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Category: Useful Tools

USB Powered Vacuum For Model Trains

USB Powered Vacuum For Model Trains

On one of my late night shopping trips on AliExpress (or it might have been eBay, I do these shopping “trips” way too much!) I picked up an $8.00 USB powered vacuum. I thought it might be a useful little gadget when building my small scenes and layouts. I’ve had it in its box for […]

March 22, 2020 More
Proxxon Thermocut Hot Wire Cutter Unboxing And Setup

Proxxon Thermocut Hot Wire Cutter Unboxing And Setup

I recently went shopping for new utility knife to cut foam with and ended up with a Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter… and the utility knife too! I was watching a video here on YouTube on a channel called Black Magic Craft (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Rlv-ug-mtnXuMwlpcqFgg) where the owner, Jeremy, writes “I build terrain and models for Tabletop RPG’s […]

January 28, 2020 More
Smartphone Video In Model Railroading

Smartphone Video In Model Railroading

As a rule, I tend not to write articles on topics I’m unfamiliar with but today I’m breaking this trend as I talk about getting our model train work captured on video and shared online. Not only am I unfamiliar with video work, but smartphones too. So this is sort of a double “I’m not […]

September 30, 2019 More
Using Solder Paste

Using Solder Paste

I’ve been using more loose, small LEDs lately in various projects recently and soldering them can be a bit of a trick. While it is possible to use regular solder from a spool, I thought I’d give solder paste a try. Solder paste is a thick, sticky material made up of small (very small!) solder […]

May 28, 2019 More
YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier

YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier

For years I’ve used a simple swing arm magnifying lamp when I need to do close-up model work, and while it’s not particularity fancy, it does a reasonably good job. I recently saw a few folks using a new style of lighted headband magnifier and thought I’d pick one up over at Amazon. The new […]

January 1, 2019 More
NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL For Model Trains

NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL For Model Trains

There was a recent post on a forum talking about revitalizing some old, corroded track and the product NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL electrical grease was brought up in the conversation. This is one of those products you hear about from time to time, make a mental note to buy but never actually get around to buying it; […]

March 19, 2018 More
Cleaning Model Trains With Foam Tipped Swabs

Cleaning Model Trains With Foam Tipped Swabs

Lots of model railroaders use Q-Tips cotton swabs for cleaning hard to reach areas on their trains, track and turnouts. Having worked extensively in the smaller scales, Z and N, the cotton fibers that can / will come loose from a Q-Tip and find their way in to gears, wheels, track joints and all other […]

March 13, 2018 More
DIY LED Pin Spotlight

DIY LED Pin Spotlight

While I was doing a little shopping online the other day I came across some neat looking little LED spotlights. Having no real need for them, I naturally bought several. At less than $3.00 each, how wrong can you really go? These are 1W LED lights with a swivel head and they each come with […]

February 5, 2018 More
Pallet Wood & DIY Stain

Pallet Wood & DIY Stain

Using wood pallets in interior design has become very popular, and as I take lots of photos here at my place I thought having pallet wood would make for a great photo backdrop. On a recent trip to Harbor Freight I noticed a stack of pallets near their loading bay and after asking the manager […]

September 17, 2017 More
Quick Model Train Asphalt Roads

Quick Model Train Asphalt Roads

In need of some quick and easy asphalt roads for a retail project I have upcoming, I spent a little time poking around and seeing what others were doing for their asphalt. I tend to model more rural scenes that include dirt roads or old and chewed-up blacktop, but here I wanted to go with […]

July 11, 2017 More
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