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Author Topic: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts  (Read 622 times)

beachhead1985

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I have a project with some very small/light/narrow parts which have snapped off and need to be re-attached or replacements fitted.

I have my trust pin-vice/hand-drill and a very thin bit and someold BT ariels.

I know my way around bigger parts, but i've nver been great at the smalelr ones. Any advice to up (down?) my game?

Thanks for your time.
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pixelgeek

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #1 on: 19 July 2019, 20:19:15 »
Instead of pinning it try using green stuff. I've never had any luck pinning small parts. Roll a small ball of green stuff, put a dot of crazy glue on the largest surface, press the green stuff into it and then repeat with the small surface.

beachhead1985

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #2 on: 20 July 2019, 00:20:16 »
Instead of pinning it try using green stuff. I've never had any luck pinning small parts. Roll a small ball of green stuff, put a dot of crazy glue on the largest surface, press the green stuff into it and then repeat with the small surface.

Funny you say that...I HAVE greenstuff and I need to use it somewhere else...Never considered this.

So the greenstuff acts like some kind of super-adhesive with the glue? How does this work?
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

Cazaril

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #3 on: 20 July 2019, 12:16:42 »
How does this work?

No offense, but the short answer is "poorly"...

Green stuff isn't going to hold your part any better than your favorite flavor of cyanoacrylate adhesive... One good hit and you will end up with two pieces (one, after you misplace the broken piece somewhere) and a messed up paint job (assuming you keep track of the part long enough to try and repair it.

There is a good reason so many people pin stuff; it works.

I've had two miniatures take dives off of the same 5 foot height shelf and while glue and green stuff separate, the pins hold the part in place... Granted, I've needed to re-glue the joint, but if all I was using was an adhesive I'd probably still be looking for the parts.

So how do you pin an extremely thin piece?

You've got a good start with a pin vise and the old aerial wire...

Next, check the part you want to join. Is the wire at least a little thinner than the part? If not, this will never work... (Note: I can't remember if the old aerial wire is .015 (.38mm) or .020 (.51mm). If it is .020, than you can get some .015 and you might still be able to pin it. If it IS .015, I've never seen anything thinner... Also, when asking for it at a hobby shop, it is sometimes referred to as "Music Wire").

Assuming you have enough to work with, do you have a Dremel and a sanding wheel? If so, run it along the outer edge of the tip of the wire to file down any burrs from cutting. I like to go a step further and make the tip into a wedge. That way when you insert the wire into the hole and add a little pressure, it will bite in and keep the part from rotating (rotation over the axis of the wire will break your glue's bound faster than a blow).

Next, I would suggest prepping both parts. Clean up the edges you plan to join with a light sanding on the outer edge to remove any burrs and then lightly sand the two edges you will be drilling into to.

Now, go find a needle, nail, finely pointed tool, and make a slight indent where you plan to drill. This starter hole will keep your drill bit from dancing across the top of your already too little surface. And the filed down shiny surface that you did during prep will make it easier to see.

Now carefully drill... Note: with super thin drills like a #78 (.016) or #76 (.020), they have a bad habit of breaking and leaving the hardened head behind buried in your work. It normally happens when the slag (whatever drill debris is called) clogs the drill head and as you are turning the drill it gets fractionally bigger and as you turn it more you snap it off... To avoid this, I remove the drill after a couple of turns and clean the slag out and then drill a little more... This is more necessary the deeper you go.

Once you have the first side done, then line up where the second hole should be and do the other side...

When pinning a part, the deeper you can go the better (as the added wire will increase the strength of the repair), but the deeper you go the more chance you will break the drill bit.

After both sides are drilled, glue in your wire...

And now is the time for green stuff... Not only will it help you hide the repair, the sticky nature of it will help hold the part together, because every little bit helps.

If you have a hobby vise, those come in handy, but I wouldn't recommend buying one unless you plan to do a lot of reposing/bashing.

Caz
« Last Edit: 20 July 2019, 12:18:49 by Cazaril »

pixelgeek

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #4 on: 20 July 2019, 13:05:18 »
No offense, but the short answer is "poorly"...

Some of us suffer from Hot Dog Fingers and need alternatives when it comes to small parts.  :))

If the OP can manage to follow your tips then its a better alternative but I've never had any luck pinning small parts. Especially when they are from a location that has broken.

There is a good reason so many people pin stuff; it works.

Totally does. He has some good tips. If that doesn't work though...

pixelgeek

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #5 on: 20 July 2019, 13:07:15 »
So the greenstuff acts like some kind of super-adhesive with the glue?

No. The glue keep the GS in place until it cures. Its just standard GS but if the part is small then I find (YMMV) tha tit is simpler for me to use GS instead of trying to pin

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2019, 15:06:00 »
  When using a drill, especially fine, brittle bits on soft metals, the metals cling to the bit, so I use a light lubricant, like machine oil to make the work easier to keep clear of debris. If you have to make a deep hole, drill only a little at a time and apply oil often so the bit doesn't get stuck. Drill a little, reverse rotation, pull out, add more oil. Once you're finished, using acetone or dish washing liquid to remove the oil will prepare you for your next work.

  For pinning, I have a selection of paper clips that I trim to order. A note: Due to the nature of steel in contact with non-ferrous metal, steel pins will rust over time. I found brass paper clips and you may substitute brass or copper wire found in craft shops for pins and even antennas.

beachhead1985

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #7 on: 20 July 2019, 19:53:10 »
...check the part you want to join. Is the wire at least a little thinner than the part? If not, this will never work... (Note: I can't remember if the old aerial wire is .015 (.38mm) or .020 (.51mm). If it is .020, than you can get some .015 and you might still be able to pin it. If it IS .015, I've never seen anything thinner... Also, when asking for it at a hobby shop, it is sometimes referred to as "Music Wire").

it looks about 3-4 times as wide as the wire I plan to use.

Assuming you have enough to work with, do you have a Dremel and a sanding wheel? If so, run it along the outer edge of the tip of the wire to file down any burrs from cutting. I like to go a step further and make the tip into a wedge. That way when you insert the wire into the hole and add a little pressure, it will bite in and keep the part from rotating (rotation over the axis of the wire will break your glue's bound faster than a blow).

I have a dremel. This sounds like a great time to wear eye protection.

Next, I would suggest prepping both parts. Clean up the edges you plan to join with a light sanding on the outer edge to remove any burrs and then lightly sand the two edges you will be drilling into to.

Now, go find a needle, nail, finely pointed tool, and make a slight indent where you plan to drill. This starter hole will keep your drill bit from dancing across the top of your already too little surface. And the filed down shiny surface that you did during prep will make it easier to see.

This is really good stuff and I am feeling more confident about this now.

Once you have the first side done, then line up where the second hole should be and do the other side...

What do you think of inserting the wire at this point and using that to mark the other part?


And now is the time for green stuff... Not only will it help you hide the repair, the sticky nature of it will help hold the part together, because every little bit helps.

No problem; I needed it for something else anyways.

If you have a hobby vise, those come in handy, but I wouldn't recommend buying one unless you plan to do a lot of reposing/bashing.

Caz

I do a lot of drilling and pinning, but I have never found a vice (if I know what you mean) that wasn't a piece of expensive junk. We are talking about the things with the articulated arms, toothed  grippers and usually a magnifying glass, right?

No. The glue keep the GS in place until it cures. Its just standard GS but if the part is small then I find (YMMV) tha tit is simpler for me to use GS instead of trying to pin

I never thought of using glue to get a soft material like this to stick, before.

  When using a drill, especially fine, brittle bits on soft metals, the metals cling to the bit, so I use a light lubricant, like machine oil to make the work easier to keep clear of debris. If you have to make a deep hole, drill only a little at a time and apply oil often so the bit doesn't get stuck. Drill a little, reverse rotation, pull out, add more oil. Once you're finished, using acetone or dish washing liquid to remove the oil will prepare you for your next work.

  For pinning, I have a selection of paper clips that I trim to order. A note: Due to the nature of steel in contact with non-ferrous metal, steel pins will rust over time. I found brass paper clips and you may substitute brass or copper wire found in craft shops for pins and even antennas.

I use copper wire the bigger parts, but this is the smallest part I have ever worked with.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

Cazaril

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #8 on: 21 July 2019, 13:35:43 »
it looks about 3-4 times as wide as the wire I plan to use.

If that is the case, does it look like you have the room to get two pieces of wire side by side?

The reason I ask goes back to rotational forces (torque)... If you use one piece of wire on any pin job, the part (if hit) will try to rotate around that pin, and it won't take much to end up with a loose part. Two pins, shift the axis and allow the pins to absorb more of the shock. A hard enough hit will still pop the hold (like knocking a mini off a 5 foot height shelf), but something like tipping your mini over on the game board is less likely to do so.

I have a dremel. This sounds like a great time to wear eye protection.

Always a good idea... I'm not that cautious... I tend to apply the wire on the outward part of the disc (as the disc rotates, this is the point at which it would throw something away from you) and just let physics do it's job. Of course this is probably why I will lose an eye someday... Oh! And if you use the old aerial wire, don't be concerned when it creates sparks.

What do you think of inserting the wire at this point and using that to mark the other part?

That is my prefer method actually...

No problem; I needed it for something else anyways.

Don't get me wrong... Green Stuff is an important part of any repair. It is the best gap filler I've ever found, and it's sculpt-ability is important for hiding that the part was ever repaired... As I've relearned recently (much to my chagrin), prep matters and paint hides nothing. Any imperfection will draw the eye to it, and an imperfection perceived becomes hard to ignore... Maybe you plan to do a "table-top" paint job, but even still, what better time to practice then when it doesn't matter.


I do a lot of drilling and pinning, but I have never found a vice (if I know what you mean) that wasn't a piece of expensive junk. We are talking about the things with the articulated arms, toothed  grippers and usually a magnifying glass, right?

Oh good heavens no... Those things are, well let's just say "expensive junk" is both polite and kind... The only thing worth anything on those might be the clippy arm pieces, but even they will scare metal. I prefer wooden clothes pins to those (and I get a whole batch for a whole lot less)...

No, I am talking about a hobby vise.



This is just one type (mine doesn't use the suction cup base, but has a C-clamp type pieces that screws in to grab a table's edge)... The defining thing that makes a hobby vise more than just a regular vise is the rubber over the jaws. This protects your piece from being scared by the jaws and acts as a cushion to keep from deforming your part when you lock it in. This one I think is $30, but I've seen others that look just as usable for $15. It isn't a huge investment (figure $15 is equal to the price of one mini), but if you pin a lot it will save your finger tips.

I never thought of using glue to get a soft material like this to stick, before.

My only concern with that technique would be... Normally when working with Green Stuff it is best to keep it wet (dipping your fingers, or what ever tool you are working with. Even to the point that sometimes I work through a bead of water)... When water comes in contact with uncured super-glue, it almost instantly sets it. But by doing so, it not only can set in rough shapes, but it becomes brittle and less impact resistant.

I use copper wire the bigger parts, but this is the smallest part I have ever worked with.

I've never been a big fan of paper clips or any other wire that bends easily... Music wire at the same diameter as most paper clips requires two sets of pliers to bend and a fairly hefty pair of cutters to trim, while most paper clips you can bend with your hands (even the large ones). Cooper, I would think, bends even easier... Meanwhile, that unyielding strength of the music wire is how I manage to get many of my minis on one foot in a run position, instead of gravity slowly toppling them over (I had a Crab that did that once)... I will concede though that for the length of piece we all typically use, it may be negligible. Chalk it up to personal preference... I can't dispute the claim of rusting. All I can say is that I've never seen any signs of it on the rare occasion I've had to make a repair.

Caz

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #9 on: 21 July 2019, 22:47:57 »
I can't dispute the claim of rusting. All I can say is that I've never seen any signs of it on the rare occasion I've had to make a repair.
Caz
  I lived in Hawaii, so humid that steel would rust while you watched it. You also had to be careful what you used for filling bases, because the (huge, flying) roaches would eat papier mache, cardboard or white glue...

beachhead1985

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #10 on: 23 July 2019, 23:13:35 »
If that is the case, does it look like you have the room to get two pieces of wire side by side?

I wish! These parts are claws and they narrow towards the tip.

That is my prefer method actually...

Nice!

Don't get me wrong... Green Stuff is an important part of any repair. It is the best gap filler I've ever found, and it's sculpt-ability is important for hiding that the part was ever repaired... As I've relearned recently (much to my chagrin), prep matters and paint hides nothing. Any imperfection will draw the eye to it, and an imperfection perceived becomes hard to ignore... Maybe you plan to do a "table-top" paint job, but even still, what better time to practice then when it doesn't matter.

I can't paint to save my life. That is a skill I have not yet had the confidence to improve. However; My putty techniques aren't bad from my model-kit days.

Oh good heavens no... Those things are, well let's just say "expensive junk" is both polite and kind... The only thing worth anything on those might be the clippy arm pieces, but even they will scare metal. I prefer wooden clothes pins to those (and I get a whole batch for a whole lot less)...

That actually makes me feel better. I always felt guilty that mine basically became a toy, gathered rust and fell apart and the parts got lost.

No, I am talking about a hobby vise.


Look at that! I have never seen such a thing! I'll have to see where I can get one. I like to shop local when possible.

I've never been a big fan of paper clips or any other wire that bends easily... Music wire at the same diameter as most paper clips requires two sets of pliers to bend and a fairly hefty pair of cutters to trim, while most paper clips you can bend with your hands (even the large ones). Cooper, I would think, bends even easier... Meanwhile, that unyielding strength of the music wire is how I manage to get many of my minis on one foot in a run position, instead of gravity slowly toppling them over (I had a Crab that did that once)... I will concede though that for the length of piece we all typically use, it may be negligible. Chalk it up to personal preference... I can't dispute the claim of rusting. All I can say is that I've never seen any signs of it on the rare occasion I've had to make a repair.

Caz

I'll have to check that out. You get it at music stores? I use guitar wire for other things, so I know where to go if that is the case.
  I lived in Hawaii, so humid that steel would rust while you watched it. You also had to be careful what you used for filling bases, because the (huge, flying) roaches would eat papier mache, cardboard or white glue...

I know/have known people like that
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
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And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

Cazaril

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #11 on: 24 July 2019, 20:13:18 »
That actually makes me feel better. I always felt guilty that mine basically became a toy, gathered rust and fell apart and the parts got lost.

I think I have 2... And no idea where either of them are (and don't really care much).

Look at that! I have never seen such a thing! I'll have to see where I can get one. I like to shop local when possible.

Not sure where you are... In The States, Michael's or Hobby Lobby should have them (don't forget your 40% off coupon). HobbyTown if you have one. Northern Tools. Wal-Mart might even have them... Elsewhere in the world, local hobby shop?

I'll have to check that out. You get it at music stores? I use guitar wire for other things, so I know where to go if that is the case.

That is a good question... Too bad I don't have an equally good answer...

I don't go to music shops much because I am so musically un-inclined that I can barely play the radio... I do know that it is sometimes referred to as "Piano Wire", but much of the piano wire I see is coiled up. This stuff does not coil... I got mine in three foot lengths with 3-4 in a bundle. I picked up 0.015, 0.020, and 0.032 (mainly used for pinning, and the smaller two for antenna), as well as 0.047 and 0.055 (primarily used as rod to stabilize a 'Mech I've reposed on one foot or to lock the legs into the base so they can't move)... I purchased it at a local HobbyTown, but have no idea where else you might find it.

Caz

Valkerie

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #12 on: 28 July 2019, 22:21:37 »
The wire you speak of Caz, can be found at some hardware stores if they carry a "hobby" metal rack.  I do at my store and we have a full selection of the music wire.

And no, I don't know why it's called that either.  Never seen it on any musical instrument I can think of. ???
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beachhead1985

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Re: Advice for drilling and pinning very small/narrow parts
« Reply #13 on: 06 September 2019, 09:58:49 »
Update: I followed the advice from this thread and it worked great!

Thank you!

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Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman