Post-Nuclear Family Gift Suggestions 2013 – 7

Sooner or later, every hobbyist hits the point where the ideas you have are ones that can be realized by building them yourself. This might be a particular prop, a particular tool, or, in the case of gardening, just the right container. In that case, having the right tools to make the right tool matter just as much as anything else.

Besides bonsai tools, tools and supplies intended for model-building and model train displays work extremely well for miniature garden design and construction, and with the general death of the mom-and-pop hobby shop in the Nineties, online sources stepped in to fill the niche. Between power tools for drilling and tapping, and specialty filing and sanding options, you can’t go wrong with Micro-Mark. I’ve been buying from Micro-Mark for nearly 15 years, because sometimes a job can only be finished with proper application of a Flex-I-File.

About the only issue I’d have with Micro-Mark is with its selection of casting resins and mold-making supplies, but that’s not because the company sells poor products. It’s because sometimes you need more options. That’s why I was extremely glad to discover Reynolds Advanced Materials last week. You’d be amazed at how much epoxy putty gets used on various projects here at the Triffid Ranch, and Reynolds carries several specialist varieties that should be essential items in any miniature garden designer’s toolkit. Even better, for those with access to a brick-and-mortar store, Reynolds offers all-day training seminars/a> to get the best use out of casting and molding materials, and two-hour product demo classes to fill in experienced users on new products. Between resin-casting and making food-grade molds, the Czarina and I already have plans for a late anniversary present, as soon as the Dallas locale offers new classes in the new year.

More to follow…

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