Sculpting tools
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Thread: Sculpting tools

  1. #1

    Default Sculpting tools



    I am in the middle of developing custom sculpting tools to sell through my site.
    Here's the general idea for the moment:

    The tools are going to be made with custom heads and aluminium shafts, you will have the option of choosing the design on the shaft from a given list and the heads will be custom made on demand from either a list of heads on the site or through customer description.

    The heads are hand made from pure Teflon and as stated exactly the way the customer orders them, You will be able to state which shaft what heads are paired on if you are ordering larger sets.

    The picture is of the current preliminary design and now I ask you this:

    1: What would you be willing to pay for this tool and service?

    2: Is there anything you would like to see different?

    Cheers!
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  2. #2

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    Out of intrest why teflon as oppose to metal? all my sculpting tools are ex-dental(metal) or clay shapers (silicon rubber). The dental tools are hard and resiliant while the clayshapers are good for making smooth shapes. What different properties does teflon offer? I would only buy it if it was notably different in a positive way to tools I already have or I heard high praise from someone who knows their way around when it comes to sculpting.

  3. #3

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    teflon is non stick. shawn went off on one a while back when he made his own
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  4. #4

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    First off I think the idea is great and I wish you the best with it.
    1 - For me if it was over $10 I would probably make one myself, but even someone as untalented as I can see the value of these tools and guess that a more intelligent guess at a price would be $20 each.
    2 - These will be extremely light. Some people (like me) prefer tools that have some 'heft' to them. It makes them feel more robust and has the 'right' feel to it (I think most sculpters are used to dental picks and the like). You may want to offer a 'weighted' version for old schoolers.
    The shaft diameter will also be larger than most would be used to, which may cause your tools to be passed over even after purchase because they 'feel wrong'. On the other hand I think the larger diameter is better as it is easier to hold for longer time periods.

    Other comments/questions:
    Would these be made from aluminium arrow shafts? If so are they made with the threaded ferules (for the heads) and the teflon heads made with a threaded shank (thus allowing heads to be changed when worn etc) or glued in?
    Are you hand making the heads or are you having them made and shipped to you?
    Which grade/type of PTFE would you be using for the heads? There are many 'types' of PTFE each with different characteristics (Some are 'harder' some really soft and squishy). I would suggest that you use a firmer grade (which would allow threading if desired) as it tends to last longer.
    You may wish to investigate a different material such as Delrin before begining mass marketing. It may be more suited to you methods of production - or not, it may or may not be 'slippery' enough for you.
    Also watch out using the word 'Teflon' once you are marketing. If it's not made by DuPont it's not Teflon even if the molecules are identical, and DuPont is a very large company....
    Hopefully you find me helpful or ignorable, either way is good
    Oh, sure. Throw logic at the problem! - BarstoolProphet
    Hmm. I always thought the crease in my hand and some sweat did a better job than my mouth. - evil tendencies
    Oh, how bad could it be? It's only for one day. - BarstoolProphet

  5. #5

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    well now, this is one of the most exciting posts I've read for a while! I'd love to have a try with one of these, that would be fantastic. There is a move in the world of Croquet (!) to have carbonfibre shafts with adjustable weights to give the mallet precisely the right weight. I would love the opportunity to have a weight inside a hollow shaft that I could adjust up or down it depending on where I normally hold it. That'd be fantastic. I've never tried teflon, but I'd certainly like to, it sounds like it could have some really good properties.

    As for the price to set it at, man. Thats a tough one. I think the reason we don't have really shiny wonderful sculpting tools on the market is that even the best sculptors use bits of bent tin, old faithful cocktail sticks and ground down hypodermic needles to ply their trade. As such I think there are two lines of thought here... the first is that this should be priced at virtually the same level as the standard metal ones so that you don't feed a market that doesn't exist. The second line of thinking is that you produce something so revolutionary that people use samples, wax lyrical about the amazing skill enhancing properties, and encourage people to buy and sell them as a result, effectively creating the market.

    For what it's worth I really hope you go ahead with this, I'd love to give one a try when they're on sale.
    James

  6. #6

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    @dagoz:
    At the moment they(the heads) are held in place by friction alone, something that surprised me how efficient it actually was, The original thought was to glue them in place but the option to replace heads could be a good idea, question is whether it would be economically defendable with the heads being the most expensive part of the tool.

    I have been thinking about the weight question myself, at the moment these have about the same weight and 'feeling' as an ordinary pencil which is something I appreciate but I definitely recognize the feeling of heavier tools. I have been pondering whether it would be possible to fill the shafts with good old tin or something similar for those who would prefer a heavier tool just like you suggested.

    The shafts are indeed from arrow shafts, those are the only type of pipe I've come across that have actually felt comfortable in my hand. Using ferruled shafts did actually not cross my mind at all until now, that is a good idea.

    The heads are hand made by me using PTFE that is at least branded Teflon from where I get it. I am unsure what grade/type it is, only thing I do know about this particular type is that it is being used in military equipment (I am getting it directly from Bofors for the moment being), and that it definitely is capable of allowing threading.

    I believe it could be an idea to market them saying I'm using "PTFE (Popularly known as Teflon)" or something similar.

    You have most definitely been helpful!

    @Diddy_lemon: As Freak pointed out, Teflon is as close to non stick you can get which means you would never have to lubricate your tools. Another advantage with this material is that it -when thick(like in the 'knife' tool)- is just as sturdy as any metal tool while thin has much similar behavior to that of rubber tools. so using that 'knife' tool as an example, you could use it to smooth your surfaces in the same way as you do with a rubber tool and then just twist it and make cuts and hollows just as good as those you get with a metal tool.

    @Cybersquig: The adjustable weight idea is very intriguing! I think it would be easier to use weights that you just 'pop' in yourself rather than filling the shafts for those who want a heavier tool. That way it would feel even more personal I believe...
    And for the trying out part, I will need a 'team' to try out and review them once I'm off the Beta stage, that'll be much later though but just as a heads up.
    Last edited by Chrome; 12-22-2009 at 08:13 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  7. #7

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    lol! smashing

  8. #8

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    Hi Chrome, there are various gamer mice out there for the hardcore player, they come with a set of weights to slot into a tray underneath so that you can get the mouse to your prefered heft. If you were to glue a piece of plastic rod (filler) into the handle, leaving an inch of space to either end, then the user could drop fishing weights (ball bearings) in to adjust for personal preference, then just push the head in to hold it all in place (tissue paper wadding in place if required). Just a thought

    I've got the GW sculpting tool only so have little experience to provide further feedback. Although I note there is no branding on the handle (stencil & car spray paint) & the wooden box while very nice seems an extravagence, cardboard not cheaper?

    Cheers, B.

  9. #9

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    @BPI: I am thinking about having the box for sets of two or more instead of having it for singles as well, Rugne here pointed out that I might be able to use the kind of paper tubes some brands of brushes come in for single tools instead.
    As for branding, I just haven't found a good way of branding the tools just yet, the stencil/spray approach feels a little dull to be honest, but it might be something if there's no other way.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrome View Post
    The heads are hand made by me using PTFE that is at least branded Teflon from where I get it. I am unsure what grade/type it is, only thing I do know about this particular type is that it is being used in military equipment (I am getting it directly from Bofors for the moment being)...
    If it helps, might be worth comparing prices with this supplier. It's not the one I thought I had bookmarked for the UK but the prices seem good*.

    OnlineMetals.com I think is the cheapest I've seen for the US.

    *If you want to compare prices for the UK, this is a good start.

    Einion

  11. #11

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    @Einion: Ooh, I've been searching for a provider like that(First link)! Bofors is a bit unreliable since I can only get 'leftovers' from them. Granted, these are not based in Sweden but it just might be worth the shipping to have a steady provider with the measures I want. And their prices are quite similar. Pure gold! ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  12. #12
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    Default

    i had our inside machinist form a couple of tools out of 316 stainless steel he had laying about (shipyards have such neat tools...) for me. i like them, because they have some heft- about 3.5oz each. this is nice, because i'm a big old clumsy ox. your product caught my eye though. i really like the nonstick bit about teflon, a lot better than steel that grabs everything. two tips for about ten bucks? i'd probably buy it. wait- what's that in euros? i don't know, i'm too stupid to convert it. i'm interested, will watch the development of this product.

  13. #13

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    $10 is about €7
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  14. #14

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    I'd buy one at $10-$15, even though my sculpting skills are just not there with my painting. I do enough conversions that a tool I could just pick up and use (requiring little maintenance with lubrication, etc) would be very nice.

    I like the idea of some heft to it, cause it does allow for gravity to do some slight work, but filling it with tin? Isn't that the increasingly expensive metal that's driving up mini prices right now?
    You see, fate is like a cat. Sometimes it is nice, and lets you pet it, and it sits in your lap. Sometimes it does not care at all and just wanders around ignoring you. Sometimes it farts in your face, scratches you, then coughs up a hairball on your carpet that you have to pick up.

  15. #15

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    Hmm, it just might be. just used it as an example, haven't done any real research on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  16. #16

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    If people want to make it heavier, let them do it themselves, the tube is hollow, so the option is there. Personally the lighter something is the less tiring it is to use

    You don't want to start getting bogged down with this 'weight problem' and end up with added costs and production delays

    that's my 2 cents
    My Gallery <IMG SRC=http://www.coolminiornot.com/rank.php?name=mickc22> Paragon Studios

  17. #17

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    this might give and idea of where to be with your prices

    Artifolk
    My Gallery <IMG SRC=http://www.coolminiornot.com/rank.php?name=mickc22> Paragon Studios

  18. #18

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    What is the size on it? One thing I've noticed about a lot of the tools the professional sculptors I've seen use (most of which they've made/modified themselves) is that they are much smaller than the ones commonly available from GW and the like.

    Assuming they're at least a little smaller than what's out there, I'd probably be willing to pay at least $10, possibly $15 or a little more for a double-ended one like above. I'd love to have non-stick shaped tools and custom shapes.

  19. #19

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    The shafts measure roughly 4.3"(110mm) with the heads adding up to an inch each depending on the tool. So somewhere around 6" total length for the complete tool.
    I chose 110mm for the shafts because that is a standard handle size for knives over here and is most probably the size that feels the most familiar.
    I have no idea how long the GW tool is since it was years ago since I had one myself but these tools are about the same length as the GF9 tools.

    Oh, and my shafts are roughly the same width as a standard pen. I.e. thicker than the standard sculpting tool. I did this because I asked around a bit and just as myself there were quite a few of my friends that got cramps and stiff fingers from the thin shafts when sculpting.
    Last edited by Chrome; 12-26-2009 at 05:46 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  20. #20

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    "If people want to make it heavier, let them do it themselves, the tube is hollow, so the option is there. Personally the lighter something is the less tiring it is to use

    You don't want to start getting bogged down with this 'weight problem' and end up with added costs and production delays

    that's my 2 cents "

    Do the world a favour and listen to this advice! I could go off an a whole rant about poor products bought by the masses pushing the corporate beast forward producing ever more INFERIOR products and the "lowest common denominator" just eating it up...but I don't want to be a total jerk. Suffice it to say, weighted mice and weighted sculpting tools are NOT a good thing. Never ever. Period. It's not like a mallet or a turning chisel where the extra weight serves a purpose, all it would do is force people to fatigue sooner. Sure, you might "think" you need a few extra grams weight on the left side of your new mouse, and your choices are either weight it down OR leave it light as it is and play with it for all of a few hours and get used to it! Live the rest of your life with a lighter mouse...game, work, play, surf for twice as long without feeling the slightest hint of muscle fatigue and you can thank me for enriching the rest of your ENTIRE "mousing" life. I mean seriously...get a corded mouse while you're at it...that'll cut half the weight out of your mouse alone...try to find a corded mouse though...thanks again to the lowest common denominators.

    /breath, just breath...noone is forcing me to buy a Wii after all.

    Ok, so aside from that, I think the $5-$15 US per tool is a reasonable range. Although, my preference would be to have only one head per. With shapers they only have one, because, I assume, the end is not steel. So, with teflon I'd be worried about damaging the head. Even with a stainless steel head it gets nicked and scratched and the tips that are pointy get bent and deformed when I store them upright in a can/paintbrush holder/coffee cup etc.

    And about the friction fit, make sure to test it after a great deal of use...real use, over real time. Because once some pressure is applied, once some temperature fluctuations occur, I'd worry the previously thick and frictiony (it's a word!) head would be worn down and start falling out. Tap and die sets are not horribly expensive and would thread aluminum and teflon fairly easy, I'd think (check into that though, before you buy). Not sure how well a teflon screw would hold though? Hrm...how to stick to the unstickable? Need to find out how they get it on those frying pans.

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