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Newbie Question # 1


theatre207
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Hello everyone!

John here and I have one of what I'm sure will be many questions......what sort of tools, glues, stains, tricks, etc. do I need to have when I start on my house? Any and all answers would be welcome!!!

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Hi John, and :welcome: to the forum! What house will you be building? Search for it here and find out what challenges others have encountered and overcome with support from this great group of miniaturists.

For starters, do not use hot glue to assemble, even if the directions tell you to do so. House is guaranteed to self-destruct in a few years.

Basic Supplies to have on hand for assembly:

Glue - wood glue or white craft glue. Some prefer one, some the other. Both work.

Utility knife and/or eXacto knife with a lot of new blades.

Sandpaper - including fingernail emery boards that are great for small places

Decorating supplies are up to you.

Feel free to ask questions. :)

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Hi, John. First, do a search for "getting started": posts with lists of tools and suggestions for building. Second, go to the Newcomers; Forum and introduce yourself to everybody.

Are you building a kit or a scratch build? If a kit, which one?

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Holly, have you searched "getting started" lately? I just did - 105 hits, none of which are very helpful. Did we not have a topic that dealt with basic tools and supplies that was pinned someplace? I can't find where it was pinned.

Edit: Found it. Here is a link to a Tools and Tips thread that will help, John . It's located in the General Mini Talk forum in the pinned tutorials link.

One important item I forgot to mention above is masking tape or painter's tape. Lots of it. Use to do a dry fit to be sure all the parts are there and fitting properly and also as clamps when you get around to gluing.

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Hey, thanks for your responses. I did poke around in the different topics but nothing seemed very helpful. I'm building a kit, The Buttercup Cottage by Corona. It seemed like it would be something easy and managable to start with.

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The Buttercup is a cutie. Do you have a vision of what it will look like or are you waiting to see what the kit tells you as you build? Do you plan to electrify?

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I have about 16 visions of what it will look like :D and I do plan on electrifying it. I will also probably add on at some point (thats one of my visions!). I will check out the Tools and Tips and start gathering my "toolbox" together.

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Welcome. Most important tip: Have fun, this is not a race nor a competition (well I guess it can be both, but it doesn't have to be)

Along with everything already mentioned, I have one tool I don't know how I would get by without. Don't know if anybody else feels this way, but my needle tool is used for everything: Glue putter onner, scraper, holder, placement tool, dot painter, holder for drying painted minis, mini-hole maker. When it gets sticky or painted I just use a blade to scrape it off and it's good as new.

Lu Ann

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A needle tool is a needle, probably a small darning needle lasts a while. You either make a handle from polymer clay or wood and poke or drill a hole to glue the eye end of the needle in it. I was lazy, I snapped the bristles end off of an old toothbrush, held the point of the needle in my reverse tweezers and heated the eye in a flame until it glowed red, then jammed it into the broken end of the toothbrush handle (which I clamped into a vise to hold the darned thing steady! after I'd sanded it flatter). Voila! needletool.

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John, I took the easy way and bought my needle tool. It's about a 2.5 inch needle in a cylindrical wooden handle. Same idea as Havanaholly described. I tried putting a needle in wood and it works, but mine wouldn't stay in the wood. They are very inexpensive to buy and mine has lasted at least 10 or 12 years so far and shows no sign of loosening. I love it.

Lu Ann

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...I tried putting a needle in wood and it works, but mine wouldn't stay in the wood...
Superglue gel ought to solve that problem. I didn't use any glue with my toothbrush-handled version and it's still working after at least ten years.
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  • 1 month later...

Clamps, Clamps, Clamps!!!!

Tacky wood glue is wonderful. Xacto knife is a must. Masking tape is very important as well. A small hack saw is one of the very important tools as well. The thing I realized in building my first house - which is not complete as yet - is to take your time.

Edited by Lady Grey
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I use wood glue to assemble the wood parts of the kit (after the dry fit and prep), and clear-drying white tacky glue for installing the clear acetate window & door inserts. I use regular MinWax stains for staining floors, furniture & trims I want stained; I LOVE gel stain and apply it with a soft rag. I use160-grit or finer for sanding, also emeryboards and the nailboards for acrylic nails, and wads of brown kraftpaper bags for final sanding to get a smooth, satiny finish. I use coarser 60-80 grit sandpaper for shingles. For aging wood to a silvery finish I prefer India ink and isopropyl alcohol. I use lots of pointed round toothpicks for applying glue, and waxed paper for puddling the glue as well as beween the newly sided/ shingled surface and the piece of scrapwood I clamp over it until it dries flat.

So where are you in the building of your Buttercup?

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  • 2 months later...

I use wood glue to assemble the wood parts of the kit (after the dry fit and prep), and clear-drying white tacky glue for installing the clear acetate window & door inserts. I use regular MinWax stains for staining floors, furniture & trims I want stained; I LOVE gel stain and apply it with a soft rag. I use160-grit or finer for sanding, also emeryboards and the nailboards for acrylic nails, and wads of brown kraftpaper bags for final sanding to get a smooth, satiny finish. I use coarser 60-80 grit sandpaper for shingles. For aging wood to a silvery finish I prefer India ink and isopropyl alcohol. I use lots of pointed round toothpicks for applying glue, and waxed paper for puddling the glue as well as beween the newly sided/ shingled surface and the piece of scrapwood I clamp over it until it dries flat.

So where are you in the building of your Buttercup?

Fantastic information - thanks. Little goodie tricks I can use in the future.

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