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What is a Hobby Drill?

The versatile and compact Hobby Drill, also called Precision Pin Vice, is a precision tool designed for drilling and tapping in tight and confined spaces. Resembling a pen in design, it is easily controlled with one hand, and the Swivel Head allows for accurate drilling angles.

Hobbyists and enthusiasts who work with models, miniatures, and other small projects will find this type of hand drill, also known as a Pin Vise, particularly useful. It is ideal for creating tiny perforations and holes in materials such as plastic, resin, wood, and metal, thanks to its compact size and precise control.

The Pin Vise is constructed with lightweight and durable aluminum, making it easy to handle and resistant to wear and tear. Its freewheeling head ensures smooth and consistent twist-bit rotation, reducing the risk of damage to the material being drilled.

Compared to larger, more powerful drills, the Hobby Drill offers greater precision and control, as it has been designed specifically for small-scale work. It enables users to create highly accurate perforations, even in confined spaces.

To ensure safe and careful use, always wear protective gear, including safety goggles and gloves, and securely clamp or hold the material being drilled in place to prevent slipping or movement.

Hobby Drill | Precision Pin Vice

How to use a Precision Pin Vice?

The Green Stuff World mini hand drills are a compact and easy-to-use tool. It is manual, so it has no wires and does not need power or a battery to operate. All you have to do is place the right twist bit for each occasion and turn it on the surface to be drilled. The steps to prepare these mini-drills are as follows:

  1. Choose the thickness of the twist bit depending on the diameter your hole needs.
  2. Unscrew the tip of the drilling tool exposing the inside of the device. 
  3. The exposed part can be used at both ends. One side is more suitable for smaller bits, while the opposite side holds wider bits better. Position it in the most suitable direction. 
  4. Insert the hand twist bit into the tool. 
  5. Screw the tip back on, which will act as a pressure immobilizer for the twist bit. 
  6. Rest the small craft drilling tool on the surface to be drilled and, once well positioned, start turning the device with a little pressure until the hole is to your liking. 

Some surfaces can be slippery for modeling drills. To avoid damaging the material, you can use one of the tips of the Hobby carving set to mark the exact place to pierce, which will guide the twist bit.

Model Drill Bits

Model drill bits are an essential tool for any model hobbyist or miniature DIY project. These hobby tools are specially designed to make small holes in materials such as plastic, wood, and metal accurately and effortlessly.

They are very small in diameter, ranging from 0.7 to 2.0 mm, making them ideal for working on small-sized plastic, resin, and metal parts. In addition, they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, for example, the Chisel Tips used in the HHobby Carving Set, or also Diamond Burr Set including many different grits, allowing you to choose the right one depending on the type of project and material you are working with.

To use a model twist bit, you need a hobby drilling tool that is specially designed to work with small, precise parts. The tools have an adjustable clamping nipple to hold the bits securely while working and at the same time make them interchangeable.

Other sizes available: 

  • 0.7mm pack x5
  • 1mm pack x5
  • 1.5mm pack x5
  • 2mm pack x5
  • Assortment set x10

What is the pinning technique in miniatures? 

The pinning technique is a fundamental method used in miniature modeling and wargaming to enhance the structural integrity of assembled models, particularly those composed of metal or resin. It involves using a mini hand drill to create small holes in the components to be joined and then inserting metal pins made from brass rods or even metal stationery clips cut to size to reinforce the joints.

To begin the pinning process, modelers select a mini craft drill and a drill bit appropriate for the size and diameter of the metal pins to be used and the size of the part to be drilled. The tool should be held firmly to prevent it from slipping during the drilling process. The parts of the miniature to be joined are then carefully aligned, making sure that the drilled holes correspond precisely.

The depth of the holes should be sufficient to accommodate at least half the length of the pins while avoiding excessive penetration that could compromise the model's structural integrity.

Once the holes are drilled, metal pins or brass rods are inserted into the holes to serve as a bridge between the components. These pins serve as internal reinforcement, distributing stress and load more evenly throughout the joint and minimizing the risk of breakage or loosening, especially in areas subject to frequent handling or impact.

The use of a precision hand-held bolt drill in the pinning technique offers several advantages. Its compact size and ergonomic design allow for precise control and maneuverability, even in tight spaces or intricate assemblies. In addition, manual operation eliminates the need for external power sources, making it convenient for hobbyists working in a variety of environments.

How to create joints using a Hand Drill

Using this hobby tool to help you build your miniature models and dioramas can be a great way to achieve solid bonds between the various parts of the model. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create joints for miniature models:

  1. Choose the right size of drill bit: Start by selecting the bit that is the right size for the joint you want to create. It's important to choose a bit that is slightly smaller than the pinning rods or brass rods you will be using for the joint.
  2. Mark the spot: Use a pencil or a marker to mark the spot where you want to create the joint. Make sure the mark is in the center of the part you will be drilling.
  3. Secure the part: Place the part you want to drill on a sturdy surface, such as a workbench or table. Use hobby clamps to secure the part in place.
  4. Make the hole: Insert the drill bit into the pin vice and begin drilling slowly into the marked spot. Be sure to keep it straight and perpendicular to the surface of the part.
  5. Test the fit: Once you have drilled the hole, test the fit of the pin or brass rod you will be using for the joint. Using a bit of green stuff putty will improve the bond. It should fit snugly but not be too tight.
  6. Repeat for other parts: Repeat the process for any other parts that will be joining together.
  7. Glue the joints: Apply a small amount of CA glue to the pin or brass rod and insert it into the joint. Make sure the joint is aligned properly and hold it in place until the glue dries.

By using a hand drill to create joints in your miniature models, you can achieve solid bonds between the various parts of the model, resulting in a more durable and realistic finished product.