Tips using common items

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Woodie, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Back in the spring, I made a pretty good fence using their stir sticks. I simply collected a few in a short time (which says a lot about my coffee habits!). I drilled some post holes on my layout and glued these stir sticks onto these posts, then painted them brown. I think I made a pretty good fence between two of my track lines. Rob
  2. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

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    You can usually buy a box of the stir sticks at office supply stores, or big box stores like Costco and Walmart. It is usually like 5-7$ for a box of 1k.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Buying stir sticks?!?:eek: Coffee addicts like me don't have to worry about buying them. I usually end up with a handful of "free" stir sticks every week. :mrgreen::mrgreen: ... Well, I guess they really aren't free, especially when you consider the price of Starbucks coffee! :cry:wall1

    Seriously, though, these are greeat stir sticks because they're so thin. They are what I'd expect boards or planks to look like in HO scale.

    Cheers,
    Rob
  4. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

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    I have been borrowing them from work to use to build my sawmill and i found that i was taking so many handfuls that it was just easier to get a box from the store room. That was when i discovered that our secretary buys them by the case at Staples for about 6$ per box.

    I have found that they work well for various planks. They are a little on the large size so ripping them lengthwise is needed for some applications.
  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    Yeah, BUT is their Mocha latte any good?
  6. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    Try doing what I suggested above , scribing them with a pins soldered into a piece of rectangular brass tube.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    A lot of aquarium gravel is either acrylic compound or acrylic coated to prevent toxic leaching into the water and allow for the designer colors.

    If you get the natural stone stuff, it makes good boulders and such in N scale. I've also built walls with the stuff in larger scales.

    You can find smaller stone in your local craft shop, such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

    In larger scales, sugar cubes sealed and painted make great cinder block walls. I built a German bunker and seawall out of an entire box one time.

    If you use flour and water for scenery, make sure you seal it extremely well. Mice and bugs find it quite appetizing.

    Pretty much anything and everything can be made useful in modelling.
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Yes, I'm sure if you needed a lot of them (for a large project, etc.) that it's far simpler to buy a batch of new ones. (I was basically making fun of my coffee habits and should save some money by avoiding Starbucks!)

    Right now, I want to get some black bits of plastic for number plates on a Pacific that I'm kitbashing. I could buy these from an LHS but they're so small & basic, I'm sure I could find something around the house to modify?

    Rob
  9. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    Right now, I want to get some black bits of plastic for number plates on a Pacific that I'm kitbashing. I could buy these from an LHS but they're so small & basic, I'm sure I could find something around the house to modify?

    Rob[/QUOTE]

    First thing that comes to mind would be a black plastic knife or spoon/fork . The blade on the knife or the handle of either of the others . Must be some lying about from some fast food joint.
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    First thing that comes to mind would be a black plastic knife or spoon/fork . The blade on the knife or the handle of either of the others . Must be some lying about from some fast food joint.[/quote]

    A&W/KFC uses black plastic tableware.
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    A&W/KFC uses black plastic tableware.[/QUOTE]

    Hmm, that sounds like a good idea. I've seen black take-out spoons/forks/knives at a few fast-food places so I'll keep my eyes open. Great idea -- thanks! Rob
  12. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    I just re-read every post in this thread & I can't believe NOT ONE person suggested a pair of pinking shears to cut shingles with. In years gone by that was a standard trick. Also they are good for making the decorative siding often used on houses in the Victorian era .
  13. xnavyguy_bm3

    xnavyguy_bm3 New Member

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    take a spring from a ball point pen stretch it a bit and you have the coil of razor wire for on top of the chain link fence.
  14. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    now that is a cool idea :thumb: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  15. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I use the mesh that is in a brides veil for chain link fence. you can get gray veil material at fabric stores. it can be spray painted if needed. and get small one inch nails sometimes called wire nails for the post's the even have one end pointed to push into board, foam. OOPS I mean into the ground.
    Les
  16. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    I just realized I forgot to mention something I found a while back that works very well. The felt light seal on a roll of 35 MM film can be used to create a very realistic push broom, all you need do is cut it to size & install a handle. It would be wise to ask your local 1 hour photo to save a few canisters for you before actual film is completely phased out, &^$#* ***** Digital age!!!
    Won't be many years before this tip will sound as strange & impossible as the story years ago in some model mag on using "stove black" to paint a steam loco! Good idea then , out of the question now.
  17. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

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    Good idea ---- I wanted a spring small enough to use for a hood spring on one of my 1/64 "junkyard" cars --- first I thought of a Kadee coupler spring , it turned out to be more suitable for a front end suspension spring. Then I thought about the little clasps on jewelery--- YUP !! :thumb:Just the ticket -- ever thought of an open garage door on an HO building--- here is a door spring for you!!

    Attached Files:

  18. railBuilderdhd

    railBuilderdhd Member

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    A real good way to glue styrene is MEK and I use a used syringe from a diabetic that injects insulin shots. Yeah, I use MEK to glue styrene not that expensive stuff in those little bottles at the hobby shop. I can get a can of the stuff for less than $10 at Lowe’s and it will last a longgggggg time.
  19. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Hey Dave I do the same. It costs a little over .31 cents an ounce instead of almost $4.
  20. davelant

    davelant Member

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    MEK. Good ventilation is vital. Try to keep it off your skin.