Friday, May 11, 2018

My first modelling knife

File this one under "Tools, I had forgotten were still available."

These disposable knives from Stanley are the very same tools that introduced me to model making many, many years ago.

Given one of these and a big bag of balsa wood offcuts by my Dad, I proceeded to hack and glue away - leading me to the work I do today.

I picked this pack up for a quid - yes a single English pound - from a stand at the model engineering show a few months ago. How can they be made so cheaply?

Mind you, young Phil would have picked up the bad habit of using a blade well past it's best before date. I'm pretty certain I was only given one knife. But then balsa is pretty soft.


Mark said...

Yes, these were the first modelling tools I used as well. I think mine were put to use on some Metcalfe building kits with a little help from my Dad. Happy times.

Huw Griffiths said...

I wonder if young Phil would also have picked up the habit of sharpening, resharpening, re-re-sharpening, re-re-re-sharpening blunted blades, to delay the dreaded day when one of the things ends up in a sharps tin.

OK Phil, I'm not saying you've ever done this particular trick - but I know that a lot of people do, especially with those nice, tough, X-Actos (and their clones).

In practice, of course, this can sometimes be perfectly workable, if people have gained enough experience to know what they are doing.

However, I must admit that I've never used those other knives - and I'd be wary about using them on anything more rigid than Oasis foam - just a personal opinion, you understand … .

Christopher said...

I started with a Swann-Morton craft knife with a black plastic handle and two different blades -- because the brother of my friend who lived across the road used to use one to build balsa glider kits. (I had to buy it myself out of pocket money!) The handle didn't survive heavy use, and I eventually replaced it with a solid brass one from Squires many years later. Both blades are still in use, even though the curved one is now rather blunt...