Building a better styrene “Chopper”

modified NWSL The Chopper

So my latest project wasn’t actually a model, but a modification of Northwest Short Line’s The Chopper. I had had problems with The Chopper being able to cut really thin styrene. I also had a problem with the blade chipping away at the pressed wood base. In talking with someone at Keeper of the Force, he showed me a similar modification he did, which I copied.

In rebuilding it, I used a solid piece of wood instead of the cheap cardboard like base. I used a Dremel to router away a small square inlay where I could glue a piece of glass. I used a cheap mirror, so I had to sand the mirror finish off the back. Then I painted it black for easier visibility against white styrene. The glass gives the blade a hard surface to cut against instead of chipping away at the wood.

I then used a stainless steel ruler with metric markings, and mounted it in place with the 15cm mark where the blade comes down. I had to glue down the brass grommets, but everything seems to work well for now.

Posted in Tools.

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