Model Train Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone who has ever assembled or tried to fix something on their own will speak to the necessity of having the right tool for the job. Model railroading is no different. You will save hours of time and immeasurable amounts of frustration by simply assembling a basic set of tools for working with your model trains. Over the course of your time model railroading, you’ll inevitably acquire many tools to help you build your track, assemble and fix your locomotives and rolling stock, and adorn your setup with all types of scenery. Here’s a great list of essential tools that will set you on the right track.

1) X-Acto Knife — Get yourself a good X-Acto knife with several spare blades. I’ve found that both the pointed-tip blades (no. 11) and chisel-tipped blades (no. 17) are great for cutting anything you’ll need to cut when working with model trains.

2) Scale Rule — You must have a scale rule to help you with your building. I recommend a steel 12″ ruler to start, but clear plastic rulers are also great because you’ll be able to see through them to follow markings as you build your track. In addition to helping you to build your track to scale, rulers will also serve as great straight-edges for cutting.

3) Tweezers — You’ll need a pair of tweezers for handling all the very small parts used in model railroading. Both straight-tip and curved-tip tweezers are good, but make sure they have fine pointed ends on them as they’ll be much better in gripping and grabbing small train parts.

4) Files — Needle files (or jeweler’s files) are great tools for cleaning and shaping plastic, wood, and many other materials you use in building a model railroad track. Pick up an assortment of these and you’ll be happy you did.

5) Pliers — Needle-nose pliers are essential for model railroading. You’ll use these to hold parts securely as you build your model train track, as well as assembling locomotives and rolling stock. They also come in quite handy when bending wire, cutting wire, and various other methods of manipulating wire and metal.

6) Screwdrivers — Pick up a set of jeweler’s screwdrivers. These small screwdrivers will be small enough to get into any of the tiny spaces associated with model railroad building. It is also a good idea to have medium sized Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers available for the larger screws that are found on the larger scale model trains.

7) Pin-vise and Drill Bits — A Pin-vise is a manual drill driver, and it is well used in drilling small holes in wood, plastic and other materials. It is a very helpful tool. Also, I recommend purchasing drill bits ranging in size from no. 61 (.040″) to no. 80 (.0135″).

8 ) Flush Sprue Cutters — Flush sprue cutters are incredibly easy to use and cut and trim model train parts so accurately that very little, if any, additional filing is necessary. Flush sprue cutters will save you time in assembling your model railroad track, and they will really help you to build a great looking track.

As you spend more and more time model railroading, you’ll inevitably assemble a tool set that includes many more than just these tools. But this list of tools is all you really need to get started. Happy Railroading!
 

·
Railroad Tycoon
Joined
·
24,480 Posts
I save our old toothbrushes.

They come in handy for cleaning up greasy parts on the engine.
Heck, your only going to throw them out anyway.

A supply of pipe cleaners come in handy sometimes too.

You can add a good magnifying glass comes in handy too. Especially for the N scale.

A nice set of some type of clamps for building, kit bashing, etc are nice to have.

An electrical tester. And a good wire cutter for the small gauge wire too.

I love my dremel tool! :D

I could think of more to add to your list but got to go to work now.

I'm sure someone will add more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
i haven't found the exacto knife usefull at all . blade is not sharp enough to cut through lets say the plastic ties effortlessly and the little stem/handle does not provide enough control to apply the needed force when cutting. medical scalpel is better even if only for the fact it is one piece

this is the proper knife to use



i'm pissed off at dremel. when the speed controller started to flake out i tried not to notice the speed fluctuations. but now it seems like the bearing is going south! the thing just heats up, makes strange noises and at high RPM it seriously feels like its going to blow apart. it is just not working right. and its barely over a year that i got it.
nice "quality" item. i'm missing our rotary tool that my dad "kitbashed" from dental bore machine he found in garbage. that one was one solid construction...



sorry, i'm in generally "pissed off at life" mood today so i'll be bashing everything in sight
 

·
Yard Master & Research
Joined
·
10,864 Posts
For plastic ties I use a cheep pair of wire cutters that can't cut wire.
Dremel tools do die that's why I have two. My first one is still around after 35 years. I like exacto because of the shape of the blades buy I am getting use to the use, break off, and cut again knives. The dollar store had 3 for a buck.
 

·
Railroad Tycoon
Joined
·
24,480 Posts
oh, that's actually a very good idea! :thumbsup:

however i would really appreciate if you can post short write up on how to fix dremels with the chainsaw. it eludes me at the moment :confused:
Seems like you might have a "LEMON" dremel.

Put in a good vise.....take chain saw and cut in half......then take a big sledge hammer....place on a hard surface......and smack the heck out of it!

If that don't kill it for good .......repeat above directions.

I have abused mine for over 20 years and it still works fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Goo Gone

In my LHS I recently asked for the rail cleaner I used to use. The owner of the store told me that today people are using Goo Gone. I'd never heard of this. I gave it a try and it's amazing. Much better than my old rail cleaner, and much cheaper too.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top