Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Uses For A Coffee Stirrer #197

It's strange how sometimes the most mundane objects can become indispensable modelling tools.

Take, for example, the humble wooden coffee stirrer.

I have a stash of these (liberated from my work canteen when it was closing) which I find handy for mixing the two part resin for casting kit parts

The stuff sticks like sugar to a blanket (or a similar phrase) and so it's best to have something disposable to use because you only get a handful of mixes out of each stick before the tip becomes entombed in a blob of hard resin.

I found another use for one of them the other day when I began the fiddly task of soldering up a batch of handrails for the first of my trio of Super Barns.

These handrails are a bit of a pain in the posterior to model because they have a T joint at each end where they fix onto the carriage body rather than a simple 90 degree bend like any sensible designer would have used, which would be nice and easy to model.

In order to keep burnt finger tips to a minimum, and to ensure they're all produced to the same dimensions, it makes sense to have a jig which does two jobs at the same time.

This is where the coffee stirrer comes in....

By carefully drilling two holes in the side of the stick - there's just a enough meat on them to put a 0.5mm hole in there - I can insert two small lengths of wire which will be held firmly in place while I offer up a longer length of wire and make two quick solder joints.

And voila! A handrail.

Here's how they look in place on the carriage.

So, that's one down - only another 23 to go...

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