Layout Tips – Coating Tweezers

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National Model Railroad Association Master Model Railroader Gerry Leone gives some tips for the workbench in this video. When working on the workbench, tweezers are typically used to hold figures and other small objects. Unfortunately, tweezers can marr the paint on the figures, the sharp ends scraping the surface off. Sometimes figures even need to be repainted after handling.

Irregular shaped objects like couplers or ball bearings will also slip out of normal tweezers. Gerry manages this problem by coating the tips of his tweezers with rubber. He uses Rubber Mold, which is available in almost all art stores. Rubber Mold is a latex material that is very thick and white. Gerry uses it to make molds, taking a wall casting carved out of plaster and coating it with several layers of latex for a perfect mold for plaster.

Casting is a lot of fun and saves a lot of time and money on the layout. It is easy to dunk the tweezers in a jar of Rubber Mold, letting them set overnight. A second or third coat might be required. The rubber on the tweezer tips won’t ruin any paint and it makes them able to hold strange objects without any slipping. If paint gets on the rubber or it cracks it is easy to remove the rubber and repeat the process again.

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