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Tips & Tricks

Here are some general pointers on using photo etched parts. Our part descriptions contain information about special tools needed for each kit. We try to provide information on where they can be purchased in our links page.


Caution:  Small Parts.  Our products are not recommended for children under 12 yrs of age.  Use Care when handling – thin metal edges can be sharp.  Use of this item in its intended purpose may violate the safety standards of the original item for which it is intended to be used with.


SKILL LEVELS:  We have also included skill levels, as follows:

1 - parts need to be removed and applied. Painting may be required.

2 - holes will need to be drilled for installation.

3 - Drilling and bending is required. Some or all parts will need to be shaped before application.


NOTE: many of our parts are very small, so use caution when working with them. There is nothing worse than searching for a tiny part that fell into the shag carpet! Try to contain the part when clipping from the sprue.


PART REMOVAL: always make sure you cut at the right place. Some parts need to be trimmed flush to the edge, and others have mounting pins or tabs that need to be left on. Toe nail clippers, or small side cutters work well for removing parts. Try a test cut on the edge first to check cut quality. If only a portion or part of a kit is needed, heavy scissors can be used to first remove the section needed.


BENDING: The shape and size dictate how best to form or bend a part. If the part is very small, needle nose pliers work well to hold the part as it is shaped. For larger parts, a small vice with smooth jaws is handy. Clamp along the bend line, and fold the piece over, using a smooth flat object to help crease the bend evenly. Other parts, such as ladder cages, will need to be formed over the proper sized dowel rod.


DRILLING: When installing our parts on tractors, often a very small sized bit is required. Extreme caution needs to be taken when drilling in metal. I have broke many, many small bits over the years. Using a small hand drill, called a pin vice, gives better control, but of course takes longer. See our links page for the one I prefer.


PAINTING: For parts that need to be painted, they can be either painted before removal from the panel, or after. Personal preference prevails here. Parts that need to be formed may lose paint at the bends if they are painted before bending. On parts with fine detail, we recommend using a hobby airbrush. Spray cans tend to apply paint heavier, which will cover up some of the fine detail on the parts.