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Uses for household items

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I am trying to see what uses people have come up with on various household items such as acetone, alcohol, ammonia, vinegar, and any thing else.

Thanks,

Ron W.

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This should help:

  • Windex or other amonia based window cleaner is a great acrylic paint remover.
  • Coffee stirrers (the hollow tube kind) purchased at Costco at about a million/bag make great paint stirrers.
  • Diamond fingernail files can be purchased at our local hardware and drugstores for about $5 each and are great for fine filing work.
  • Flexible nail files from Wal-mart are very cheap and the same as the hobby shop ones.
  • Watch Harbor Frieght for specials. (I got an ultra sonic cleaner for less than $20)
  • Bee's wax from art supply or other source is a great thread sealer to prevent air leaks on your airbrush - use very sparingly.
  • Water bottle caps make great disposable holders for super-glue. Just put what you need in the cap and use a toothpick to dip out what you need. Toss when done. (If you are really thrifty you can pop the dried s-g out and re-use ther cap.) P.S. use the unlined caps.
  • "Butcher" or freezer paper is great to protect work surfaces from paint and glue.
  • Need sheet plastic for gap filling, etc.? Use the fake credit cards that comde in the mail (most a plastic, some are not.)
  • Duck-bill alligator clamps from Radio Shack make good mini-clamps.
  • Cat whickers make great radio antennas (don't let wife catch you, and just use the ones that cat drops off.)
  • Rigging antenna wires or WW-i rigging wire from stretched sprue? cut slightly longer to attach. When cement or super-glue cures fully use a fireworks punk to apply heat. Heat will cause the sprue to shrink. Works on mono-filament fishing line, also. Use an incense stick instead of a punk and you will have a nice smelling work-room on top of all. You can use the smoke from the stick or punk to see where the heat is rising to get it where you want it. Experiment with distance and ber aware that the "shrink" will happen quickly once temperature is reached. Make VERY sure not to leave alit punk lying around.
  • Pipe cleaners will get into paint tubes for airbrushes
  • Normal household glycerine is a great lubricant for your airbrush needle after cleaning. It's very cheap and works as good as the one the airbrush mfrs sell. Just put it on and then wipe it off. Just a drop does it.
  • Ask your tooth fairey if you can have the pumice polishing compound after your visit to the dentist. It's free and they are happy to oblige because they just throw thde little cup away after they are done.
  • On good terms with your dentist? I got some really nice cutters, grinders and polishers that way - free.
  • Your wife probably has one of those adjustable bottle/jar openers in the kitchen. Works great for those stubborn paint bottle caps.
  • Baby food jars are great for holding brush cleaning liquids. One for acrylic cleaners; one for lacquer cleaners, etc.
  • Prescription bottles are great for left-over small small parts. Use each bottle for similar or like parts.
  • Save larger pieces of brass photo-etch frets when project is complete.
  • Whitener toothpaste (kind with the fine grit, not the gels) is a great polishing compound.
  • FInal surface prep for metalizer style (Alclad II ?) done with the fiber "wadding" Brasso will polish to a perfect finish.
  • A drop of liquid dishwashing detergent added to decal water soak is a great weting agent.
  • I have heard of and seen results of using apple vinegar to turn those shiney metal after-market tracks into something more realistic. Can't vouch for this one.
  • For those tiny decals I use the pointy end of my No. 11 X-acto. Just a little stab and then move it and apply where you want it.

Addendum 6/1/12:

  • Check out your local fly-fishing store if you have one. I find lead wire in spools and handy monofilament in various tiny diameters. Lead wire is good stuff for plumbing engines and such. Monofilament is great rigging material for WWI or antennas. Use the "punk" mentioned above in the same manner. Works great. Monofilament comes in clear (looks like silver wire when installed, and also a grey which also looks like wire. A good store also has special tools for fly tying which are useful for fine work.
  • All those blister packs that you open and throw away are good sources for clear plastic; also good for holding blended epoxy and superglue drops prior to application.
  • Make-up brushes make good dusters for your models. Check Walmart for really inexpensive ones because a dep't store is pricy.
  • Need weights for a/c noses or such? Local tire shop has used ones laying all over the place. You can get them free for asking because they have no use after removal.
  • Nail polish remover is almost always acetone and is good for debonding/removing super glue.
  • Those little plastic water cups (bathroom?) are cheap and great for mixing and/or thinning acrylics and easy dispensing into an airbrush cup or direct brushing. No clean-up, just toss. Don't know how they would react to lacquer or enamels that use volatiles to thin.
  • REMEMBER: SAFETY awareness is of utmost importance. You cannot avoid having some flammables present. Be aware!!!!!

Edited by TheWalrus

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That was a pretty good list. About all that I would add are;

- Future. Currently sold as Pledge. My standard gloss coat for under decals etc.

- Glad Press 'n Seal. I use it as an easy masking material. I cut patterns out of it as well as using a big sheet to cover vast areas that I don't want to paint.

- Tooth Picks. Great for stirring and getting into small areas.

- Lighter fluid. I use lighter fluid for cleaning surfaces and removing some light over spray. I find it less "hot" than other thinners.

- Q-tips. For wiping and cleaning in small areas.

- Cosmetic Applicators. These are similar to q-tips but are more compressed plus they have a pointed end.

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I've decided to pin this topic to the top. Many outstanding ideas here that will allow us all to save money for more kits! :smiley2: :D

 

Everyone can feel free to add more to this Thread.

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That was a pretty good list. About all that I would add are;

- Future. Currently sold as Pledge. My standard gloss coat for under decals etc.

- Glad Press 'n Seal. I use it as an easy masking material. I cut patterns out of it as well as using a big sheet to cover vast areas that I don't want to paint.

- Tooth Picks. Great for stirring and getting into small areas.

- Lighter fluid. I use lighter fluid for cleaning surfaces and removing some light over spray. I find it less "hot" than other thinners.

- Q-tips. For wiping and cleaning in small areas.

- Cosmetic Applicators. These are similar to q-tips but are more compressed plus they have a pointed end.

Great. I forgot about "Future" floor polish. I had heard that a few drops added to a gloss paint for an automobile or race care will give a really high shine. Can't verify yet.

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Awesome list, thanks.

Ron W.

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Here are some I have heard or found out.

Vinegar is great for cleaning photoetch and also "roughens" that surface to help with paint adhesion.

Wax paper is great for a palatte for super glue. I line a little plastic thimble, secure it with a rubber band, and pour some ca glue in. I have found the glue to still be useable the next day.

Ammonia for darkening brass. Ensure the brass is super clean.Suspend it over ammonia in a sealed jar until the desired patina is achieved. Rinse part with hot water. Seal it with a lacquer overcoat.

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You can find miniature cloths pins in gen hobby shops. These small sizes take up less room and work better on smaller parts.

 

Wooden Cocktail Sticks, a little longer than toothpicks and flat on one end, make great paint stirrers.

 

Finger Nail Polish Thinner (not remover - different stuff) works the same a Ambroid Pro Weld or Tenax 7R. Get it at high end beauth supply stores (Sally's), sometimes harder to find but cheaper per ounce.

 

Find a large plastic container (like potato salad comes in) then find a smaller container which fits in it but does not go all the way to the bottom. Drill holes in the bottome of the smaller one and insert it in the larger, fill both with water. Makes a great paint brush cleaner, the holes let paint fall to the bottom and keeps the brushes cleaner.

 

I keep a "Dust Buster" next to my model desk. These small vac's can help find "fly away" parts.

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The 'Future' and 'Pledge' floor polish.

Was this previously known as Johnsons 'Kleer'

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Bottle caps, all types - Small, expendable pallets not just for super glue, but also for mixing/using small amounts of mixed paint, washes, even 5-minute epoxy. Side benefit is the recurring "requirement" to keep the bottle cap supply bin full.

 

Flat toothpicks make a great, expendable tool for mixing and even applying said epoxy.

 

Paperclips - Easy to cut into small lengths with wire-cutters. Match the gauge to pin-vise drill bits to make & install reinforcing pins for untrustworthy butt-joints between parts or assemblies. Also great for pinning aircraft wheels to diorama bases for those tail-sitters with no room for weights in the nose, or spindly-looking gear struts.

 

Sally's Beauty Supply - Massive(ly cheap) selection of sanding sticks of many sizes & grades. The only problem I've had there is converting "Tropical Pomegranate Glaze" to a recognizable grit number. Serious competition for those overpriced hobby-brand sanding sticks. And SBS have a bunch of the other stuff listed above. The proprietors were intrigued when I described the intended use - an untapped market for their wares!

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Fine wire – in the craft section of Wal-Marts they have a “Beading/Jewelry” section. There you will find various gauges of bare wire ranging from 16 ga. to 27 ga. These are useful in making date cables, electrical wires and various hoses. I’ve made O2 hose by loosely wrapping a length of 16 gauge wire with 27 gauge before painting. The 16 gauge wire comes in various colors (blue, red, white, black, old cooper) which can save painting.

 

Also in this section are beads up to ¾” dia. in both plastic and wood These are great for cylinders, sure there’s a small hole through it, but a little glue/putty closes them.

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I've found the containers Chic-fil-a sandwich wraps come in make great storage containers for my kits as they are "in-progress" to keep all my parts, etc. sorted in one place. Oh, and it gives me an excuse to go there for lunch often!

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Guest PetrolGator

I've found the containers Chic-fil-a sandwich wraps come in make great storage containers for my kits as they are "in-progress" to keep all my parts, etc. sorted in one place. Oh, and it gives me an excuse to go there for lunch often!

 

Best. Idea. Ever.

 

You have no idea what an addict my wife is...

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Both great ideas. Time to go to Chick-fil-a for lunch....

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Great, now I'm hungry for chick fil a

 

I use lint free camera lens tissues for airbrush cleaning but found that they are great for smoothing out rough spots in paint finishes especially wing roots where you get that overspray from the airbrush sometimes. This happens often when spraying flat paint. Just rub lightly and the rough overspray is gone leaving a smooth finish.

 

Ken

Edited by kpatterson

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unused coffee filters. keep one on the worktop when brushpainting. its use will become apparent immediately.

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Abdominal laparotomy sponges. Fantastic for wiping out the color cup of your airbrush. And for polishing gloss finishes. And wiping off paint brushes. Also, for waxing/polishing your actual car.

Edited by 66Foxtrot

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Since when did abdominal laparotomy sponges become a household item? 😳 Does the Health Department know about this? 😀 Nick Filippone

  • Haha 2

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