Tech Detail: Deconstruction
"Grind It Down For Tech Detail" has become something of a running joke for me - whether it's how I describe a vehicle's value or worth, or even just an excuse to have tubs and tubs of Rubbermaid containers full of vehicle shells stacked up in my garage - but what does it really mean, and what can a person really do with it?
Well, here's my answer on how to "Grind It Down For Tech Detail." Granted, I have some power tools at my disposal to help me out, but the same things can be done with cheap hand tools from the hardware store -- it would just take a little longer.
My two main tools: a bandsaw and a bench sander:
And the main ingredient, fodder:
- Tech detail fodder 1.jpg
- Tech detail fodder 2.jpg
- So, let's start with the Bandsaw:
- And a vehicle shell, in this case - a MOBAT deck:
- And the piece i'm really interested in (see why in tomorrow's article):
- I'm not going to go too far into the use of the bandsaw, how to set it up, etc., but I will show you a quick set in how to get from a shell to a piece:
- And after all the cuts through the saw, I wind up with this:
- Then, we move on to the Sander to clean up the part I'm looking for:
- Next, I pull together a pile of HAVOC cockpit pieces, noticing that the small screen/controls would make for good details in either playset or custom vehicle installs:
- And here's what I wound up with after all the cuts:
- Havoc bits.jpg
- And then I clean up the edges a bit on one of them (check back tomorrow to see why):
- Then I really went to town on a box of shells, pulling out pieces I think may have a use someday, and ditching the rest:
- And I greatly reduced the volume that these plastics took up in my garage...
- Sometimes, I utilize this special 'cut off wheel' for my Dremel, especially for figure work (arms, neckballs, etc.,) -- it's actually a mini saw blade:
- But I've also run into a situation where I couldn't fit the item in my bandsaw, and was too intricate or painful to use hand tools or my Dremel -- so I break out the big gun -- a grinding blade for my table saw --
- Here I am working on cutting off the front from a shelled MCC to turn it into a playset insert (Bat Factory) in a Castle Destro/MARS Playset I'm dreaming up:
- Now, even then I couldn't get the height of the blade up high enough to cut all the way through, I was able to cut deep enough to get through the supports -- one good 'snap' and the piece was off:
- Not the cleanest break, but my bench sander fixed that right up. I also decided to take some of the extra material off the side of the piece, to showcase more of the stairs, and open up the 'front' of the piece a little more:
- Moving away from the 'Grinding Down' part, and just more to the 'Tech Detail' part, I tried a new tool in my arsenal: The Nibbler.
- Maybe for another day...
- I bought my Chopper (and Nibbler) from micromark.com.
If you are interested in this 'Grinding Down For Tech Detail' part of the hobby, I would recommend investing in some power tools. Yes, this can all be done with hand tools, and it's probably very rewarding... :shifty: But to really make good use of your time, the tools are a good investment. In order of importance and use (speaking for this hobby only) - I would first recommend the Bench Sander. Vehicle shells can be broken down any number of ways, including just breaking them -- but you can really dial in to what you want out of the detail with the bench sander -- and it's fast! The second tool I would recommend is the Band Saw. I would totally take this over any other saw, just from it's multi-purpose abilities. It especially outshines the Scroll saw simply in the fact that the blade only moves in one direction, which actually helps to hold the piece you're cutting to the table. The third item would be a Tablesaw with the Grinding blade -- but that's truly for the die-hards.
Finally, I would just like to mention that I've found it makes good sense to organize your tech detail. I've used a number of different ways, including labeled boxes, clear containers, and even just very specific containers, like my 'spring loaded weapons tech detail' cigar box -
Just dumping all your tech detail back into a big container makes it hard to use, and if you're not going to use it, why make it?
Good luck, be safe, and check out tomorrow's article, where I make some stuff out of this junk...