dock & Display / Carrier, Is designed to be used with the Above - Boat Launcher Cart.    Very simple to make from solid 1 inch thick - Pine Lumber, cut to Lengths & Widths to suit the models size.    This even handles Deep- V hulls, as well as Flat Bottom Boats, when slight changes are made to adjusted it to suit any type of boat, by using wedge fittings for V- hulls.    These are pegged into the bottom plate of the carrier / dry-dock, and removable if needed.    Makes a great display too, when a few fancy fittings are included to make it look realistic.    For average sized boats - such as 10 to 35 inches in length - for example, I use 1 by 4 sides and 1 by 6 - or 1 by 10 or 12 boards for the bottom plate, sealed and stained or painted.    Cheap, easy to make and lasts a long time, this is a great looking model transport / carrier & display for any model.    And best of all, it also provides some side-hull protection against damage and could even be used to carry and haul a number of barges - stacked one atop the another.... "Hey, how do ya think I haul all my barges - around!"

I'll Add More - Later, so check back Often!

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Last Updated On 01/22/10 . With Fueled By ktisLopt.gif (9333 bytes)

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