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How do you remove your parts?


Beardie
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Hi all, just wondering what techniques others use to remove their kit parts from the sprue. Personally at the moment I use cutters to remove the parts from the sprue and then remove the remains of the sprue gates with a sharp scalpel.

I was wondering if anyone has a definitive technique for clean and tidy removal. I was thinking of using a chisel type blade but the problem is that, in order to get a clean cut I would need some kind of "anvil" to place the sprue over to support the sprue gates while cutting the in order to avoid tearing the plastic around the sprue gate while cutting.

Anyone got any ideas on the ultimate way to do the job?

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I find myself using my JLC razor saw mostly nowadays for removing parts from the sprue. You get a nice close clean cut with no fracturing of the part you risk getting when using cutters.

Tim.

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I have no desire what so ever to remove my parts, the thought of a razor saw sends shivers down my spine

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I always use a sidecutter like the ones from Games Workshop.

It's flat on one side so you can get real close to the part and minimize the cleanup.

If you squeeze the cutter really slow the chance of the part going 'boing' is relativly low.

Cheers

Hans J

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Do you not find there is a risk of accidentally scoring nearby parts or parts with complex shapes?

There is a risk of damaging a part what ever method you use!

You just need to take care.

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Well I was thinking of either a narrow chisel type scalpel blade or even a small carving chisel and some kind of anvil and that way you could get into even the smallest areas to cut off the sprue gate in such a way that virtually no clean-up would be required and risk of damaging nearby detail would be minimized. I think I will dig into my tool boxes, if I can find them, and examine my carving chisels. I do have a miniature jewellers table-top anvil somewhere as well. I could cut a little bit out of a cheap cutting mat and glue it onto the anvil to provide a softish surface for the chisel to cut against.

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I use either good quality flat edged sidecutters, or a razor saw, depending on situation. The problem with the anvil/blade thing is that I think there will often be times when you can't get the part to sit flat on the anvil, which will leave things open to slipping and miscutting, not to mention damage to delicate personal parts such as fingers. (I broke a 2.5mm drill bit the other day, using a pin vice - I stabbed it through my knuckle, and I think I've done something serious, it's still very sore and swollen. Moral of the story - keep your delicate bits away from tools.)

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always used side cutters, when impossible I use a micro saw (cos they bend around corners!)attached to a scalpel handle, razor saw only for bulky resin parts and pour blocks

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I on the other hand am probably an odd one out here.

I actually used very fine nail scissors, very fine and sharp ones that saloons use.

I was making a kit once and i previously used games workshop side cutters, but they got misplaced, I borrowed some of my wife's nail cutters and accessories one day, as they looked quite useful, the curved ones were amazing, I've never gone back, been using them since.

The wife never knew

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Ouch that sounds like a nasty one Rob. Breakages are the main reason I switched to using a variable speed electric mini drill.

I must admit that, when it comes to cutting off the sprue, at the moment I use a pair of small Westcott titanium bonded scissors which are super tough, super sharp and at the same time come to a fine sharp point for getting in close.

The one thing that always bugs me is the final clean up of the stub that is left. If you use a scalpel it tends to move away from the edge of the item being trimmed as it proceeds along the part meaning I struggle to get a perfect clean up which is why I was thinking of the chisel blade as it would cleanly remove the entire sprue gate along it's length providing that you could get a good support for the part being cut, hence the anvil idea, however, I cannot come up with a universal anvil for parts that don't have a flat side. :hmmm:

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Mine are stil firmly attached and I've not had any real desire to have them detached. I've heard of guys who have had theirs kicked off and others who have lost them. Then tere are those who loose them on the floor... Her Magesty used to go to Wembley to kick them off at the cup final but I suppose in the end it's down to personal preference. STIC.

Colin

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Scalpel, side cutters, flush cutting snips, Liston cutters, jeweller's saw - whatever seems most suitable for the task in hand. I often cut the part off the sprue with a wide margin, then trim more precisely once it's off the sprue and better supported.

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I suppose it is part of the skill set of modelling to be able to cut and tidy up the parts. It would be nice if you didn't have to but I can't really see a way for manufacturers to do it that would'nt make kits ridiculously expensive and, if the parts came without the sprue it would make it significantly harder tracking down the parts you are looking for.

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Good one Beardie... something I'm working on 'perfecting' too. So far I've learned:

- side cutters for larger parts

- for small parts with 'boing risk' put bluetak under the part to save stress and make sure it stays put and scalpel off

- use a micro saw for clear parts as cutters can stress and damage the part. The blade's smooth enough to rest against the part without damage if you're careful

I then use a large (Swann Morton No 23) blade to trim the worst, especially on wings and fuselage halves. Sometimes this is also good to get the part off the sprue if you can get the angle right.

I also experimenting with the Molding Flash Sanders recommended on BM here. You need a variable speed drill for these (like your magnificent self-built jobby) but, in my experience so far, they're really good for cleaning up the parts, glue joins etc etc.

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One important thing I did learn a long time ago is that, with the tiny thin bits you get in kits (particularly Eduard) where the sprue gate is quite often thicker than the part the only way to avoid breakage is to take a very sharp scalpel and stroke it along the length of the sprue gate until the part parts company. The stress of side cutters or scissors has always met with failure for me on these parts.

I wonder if it is possible for the model companies to come up with a custom designed cutter with an in-built "anvil" to support the part during the cut with the cutting head at right angles to the end of the handles sort of like a miniature version of the long-handled shears you use to trim the edges of garden lawns. With a design along these lines you would be able to get a nice cut along the edge of the part without any other parts on the sprue or even the part you are cutting getting in the way of the tool grips and forcing you to make cuts at odd angles.

Any toolmakers out there who would fancy having a go at coming up with something along these lines?

Edited by Beardie
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Normally, side cutters, or a razor saw for resin or short run stuff with thick gates. I clean the parts up with an old nail file, or one of my miniature modelling files. If it's a difficult cut, it's done against my cutting mat. Never had to resort to a Dremel yet, except for Mach 2.

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