Model Railway: Basic Tools
As your model takes shape you should also build
up a collection of tools. It's best to keep your modelling tools
away from your household tools as there is nothing worse than not
being able to complete a task that you are half way through because
you can't find the right tool, or worse still using the wrong tool
and not making as good a job as you would have liked.
Below is a basic list of tools that you
will need close at hand:
website can not be held accountable for the misuse of tools. This
information is given as advice on what worked for this websites
creator. You should always read the manufactures instructions on
the use of their tools!
Craft knife -
This is the tool I used the most. It's also the most dangerous!
If you don't feel confident try and use scissors.
Small headed hammer
- Sometimes to solve a problem you just need to hit it. You
will need a hammer to put in nails (sometimes panel pins) and to
make items fit.
Needle nose pliers
- I found that it was easier to put in track pins with pliers.
You simply grasp the pin and push it into the board. This method
is especially good when using sponge ballast as it allows you to
adjust the track to keep it level. It's easy to push the track down
too far, squashing the sponge and making your ballast look unrealistic.
This also causes the engines to run poorly, stall, or even de-rail.
Pliers are also the best method for removing pins if you decide
to change your layout.
This can be either a hand drill or a power drill. You will need
this to build your base board. I used this tool a great deal in
order to wire up point motors, and to put holes in the board to
accommodate power leads, signals, and lighting.
Glue gun -
Glue guns are great when you need something to stick immediately.
I used one to great effect sticking point motors and battery packs
to the bottom of my base board. Be warned, glue guns get very hot
and so does the glue! It's very easy to burn yourself on the gun,
or worse get the glue on your hands. I can tell you it hurts and
it will burn you badly unless you put your hand under a cold tap
quickly. Make sure you read the manufactures instructions carefully!
- This is another must have tool if you are planning to incorporate
electronics into your layout. There are alternatives to soldering
but in some instances there is no alternative. You can use solder
to join wires, to connect wires to motors, signals, switches etc
as well as to join pieces of metal. I am no expert in soldering!
It's best to go down to your library or to search online for advice
on how to use a soldering iron. Make sure you read the instructions
carefully as just like the glue gun the soldering iron can burn.
Used for putting in screws and for prying/levering things
into place. Small screwdrivers can be used to gain access to your
models mechanics and to service them. They are indispensable for
poking and prodding things into place.
Hack saw -
This can be used for cutting small pieces of both metal and wood.
I found it best to put the material into a vice to hold it so that
your fingers are kept well away from the blade.
Vice - This
should be fixed to your work bench (table). It helps with cutting,
filing, bending, and holding. It can be used with the soldering
iron so that both hands are free to hold both the solder and the
iron. It should also stop you getting burnt.
Wire cutters -
For cutting wire. You shouldn't use scissors or craft knives
to cut wire! It will not cut as well, and will blunt your implements
and it's Dangerous!!
Paint Brushes -
Used for painting and for spreading glue and scatter.
Glue spreader -
For spreading glue.
For cutting, and believe me there is a lot to cut. Can be used instead
of a craft knife but is not as good.
General Modelling Materials
PVA Glue/Glue gun sticks
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