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Author Topic: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade  (Read 3964 times)

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Offline Darth Chasm

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2018, 01:28:36 PM »
Moltow Liquid Chrome Paint Marker... AMAZING! Saw Adam Savage using it.

Mirror finish on smooth surfaces. No joke, I can see myself in it. Cast aluminum look on unfinished shapeways prints.




I've played with that stuff.  I like it.  The only downside is that pretty much any clear coat dulls the finish quite a bit and the fact that the stuff never fully hardens (even with oven baking and letting the painted part sit for months) so it cannot stand up to very much handling before the finish dulls.  Great for "shelf queen" items though.  There's an in-depth thread on these markers over at the RPF.  It's a good read.

Good to know. I will check out that thread.

Moltow Liquid Chrome Paint Marker... AMAZING! Saw Adam Savage using it.

Mirror finish on smooth surfaces. No joke, I can see myself in it. Cast aluminum look on unfinished shapeways prints.



Huh, I might actually have one of those, not sure but do you know if they come in other colors like copper or brass?

Not sure. The store assistant got it for me and I didn’t see the full display. Google ;)

Offline Morannon

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2018, 01:42:06 PM »
Moltow Liquid Chrome Paint Marker... AMAZING! Saw Adam Savage using it.

Mirror finish on smooth surfaces. No joke, I can see myself in it. Cast aluminum look on unfinished shapeways prints.




I've played with that stuff.  I like it.  The only downside is that pretty much any clear coat dulls the finish quite a bit and the fact that the stuff never fully hardens (even with oven baking and letting the painted part sit for months) so it cannot stand up to very much handling before the finish dulls.  Great for "shelf queen" items though.  There's an in-depth thread on these markers over at the RPF.  It's a good read.

Alclad gloss clear coat supposedly eliminates this problem, or at least keeps it more shiny than others. Haven't given it a try yet. Another Adam savage tip.

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Offline SUPREME LEADER SNOKE

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2018, 01:56:44 PM »
Stickied.

Some good stuff here folks. Not just for new comers but for anyone that wants to find some neat techniques and things they may not have thought of.

Continue to contribute as this information sharing is what makes the forums a great venue.


Take that ridiculous thing off.

Offline SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2018, 03:46:09 AM »
Okay, so here's one I've been debating about making into a tutorial for a couple of months, but decided not to (mainly because it's too derivative of existing tutorials) But I figure that as a tip/trick, it's been a lifesaver on my last and current builds, so I might as well share it here.

Using electro etching/saltwater etching as a layout technique for shaping with hand tools


I'm assuming everyone should have a passing familiarity with salt water etching. There's tutorials on practically ever saber forum I've visited, as well as dozens on the internet/youtube. Now, they're mostly focused on using etching to make something look pretty. But instead, I'm talking about using it to lay out cutting, filing, and drilling marks on your workpiece. Now, the main catch is that to do this, you will need a vinyl cutter. you could try doing all this by hand, but I wouldn't recommend it.

So here goes: Last december, I started my Sith Rose build. I had a fair amount of complicated cuts to make, so I figured that instead of marking them onto the aluminium, I could just use my hackspace's vinyl cutter to make some stickers that I could apply to the aluminium, and then cut around them


It worked. kinda. the caveat was that my vice's jaws would grab the vinyl and stretch it, distorting the cut lines. I nearly screwed up every one of those cuts. That's when I had the lightbulb moment of realizing that for my next series of holes and cuts, I could just use the vinyl stickers as resists, then etch everything directly onto the aluminium. that way, there's a clear delineation between what to cut/drill/file away, and what to leave alone, ie: if it's etched, destroy it, if it's not, leave it alone. more importantly, it it's etched into the metal, as opposed to a line scribed on the surface, the mark will stay on, not matter how hard you manhandle it. once it's etched, it's not going away unless you remove it.

So I went into Inkscape and designed a vinyl sticker that described all the holes and cuts I wanted to make, had it cut, applied it to the aluminium tube I was working on, and etched the holes on. I did have to use a bit of nail varnish (another improvised tool with a million uses, btw) to seal up the gaps in the resist, but everything was good. after that, it was just a matter of cutting, drilling, and filing away anything that was etched.


One thing I learned is that it helps a lot to drill an undersize hole, and then sneak up on the line with some careful file work. you'll work up quite a sweat, but hey, if it's good enough for the guy from Clickspring, then it's good enough for your saber.  :azn:

I made the three mini-blade holders in the same way. Make stickers, apply to aluminium bar stock, etch, shape.


in this case, I used my drill press to do most of the bulk of the material removal, then cut between the holes with my trusty coping saw, and filed everything to final shape before drilling more holes and final anodizing.

Same thing with my current build: Make stickers, apply stickers, etch, remove stickers, shape


End result.


So, there you go, I hope it helps.

...I imagine that now I've written all this up, someone will chime in and mention that this was worked out on some other forum years ago, and they've made every saber of theirs since the late 90's this way. :tongue:  oh well, can't be the first to discover everything.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in how I go about designing the stickers vinyl stickers, let me know, and I'll try and get a write-up sorted as soon as I can.
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Offline COUNT DOOKU

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2018, 09:47:13 AM »
Okay, so here's one I've been debating about making into a tutorial for a couple of months, but decided not to (mainly because it's too derivative of existing tutorials) But I figure that as a tip/trick, it's been a lifesaver on my last and current builds, so I might as well share it here.

...I imagine that now I've written all this up, someone will chime in and mention that this was worked out on some other forum years ago, and they've made every saber of theirs since the late 90's this way. :tongue:  oh well, can't be the first to discover everything.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in how I go about designing the stickers vinyl stickers, let me know, and I'll try and get a write-up sorted as soon as I can.

Brilliant sir. Love the creativity in working smarter- not harder. ;)

Offline Darth Chasm

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2018, 07:05:51 PM »
Another one I came up with. When your feeling lazy and dont want to print and paste or draw, use stickers as guides  :cool:


Offline Jediseth

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2018, 07:45:58 AM »
 I'll share this, I use it all the time. I have had this scrap piece of tubing for over a year. I know it's not very presentable or very organized. I thought of making a nice one, but it works.
I use this part to see what size hole I need to drill for a screw or I put the head of the screw in one of the holes to see what size hole to countersink the screw. I measure what hole I need for a certain hole I need for a rod. I have holes drilled different sizes and then I label them or I see which drill bit fits the hole and use it to make my hole. It's a great tool !


Offline Seth Skywalker

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2018, 10:28:21 AM »
I'll share this, I use it all the time. I have had this scrap piece of tubing for over a year. I know it's not very presentable or very organized. I thought of making a nice one, but it works.
I use this part to see what size hole I need to drill for a screw or I put the head of the screw in one of the holes to see what size hole to countersink the screw. I measure what hole I need for a certain hole I need for a rod. I have holes drilled different sizes and then I label them or I see which drill bit fits the hole and use it to make my hole. It's a great tool !


Thats what I am starting to do with extra tcss sleeve material I have.

Offline Greenie

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2018, 01:40:24 AM »
Don’t waste sleeve material. You never know when you might need it.
You know it’s bloody hard to find that size tube over here.   :lamp:

Offline Darth Chasm

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2018, 05:58:59 PM »
Here's another.

Mini drill chuck. Good for holding small pieces making it easier to work with them. And holds more than the usual 1/8" max of pin vises.


Offline Darth Chasm

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2018, 03:24:29 PM »
Not really obscure but definitely not common. USB microscope.



This was a pic taken from it, but the beauty is in the live feed to your computer screen. The image is HUGE!! I use Quicktime on Mac.


Offline SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2018, 05:39:51 AM »
Okay, so, not really as much an obscure tool as a site, but if you have access to an FDM 3D printer, Thingiverse is a godsend. There is a  bit of saber specific stuff (although you've got to wade through a lot of 3d saber models to find it) but the real gold is the Tools section. Drilling jigs, tool holders, vices, you name it, someone has probably made a 3d printable version you can download for free. Here's a 3 Jaw lathe chuck I downloaded and printed:


I have it mounted in my drill press. It's not sturdy enough for lathe work, but it holds onto cylindrical objects well enough to make sanding just so much easier. And when unmounted, I can use it to hold round objects for drilling, which has always been a pain with a regular two jaw vice.

And if it, or some part of it gets destroyed, no big whoop, just print out another.

Link to that 3 Jaw chuck: 2.5inch Three Jaw Chuck by mdkendall - Thingiverse
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Offline prnavy888

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2018, 05:56:35 PM »
Glad to hear the rubber stoppers worked... purchased a couple and plan to acid etch using pasta-dip to seal the ends with the stoppers.  Thanks.
Best Regards,
prnavy888

Offline SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #58 on: November 18, 2018, 11:37:05 AM »
Okay, got two more, both reccomended to me by a friend from my local hackspace


Bottom one's a handheld swivel deburring tool. I got it to remove the elephant's footing you get on the first layer of 3D prints, but it cuts steel and aluminium, too. Very sharp little blade on that thing.

Top one is a tube of solder paste. The stuff is meant for surface mount/reflow soldering, but it can also be used with a regular soldering iron, and it melts at a much lower temperature than wire solder, and you can blast it with a heat gun, in a pinch. Just splice or twist together two wires, slather on a bit of solder paste, apply heat, done.

The major downside is that I've yet to come across a brand that isn't loaded full of lead, so it's not 100% safe, health-wise.

Also, general advice: have a google and see if there are any hackspaces, hackerspaces, makerspaces or anything like that around you, and give them at least a visit on an open evening (or whenever they're open to the public). I couldn't have completed my last four sabers without joining my local one, and using the 3D printers and laser cutter they have.
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Offline EL1

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Re: Obscure tools, tips & tricks of the trade
« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2018, 08:22:11 PM »
Here's something I just made tonight with the Help of @jbkuma. Thanks for answering my questions.

It's a neopixel light that I will attach to the spindle of my mill for additional direct lighting. One of the coolest things is the electronics case. I think its an Xbox memory card case from back in the day hah.


This was brilliant! Great idea... A 'ring light' for power tools. I'm picking up a few cheap LED ring versions for this.