Thursday, September 27, 2018

Scratch Brushes

Scratch brushes: brass, at top, with "bristles" extended and fiberglass, at bottom, with "bristles" retracted
Almost two months ago, I was reading John Golden's blog, Railroad Prototype Modeler, and came across the post, "New York Central ARA Hoppers." Like most of John's posts, it was an entertaining and worthwhile read. However, the thing that caught my attention most was a reference a little over halfway through the post to a "fiberglass scraper tool" that John had recently purchased. I filed that information away and made a mental note to check the local art supply stores when I had occasion to visit them. I discovered that none of my local stores (or any art stores) stock them. 

They are designed to remove buildup of oxidation (and crud) from jewelry. Their proper name is a scratch brush. I ended up ordering one each of the fiberglass and brass variants from Amazon (I am actually an Amazon Prime member to get their data storage, but loathe giving money to the overlords Amazon, so I must have really wanted these tools...) 

In addition to fiberglass and brass, steel "bristles" are another option. Replacement bristles can be ordered as needed. These tools are about the size and shape of pens. By turning the top of the handle, one can extend or retract the bristles. The shorter the bristles, the more roughly they "score" the surface. After about two strokes across a styrene flat car deck, I realized these are amazing tools for weathering. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I will provide a separate post that highlights some of their capabilities. Until then, buy some of your own and use them liberally.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I was on this site originally looking for GN decals to put on the Funaro & Camerlengo center depressed flat car I'm putting together and happened across this blog post about scratch brushes. I have a fiber glass one bought from Micro Mark for use in soldering. Good idea to use it for weathering, I hadn't thought of that, but my alternative use for it, is to clean freight car (HO) wheel treads with it. No residue like liquid cleaners, but be sure & get the vacuum out immediately after use.....