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.

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