Sunday, September 22, 2013

some tools ready to be shipped to a customer

Hi, I just want to share a few pictures showing the boxing of some tools for a customer from the US (greetings to Alabama). I use a DVD-sized box for packaging and small acrylic tubes with plugs for the tool tips.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ebook updated and two miniatures

I have just updated the free downloadable ebook about making sculpting tools with all my tutorials from this blog. Here is the link.

Without any photos this post might be a little bit boring, so I post here pictures of my latest miniatures.
These are characters from the books of the German author Walter Moers.

The one that looks like a lizard man is called "Hildegunst von Mythenmetz" and the little one-eyed guy is a bookling (in German: "Buchling) and is called "Danzelot von Silbendrechsler". I hope you like them.

Hildegunst von Mythenmetz

Danzelot von Silbendrechsler

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Storing solution for w.i.p. polymer clay sculptings

Welcome back for a new tutorial.
This time I'd like to present an idea about storing unfinished miniatures to keep them safe between the sculpting sessions.
Usually I've done my sculpting with two part epoxy putties like greenstuff and Procreate, but lately I've tried my hands more and more on polymer clays that have to be baked in the oven to get hard.
Especially since the BeeSPutty produced by Stefan Niehues is out (see my last post) I'm doing my stuff with this polymer clay.
The biggest advantage (at least for me) of polymer clay is the fact that unlike the epoxy putties (greenstuff/Procreate) it won't get hard and stays workable until you bake it in the oven.

But this advantage is also a disadvantage or at least it could be. Because the clay stays soft, you have to be very careful not to ruin all your sculpting work by accidentally squashing the miniature.

Especially between the sculpting sessions, you have to be sure to store the work-in-progress miniatures in a save place where they won't be accidentally damaged.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

BeeSPutty - a new sculpting putty on the rise

This post might be slightly off topic because it is not about sculpting tools but about sculpting putty.

Nevertheless I'd like to bring to your attention the arrival of a brand new sculpting material called BeeSPutty that is available since yesterday.

BeeSPutty is a one-component bake-able sculpting putty. The guy who develloped this putty is Stefan Niehues, a professional sculptor who has quite a lot experience in all kind of sculpting, especially sculpting miniatures.

As BeeSPutty is a a bake-able putty, it is similar to Fimo and super sculpey in some ways, but it has some unique features. Just to mention one,  you don't need a greenstuff foundation on a wire armature if you want to sculpt miniatures with BeeSPutty. And you can sculpt 30mm miniatures as well as larger things like busts etc.

I had the chance to grab a test batch of this putty and I'm very happy with it. Usually I worked with a two-part epoxy putty, like greenstuff or procreate, but I don't like the stress you have to get your sculpting done during the curing time of the putty. So lately I tried out bake-able putties like Fimo and super sculpey firm grey. The advantage is that you can works as slow or fast as you want as the putty only hardens when you put it in your oven. That's more my sculpting style because I'm quite slow (to be honest) and while having a little daughter, there are a lot of not-planed interruptions when I do my sculpting. If this occur, greenstuff is lost as it will harden while playing with my daughter but not so bake-able clay. You can just put it aside and go on with sculpting later.

 Fimo and SS firm grey are not bad, but as far as I've tested it, BeeSPutty  is even better. It has quite a wax-like-feeling and you can get sharp edges quite easily with this putty that also blend perfectly. I just have to go on with my testing, but it is very promising.

So if you want to know more about this putty, head over to where you will find more informations and also some videos about sculpting with BeeSPutty. There you can also order the putty.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hexagonal Aluminum Handles

today I just want to share a little idea about tool-handles, I came across lately. In a hardware store I found hexagonal aluminum rods in the size of a classical wooden pencil and I thought, these would make some nice tool handles. The wrench size of these rods is 7.0 mm. So I cut off pieces with a length of 10-11 cm from these aluminum rods like you can see on the following picture.

Then I drilled an axial hole on each side. In fact I made three versions with holes in 1.0 mm, 2.0 mm and 3.0 mm size for holding 1mm, 2mm and 3mm tool tips like you can see on the following picture. I confess it is not easy to get the holes exactly centered. After that I drilled in small holes with a diameter of 2.5 mm in at a 90 degree angle to the first hole and about 0.5 cm from the end of the rod. In this holes I cut threads with a m3 size, so headless set screws with m3 size will fit in.

These set screws will fix the tool tips inside the handle. Of course you don't need the whole side-holes-and-set-screw thing. Instead of that you just can glue the tool tip inside the axial holes with metal glue, but I prefer the set screw solution because it gives me the option to change the tool tips and to adjust the length of the tool tips.

Finally I bevel the ends of the tool handles because I don't like these hard edges on my tools, but this is more an aesthetical aspect then a technical need. I do this by fixing the rod into an electric drill set it into rotation and carefully grind it down with an electric file or a usual metal file.

Finally the whole thing looks like that:

What you can do at last is to give the handles a nice and smooth surface by using fine grinding paper and a polishing wheel (I still have to do that).

Ah, I nearly forgot to point out a main advantage of this tool beside the fact that it feels like a pencil. It didn't accidentally roll from your desk because of the hexagonal shape and this is a big point, especially if you use small and delicate tools that could easily be damaged.

So I hope you like this idea. See you next time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A simpler way to make the Schellert-Tool Handle

Hi, I just want to share a much simpler way to do the Schellert-Tool handle. 
To remember: The "Schellert-Tool" is a tool tip holder with exchangeable sculpting tool tips. 
The sculpting tool tips are fixed into aluminum clamps that are taken from hobby knifes to form the endparts of the Schellert-Tool handle. You can find an in deep explanation about building the Schellert-Tool here (link).

I confess, it's not the simplest tool to build. Especially cutting the threads into an aluminum tube might be challenging even if you own the needed thread cutter and impossible, if you haven't one. So I thought about a way to make this tool easier to build. The easiest way would be to find somewhere an already cut thread-piece that could be used for that. But I had no luck in finding such a pre-fabricated piece untill lately:
Now I've found in a hardware store a simple and cheap piece that is ideal for my needs. In German this thing is called "Messing-Spreizd├╝bel" and the translation into English I found so far is "brass expansion bolt" or "brass straddling dowel". On the picture you can see this fine little thing.

This brass dowel has a m5-thread and is made for drilled holes of 6 mm diameter. This is ideal in combination with an aluminum tube with an outer diameter of 8 mm and an inner diameter of 6 mm (material strength: 1 mm), like the one I used for the original Schellert Tool (link). You don't even need to glue a second smaler tube into 8 mm tube, because the brass dowel will take that part.

So all you have to do is to cut off a pice of the 8/6 mm aluminum tube with a length of about 7.5 cm. The easiest way to do this is by using a tube cutter, that makes perfectly straight cuts (look here). Then all you have to do is to put one brass dowel into each side of the tube. Be sure to push it a few mm below the edge of the aluminum tube. Otherwise the clamp-piece wouldn't fit in later.

In some cases the brass dowel is a little thicker than the inner diameter of the aluminum tube. In this case you have two options. You can widen the aluminum tube be using a drill of 6.1 or 6.2 mm. The other option, especially if you havn't got those special-sized drills is to grind down the knurled surface of the brass dowel. The easiest way to do this is to fix the brass dowel into a power drill and press it slightly onto a oiece of grinding paper while rotating. You can also use a metal file and grind down the brass tube by hand.

To fix the brass dowel into the aluminum tube you have also 2 options:
You can simply glue in the brass dowel into the aluminum handle with a good metal glue or you can fix it by using a 5 mm hexagon socket set screw like you can see on the next picture.

That's all. All you have to do ist to take the clamp-parts of two hobby knifes (Martor, ecobra etc…) and screw it into the tube ends.

Note: The brass dowels I use have a m5-thread. into the threads of these brass dowels you can only fit the clamp-parts of the hobby knifes that have also a m5-thread. The m5-sized screws and threads are standard in Germany where I'm from. In other countries there are other standards like "unc" in the United States for example. There are Hobby knifes available with m5-threads from Martor and Ecobra for example. I know, that other hobby knife have a UNC 10-24 thread, like x-acto, I think (I told a little bit more about this here)
So be sure to use hobby knifes with an m5 thread. You can find these knifes and also the brass dowels on google/ebay.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prices Of The Tools

So here are the prices of the tools and handles I will sale now. If you want to buy something or if you have a question just send an email.

- Schellert-Tool 1 mm: 45,00 €
- Schellert-Tool 2 mm: 55,00 €
- Sculpting Tool 1,5 mm: 20,00 €
- Tool Handle 1 or 2 mm: 12,00 €

Saturday, February 2, 2013

1.5 mm tool for sale

While working on the 1mm and 2mm tool tip sets I also made 10 finger/spoon tips as well as 10 sculpting knife tool tips, each made of 1.5mm steel. So this is a size between the 1.0mm and the 2.0mm tool tips. These tool tips I will fit in wood/brass handles and sell them as 10 single tools with finger/spoon- and sculpting knife tool tip. I made this combination because for me this is the tool tip combination I used most of the time while sculpting. You can see a picture of this combination on the following picture.

And on the next picture you can see a comparsion of the fingert/spoon tip and the sculpting knife tip, each shown in 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0mm.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

1mm tool tips set for sale

And here is a picture of the 1mm tool tips set.

it will contain with the following tool tips:
- sculpting knife
- finger tool tip
- chisel straight
- chisel curved
.- micro knife
- needle curved
- needle straight

on the picture you can see the standard aluminum handle as well as the wooden/brass handle that will be sold separately.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2mm tool tips set for sale

Well here's a picture of the six 2mm tool tips.

On the photo you see them fixed into a handle made from walnut and brass.

These kind of handles I will sell separately. The basic 2mm set will come with the six tool tips you see and an two sided aluminum Schellert-tool-style handle for quickly changing the tool tips. The wooden handles are ment to be used if you do not want to change the tool tips all the time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tool tips are done

I've got a few emails again, asking me about the availability of the sculpting tools, I had anounced for sale quite a while ago.

I'm still working on that. The problem is that I can only work on them in my spare time and while having a real life job and a little daughter (not to mention my wife :-)), there isn't much of it. I never thought it would be such a lot of work.

But Now, I took a large step forward in this project: Last weekend I finally finished the work on the set of sculpting tool tips, I will offer for sale.

I have now forged, grinded and polished 22 sets of 2mm tool tips and 40 sets of 1mm tool tips. The 2mm-set exists of 6 different tool tips while the 1mm-set comes with 7 different tool tips.

While working on them, I discovered something interesting: To make a single set of sculpting tool tips isn't really a big deal. But making 40 of them is really something different. To make all the same moves and work steps again and again becomes quickly enervating and sets you in a state of trance :-).

Anyway, I've done them now :-)

All that's left now ist to finish the handles but I already have quite a few of them ready here. And of course I have to think about the price of the tools.

I will post some pictures of the sets during the next days. Until then here are some pictures of sculpting tools made of 3 mm steel that I've made lately.