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Recommended Tools for a New Miniaturist building Furniture


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Remember...a couple of decades ago when you first started in miniatures... what are the top 10 most important tools on your workbench?  I am sure that we are all passionate about our tools, so please feel free to expand on those thoughts...


I ask myself what is really important in my ability to build furniture .... what would you consider to be important in the NON power tool category, and  then secondly what is necessary for the next step when we start adding power tools to the bench?


1) xacto knife

2) miter box and saw (for miniatures)

3) jewelers saw, v - block and clamp

4) tweezers

5) miniature carving tools - ie scalpel

6) various sizes of masonite shapes and dowel rods for sanding with adhesive backed sandpaper of various grits

7) magnifier and good light source

8) micro hand drill or pin vise


(at present time I can't come up with 10 items)


So what is on your list to help a new beginner have a successful experience in scale mini furniture building...



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I will go with your first eight Tamra, number nine would be good qaulity escapement files in fine grades of all different shapes and number ten gluing jigs.

Power tools:

1. Bandsaw if you want to make your own timber in different thicknesses.

2. Thickness sander

3. Tablesaw

4. Drill press

5. Lathe

6. Mill

The first two power tools I bought was the tablesaw and drill press, the others I added with time, the mill is still on my wish list.

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As I tend to build structures and to a lesser degree furniture this is my daily list.


The power tools have been built up over 30+ years so depending on what you make determines what power tools you should start with, I remember cutting 1/48th window trim with a 12inch dropsaw and a 120tooth blade, those were the days.


If possible always buy the best quality you can afford because good tools ARE worth the investment


Hand Tools, or Human Power Tools.


1: Scalpel

2: Lots of scalpel blades

3: more scalpel handles to hold different blades

4: large snap off blade knife

5: variety of tweezers and clamps, the more variety the better

6: micro drill and bits

7: digital verniers

8: miter box and saws

9: light source as getting older

10: good quality files

11: good quality sharp pencil's


Power tools


1: Laser cutter, brilliant for structures and replication, Full size 1500mm x 900mm cutting area. I draw in Coreldraw X5 and print straight to cutter.

2: Proxxon mini table saw, not sure how I got by without one

3: Router table and fine miniature bits, 6mm hand trimmer in home made table with adjustable guides.

4: Dremel

5: Drill press. Full size

6: Thickness sander, Home made from plans on internet,250mm throat.

7: Bandsaw. Full size

8: Lathe, Mini

9: Mill, Full size, price was right

10: Computer and internet access

11: Entertainment system to keep me sane, Full size with surround sound. :wub:


#s 1 and 11 almost indispensable to me now. Actually everything is indispensable, it allows me to do the work I want. And of course somewhere to house all the above and a big work bench to work on. Do we really need to stop at 10 :rolleyes::ph34r::P:):angry:B):o:lol::unsure: and the best most indispensable thing for me is to have is a supportive partner.

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Warren, where is the CNC router on this list?  They are coming down in price... and remember to add to your machining list for the laser or CNC router, the software of choice to program the cool tools!


Already, things that I didn't think of yesterday for the list...

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Of course we don't have to stop at 10... but when several people put their top 10 on it helps the new folks.  If we can, let's 'drill down' to the specifics... Are we talking life size power tools or miniature power tools? Obviously the Proxxon table saw is geared to our scale work, but I've met plenty of men who use standard tools for miniature making, and I guess this is due to experience and comfort level.  I am more likely to carry my preac into the kitchen and use it; then use the standard table saw, but I love my Standard Size Band Saw, and I'm as comfortable with it; as I am my sewing machine.



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All tools are good!.... And you should have a few of each.... This said and as those that know me I will never be walking around with a tee shirt that says I have too many tools..... It all boils down to those you use the most..... I would say one percent of my tools do 95% of my work.

Hand tools...

Xacto knife

Jewelers saw

Lots of files

Dial caliper

Little square

Pin vices

Tiny hand planes

Flat nose pliers


Miniature Power tools

Taig lathe

Table saw

Cameron drill press

Disk sander

Full size power tools

Band saw


Table saw

And what I suspect will soon be my favorite tool in the shop..... A two foot long pair of tweezers!...... So sensitive you could pick up a half of grain of rice or little piece of wire off the floor without ever leaving your chair...... It will be the tool that saves my aging knees.

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I like the two foot long pair of tweezers.  Do they really make these?  :)  My favorite pair of tweezers has an incredible strong tip.  Excelta (Swiss Made) 00SA, a little pricey, and then my second pair of tweezers were cheap (under $3) from Metalliforous (NYC) with a curved tip... Looks like I have a few needed tools missing from my inventory, a miniaturist can never have enough tools! 


I am unfamiliar with, under the category, of Miniature Power tool, a disk sander.  I have an old dremel with a disk sander attached, and I've never used it.  Am I missing out on an opportunity... and should keep this old timer saw?  I like my black and decker mouse, easy to hold onto... and not as heavy as our Dewalt Palm sander, and lots of cool attachments to get into small places for my B & D mouse. 


Warren, with the exception of the proxxon table saw, are the rest of your tools in the full size category? 

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I have updated my previous post to define full size or mini for tools. I think that was a good suggestion WeekendMiniaturist. Some tools are better in full size as long as they are accurate you can generally do more with them.


A mini disk sander can either be a hand held device like a dremel with a sanding disk in it or I have seen mini random orbital sanders with different shaped heads to get into different places or it can be a bench mounted machine that usually has a 4 or 6 inch sanding disk in the vertical plain, very useful with an adjustable guide to sand accurate tapers on things.

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