Whether you are building furniture for a dollhouse or a ship in a bottle, miniature woodworking requires a specific set of tools. Many miniature woodworking tools are just smaller versions of traditional tools found in the average carpenter's workshop. Having proper tools for miniature woodworking will allow you to expedite detail work and ensure a well-crafted project.
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A mini square consists of two straightedges set at a 90-degree angle. This allows you to mark lines perfectly perpendicular to an edge or to check corners. Mini squares have straightedges that range from 1 to 3 inches--suitable for use on extremely small pieces of wood.
A utility knife is commonly used in construction for cutting sheetrock or shingles but is also a good tool for miniature wood workers. A utility knife consists of a handle that holds a razor sharp blade and can be used to cut or score soft, lightweight woods such as balsa.
A craft knife is like a utility knife but holds a smaller blade. A craft knife is also used for scoring and cutting lightweight woods.
A mini plane is a hand tool with a flat bottom that sits flush against a surface. Within the flat bottom is a blade held at a sharp angle. The blade is pushed along an edge or surface to shave, trim and shape wood. Mini planes are typically about 3-inches long with a 1 1/2-inch blade width.
Save your eyes while doing detail work with a magnifier. A magnifier has glasses-like magnifying lenses connected to a head strap. The lenses are hinged to the head strap, allowing them to be lifted up and down as needed. Magnifiers with lights are also available.
A couple of pairs of ordinary tweezers are handy to have when handling and gluing together tiny pieces of wood.
Micro-palm Carving Tools
Micro-palm tools allow you to carve, turn and model wood. The tips of micro-palm tools are thinner than traditional palm tools and typically come in sets of multiple tools with a variety of types of blade tips, such as deep angle, shallow angle, rounded and concave.
Mini Marking Gauge
A marking gauge is used for scribing straight lines in relation to an edge. A marking gauge consists of a fence, which is a metal piece with a straight, flat edge, that is moved along the edge of a piece of wood. In woodworking, a fence refers to something that guides a straight cut. Connected to the fence is a perpendicular arm with a spur. When the fence is moved, the spur scribes the wood, creating a line perpendicular to the edge. The stem is adjustable for scribing at different distances from the edge. A mini marking gauge is useful when doing dollhouse joinery.
A pin vice is a pencil-sized chuck that holds micro drill bits. This miniature drill is used for making tiny pilot, thread or wire holes in wood.
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