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FROM THE June 2010 ISSUE

Shortening a tool

RELATED TOPICS: TOOL
Tip: As I get older, I find that my eyes require more light and magnification to see small details, even in 1/24 scale.  

I’ve started using a 3x magnifying lamp with a fluorescent light ring and reading glasses. I sometimes need to use a headband magnifier.  

Things become close and clear, but with all that hardware my brushes and hobby knives hit the lamp.  

The solution?  Shorten the handles.  

Hobby knives are simply solid aluminum rods with a drilled and tapped end to hold the collet and sleeve.  By cutting off about 2¼ inches from the back end, and rounding the edges, I now get all the clearance I need.

I’ve cut down several brushes, too.  

You lose the “anchor point” of the tool in you hand, and control is now all in your fingertips – something that requires a little getting used to.  

With minor mental and physical adjustments, though, the shorter handles work really well. You’ll be able to get into places you couldn’t reach before with a long-handled tool, and the tools are more maneuverable and require a lighter touch.

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