Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tools - Tweezers

TweezersWhen the item I need to grab is too small for the pliers, it's time to reach for some tweezers.

I suppose most modellers have several pairs of these kicking around - every cheap toolkit seems to come with a straight pair. It's logical that if you are doing fine work then you need tweezers to hold all those tiny pieces. Sadly the basic straight, rounded ended versions aren't the best in the world. Making them out of a relatively soft alloy doesn't help much either.

My 5A tweezers are made from stainless steel and have sharpish points on the end. The steel is hard enough to allow a decent bit of pressure on the grip without bending anything. Slightly angled points just seem to allow better access when furkling around. Between uses, they live in the same balsa block that hold out of use knives. When I remember to put them back of coure - there are 3 sets on my bench so I can locate at least one in a hurry...

The sprung versions are a soldering tool. Parts can be gripped and held together while heat is applied. On the other hand you can hold one part against another and apply the iron. The metal doesn't seem to act as a heat sink in any tangible way unlike a pair of pliers which can cool a joint faster than an iron can warm it.

You'll notice a bit of paint on the metal - that's because the tweezers make handy ways to grasp anything being brush painted. For example, a set of wagon wheels can be held by the axle so the wheels can be blackened yet your fingers stay clean.

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