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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wanting to get started in customizing for a long time. I love seeing what you guys do to these cars and am always amazed by your craftiness and creativity. But I've been so reluctant to try my own hand at this.

This year I'm thinking of asking Santa for some of the basics tools needed to get my feet wet. He says there's a Harbor Freight near him that has awesome sales this time of year and it would never be cheaper than now.

I was wondering what you guys would recommend that Santa bring a novice looking to get started down this twisted road? Thanks for your help.
 

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I just started doing this as well.
A Dremel tool seems to be high on the use list, and I just picked up a canned compressed air/ air brush setup to try out.
 

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Needle files, a medium-sized bastard & finishing file, chisel-point drill bit set, pack of 3/16th drill bits, if you don't have one a varible speed drill (for drilling out rivets), a good task light (maybe one with a built-in magnifying glass, xacto knife kit, twizzers, scribing tools, a cheap caliper, dental pick set, pop-sicle (hobby) sticks, detail/minature screw driver set, self-healing craft cutting mat, watch-makers vise, a bunch of dremel tood cut-off & grinding disks

From someplace else, good quality wet & dry sand paper asst. (you get what you pay for), Simple Green (for paint stripping), epoxy putty, J-B Quick (Weld), hobby saw and miter

From your Dr, xanax or it's equivalent
 

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And don't forget to ask for a big can of "PATIENCE" {man this paint won't dry quick!! wanna see this one finished!!!}
 

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Cordless variable speed drill for taking them apart. For simple jobs a can of carb cleaner and Q-Tips for tampo removal. I'm a true believer in Kleen Strip Aircraft Remover for stripping paint. A bright floodlight and a VERY understanding spouse/family. :wave:
A digital camera is nice (we love seeing pics!)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Okay, I've been taking notes and checking Harbor Freight Tool's website and flyers. I already have an X-acto set, and a cordless drill for drilling out rivets. here's the wish list so far:

-self-healing craft cutting mat (Micheal's Craft Store?) to protect my desk.
-clamp-on magnifying lens with built-in light (kill 2 birds with one stone)
-variable speed rotary tool kit (with attachment kit)
-paint pens for detailing (black, red, amber)
-set of picks
-set of small files
-set of tweezers
-sandpaper (what grades?)
-those "multiple hands" set-up
-jewelers saw
-caliper
- set of paintbrushes for detailing
-small inexpensive airbrush kit (until i get good enough for a good one!)
-acetone to remove tampos
-Kleen Strip (Wal Mart, I believe?)
-JB Weld

Can anyone point out something they use a lot that I might have missed, please?


Wondering what the tubing was for, Camarors; exhaust pipe?

Years ago, my dad built aircraft models and he used a liquid masking tape from a place called The Squadron Shop. Anybody know if something like this is still around?

I don't know what interest I'm going to end up liking best; wheel swaps, zingerizing or de-zingerizing, body mods, painting, decals, who knows. I'd like to try my hand at all of it to see which I like best. I know I can search this forum and find threads about all of it, and I see from watching that you guys are always happy to answer questions from a newbie. I'm getting excited about Christmas now!

Oh, I found a tool checklist at that HotWorldCustoms site:
http://www.hotworldcustoms.com/tools2.htm

I'll use this as I get more experienced and want to do more. Thanks guys.
 

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I use aluminum tubing for, axle housings, exhaust pipes, roll bars. Larger sizes can be used for hood scoops, fender skirts.
 

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Silver paint pen for detailing door handles, trim, wheels...
A box of toothpicks - better than brushes for detailing...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Spent some time on that HotWorldCustoms website, man that site is fantastic, dip! Tells you what tools you should have, lots and lots of "how to's". Awesome site for a newbie!

I'll also be sure to do a search here for specific things as well; you guys have blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow, I might as well make use of your experiences.
 

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sandpaper (what grades?)
I use 220 the most I found out when sanding bondo and epoxy. I have quite a few different grits all the way up to 1,000 for wetsanding.
KleenStrip
WalMart or your local auto parts store. Rubber gloves and safety glasses. This stuff will burn you!
JB WELD
Be sure to get JB Quick Weld. Sets up in about 5 minutes.
Masking tape
Tamiya is the best I've used. To keep cost down I mask the working edges with this and large areas near it with blue painters tape.

When using your jewelers saw save the broken blades. Trust me, you will have quite a few. Good for fine finger work and all around handy. I still havent made a bandsaw with one yet, plan to.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I took a big step towards customizing this week ...... there has been literally 50 years worth of crap accumulated in this basement (house has been in the family since new) and I could never find a thing down there, though I knew we had one of everything. There was a workbench underneath all that crap somewhere too, I was told. Well, I started tackling that basement, and let me tell you that basement LOST, I kicked butt on that thing!

Completely cleared out that corner of the basement, got rid of fifty years worth of useless pack-rat crap, and even broke out the shop vac that has been out of reach for four years! Once that corner was completely cleared and cleaned, I had myself TWO workbenches, with a fullsize AND a mini vice. Found some things I can use for working on my diecast, and have a really close place to store tubs o' Johnnies right beside the work bench. Even finally managed to get a handle on a bazillion tools that could never be found when we needed them (which led to having to buy MORE tools, which led to having more things to pile up/lose forever!). All are sorted and organized now.

So now I have a clean and clear area to work with, my own little "man cave", and a head start on some of the tools I was needing to buy! I am geeked!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, Santa was very good to me indeed. Well, I had to wait until this past weekend when Harbor Freight had a great sale with a bunch of coupons, but I got a real good jump on what I'll need to get started.

First, I got a 4 speed Dremel "knock-off" for $17 and a 249 piece accessory kit for $12. Got a light-up magnifying lamp that clamps to the workbench ($9) and a $14 electric drill (so I don't have to wreck the nice "house" drill). I was also given two used cordless drills a well. Picked up a couple of pairs of locking pliers ($2 ea) and two different sets of small clamps. Got a "cheesey" cheap airbrush kit to learn on ($5), a set of files and set of picks. ($9 together). A jewelers "loop" (sp?) for $2 and one of those "mutli-hand" things for $4. Oh, an assortment of fine wetsand paper (200-1200 grit) and a ruler with a depth gauge.

Picked up some Q tips, cotton balls, popsicle sticks. Already had some wire brushes, an X-acto kit, a tweezers set, Super Glue gel and Elmer's glue, and a bunch of other things. Just like to pick up a jewelers saw and a flat vise. Got to pack a bunch of my "project cars" into plastic tubs to put by the work bench, and I'll be in business!

My goal is to try my hand at several different things, see what I can do and what I need to learn, see what projects interest me the most. Maybe start with some de-tampoing, graduate into some wheel swaps, then who knows what. I got a new digital camera as well (my 3 year old Sony bit the dust) so I'll get that up and running to post picks of my initial efforts. I look forward to putting into use all the tips I've read from you great people here, as well (I created a reference folder for as many as I could find!).
 

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Looks like you are off to a great start but you forgot one thing.....

.......................:p:p """"" BANDAIDS """"" :p:p....................

When I first started I thought to myself " Bandaids ??? I dont need
no stinkin Bandaids. I will tell ya it sucks cutting ur fingertips when
sawing.

Have fun and get creative as that is usually what drives you forward.
 
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