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How To Make a Model Case

WSMS Member Carl Erickson is providing these instructions on making your own model case from acrylic for around $20.

Ed Theiler provides a comprehensive guide to build a more professional looking clear plastic acrylic case for larger size, and  models.  Click here to see.

How to make blocks for miniature sailing ships

By Peter Gutterman  
     In rigging a sailing ship of small scale such as 1:?? or less wooden blocks are too small to practically be made of wood. In addition, they are so small in those scales as to not be discernible by the naked eye.  None the less, it is necessary to have rig lines as if they were running through a block.  The following is a method I have used with success.   I tie very small split rings to the lines I want to rig and loop the tackle end through as many times as required (e.g. once for a single block, twice for a double, etc.). When rigged I apply a drop of c.a. gel(or any highly viscous glue/cement)to fill the ring, allow to cure thoroughly, re-apply if necessary, and apply a drop of the appropriate color paint to the "block'.
    Sistered (double, triple, etc) blocks can be made by tying 2 or more rings together,& proceeding as before.   To make split rings I secure the appropriate diameter sewing needle in a pinvise (the kind with a ball handle and rotating shank is best), thread one end of a piece of 26 to 30 gauge soft wire through the eye of the needle(hammer the end of the wire flat if  necessary to thread through the eye of the needle) and rotate until the wire is securely wound down the needle like a spring. Nip off the secured end. slide it off the needle and nip off 1 ring at a time. A reeeeeeeally sharp & sturdy jawed pair of tiny thread scissors works best for this, and it helps to nip them into a box because they like to fly everywhere!  You will need to flatten them and maybe crimp the ends shut as well, again the little beggers are escape artists so keep them captured as best you can. Throwing a few outside or into the corners of the shop as an offering to the gremlins is helpful, but no guarantee against loss. 

Long-Distance Hole Making

Many times we are faced with the challenge of drilling a hole that requires a very long drill bit to reach past obstacles. Long drill bits are available, but they are expensive and hard to get. Recently, I was faced with this problem while working on my 1/96-scale USS monitor. I needed to drill the hole in the hull for the propeller shaft. The overhang of the hull prevented me from getting a drill close to the hole, and none of my bits were long enough. My cheap solution? Super glue and brass tubing.

I needed to make a 1/8-inch hole, so I used some K&S 5/32 tubing that has a 1/8-inch inner diameter from the hobby shop. I superglued the drill bit into the end of the tubing and then drilled the hole. Superglue bond is more than strong enough for drilling wood or resin. When you are done, just hold the drill bit/tubing joint in a candle flame or use a heat gun, and the glue will release. I use this method to hold metal parts such bearing caps together all the time for machining. Simple heat application releases the parts.

Submitted by Bruce Buchner.