Basic and advanced tools for modding

dr_dodge Monday, 2/27/2023

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A question was asked on the wheels thread, what was a jewelers loupe. 

That got me thinking, I've got many tools I have at my disposal, but ALWAYS want more.

But if I was just starting what would I buy, and in what order?

I figured I would start this so builders, both novice, and advanced have a clue what are used.

First to answer the first question;

A loupe is basicly a real good magnifying glass.  Cheap and worth their weight in gold.  I prefer the first style as you hold it on with your eye muscles, 2nd need your hand to hold

as far as basic tools a good drill, which is used a drill, a grinder, a mill, and lathe
Buy GOOD bits, and plenty of them.
Files from big and coarse to tiny and fine.
exacto knives
A thick, flat piece of glass to "see flat" and to place your sand paper on to sand things very flat 
a guide/fixture to hold axles while glue dries
lots of babboo shewers to mix glue and hold bodies,
(if you tap the body, skewers will thread in if you break the tip off and make it "screw size") 

Dremel, for sure (almost a basic tool, but figured cost wise it's an advanced purchase)

Belt sander, drill press, band saw next

any one else?
What y'all want to add

tool tips and tricks?



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redlinederby 2/27/23
Site manager

When I was modding, all I needed was my drill with a good bit, some pliers, and a Dremel. I could do just about everything I need with those. Granted, I was not an advanced or skilled modder but still, those should cover most everything.

Oh...and some JB Weld or other epoxy for keeping everything together.

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VantheMan 2/27/23

Small set of flat head screw drivers. I use them to pry bodies. needle nose pliers.

  • good one, I have small one screwdriver I used a ball peen hammer to flatten the tip to get inder the rivit head remains, and pry bodies appart — dr_dodge

Ultrasonic cleaner, usb microscope, plating stuff(power supply, glassware, chemicals) and mini lathe(wheel cutting/milling). And good lighting.

  • lighting! absolutely! plating, home brew (copper quarters,) or the good stuff? "be eye ballin' that" — dr_dodge
  • wanting to plate silver — dr_dodge
  • Where do you get your wheel die/jigs for wheel cutting? — Numbskull
  • Mostly zinc plating for doing old redlines w/spectraflame paint like the first few years of Hot Wheels. Copper plate if ya want to do soldering to a casting.(i.e. repair broken pillars, or blown out posts) Haven't tried gold/silver yet but with how gold polishes up considering plating some axles with it! The mini lathe is about 50 on amazon, just a drill motor and chuck mounted to a single axis trolly with and end stop and tool perch. do the rough cutting with dremel or utility blade, then hone with increasing finer sandpaper. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • copper plates pretty easy, and is often used before chrome because it polishes well, do ya think copper would do good on axles? — dr_dodge
  • I guess I'm just wondering what you attach the wheels too in order to put them in the chuck of the mini lathe? — Numbskull
  • It might, hadn't tried it. I looked up the gold plating pre-mix and it's kinda pricey. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • so, if I copper coat a casting, you can solder it? Thats how to fix broken cars, interesting! — dr_dodge
  • #17 sewing pin, acting as an axle. most 3/8" chucks will accept drill bits same diameter as axles. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • Thank you. — Numbskull
  • This guy has a wealth of Hot Wheels customization/restoration info on his channel. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • Always glad to help :) — Redline_Salvage_Inc

Oh hey that was me that asked what a loupe was!

thanks man! how tf do I get one...

...questions for later.

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dr_dodge 2/27/23

saws of any kind

razor/jewelers, etc

price = quality/clean cut

doall for any band blade

best blades ever for band saws

even tiny ones, call them for custom stuff (finer blades/odd size)

wonderful product (for 30 yrs for me)


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dr_dodge 3/6/23

pen plating tool, it does nickel

interesting.  the pen just holds a blotter like tip, and you dip it in the solution

  • Yikes, that’s expensive. — SpyDude
  • it is but, I suspect an enterprising person could pull ,it off just buying their fluids, and the blotters for the pen — dr_dodge
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MrDarq 3/7/23

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Numbskull 3/7/23

I'm old and blind, and I drink too much.  Cheers.

  • I am old and blind, too and other people tell me I drink too much, but I think my quantity is perfectly fine, — dr_dodge
  • 1 is too many, 30 is not enough. — Numbskull
  • cheers — dr_dodge
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MadMike 3/7/23

Small files are very important if your doing body mods

  • agreed, and also rifle files are curved/ weird shapes, and pretty cool too — dr_dodge
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dr_dodge 3/28/23

My magic wand.  Variable temp from very low to smokin'

Melts the 158° allow nice, heats plastic for bending, and used on wood venier for making buildings

  • I use my solder station with and old funky tip to remove and install wheel sets in plastic base cars. In and out in seconds. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • thats a good idea, I need to remember that. I have been using the wand to melt diecast into bodies to add weight — dr_dodge

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