Topics

Scalpels


Lester Breuer
 

 

If you have an interest in new tools or a new use for an old tool, my new blog post on scalpels and other handles as  Xacto with scalpel blades is available for your read.  Photos and writeup of scalpels are now available on my blog I have to share photos and writeup of modeling projects on my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.   If you would like to take a look please do at the following link:

 

http://mnrailroadcab100.blogspot.com/

 

 

Lester Breuer


John Sykes III
 

Been using them for about 40 years now.  Sharper than Xactos, with multiple sizes and multiple blade designs.  I buy them by the 100s.  Plus, if you get sterile blades, you are less likely to get an infection if you accidentally cut yourself.  I have Xacto knives but rarely use them.

-- John


Nelson Moyer
 

Not so sure about the infection part.

 

Nelson P. Moyer, Ph.D., D(ABBM)

Medical, Public Health, and Environmental Microbiologist

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of John Sykes III via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2020 4:42 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Scalpels

 

Been using them for about 40 years now.  Sharper than Xactos, with multiple sizes and multiple blade designs.  I buy them by the 100s.  Plus, if you get sterile blades, you are less likely to get an infection if you accidentally cut yourself.  I have Xacto knives but rarely use them.

-- John


Ed Mims
 

Years ago I discovered that medical grade blades are vastly superior to hobby grade blades. They are made from high quality steel, are sharper and hold their edge much longer. Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs.

Ed Mims
Jacksonville, FL


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Ed and List Members,
 
Ed wrote: "Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs"
 
I also have found this to be true. My theory on the topic is that the tip on a single edge razor blade is a 90 degree angle, and the tip on a #11 X-Acto is a much more acute angle, sort of like the tip on the end of a slice of pizza. I suspect it is this acute angle that makes it susceptible to breaking off more easily than the single edge razor blade
 
Claus Schlund
 
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Ed Mims
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2020 7:25 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Scalpels

Years ago I discovered that medical grade blades are vastly superior to hobby grade blades. They are made from high quality steel, are sharper and hold their edge much longer. Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs.

Ed Mims
Jacksonville, FL


Tim O'Connor
 


I split box car doors by putting them on a hard flat surface, lining up a single edge razor blade
where I want to make the vertical cut, and then using pressure first and then hammering with a
steel weight, I get a perfect slice. Plastic doors (with smooth backs), that is.




On 11/9/2020 11:07 AM, Claus Schlund \(HGM\) wrote:
Hi Ed and List Members,
 
Ed wrote: "Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs"
 
I also have found this to be true. My theory on the topic is that the tip on a single edge razor blade is a 90 degree angle, and the tip on a #11 X-Acto is a much more acute angle, sort of like the tip on the end of a slice of pizza. I suspect it is this acute angle that makes it susceptible to breaking off more easily than the single edge razor blade
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Ed Mims
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2020 7:25 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Scalpels

Years ago I discovered that medical grade blades are vastly superior to hobby grade blades. They are made from high quality steel, are sharper and hold their edge much longer. Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs.

Ed Mims
Jacksonville, FL


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Claus, I think you’re correct, however, I misread your statement to begin with, which made me go measure some dimensions on a SERB, and on a handy eXacto blade.

 

My SERB is .01” thick and the dimension of the ground part on the side is .040”, so the included angle between the two ground faces works out to ~14d, 20 minutes.  I thought it would be less.

 

The eXacto is .026” thick with a ground face of 0.075”.  The included angle is therefore ~18d 05minutes.

 

There, the SERB is sharper than the eXacto.

 

Then it dawned on me that you were looking at the SIDE view of the blades . . . and I suppose you’re correct about the strength of the corner vs the pointed tip of the eXacto.  But I’ve never had one break off so it didn’t occur to me that that was what you’re talking about.

 

Nevertheless I now have a Real Answer as to which is sharper!

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2020 11:08 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Scalpels

 

Hi Ed and List Members,

 

Ed wrote: "Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs"

 

I also have found this to be true. My theory on the topic is that the tip on a single edge razor blade is a 90 degree angle, and the tip on a #11 X-Acto is a much more acute angle, sort of like the tip on the end of a slice of pizza. I suspect it is this acute angle that makes it susceptible to breaking off more easily than the single edge razor blade

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Ed Mims

Sent: Monday, November 09, 2020 7:25 AM

Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Scalpels

 

Years ago I discovered that medical grade blades are vastly superior to hobby grade blades. They are made from high quality steel, are sharper and hold their edge much longer. Even single edge razor blades are much better than hobby blades for many jobs.

Ed Mims
Jacksonville, FL


Lester Breuer
 

Scalpels and blades are great; however, I can not argue about the fine edge of the Single Edge Razor Blade (SERB).  Both tools help to build a better freight car.
Lester Breuer


Dennis Storzek
 

Lester,
You mention grinding the stiffening rib off scalpel blades to get them to fit an X-acto handle. There is another way. I've had little use for X-acto blades over the years, but at one point at a show I found I had scalpel blades but no handle, so I procured a #2 X-acto handle. The collet that holds the X-acto blade is soft aluminum, easy to file, so I just used the edge of a knife edge file to file a groove along the split line on one side of the collet, sufficient to clear the rib on the scalpel blade. Once modified it will accept unmodified scalpel blades, and still work with X-acto chisel blades, too.

Dennis Storzek


John Sykes III
 

The sterile blade comment was conjecture, with no scientific proof on my part, to back it up.  One thing I still use is the Xacto #17 chisel  blades (when I can find them) since I can't think of a scalpel blade equivalent.

-- John


Bob Thompson
 

Lee Valley Tools makes a very nice scalpel blade handle in their Veritas line of wood working tools, https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/carving-tools/knives/31088-veritas-carvers-knife?item=05K7301

Bob Thompson


Eric Bergh
 

I spent this summer working out of a portable toolbox back at the camp... and found this RETRACTABLE Scalpel from American Science & Surplus to be real handy & safe when fishing for it down inside the box! Open in new window .  Cheap Too!
Hope this helps! - Eric


--
-Eric Bergh, Walnut Creek, CA
Learn by Doing!


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote"

"I split box car doors by putting them on a hard flat surface, lining up a single edge razor blade
where I want to make the vertical cut, and then using pressure first and then hammering with a
steel weight, I get a perfect slice. Plastic doors (with smooth backs), that is."

    Have u ever considered a NWSL Chopper Tim? I suspect just firm, even pressure would do it.

Cordially, Don Valentine


ed_mines
 

I bought a package of #11 surgical blades from ebay for a couple of dollars.


Mac shp
 

A great video discussion on scalpel handles and blades usable  for the hobby is found at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaX1Zx1JmAs


Matt Goodman
 

Thanks for writing about this, Lester. I purchased a scalpel handle and #11 equivalent blades from a UK seller on Ebay a year or two ago. Around the same time, I also purchased two Olfa knives: A Designer Art Knife (AK5) and a Cushion Grip Art Knife (AK4). 

The blades for the AK4 are identical in shape to an XActo #11 (though thinner and sharper). The shape of the blade  on the AK5 is about half that of a #11, and I’ve come to prefer that angle. It’s more usable in more situations than the #11 profile (for me).

Long story short, If I buy another set of scalpel blades, they will be a profile similar to the Olfa AK5 blade. But then again, maybe I won’t buy more scalpel blades - the Designer Art knife as a whole is just a joy to handle - especially for tasks like cutting out decals. Links for reference.

Favorite:

Very nice but too heavy for model building:

Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio, US

On Nov 8, 2020, at 1:02 PM, Lester Breuer <rforailroad@...> wrote:

 

If you have an interest in new tools or a new use for an old tool, my new blog post on scalpels and other handles as  Xacto with scalpel blades is available for your read.  Photos and writeup of scalpels are now available on my blog I have to share photos and writeup of modeling projects on my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.   If you would like to take a look please do at the following link:

 

http://mnrailroadcab100.blogspot.com/

 
 

Lester Breuer



Ken Adams
 

I found the Olfa KB4-5 are much better chisel blades for shaving off unwanted details such as cast grab irons than Xacto #17. But I still need very narrow chisel blade for removing other details.
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io