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#1 Rambo

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:22 PM

Alright, one thing I haven't seen ever is a list of tools that everyone uses for mods. I don't do many mods, but I'm going to start. I don't really have any tools to add to the list, but I would like to have a "directory" for them for people to know what other people use, and what works best. If you just want to post what you use, or post a little review with it, I will keep a running list in this post. I do realize that there is a modding materials thread, but I think that this is a little different, and hope to manage it better.


----------Brass---------
------K&S Brass Tubing Cutter(Hobby Lobby) - Used by Renegade and LastManAlive

Edited by RAMBO, 10 November 2006 - 07:07 PM.

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#2 Renegade

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 05:34 PM

K&S Brass Tubing Cutter

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+ Great for cutting brass. Works the same way as a PVC cutting tool. Makes a more precise cut than using a saw or dremel to cut brass.

- Curves brass on end of cut inward. Needs to be pushed back to normal by twisting a knife or something simaler to push the ends back out.

Overall excellent tool. Purchased for $5ish at a Hobby Lobby store.
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#3 LastManAlive

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:32 PM

I confirm this, I love their cutter. It doesn't leave as much of an indent if you use a regular pipe cutter, but you can solve the problem of it bening in with a flaring kit. By putting a brass barrel on my LS, the darts did not load very easily until I flared the end of the barrel out some, thus allowing the darts to enter the barrel easily and making a clean fire.
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#4 TED

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 11:06 PM

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This is called a screwdriver it is used to unscrew or screw in screws.
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#5 Cthulhu

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 11:13 PM

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THis is called a dremmel. It is a power tool (use with adult supervision). It can be used to anything from cutting, to drilling, to sanding.
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Whats with you idiots and all these ancient god names? Call it FuckingPecan or something.

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#6 CaptainSlug

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 11:19 PM

3, 2, 1, Giant Post!

Caliper: You are working with many parts where you need to accurate measure inner and outer diameters. A caliper is the only way to measure such dimensions predictably. Even a cheap caliper used in concert with a ruler will be better than using a ruler alone.

Carpenter's Square: I had never realized how useful these could be until I was without the one I inhereted from my grandfather. A good 12" x 6" steel Carpenter's Square is an invaluable measuring tool. Especially so if you do any work with sheets of material.

Hacksaw: If you need to cut the shell of a Nerf gun or PVC pipe any kind of hacksaw will do.

ScrollSaw: Ideal for detail work and causes MUCH less friction that other reciprocating blade tools. Could ideally be used for the majority of cutting work that doesn't involve precise 90-degree measurement cuts. CAN be used for interior plunge cutting if a 11/16th to 1/4 inch pilot hole is drilled into the material. The blade than be untensioned and fed through the pilot hole.

TableSaw: In order to work with plastics you will need to purchase and use an OSB/Plywood blade (200 teeth) to prevent from cracking/splitting your sheets, which can lead to shrapnel. Higher bite angles work better for most plastics. This is the perfect tool for cutting sheets to square dimensions precisely. Tablesaws that have the vital parts constructed from plastic will not last as long as ones made primarily from metal. So just be aware that if you buy a cheap Table Saw, don't expect it to last anywhere near as long as a $400 one. I personally own a Sears Craftsman contractor's table saw because I know several people who have owned Table Saws of that brand for 10 years or more.

BandSaw: Fairly good tool for cutting plastics without splitting, or cracking sheets. Can melt extruded acrylic very quicky if setup improperly. Also one of the easiest tools to control the resulting mess from because all of the shaving come directly out of the bottom. DO NOT buy a new bandsaw that's cheaper than $125. These have alot of moving parts, so unless you can find an industrial-grade bandsaw at an estate or garage sale it's best to buy a quality name brand unit. Cheaper models may be finicky however and this is a very difficult tool to properly calibrate and maintain. So if you have a limited budget and little experience it may be best to opt for a TableSaw instead.

Jigsaw: A fairly good substitute for a ScrollSaw, especially when used for interior/detail cutting or sheet trimming. Much more predictable and variable for plastic cutting than a rotary tool. Use metal smooth-cut (24tpi) blades for most cutting. For smaller cuts or low heat tolerance materials scroll-cut wood blades (10tpi upcut/downcut) are recommended. Mine is setup upside-down and attached to a shelfboard to allow me to cut sheets without having to back them with plywood (which I recommend for normal jigsaw operation but can be difficult to setup safely).
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DrillPress: Far more controllable and precise than a hand power drill. Will allow you to use spade bits for larger holes as well as help you control your downforce.

Drill Bit Set: for holes smaller than 1/4" any drill bit set seems to work fine. But for larger hole diameters a plastic specific set or a good variety of spade bits is essential. I prefer using spade bits over hole saws or larger drill bits if I'm working with plastics (except for ABS and polypropylene which get "gummy" when spade bits are used).

Low grit count rotary sanding bits or stone grinding bits: These are very useful for shaping and smoothing out plastic sheet edges with either a rotary tool or a drillpress.

Rotary Tool: While you can most likely do without this tool entirely, it's perfect for smaller shaping and etching tasks. It's not very useful for cutting most plastics though. If you do need to use one for cutting plastics use a toothed cutting wheel and not one meant to cut with abrasion.

Needle Files: A triangular needle file works best for flat surfaces and a round one is great for curves. Bot are used for cleaning the edges of sheet after initial cutting, and before sanding them to a finished edge.

X-acto knifes: These can be use to carve softer plastics or use the dull side to deburr cut edges of plastic sheets. A good variety of blade shapes and lengths is recommended.

Heat gun (30w minimum): USE THIS WITH LEATHER WORK GLOVES, PLIERS, AND A FILTER MASK. This tool is extremely useful and allows you to heat-warp Acrylic and lower thicknesses of Polycarbonate. Must be used outdoors since sheets can leech fumes and the tool itself can be a fire hazard. You have to be careful with it though, and refusing to wear protective gloves will lead to injury. Hot plastic gets tacky and will stick to skin or burn you really quickly. Nevermind that you're also working with a tool that operates above 350F. DO NOT USE GLOVES THAT ARE NOT LEATHER or otherwise unrated as fireproof.

Sandpaper or Sanding Sponge(250 to 1000 grit): If you want finished edges, this will be the most effective method. Flame polishing is a difficult method to perfect so I don't recommend it unless you have a stockpile of scrap to practice on first. When sanding plastic you don't have to progress as slowly as you would when sanding metal, so you may only need 3 sheets (400g, 800g, and 1000g) to get glossy edges.

IPS Weld-on #3 or #4: This is an extremely useful and effective plastic solvent that fuses ABS, Polycarbonate, and Acrylic together (in any pure combination of the three). Simply brush onto or apply to contact area with syringe then secure pieces together in the final form you want. #3 formula is slightly thicker and faster setting, while #4 is water-thin and sets more securely. #4 is recommended for anything you are trying to make air-tight because it's thin enough to use capillary action to fill all of the gaps between the sheets you are joining together. In order to join sheet edges securely and tightly make sure they are sanded to atleast 400grit level and are straight enough to make a scure bond. You do not have to apply any contact pressure to get a good chemical bond. Over application will lead to ugly, but working joints. Can be applied an reapplied as needed without complications.
It's a good idea to use this in a ventilated area, and while it will not adhere your skin to plastic it WILL create permanent fingerprints. This is a mildly toxic substances so excessive skin contact is not a good idea.
It with also work with butyrates and styrenes, but I have not tested it on polypropylene or polyethylene yet so you'll need to ask a plastics shop about compatability. I do know that it is completely incompatible with all PVC plastic blends so avoid buying ABS/PVC (Kydex T). ABS/PVC is a crappy plastic anyways. If you need a specific solvent for a material, check out the wide range of products available from IPS: http://www.ipscorp.com
Both #3 and #4 (and a whole host of other plastic adhesives) are available from McMaster (page 3229).
To apply Weld-on accurately and safely I recommend using 3ml luer-lock syringes with flexible PTFE tubing "needles".
These can be purchased from medical supply, or through industrial supply catalogs such as McMaster (part #s 7510A651 & 75175A691)

Aluminum ducting tape: Why use electrical tape when you can use something that's waterproof, durable, and won't decay over time? It's also a very effective way to plug up holes that you couldn't otherwise plug up with hot glue. It's also very decorative.

Swimming goggles: For the most part plastic isn't dangerous to work with since the particulates create from cutting are low weight and low velocity so impact resistance is less of a concern. However, goggles are vital for protecting your eyes from dust and shavings while tooling or sanding. I had many problems with regular safety goggles which had too much ventilation which allowed the dust to enter the goggles. Otherwise...

Safety Glasses: You only get one pair of eyes, and eye surgery is expensive, painful, and dibilitating.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 11 November 2006 - 07:22 PM.

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#7 z80

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 08:37 AM

I confirm this, I love their cutter. It doesn't leave as much of an indent if you use a regular pipe cutter, but you can solve the problem of it bening in with a flaring kit. By putting a brass barrel on my LS, the darts did not load very easily until I flared the end of the barrel out some, thus allowing the darts to enter the barrel easily and making a clean fire.

To flare my brass out, I use a pair of needlenosed pliers, which are also usefully for bending metal or snaping off plastic. Also, to help prevent the brass for indenting, you can put a dowel one size smaller in.
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#8 Rambo

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 01:21 PM

Smart asses, I didn't mean general tool names. I meant brand names with a review and possibly where to buy.
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#9 Uncle Hammer

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 02:25 PM

You said tools for modding. They gave you tools for modding. I'd like to to see you mod a gun without a screwdriver.
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#10 CaptainSlug

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:19 PM

Places to buy tools
+ http://www.harborfreight.com/
- DO NOT buy power tools from them. They won't last. Harbor freight is good for hand tools and accessories though
+ http://www.sears.com
- Often times expensive, but you'll eventually be writing these tools into your will
+ http://www.mcmaster.com
- Has everything and some rather specific tools that I have a hard time finding anywhere else. Great prices on everything except power tools because they only stock contractor grade equipment
+ http://www.grainger.com
- Make sure to compare their prices with other locations. Their stock can be 15% cheaper, or 100% more expensive depending on what it is you are buying. They do have warehouse outelet locations near many major cities in the United States.
+ Home Depot
- Has good deals on Jigsaw sets, Power drills, Drillpresses, etc. Their selection of brands is limited and I don't recommend buying more expensive power tools from them because their return policy and customer service outright blows. It took me 2 months to return a table saw that came in inoperable condition.
+ Lowes
- Somewhere inbetween Sears and Home Depot in terms of quality and pricing.

Smart asses, I didn't mean general tool names. I meant brand names with a review and possibly where to buy.

If you want brand specific reviews go to sites that provide those. As far as I'm aware nobody here is a contractor that has had the opportunity to buy an assortment of brands. You weren't specific, so the replies you received weren't specific.
And you don't buy tools for their Pros or Cons, you buy a tool because it's what you need to get the job done efficiently and safely. I personally despise rotary tools such as dremels because I think they're clumsy, expensive to operate, and damned noisy. But I'm not going to blanketly discourage people from using them because there are same tasks that only a rotary tool can perform. For general task however there are much better tools. No single tool can do everything and do it well.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 11 November 2006 - 07:34 PM.

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#11 bigbob

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:53 AM

In response to Captainslug's list of places to buy from, I have something to say about sears. If you purchase sear's brand tools, they come with a lifetime warranty, and you can return broken ones for new ones. My dad has gone through three or four sets of pliers, and every one but the first has been free. Even if it is only slightly worn out, like the grip is wearing away, you can return it for new ones. It really is worth the price. I know this works on hand tools, but I do not know about power tools.
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#12 Rambo

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 12:03 PM

CaptainSlug, the smart ass comment was not directed at you; your post was good, I will be editing the first post today.

To be clear, I am interested in brand names that are good. Posts like Slugs will also be edited in to the list.
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#13 Pineapple

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 03:16 PM

Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite modding tools, when it comes to bodywork and case mods.


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Ace Hardware; diagonal cutter

I use it to snip away the general areas that I want removed. Then I go in with the Dremel and touch it up/ finish cut and smooth out.

The only time I only go all-Dremel, is when I need to use the cut-off portion for something else, or to re-integrate it back to the original location (as in an access panel or to put difficult integrations back together.)

It also shortens springs quite nicely, when that becomes necessary.

Other than that, that diagonal cutter is always used on my workbench. Everyone makes them of one kind or another.



Brand names; Most of my hand tools are either Stanley, Snap-On, or ACE hardware brand.

Power tools I have, are DeWalt, Ryobi, Makita, and of course, Dremel.

Bottom line; you get what you paid for. I've bought really cheapie no-brand hand AND power tools, and they didn't last more than a couple of months.



-Piney-
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#14 CaptainSlug

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 06:54 PM

Cheap no-name brand power tools from my experience can also be VERY dangerous. Paying an extra $10 on a jigsaw could mean the difference between 2 or 3 months of very dangerous work or 1 or 2 years of predictable and safe work.
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The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?

#15 Cthulhu

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 06:26 PM

Safety Glasses: You only get one pair of eyes, and eye surgery is expensive, painful, and dibilitating.


ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES- I've had many close calls with power tools and am glad I've worn safety goggles . Remember: It CAN happen to you

You said tools for modding. They gave you tools for modding. I'd like to to see you mod a gun without a screwdriver.


Thats hilarious... but seriously you could use a power drill to remove the screws and use pins to give you gun the ability to be "feild stripped" .
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QUOTE(WratH @ Sep 5 2006, 02:45 PM) View Post

Whats with you idiots and all these ancient god names? Call it FuckingPecan or something.

Mmmmmm.... Pie

#16 General Cole

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:16 PM

Or to field strip the gun use only cut down screws in about 3-4 essential locations and have a screw driver in your pocket, works for me.
We should stop calling out/making fun of/pissing GC off. He's actually contributed and is available for trade. He's a better than average member no doubt. Got your back Cole.
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You know what... I know it's kinda late... but Props Cole.
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