Building model railroads is a journey. There is a joy of completing your trains, buildings, scenery, and laying your tracks. When preparing to build your railroad town, you must organize your materials, especially what tools to use. Let’s explore the tools for model railroad building for the best results.
1. Clean environment – You need to have a clear, flat surface to create your foundation for the railroad. You can use a plexiglass to keep it clean, but not necessary. Keep cleaning supplies and cloths handy, to maintain a clean surface.
2. Protective gear – Wear protective equipment, since you’re working with all types of chemicals, wiring, and other machinery. Use safety glasses with machinery, mask when painting and gloves as well.
3. Basic toolbox – Keep your basic toolbox handy with screwdrivers and hammers for nailing down or finishing off any combinations. Use the small jewelers or watchmakers’ screwdrivers set for modeling railroads.
Since we covered some tools you already have around the house, now let’s look at some specialty tools for building model railroads. You can get from craft stores or hobby shops:
4. Craft knife – You will get a lot of use out of this tool for shaping and modeling scenery, and track work. Keep this one near you.
5. Small headed hammer – This tool is great for pushing in track pins, as well as fixing mistakes. It’s also good for working with delicate metals in your layout.
6. Multi-meter – It’s important to know how much voltage you have on your train tracks. Use the multi-meter to see how much power you have for your train.
7. Pliers – Use this tool to hold a delicate model to solder, pass wires through holes, or under a train track. Pliers are also great for picking up a fallen small part in a tight spot.
8. Rail cutters – To get clean, precise cuts for your tracks, rail cutters are a definite need. Rail cutters provide a great shape and steel rail cutters can last for years.
9. Soldering Iron – This is vital to heating tracks or wires to build your railroad and other accessories. It’s crucial to get an iron with different size tips, depending upon what item you’re working on.
10. Cutting tools – When cutting materials, a cutting mat and hacksaw come in handy. Use a mat to cut materials, instead of the kitchen table. Use a hacksaw to cut materials too hard for a craft knife or scissors.
11. Tweezers – Use this tool to position delicate pieces, pulling wires through holes, and removing splinters from baseboards.
12. Brushes – Use sable hairbrushes to paint your model buildings and other scenery items. The buildings retain their shape and points after painting with the brush.
13. Glue gun – The glue gun is great for placing trees, fixing tracks, and great for building kits.
There are other tools and accessories for your model railroad, like remote control switches and LED lights. These accessories bring your railroad to life, illuminating your creation.