Monday, February 15, 2010

Tools - Scalpel

ScalpelsI'm a bit light on actual model making activity to write about this week, so let's have a quick tour around the workbench to see what tools are lying around.

First up, that most basic of modelling requirements, a good knife.

My preference is for a Swann-Morton Scalpel. I've tried snap-off blade knives, X-acto things and always return to my scalpel.

At the top is a the retractable blade version which is nice an chunky to hold and offers goo blade protection when not in use. The knife live on the bench and so this is important as it's likely to bounce off other metal tools. There's the added advantage of reducing the opportunity for me to cut myself too ! One point to watch - the holder does wear out eventually. A groove opens above the blade and one day you'll find the point digging in to the top when you try and slide it out. For a while you just don't retract the blade fully but eventually give in and replace the handle.

Below this is a standard Number 3 handle. This has to live point down in a block of balsa fixed to the bench between uses.

My blade of choice is the 10A. The fresh blade is fitted to the retractable first and when it loses its edge, gets transferred to the standard version. Thus, the best work is carried out with the best handle and less jobs by the simpler one. Those lesser jobs include prising objects apart and working filler, stuff that doesn't needs a sharp edge but is better done with a knife.

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