: >I'm trying my hand at some mild conversions for the first time, and
: >things were going pretty smoothly until the time came for me to start
: >scribing in new panel lines.
: The scribing tools mentioned are great, but there's no substutute for
: practice. I use .010 styrene sheet for guides and double backed tape
: that's thin and real sticky works great holding it in place. You can
: easily trim the styrene to scribe curved lines and even punch holes in it
: for those round access panels, cut any shape hole for odd shaped stuff.
: It's not very durable, but it's very easy to work with and durable enough
: for one model.
Practice may be the first rule to scribing panel lines, but process is
important too. Which means there is a 3rd rule to scribing panel lines,
which is patience!
Here's my technique for making panel lines that require minimal clean up:
1. determine the location of the lines. You may need to mark them first,
especially if they're particularly dense and regularly space. For
instance, I had a series of ports all evenly spaced and the same size.
Being particularly ***during this stage was rewarded with superior end
2. apply the appropriate straightedge, or guide. (I regularly use
compass(es) and dividers for circular panels). I've used thin sheets of
brass, drafting triangles, s***styrene, and tape. Anything that
conforms to the shape and holds up to a tool pass is appropriate.
3. lightly!! apply the first pass with either a sharp needle, an no. 11
blade, or tungsten scribe.
4. deepen/widen as necessary. The first pass would be only a scratch.
Here is where the panel line is defined sufficiently to survive a coat
of paint. At this point one can use: the back of a no. 11 blade,
tungsten scribe, sharp needle, or a scribing tool. I've made the
investment in a scribing tool, and I'm never going back. Why? Because
you *pull* with a scribing tool, all of the others you must *push*
through the plastic. Styrene, at the dimensions of interest, is
notoriously inconsistent in hardness. Some regions will easily carve.
Other regions will require additional passes. The temptation will be
to push *harder* but the result will be a tool slip and a scratch across
an unintended surface. Pulling a scribing tool makes this temptation
much less likely and re-emphasis passes much easier to control.
It sounds like a bit much (US$10), but the amount of time saved in not
cleaning up marred panels will pay for itself in no time.
A.J. Madison PHONE: (508) 490-6972
Stratus Computer Inc.