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Hakko FX888D Soldering Station


HAKKO FX888D Intro

Over the years I have been back and forth over getting a resistance soldering station but I just could not pull the trigger on $400+ for something I may not use that often.

Biggest problem I have had with soldering is the heat and the tip. Most of our soldering irons we get a the local shops are not made for detail and small application, just utilitarian in nature. The big Waller gun I have heats up nice but it's heavy and has limited selections of tips. The smaller irons are generally 25-35 watt, takes a while for them to heat up and the tips are still rather big.

Allow me to introduce you to my new Hakko FX 888D BY (Blue and Yellow) soldering station, they have a silver model also.

Read the technical info about the FX888D here. I'll not get into all this because it's lost on me, I just need heat!


Stylish, Powerful, Compact. Just like the box says.

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DSPIAE Single blade nipper 2.0

DSPIAE Single blade nipper 2.0

One of the very best cutters ever,in my humble opinion.

Single bladed,the cutter part has one extreme sharp blade opposing a flat stopper surface.
To ensure the durability of the blade,fatigue tests (5000 cuts with 4 mm plastic rods) were run during the product
development stage.

It comes in a box containing the cutters,instructions in Chinese and English,leather holster and plastic cap,
anti rust oil, cleaning cloth and the adjustment tool for the limit regulator (used from forcing the blade and stopper face too much to prevent damaging the sharp cutter part)




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Iwata HP-TH review

Iwata HP-TH


Full disclosure, I love Iwata. I purchased my first, the HP-BC2 for use with makeup EFX 33 years ago on the fourth floor of the original Pearl Paint in Manhattan. It was well over $300 (my first car around the same time was $200). I remember it was the fourth floor because I had to take a freight elevator to get to this exotic land of airbrushes, where no one but photo retouchers ever ventured, where a hunched, old man peddled wisdom. I still use that very same brush today and didn't feel to the need to get another until about two years ago when I wanted to try a gravity feed for quicker color changes (Iwata HP-AH)

Recent discussions regarding proper spray coverage for primer and large colors prompted the need for a larger pattern brush. After looking at the ABs mentioned in Paul Budzik's videos, even the lowest priced, the Iwata Kustom 9200 was out of reach for me in the low $400s. I couldn't justify that cost for something that would mostly be used for primers and clear coats.

I was wrong, both on the price and usage capabilities.

I've been buying a lot of stuff from Japan over the years, from books, cooking utensils and supplies to model kits, and there's one strange phenomena regarding what is exported and what is sold in Japan. A great example is a 1/16 Tamiya RC tank kit. The kits released in the Home Island market includes a Futaba transmitter, receiver, battery and charger. Same kit released for anywhere else has a transmitter shaped void in the packing, along with the teasing pages in the directions on how to setup the radio you're not getting.

Turns out Iwata does the same thing. There are the Japan market releases and there are the rest of us. In the US, The Hi-Line Professional TH is released as the Kustom K9200 TH. It includes a grip style moisture trap and beautiful aluminum case. In Japan, the exact same brush is released as the HP-TH in a simple cardboard box without the moisture trap.

The rise of Japanese shops selling to overseas customers has broken open many options, not just for wet stones and Nori, but a lot of other good things. I just bought a Hasegawa Scribber for $12 shipped as well as a Fujimi Claude for $8.80. This Iwata HP-TH was $154 on Amazon, in my hands in two days.

Okay, on to the brush:

As mentioned, you get a simple cardboard box:


Inside you get the body, two air caps (circular and flat patterns), a sizeable color cup with lid, a small tube of Superlube, instructions (Japanese) and a Iwata bumper sticker.

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Micro Mark Jewelers Miter Jig

While browsing the tool section at Micro Mark last week, I came across the #86485 Jewelers Miter Jig and thought it would be a good addition to my arsenal. The jig is well made, it is hardened steel to allow the use of files to finish up the workpiece. There is a stop bar that can be adjusted for repetitive cuts, it is easy to adjust and removes when not in use. The grooves accommodate either square or round stock easily.

I cut a lot of aluminum tubing building cars and couldn't wait to try it out. A piece of K&S aluminum chucked into the vise.

If you plan to make more than one piece, here is the stop bar installed.

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Woodland Scenics Landscape Learning Set

Woodland Scenics Landscape Learning Set


We have all wanted to try and build a diorama at some point in time. Woodland Scenics has made that a bit easier for us with these learning sets. This particular one is a Landscape set.

It contains 7 different types of ground cover. Also included is a bottle of Scenic Cement, a spray head for the glue as well as a small bottle of Earth Undercoat.

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