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Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by johnflys2, Jul 16, 2007.
I stumbled on this site today and thought I'd share.
You can actually find them cheaper than that on EBay. Just do a search for #11 scalpel.
Be careful though and watch the shipping charges and comparison shop.
There is a wide variety of prices and some really hit you hard on the shipping.
I picked up 400 scalpels delivered, for $26.
Russell, you did good. Thanks for the tip about e-bay. Yeah, shipping is a pain. John
Anybody used those blades and handle?
How secure is it?
What I'm afraid of, is that while cutting heavy card this blade will fly off the handle with rather unpleasant effect on my flesh...
Mike, I ordered 100 but haven't received them yet. When I do I'll post a report but by then the clearance sale may be over. John
I have been using the blades on my church build and I have been using them in my Excel handle with no problem.
They are slightly skinnier and longer but the handle is secure.
I have also noticed when cutting heavy stock like formers, the blades seem to dull pretty quickly. Surprisingly fast, sometimes.
I stick to the heavier blades and scissors for the formers.
If you find you must use the scalpel on heavy card, for example a detailed cut, use a very light touch and make several passes.
You will be surprised how deep it cuts with almost no pressure and the blade will stay sharp a lot longer.
For normal card stock, again, same rules apply.
Use very minimal pressure and it will cut the card on one pass and the blade will last a few times longer than an Excel blade.
If it takes two passes, good for you! You are in the best possible control of your blade and it will cut for a very long time.
Let the blade do the work, not the pressure. This is also the safest way to use the blade.
It is thinner than an Excel but I have yet to break one.
Just go slowly, it takes a while to get used to the handling of it because it is different than an Xacto or Excel blade.
I hope I wasn't too redundant.
I remember that Carl once gave very similar advice.
I believe it is in one of his tutorials.
Didn't know about using Xacto handle for those blades...Good thinking :thumb:
I'm a bit familiar with scalpel blades - had several of them many years ago but no handle, I held them in my hand (that was different time and different world....)
The 100 pack I found comes with a handle so I will give it a try....
I remember back when I was a kid I used straight edge razor blades with no holder for all my card models and balsa kits. I can remember my fingers aching all the time!
After seeing this thread I hunted down and ordered a pack of 100 #11 scalpel blades on ebay (US$7.99) all up it was just under $20AU to have them delivered to Australia... the last pack of #11 blades I bought cost me $25 from a shop around the corner from me, and are way inferior to the scalpel blades.
I've already snapped a few because I press a bit too hard, I'm still kinda new to this, but I'm learning fast and finding that these scalpel blades do a way better job than my old hobby blades. They're easier to snap because they're slightly thinner, and the "slot" in the blade where it fits to the scalpel handle does'nt fit all the way into my knife, so there's a weak spot which snaps if the blade twists... with a bit of time and practice I'll overcome this, but even as new as I am to card modeling, i think it would be safe to say I won't be going back to standard blades any time soon... thanks for the tip.
Jaffro, I'm glad to hear you did so well with the shipping rates way downunder.
You must be cutting heavier card stock than the 67 pound stuff I'm using. I usually make a couple passes to cut through the material I'm using.
I'm with you, will never go back to standard blades.
Be careful with those thinner blades. John
These are my knife of choice, with a Swann Morten handle. Several light passes works best.
Now here's a tip to keep them sharp longer. Get an oil stone and keep it on your work bench. Give the back of the tip of the blade a couple of wipes down the oil stone before each part. Wipe at an angle of about 30 degrees. This takes off the very tip of the blade, which is the bit that gets blunted by the cut.
Shout if you don't follow what I'm saying and I'll post a photo. It works great with card modelling and marquetry
Modifing surgical blades
I modified the surgical blades so they don't have a tendency to break off when in use. I break them before use. You can see in the photo that I snapped them in two places. They don't stick out from the handle as far and I think I have much better control over the tip.
Be careful when snapping them as shards seem to fly off. I have double hung windows in my home and I raise the lower window about 9 inches, grab the blade with two pairs of pliers and stick my arms outside and then break the blade. That way I can see what I'm doing and protect my eyes at the same time. Good luck. John
Hey that's a great idea John, judging by those pics it looks like the blade wouldn't flex much at all either, double bonus. Combine that with Mark's idea and I won't be needing to place another order as soon.
Thanks for the tips.