Tools, Liquids, & Workspace
It's time for us to look at your toolkit in a little more detail.
This is an area where you can spend quite a bit of money, and end up with huge amounts of kit should you wish to. But we're heading in the opposite direction. We'll be looking at travelling light, and keeping down the costs. In all honesty that's not going to be too difficult, as a fairly basic toolkit will suit most people quite nicely.
The cost of tools can vary hugely, with the highest quality tools demanding premium prices, and the lowest being super cheap. Obviously the cheaper tools won't last as long, nor will they be quite as nice nice to use, but when you can buy a whole toolkit for half the price of a slot car, it's not difficult to see the attraction.
- Phillips screwdrivers, size PH0, PH00 & maybe PH1
- Flatblade screwdriver, 2-3mm blade width
Hex Drivers, or Allen Keys
- 0.9mm, for Slot.it
- 1.3mm, for NSR
A good idea with hex drivers is to invest in a torque wrench which will ensure that you don't over tighten the bolts which can round off the driver or the bolt.
- Small pliers
- Scalpel/X-acto knife with spare blades
- Nail file or emery board
- Soldering Iron
Good to Have
- Pinion puller and press
- Chassis set up plate
- Rotary Tool
- Accurate Scales
By liquids we mean the various things in bottles which can help you to tune, or repair your car. There are a mutitude of potions available.
- Bushing Oil, or 3 in 1
- Braid cleaner, or lighter fluid
- Super Glue, for quick fixes, but don't use it on clear plastic, it will fog.
- Epoxy Glue, for heavy duty fixes particularly where some mechanical support is required
Good to Have
- Inox MX3, miracle oil that might well be an essential item for digital racers
- Braid Conditioner
- Isopropyl Alcohol for cleaning
- Hot Glue, a rubbery glue applied with a heat gun, which can be pulled off if necessary.
If you've got the space to set up a permanent workbench, or table to work at, that's great. But for those of you who don't, we thought we might give you a little food for thought.
Here is my version of a small, portable, modular workbench, which is cheap and practical, as well as helping to keep things neat and tidy.
It doesn't look much like a workbench to me.
You're right, it looks like three biscuit tins and a cardboard box, which is exactly what it is. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as a work station. Never the less, in spite of it's humble appearance, it has most of what I need to work on my cars, so please bear with me while I explain.
The cardboard box is simply a toolbox, and contains all of my tools, such as screwdrivers, allen keys, files, pliers, soldering iron, scissors and scalpel. It also contains all of my glues, oils, and other bits and bobs like sandpaper, toothrush & paste and wetstone.
The first of the tins is full of all my spare parts, all stored in clear containers so you can easily see what each one holds. They all came with take away meals, and have lids. It's all simple stuff.
The other two tins are my project boxes, which store whatever I'm working on at the time. These boxes are loaded up with whichever tools I need from the toolkit, and whatever parts I need from the spare parts box, and they can then be taken to any space I choose to work in.
The biscuit tin lids, turned upside down, become my portable work area, so that I can work wherever I want; next to the track, at the dining table, or even on the sofa watching TV. They protect any surface I work on from oil and glue spills, and they're lipped, so they contain any mess, and stop any small parts from escaping.
The tin lids actually stack onto the tin itself even when the lid is upside down, so I can use both if I think I might need some extra parts, or if I'm using the soldering iron and want make sure I don't burn the top of the dining table.
I've also glued a small metal box to each work surface, and attached magnets to it, so I can store any small metal parts in it, and they all stay put. The box also has a slide on lid so that the contents can be made totally secure. The screwdriver station also has magnets in the bottom, so that it stays in place.
Neat & Tidy
When I've finished working, it can all be stacked away neatly all ready for whenever I get time to do some more work.
I'm not going to claim that this as good as having a dedicated workbench, but it does work, and this one cost absolutely nothing. It's also modular, so it will no doubt be expanded next time we buy a tin of biscuits.