Modeling Tools

(Clockwise) Cutting Mat, Sand Paper, Square, Pin Vise & Drills, ACC Glue, Yellow Carpenters Glue, Rubber Bands, Hobby Knife & blades, Needle Files, and Pliers.

The neat part about building wooden freight car kits, is that you do not need sophisticated or expensive tools. In fact, you probably already have what you need in your tool box!!

There is a "core" set of tools that you should have on hand and then you can expand from that with some "optional" tools that will help make the task easier but are not absolutely necessary.

Core Tools
These are the tools that we recommend you have on hand. Refer to the diagram above.

  • Work Surface / Cutting Mat - These are a great surface to work on. They'll make your blades last a lot longer and with the grid pattern on the surface, will help ensure your model is built "square". These can be found at the Micheals Craft store and even Dollar Store.
  • Hobby Knife - The most common being the Xacto #11. You will need a few blades as you will always need a sharp one on hand.
  • Straight Edge - This is to enable cutting straight lines and for lining up piecs during assembly. A scale ruler version would be best as his will allow measurement of pieces.
  • Square - Will be used to ensure walls, etc are square during assembly. These can be purchsed at Busy Bee, Princess Auto and even Lee Valley tools.
  • Yellow glue, ACC - Since the kits are made of wood, a white or yellow carpenters glue will be required. Yellow is my preferred one due to it's quick setting time. ACC (super glue)will be used for any quick bonding needs.
  • Scale Ruler - Used to transfer measurements from the plan to the model.
  • Dividers - A more accurate device used to transfer measurements from the plan to the model.
  • Files - Are used to fine tune any sizing of pieces.
  • Tweezers - To handle small pieces.
  • Pliers: needle nose, cutters - To fabricate parts such as brake rigging and stirrup steps
  • 0 80 Drills & pin vise - To drill holes in the wood and detail parts
  • Sand Paper: 120 / 180 grit - Used to adjust sizes of pieces, true up edges, etc
  • Rubber bands - To aid in the assembly of pieces.
  • Weights - These are used to hold pieces together while the glue dries.
  • Sharp pencils - To mark pieces during construction

Optional Tools
These are tools that you may wish to augment your tool kit with.
  • Pin Board - Can be used to assemble parts of the kit on. Thus typically a "ceiling tile" or temtest baord. Homasote also works well here. Basically it is a surface that can readily take pins.
  • Sewing Pins - These can be used for a mutlitude of things. Primarily for holding things in place on the Pin Board. These may also be used to applying glue.
  • Clamps home made, commercial, bar - Any true carpenter knows you can never have enough clamps! My personal favourite is the ones made from popsicle as they were cheap to make and very flexible. The commercial spring clamps and the brass bar clamp are also very handy.
  • Tooth picks, cardboard - Glue is puddled on the cardboard then applied carefully to the model with the tooth picks.
  • Reading glasses, opto visor - For us with aging eyes, glasses aid in viewing the smaller pieces.


This Web page is maintained by Grant Knowles and was last updated on Oct, 2015.