Making accurate cuts in soft brass or copper wire is not easy. Often dents form at the cut which must be filed away. When the cut is made on a mounted wire, it becomes even more difficult. Try using a nail clipper. It doesn't pinch and dent the wire and is a good tool for making accurate cuts.
A small, accurate sanding stick can be made by gluing a small disk of fine (400-600 grit) sandpaper to the end of a pencil. The disks can be quickly made with a paper punch and attached to the pencil with white glue. The sticks are twirled between your fingers and are excellent for removing blobs of paint or glue or for removing unwanted lettering on rolling stock.
MB & LH
To solder a joint in a hard to reach spot, wind a piece of brass wire around the tip of the soldering iron. Form this into a tip and bend the wire to fit the location. Tin the tip of the wire. The wire will reach almost the same temperature as the soldering iron.
To make ordinary ACC fill gaps use baking soda. You know the stuff in the yellow box with the cow on the front. Spread a small amount of baking soda between the two parts and apply the ACC. The baking soda will soak up the ACC. In a short while the two parts are glued together with no gap. This is great for strengthening 90 degree wall corners on resign kits.
We always keep two hobby knives in operation. One has a new fresh blade, when this dulls, it is put into another handle (marked clearly with masking tape) to become a rough work blade. It's rather depressing to put in a brand new blade only to destroy it by hacking at plaster, metal, hardwood, or other rough jobs that quickly make the cutting edge unsuitable for fine work on wood or paper.
For drilling holes in plaster scenery, I use a finish nail chucked into a power drill or Dremel tool. The smooth nail drills more easily into these materials, leaves less plaster dust, and avoids destroying costly drill bits.
I use a lot of liquid plastic cement that comes in round bottles. To keep from tipping them over on the workbench, I made a simple rack by boring a couple of bottle-size holes about 3/4 of the way through a piece of 2 x 4. A couple of 1/4" d. holes will also holed the applicator brushes.
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