Monday, August 31, 2009


Contact lenses box as storage fort two part epoxy putty

Hi again,
Today I just want to share a little idea with you, that I came across even it's not a "sculpting tool" in the literal sense.

Sometimes I have to take some sculpting tools and stuff with me, when I’m on holidays or somewhere else away from home and want to do a little sculpting there.

For this occasions I often thought about how to take this two component sculpting putty with me, because I didn’t want to carry the complete box of greenstuff or procreate with me.

So I had a look for some kind of small boxes to store the putty in while travelling.

Because my wife wears contact lenses, I’ve got the idea to use these contact lens boxes for this purpose and it work quite well.

The advantage is that you have just a single storage, with two separated little boxes and with separated covers. The covers has different colours (or are marked in another way) so you store the two putty components perfectly and you can always see, which component is in which box.

And this box is quite small and easy to store in a bag without taking a lot of space. The amount of putty that can be stored is more than you would need for a 30mm miniature.

Even at home it might useful for storing brown stuff because except to those who do the whole miniature with brown stuff usually you only need small amounts of brown stuff while sculpting

Well that’s not a big idea, but I found this very useful, especially when I didn’t want to carry a lot of sculpting stuff with me.

So just take a 1 mm and a 2 mm Schellert tool and this box with some putty in and you’ve got all you need for sculpting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

HANDLES - alternative to the special adjusting ring


As I promised before, here’s a way to build the tool handle without these special adjusting ring with socket that was used for all handle versions so far. This alternative might be useful because maybe you’ll have problems to find these special adjusting rings with sockets. In fact, I found only one retailer who sells this kind of adjusting rings.

The idea behind this alternative is to combine an ordinary adjusting ring (without this special socket) and a small brass tube by gluing both into the wooden handle like you see on pic. 27).

For doing that you have to find ordinary adjusting rings with the right size. As I prefer sculpting handles with a diameter of 8 mm, the adjusting rings should also have an outer diameter of 8mm. The inner diameter depends on the size of the sculpting tool tips, you want to fix in the handle later.

Basically, there are two sizes for the inner diameter that make most sense: 4 mm and 3mm.

If you want to round (bevel) the adjusting rings, like I explained before, I recommend using adjusting rings made of brass or aluminium. Other materials especially steel might be too hard to grind it down. I use adjusting rings made of aluminium as you can see on the pictures.

An adjusting ring with an inner diameter of 4 mm can be combined with a little brass tube with an outer diameter of 4 mm and an inner diameter of 3 mm (material strength = 0.5 mm) to hold 3 mm tool tips.

An adjusting ring with an inner diameter of 3 mm can be combined with a little brass tube with an outer diameter of…

- 3mm and an inner diam. of 2mm (mat. strength = 0.5 mm) for 2 mm tool tips


- 3mm and an inner diam. of 1mm (mat. strength = 1.0mm) for 1mm tool tips.

Remember if you use this 1mm brass tube: It might be better to use this special pointed headless screw for the adjusting ring like I’ve explained for the “reducing pieces” before (see "the SCHELLERT handle").

You have to drill in a hole into the side of the little brass tubes where the headless screw of the adjusting ring can go through. That’s quite similar to what I’ve explained about the “reducing tubes” above.

To find the right position for the hole, just put the brass tube inside the adjusting ring and mark the right point with a marker, like I’ve explained before for the “reducing pieces”.

Then just drill the hole with the right diameter into the brass tube. The hole has to be as wide as needed to allow the headless screw to pass it.

You can round (bevel) the upper edge of the adjusting ring just like I've explained before for the "special adjusting rings with socket (on pic. 28) above, the ring has already been rounded).

For doing that, just screw the adjusting ring on a spare piece of brass tube with exactly the same diameter as the inner diameter of the adjusting ring. The brass tube shouldn't poke out of the adjusting ring.

Then fix the brass tube with the ring into the power drill. Set the power drill to rotation and grind down the upper edge of the adjusting ring with a small belt sander or a rotary tool with an abrasive wheel. You can see the different stages in the following pic. 29.

If you’ve done this, just glue the brass tube into the hole of the adjusting ring so the headless screw can go through the hole in the brass tubes side. Then you can use this new part in the same way, as I’ve explained above for those special adjusting rings with sockets.

So just glue this part into the hole in the handle as I’ve explained above.
As before, you can use handles made of wood or aluminium.

Be sure, that all parts that touch each other are covered with glue. But be sure, that the glue didn’t plug the threatened hole for the headless screw.

After pressing all parts together, remove spare glue (it should not stain the handle) and let the glue getting completely hard.

On the next picture you can see handles in all 3 sizes (1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm) that are made with the alternative version of the adjusting ring.

That’s it.



As I told before, you can also use aluminium as the base material instead of wood.
So here are some versions of my handle that uses aluminium as material for the handles.

Version 1)
Instead of the wood, I just took an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of 4mm (material strength: 2mm). Everything else is the same as described above.

As it is a tube, you don’t have to worry about drilling the holes, because they are already there with the right diameter. I admit that it wasn’t easy to find aluminium tubes with that size (2mm material strength) and I was only able to find it in the pure, not-anodized quality, so you have to polish the handles (pic. 22).

And one hint regarding the reducing pieces (tubes): If you want to use the reducing tubes with this handle-version, you should keep in mind that the handle is hollowed over the whole length. So you have to avoid to accidentally pushing in the reducing tubes too deep, or they will “drop” into the handle and it would be very hard to get them out again.

Maybe you should think about gluing the reducing tubes permanently into the handle and just use the handle only for tool tips with that size.

Version 2)
The second version might be easier for you to build, because this time I used aluminium tubes with sizes that are easier to find. You need aluminium tubes in two different sizes:

The first is an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of 6 mm (material strength: 1 mm).

The second one is an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 6 mm and an inner diameter of 4 mm (material strength: 1 mm).

As I mentioned before, you have to check, if you are able to place the smaller aluminium tube into the larger one (see the blog entry about the “Schellert-Tool”).

As I also said before, it’s much easier to find aluminium tubes with those sizes in the hardware store or the building centre and you can find them in the anodized quality as well as in the pure-aluminium-surface quality. Remember: while using the anodized quality, you don’t have to worry about the surface of the handle because it’s just fine as it is.

You can build the handle with those tubes in two ways:
The first one is to cut off pieces with a length of 9cm each from each tube (8mm and 6mm) and just glue the tube with the smaller diameter right into the larger one.

It’s nearly the same procedure like I’ve explained for the “Schellert-Tool” with the exception, that this time, the both tubes have the same length. If you have done this, you just have made one aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner one with 4mm, just like in Version 1) above, so the rest is exactly the same.

The second way is to take two shorter parts of the 6mm tube (say 2cm) instead of using one 9cm long piece. This time, you first glue the sockets of the adjusting rings into these small tubes. Then you glue this small 6mm tubes with already glued in adjusting rings into each of the hole of the larger aluminium tube. By doing this, you need less material (less 6mm tube) and that means also less weight (even these handles are quite light weighted anyway) (pic. 23a).

After putting it all together, it looks like that (pic. 23b)

One hint regarding knocking in the sockets of the adjusting ring into the aluminium tubes:
As you use aluminium instead of wood this time, the handle is much less delicate and won’t get any cracks even you hit quite hard with the hammer on the adjusting ring to get it into the handle. But don’t let yourself mislead by that to make insensitive use of the hammer now. Even the aluminium might not getting damaged, the brass adjusting ring might.

There are two sensible areas at the adjusting ring.

The first is the inner hole of the ring. If you beat the ring too hard or too often, the brass starts to deform and you might discover, that the diameter of the hole is getting smaller.

It’s possible that a 3mm tool tip that fits perfectly at the start wouldn’t fit anymore if you made too much use of the hammer. If this should happen, you have to widen the hole with a file again.

The second is quite more critical. It’s the threaded hole for the headless screw.
If you damage this so the screw can’t work anymore, your tool holder is a case for the garbage can. So I recommend leaving the headless screw inside the adjustment ring while using the hammer. This reduces the risk of the hole getting deformed accidentally by the hammer blows.

And of course it’s better to grind of the socket of the adjustment ring a little bit (see what I’ve said about the standard tool tip holder above) than to hit harder with the hammer.

Version 3)
The last version of my handle is simply a smaller one.
Instead of using an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm, I just use one with 6mm.

For that I use a smaller version of the special adjusting ring that I described above.
There’s one available with an outer diameter of 6mm and an inner diameter of 2mm.The outer diameter of the socket is 3mm on that adjusting ring.

On the next picture, you can see the comparison of the small and the large adjusting ring (pic. 24).

As the inner diameter of the 6mm aluminium tool is 4mm, you have to use short pieces of a brass tube (with outer diameter: 4mm / inner diameter: 3mm / material strength: 0.5 mm) in a similar way as I described for version 2) above.

So glue in the ring’s socket into the small brass tube. Then glue the brass tube with the ring into the 6mm aluminium tube.

If you like, you can also bevel/round the upper edge of the adjusting rings like I explained above.

This handle is made for 2mm tool tips (1,5mm tool tips would also fit in). On the next picture you can see the comparison of the small handle and the large (=normal sized) handle with a reducing piece (2 mm). Both hold 2 mm sculpting tool tips (pic. 25).

On the following Picture you can finally see all versions of the Schellert handle. The handle made of beech wood is covered with palisander(rosewood)-varnish (therefore the dark brown colour) while the other wooden handles are covered with clear varnish. So the pure metal-handles are best for sculpting science fiction miniatures, while the brown handles with the brass parts are best for sculpting steampunk miniatures (joke alert).

So, that's nearly all about the handles, I've developed for holding the tool tips.

The critical point so far is this special adjusting ring, that all handles are built with. So maybe you'll have some problems to find such a special adjusting ring with integrated socket.

But even that would not be a problem. Instead of those special rings, you can use just ordinary adjusting rings and a little brass tube to make a very fine alternative.

Next time I'll tell you exactly how to do this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009



While I’ve explained the building process of a simple handle before, personally I like to do my handles in a little bit different way. First I didn’t like to glue my tooltips into the handle, because then they are fixed for ever. If so, I wouldn’t be able to change the tool tip, to give a two sided tool another tool-tip-combination for example. Even the length of the tool tip can’t be adjusted anymore, if you took glue to fix it. So I found another way to do handles in which the tool tips are fixed with a little headless screw. You have to use a small hex-wrench to do this.
It looks like this.

The trick about making this handle is a special kind of adjusting ring that I found via internet (pic 10.). This nice little thing is an adjusting ring made of brass with a socket to fix it into a hole.

You can order this adjusting ring from this German reseller: .

I’m not sure if it can be found somewhere else. At least I couldn’t find it elsewhere.

For those who can’t get these adjusting rings, I will explain later, how you can use ordinary adjusting rings and a brass tube as an alternative.

So I started my handle with a piece of wood from the 8mm wooden pole. Because one of these adjusting rings will be added to each side of the handle later, I cut the wood-piece not at 10 cm length, but a little shorter (10cm – 2 x (length of the adjusting ring)), say 9cm this time.

Then I have to drill in the hole into both sides of the handle. As the socket of the adjusting rings has an outer diameter of 4 mm, the hole has to be 4mm wide (pic. 11).

Now the little tool, I’ve talked about before, comes into play. I’ve combined an aluminium tube and a brass tube to form a drilling-aid. With this aid, you can place and keep the drill exactly in the centre point of the tool handle while drilling. So it’s a matter of seconds to make a perfectly placed hole. The pictures below (pic. 12a and 12b) explain how this drilling aid is made.

Obviously, the final hole has to be as deep (or a little deeper to stay flexible) as the tool tip will stuck into it.

But here you've go two options:

The first option is the more simple one. You can see it on the following pic. 12c):

a) take your wooden handle
b) drill in a centred 2.0 or 2.5 cm deep hole with a 4 mm drill.
c) just fix (glue) the adjusting into the hole and fix the tool tip in

Because the hole is now 4mm wide, but the sculpting tools are only 3mm wide, this method leave some "wasted space" (see pic. 12c).
But I don't think, that this is a problem, so personally I make my holes that way.

The second option is a bit more work. You can see it on pic. 12d):

a) take your wooden handle
b) drill in a centred hole, with a 4 mm drill, but only 5.0 - 6.0 mm deep (just as long as the socket of the adjusting ring)
c) fix (glue) the adjusting ring into the hole
d) take a 3 mm drill and drill through the hole of the a-ring into the handle
e) fix the tool tip into the handle

Doing the holes this way makes sure, that the hole inside the handle is only as wide (=3 mm) as needed for taking the tool tips.
It's up to you, which method you would prefer.

If you are in doubt, choose the first option. It's easier to do.

When you got your hole on each side of the handle, just give the handle a good surface with fine abrasive paper and varnish (two layers of varnish are better than one) it as I’ve explained before. Be sure, that the varnish is completely hardened before going on to work with the handle.

So just mount your varnished handle on a skewer or toothpick or something like that and place it somewhere to dry without catching dust (pic. 13).

Now it’s time to modify the adjusting rings a little bit. The inner diameter of the adjusting ring is 3mm. Of course sometimes it’s a little less, so try if you can fit a 3mm tool tip in. If not, just widen the hole carefully with a round needle file (pic. 14).

After that just fix the socket of the adjusting ring into the power drill and set it to rotation (not too fast). Then I took a fine belt sander to bevel or round the upper edge of the adjusting ring. Alternatively to the belt sander you could also use the rotary tool with an insert tool for grinding. I recommend a rougher grinding stone or even better an insert tool with a cylinder like shaped Grinding paper top. Be careful not to grind too much. The hole for the headless screw shouldn’t be damaged. After getting the right shape just smooth the grinded areas and remove all ugly scratches

Do the same thing with another adjustment ring, because you need one for each side of the handle.

All you have to do now is to glue the adjustment rings with their sockets into holes of the handle. Maybe you’ll need to tap slightly with a hammer, for getting the sockets into the holes. But be careful here not to hammer too hard. If it’s too hard to get the socket into the hole, this might indicate, that the socket of the adjusting ring is a little too large in diameter. If you would nevertheless go on beating with the hammer, the stress of the socket to the wooden handle could get too hard and the handle might form cracks or break completely. So take a fine file and file off a little bit from the socket, so it gets a little smaller diameter (don’t widen the hole instead, because a larger hole would weaken the handle). Then try again. Regarding the glue, you should take one that can fix metal to wood (obviously) (pic. 16).

When the glue has hardened, your tool handle is done. As it is now, it will hold 3mm tool tips because the inner diameter of the adjusting ring is 3mm. You just have to place it in and fix it with the headless screw that comes with the adjusting ring and the hex-wrench (pic. 17).

Reducing Pieces:
As the name indicates, my “standard handle” can be used for all tool tips, regardless the diameter of the steel, they are made of. Of course the handle, I’ve explained above is primarily made for 3mm-tool-tips. To fit in tool tips with smaller diameters, I just made “reducing pieces”. That’s nothing more, than little brass tubes with the right diameters and a hole where the headless screw of the adjusting ring can penetrate it.

For 2mm (and 1.5-1.6mm) tool tips, I took a brass tube with an outer diameter of 3mm and an inner diameter of 2mm (material strength: 0.5mm).

For 1mm tool tips, I took a brass tube with an outer diameter of 3mm and an inner diameter of 1mm (material strength: 1mm).

I choose the length of these reducing tubes so that they poke out from the handle a few mm, so you can easily grab them, if you want to change the tool tip size (pic. 19).

To drill in the hole into the sides of the tubes, just fit them into the handle (adjusting ring).

Remove the headless screw from the adjusting ring and mark the point where the hole has to be with a marker by putting it into the hole of the screw. If you pull out the brass tube again, you’ll see the point, where you have to place the drill. Don’t drill through the hole tube, but only to it’s half. The diameter should have the size of the diameter of the headless screw or better a little bit larger. In addition, you should bevel the edges of the drilled hole, so it would be easier for the headless screw to “find” the hole. Clean the drilled hole from all remaining metal particles, so it won’t get stuck into the handle (pic. 20).

Not much more to say about that. Just place the reducing tube with the right diameter into the handle, so that the hole for the handles screw is exactly placed over the hole of the reducing tube, place a tool tip inside the reducing tube and fix it with the headless screw. The screw will fix the tool tip inside the reducing tube while even fixing the reducing tube inside the handle at the same time (pic 21).

One last hint regarding the reducing piece with an inner diameter of 1 mm:

Maybe you’ll find out that the 1 mm tool tips can’t be fixed tight with this reducing piece.
Even you screw it tight it’s just not fixed inside the handle. If this should happen, it is because the point of headless screw is too flat for the small diameter of the brass tube.

So replace the old headless screw with one that has an extra pointed tip like you can see on the following picture. You can find these headless screws in hardware stores and building centres, or just on eBay.

Next time: other variants of the SCHELLERT standard handle

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HANDLES - simple handle version 2


Some people prefer tool handles with smaller diameters, especially for very fine tool tips. For those here is a way to make such a handle with brass tubes:

It’s quite the same as the handle I’ve explained before, but instead of using an 8mm wooden pole, you’ll take a brass tube with a smaller diameter. So basically it’s just a brass tube with two smaller brass tubes inside at the ends to reduce the diameter of the tube to that of the sculpting tips diameter.

I guess, for a slim handle a diameter of 4mm would be a good choice (if you want 6mm aluminium might be a better choice than brass because of the weight). You can find brass tubes with different material strength. As I mentioned before, I don’t like if the tools are too heavy, so I recommend using brass tubes with a material strength of 0.5 mm and not the one with 1mm diameter for the handles. The material strength of the smaller “insert” tubes depends on the diameter of the tool tips, you want to place in. Here’s a chart of a useful combination of the tubes diameters:

* Because of the weight use an aluminium tube instead of brass for the outer handle tube

To build such a handle, take a 4mm brass tube with a length of about 10cm.
Then cut two short pieces of the 3mm brass tubes for the “insert”-tube. In most cases a length of 1cm -1.5cm will do (remember: don’t make it too long because of the weight).
After that, just glue the two insert-tubes with the non-bevelled side into each end of the handle-tube (pic. 6a ).

You can also make a handle with 6 mm diameter with a combination of aluminium and brass tubes that have to be glued together like you can see on pic. 6b).

Finally glue in a tooltip in the hole of each insert-tube.

If the surface of the tool tip is too even and you’re afraid, that the glue might not hold it in place, you can roughen the part that has to be glued carefully with a file of the cutting wheel in the rotary tool. Be careful not to damage the tool tip.

That’s it.

Next time: the one and only SCHELLERT standard handle

HANDLES - simple handle version 1


A very simple handle with glued in tool tips could be made like that:

Take a 10 cm long piece of a wood pole with 8mm diameter for the handle.

I recommend here not to glue the tool tip directly into the wood, but to first glue in a little brass-tube and then to glue the tool tip into the brass tube. By doing this, you’ll give the tool a better steadiness.

Drill in holes for the tool tips on both sides of the wood. The drill should have the diameter of the brass tube. So for example if you want a tool with 2mm sculpting tips, I recommend an brass-tube with an outer diameter of 3mm and an inner diameter of 2mm (material strength: 0,5cm).

You have to be sure, that your 2mm tool tip will fit inside this tube (sometimes they are a little smaller than 2mm). If it is too small, you can widen it carefully with a drill or a needle file.

If you want to have a handle for 1mm tool tips, just use a 3mm brass tube with an inner diameter of 1mm.

A surprisingly difficult part is to drill the hole into the wooden handle exactly centred and straight. Maybe you should drill in a guiding hole with a smaller drill first. I don’t want to talk too much about this point here, but later I will explain a little tool, I build for myself, that helps to drill in such centred holes quite easily.

After drilling the holes in, just bevel or round the two ends of the wooden handle. A quite easy way for doing that is to fix the handle into the power drill. Then while rotating it inside the power drill, grind off the wood with the rotary tool and a grinding tool that is suitable for wood. Keep an eye on the rotating directions of the power drill and the rotary tool to make sure that they didn’t “neutralise” each other (pic. 3).

If you got a nicely bevelled handle, you have to give it a good surface by using fine abrasive paper.

Then you have to glue in the two brass tubes into the holes on each side of the handle. I prefer to let the tubes poke out a few mm (pic. 3a)

Then you should varnish the handle. Be sure to take the right varnish for that. As you will hold the tool in your hand, the varnish should be quite hard. You should ask someone ad the hardware store / building centre, ore wherever you buy your varnish about a varnish, that can be used for that. If you want to do it well, give your handle at least two layers of varnish, first an undercoat / primer and then a second layer of varnish. You can also do the first layer with varnish that you’ve thinned a bit with the right paint thinner. After the first layer of varnish / primer has dried, make sure to abrade / grind it with very fine abrasive paper before doing the second layer. As an alternative to the abrasive paper, you can also use very fine steel wool.

When you work with the varnish, be sure not to clog the hole with it (pic. 4).

After the varnish has dried, all that’s left to do now is to glue in a tool tip on each side. For that you should get a good metal glue (ask at the building centre). A two–part epoxy glue might be adequate here (pic. 5).

The handles on the picture above are not varnished

Next time: a simple handle version 2

HANDLES - general aspects


Until now, I’ve talked a lot about different kinds of sculpting tool tips and explained the Pencil-Tool and the Schellert-Tool as handles for those tool tips. While the Pencil-Tool and the Schellert-Tool have the advantage that the tooltips can be changed easily and fast, this might sometimes be a disadvantage. After working with your sculpting tools for a while, I am sure you will find your preferred tool tips and you will do 75 % of the sculpting work just with a few of them. In this case, you will surely want to have these preferred tools always at hand, without having to change tool tips permanently.

Therefore, I will explain in this tutorial how to do handles in which the tool tips can be fixed permanently.

Maybe you might think there is not much to talk about. Just take a piece of wood, drill in a hole, glue the tool tip inside the hole and that’s it. You are right. If you are happy with a simple handle, just save your time and just do it like that. I will also explain, how to do such a "simple" handle.

But maybe your have already spent quite a lot of time in forging very fine sculpting tips and you didn’t want to see all your work spoiled by mounting them on crappy handles.
If that’s what you think, I will show you in the following tutorial some ways to do a little bit more sophisticated handles.

Generally, I create nearly all of my handles as two-sided-handles. That’s not a must. You can also do handles with just one tip and this might be indicated with very sharp and / or pointed tool tips to reduce the risk of injury. But in general, I prefer less tools lying around on my work desk while sculpting to keep my workspace clear arranged. So having two-sided tools means half as much tools on your table.

Regarding profile and diameter of the tool handles, I found out, that a rod with a round profile and a diameter of 8mm works best for me. That’s the same diameter as the Schellert-Tool (and these hobby knives like x-acto or martor) has. Beside the fact that I can hold it quite well in my hand it has the advantage, that “8mm” seems to be a kind of standard-size, so it would be easier to find material with that diameter in hardware stores. Alternatively you could use 6mm (also a standard-size), but I recommend that only for small tool tips.

Regarding the length of the handle, I found out, that 10cm (without the tool tips) is a good length for me. If you’ve got the hands of an elf, maybe a shorter one will do better but if your hands are more troll-style even a little bit longer might be adequate.

As material for the handles, there are two good options (for me): wood of aluminium.
Plastic is something, I didn’t really like for my tool handles. Some sculptors also use brass, but a handle with 8mm diameter made of brass could sometimes be a little heavy. So I recommend using brass-tubes only for handles with smaller diameters, like the one, I will explain later.

I tried beech-, walnut- and oak-wood for handles by now and all work well (pic. 1). Beech has the advantage that it can be found in poles of 1m length and 8mm diameter in nearly every hardware store or building centre (at least in Germany). Walnut has a beautiful dark brown colour and looks really nice if you give it a finish with clear varnish. Oak has a quite interesting surface structure if you give it a clear varnish and it is quite hard. Unfortunately, 8mm-poles of walnut- or oak-wood are hard to find. In Germany I found this shop: for that. If you are not from Germany, try Google to find the wood you need.

Aluminium tubes with 8mm and 6mm diameters can be found in most hardware stores or building centres, as I told before (see: “The Schellert-Tool”).
As I already mentioned, there are two qualities available, the untreated “pure” aluminium and the aluminium with the anodized surface. Handles made of untreated aluminium tubes have to be polished finally. A not polished oxidised aluminium surface would leave dark grey marks on your hand. The surface of anodized aluminium on the other hand is just fine, so you can take it as it is without the need to polish or modify it.

Next time: a simple handle version 1

Saturday, August 1, 2009

THE SCHELLERT TOOL – the easy way

THE SCHELLERT TOOL – the easy way

In the last tutorial I explained, how to build the original Schellert-Tool.

I can imagine, that some of you would like to have such a tool, but don’t want to do all those thread cutting things. After a search on the internet I found a solution for those of you.

You can make a version of the Schellert-Tool just by using a special kind of pin vice (or pin vise if you are from the US) with only minimal modifications. And that’s how to do it:

First you need the right pin vice and that’s where the magic is. Most pin vices around are not ideal for that job because of the way they are built. Nearly all pin vices work by screwing a nut-like part over a metal-clamp, so that it is pressed together and hold a drill or another tool this way.

This kind of construction results in a tool that is too thick for using it as a handle for sculpting tool tips and the nut-like part is often an obstacle in the hand.

On the following picture you can see such a typical kind of pin vice:

But I found some pin vices that work with a different technique. On these pin vices, there is a clamp with a thread that drags itself inside the handle while screwing it and closing the clamp-jaws this way. In fact, that’s the same technique as found on the hobby-knifes, the original Schellert-Tool is build with.

These pin vices are two-sided and each side can hold tool tips with different sizes.

on the following picture you can see the two different pin vice systems:

For my German speaking audience: The German word for these tools is "Stiftenklöbchen" or "Reibahlenhalter".

I found two different versions of this kind of pin vices, but I guess, there are more out there.
The first (type 1) I got from eBay (it comes from the US) and costs about 3 EUROS.
It could hold 1mm tool tips on one side and up to 2mm tool tips on the other.
This pin vice is a little shorter but with a slightly thicker handle then the other pin vice.

The other pin vice (type 2) I’ve got from a German shop for jeweller tools. This one holds 1mm tools on the one side and up to 3mm tool tips on the other. The pin vice is a little longer than the one from eBay, but the handle is thinner. This one cost about 4.20 EUROS.

type 1:

type 2:

So I recommend getting two of this pin vices (I mean two of the same type; don’t mix the types because the threads could be incompatible) and change one clamp of each pin vice, so you have two pin vices with the same sized clamp on each side. Of course if you want a tool with different clamp sizes on each end, you don’t have to change the clamps.

I found that the screw able part of the pin vice were the finger holds it is too thick for getting a good grip for sculpting, so I replaced it with a 2cm long brass tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of about 7mm (material strength: 0,5mm). You can find those kinds of brass tubes in hobby- and model craft stores and also in hardware stores and building centres.

I recommend using a tube-cutting tool (see the former post about the Schellert-Tool) for cutting the brass tubes because with it you will always get a clean and straight cut.

Believe it or not, but that’s all. You now have two Schellert-Tools, one for 1mm tool tips and one for 2mm tool tips (or 3mm tooltips - depending on the kind of pin vice you've used).

Maybe the shorter of this pin vices is a bit too short to store the tool tips with 4 cm length, but it’s just a matter of mm. If so, just shorten your tool tips a few mm and they will fit in.

The clear advantage of this Schellert-Tool version is that it’s easy to build, you don’t need complicated tools to build it and it’s quite cheap.

The only downside of this kind of Schellert-Tool is that it is heavier than the original version, because it is made of plated brass (usually) and that the "grip-tubes" are not serrated (not such a good grip). But if you can live with that, that’s your tool.

So I think, I haven’t promised too much. This Schellert-Tool was really the easy way, no?

The basic idea behind the Schellert-Tool is that you can change the tool tips fast. But this is not always a need. In reverse it could be boring, if you have to change the tool tips all the times while sculpting. So maybe soon you want to have at least those tool tips that you permanently work with to be always available at hand without having to change anything.

Because of that I thought about a kind of two sided handles, where the tool tips will be fixed and don’t have to be changed. About this handles I will tell you next time.