Pictures of Tools and Equipment of my Scratchbuilding Workshop

As the number of pictures has increased to an amount that hardly fits on a single webpage, I decided to put groups of them on separate pages:

Workdesk overall minipic This is my workdesk for model building. It is seldom as clean as on the picture. Basic tools are the architect's lamp with luminescent light, the 12V-24V transformer for both the temperature controlled Weller Soldering Iron and the Proxxon Motor Tool. The small ball jointed vise is fixed to the desk surface. The flat working plate is a piece of a ceramic tile. The lighter in front of the transformer is often needed for the gas soldering torch.
Vise minipic This is the vise I use in the everyday work. Its ball fixing base allows to tilt or turn the top in the direction that is the most convinient for the task to be done.The original vacuum base was removed as it was very unreliable. It removed just in the moment when one needed the strongest fixing.
Kando loco model triangles in the vise The Kando-triangles of the MÁV Class V40 Kandó loco model in the vise. They were drilled, cut and filed to shape together, just for the last filing step they were separated from the common base.
Self made height gauge This height gauge was made by myself. I needed a height gauge but found the price for the industry quality items extremely high. Thus I made one from an old Russian caliper. The brass block was milled to shape and a slot was milled in the top. The outer jaw of the caliper was grinded away. A small brass rod with a marking needle forms the height gauge.
Piercin saw minipic I could never understand why the jeweller's piercing saws cost so much, much more than simple saws of piercing saws for woodworking. I made a piercing saw from a cheap $3 metal saw. Only the blade fixation parts should be turned and filed to shape, and a threaded hole was needed.
Soldering Iron minipic This is the 50W Weller temperature controlled Soldering Iron that I use for both model building and electronics jobs. It has the temperature control electronics in the handle and thus operates from a simple 60W 24V AC power unit.
Resistance soldering unit This is a home-made resistance soldering unit. The carbon rod was salvaged from an AA size zinc-carbon battery. It is mounted in a brass rod that has 5mm (0.2") external and 4mm (0.16") internal diameter. This also has a threaded hole on the other end to fix the stranded copper wire. The whole assembly is fixed in a wooden file handle. Plastic handle is not suitable due to the brass rod's temperature during soldering. The other pole is a simple battery clamp. There is a foot switch also available for the transformer. The same transformer is used for resistance soldering as seen on the workdesk picture. The 12V AC outlet is perfect for resistance soldering.
C-Clamps These are the C-clamps that are very important for fixing the parts for soldering. The best one is the upper self made type. It has rather small touch surface that dissipates only little heat from the brass surface. The other ones are cheap aluminium clamps.
Pin vises minipic The left one is a hand vise, that is not very usable. The other four tools are different pin vises. Interestingly the right two ones with the plastic handle are the best ones. They keep the pieces rather well fixed and allow through going rods or wires to be fixed.
Csipeszek minipic A model builder needs several tweezers. I use a fine quality type for sensitive parts, a cheap, strong version for soldering. Those one on the right side is a crossed tweezer, this can keep parts alone - but not very effectively.
Wheel puller tool minipicThis is the tool I use to pull off the wheels from the axles. The two halves are opened and the wheelset is put in the hole. The rim is there to keep the hub rather than the tire during hitting out the axle downwards.
Old rivering tool minipicThis is the hand operated riveting tool. The brass block on the top is the hammer. In hole of the upper part of the C-structure is the riveting punch that is kept in an upper position by a bent bronze spring band. Below the punch there is the replacable die. Behind the die you can see the guide. The guide distance from the die is settable using the set screw in the back side.
New rivering tool minipicThis is the electrically operated riveting tool. It can be mounted to the CNC drill machine replacing the motor tool. The solenoid is a recycled daisy-wheel printer component. The punch is mounted to the end of a flexible guide strip rather than guided by the hole as it was for the old riveting tool. The workpiece to be riveted should be mounted "flying" above the CNC tools workplate as the die should move freely below it.
Szegecselôgép minipic This is the third, the newest reincarnation of my riveting tool. The solenoid-driven tool had some major flaws. The hits were not intense enough, the "rivet heads" were not really round, not even on 0.2mm (0.008") thick brass, on 0.3mm (0.012") sheet they were almost invisible. I made many experiments to strenghten the solenoid. I added a large capacitor to discharge it fast, but the switch quickly burnt through. I applied a power transistor, but it also had a limited lifetime. Thus I reconstructed the riveting tool, almost from scratch.

The C-clamp, punch and die were taken over from the previous version, but the drive is different. This made also necessary to construct a new baseplate, as the old one was not wide enough. The new drive is made from a small motor and gearset with a mounted crank. I found this unit in a salvaged magtape drive, it was the drive that inserted and ejected the cartridge. I constructed a hammer to it. The drive makes always a full turn with the crank, this lifts the hammer and lets to drop on the punch. When working automatically it looks like moving toy figures in the shop windows before Christmas.

Szegecselôgép minipic For the system it is important that after hitting the sheet the drive lifts the hammer and stops when the hammer is in upper position. In this moment the CNC table can be moved to the next rivet's position. To achieve this a disc was mounted on the backside of the crank-axle. This disc is painted 3/4 black and 1/4 white. There is a small light sensor mounted on the back wall which lets the motor stopping only if the white section is in front of it. In this case the hammer is always in the upper position.
Riveted sheet minipicThis picture shows the Class 342 model's smokebox lagging, still before rolling. The rivet rows were made by the CNC driven riveting tool.
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This page was updated last time on 23th January 2005
© János Erö