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Greatest tool ever made—or—‘Spudge’ is not a dirty word.


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So, I'm into a lot of things. One of the things I'm into is computers and computer repair. Just my own, not yours, sorry  :P Anyway, one of the great tools for computer repair is something known colloquially as Apple' Black Stick. Walk into any of the so-called ‘Genius Bars’ at your local Apple Store, and the techs will be happy to show you theirs: I first learned about it from talking with them. It has a pointy end, and a flat blade end, and it is made out of black nylon, making it heat-resistant and durable. It's called a spudger, because you use them to spudge things (to convince wires to lay flat).


This weekend, I thought, Hey! This would be pretty useful with my model trains. And sure enough.


1) It pries the shells off of rolling stock more efficiently and more safely than my fingers or my tine jeweler's screw drivers could ever hope to. The nylon is very soft, and won't damage delicate plastics.


2) Being heat-resistant and electro-static safe makes it a great tool for holding things down for soldering.


3) Dip the pointy end into a little white glue, and use it to pick up and manipulate those little fiddly bits every model comes with, then use the blade end to press the bit in place. Then use the pointy end to gently scrape up the white glue once it dries.


You can find them online from various lab equipment stores. It is made by Menda, and they have a variety of kinds available: http://www.mendapump.com/MendaCatalog/Tools/Probes/WoodenAndNylon/

You can also buy them from ESD Systems: http://www.esdsystems.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pid=35622&pcid=278


(I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned, and no stake in this product. I just love it is all, and want to share.)

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a bump on Spudgers! ive gotten a few different ones on ebay now and then and have a box full and its super handy to grab the ones that work best on the car you are trying to pry open! ive found they all like different prying and thus having a few different ones helps. 


I just picked up this little set as it had a couple in it that i did not have and it was cheaper than buying them individually! for $2 its a great little set to have a good range of prying options in your toolbox!




i love these little odd sets of things that for a couple of bucks really helps when tearing apart trains!


another aid in this is guitar picks. they help to keep the sides open while working on other tabs, but they are nice and short so they dont get in your way as you work.




starbucks plastic stirrers also work well for this and you can nip them off if they get in the way too much at full length...


few other sets cheap as well













Edited by cteno4
  • Like 2
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I'm not sure how I managed without spudgers.  They make disassembly much easier and don't damage anything.  Prying the trucks off my Kato shinkansen takes 5 seconds now...amazing considering that 10 spudgers sell for less than $2.




Edited by 1954G
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Yep they are great! Search ebay for cell phone repair and you find a great variety of them! I've probably got a dozen different kinds and great to have one fro jsut the prying needed! Simplest are guitar picks for holding parts apart while you pry elsewhere. Ahh the simple pleasures!



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Another handy spudger, this style is nice for popping bodies off chassis. Having a pair helps to work down each side at the same time. Avoids having to really bend the shell out a lot to get all the clips disengaged. Some have like 3 clips on both sides and as you get one popped out another pops back in, so starting at one end with these getting them popped out and shell pushed up a tad you can then work down the shell to the other end.



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Just search for "spudger" on Amazon and you'll get a ton of them at really inexpensive prices.  $5-$10 for an entire set of all sizes and shapes.  Plastic material so as to not damage or mar the item.  Mostly used to disassemble cell phones and other electronic devices.

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Yes they are big with cell phone repair and kits have various useful tools. The metal ones are best when it’s a tight fit as the plastic ones tend to be thicker. Guitar picks are useful to hold places open once you have opened it with the spudger. The old plastic starblecks coffee stirrers use to have a nice thin wedge end on them and you could clip off the last like 3/4” to use as a hold open wedge. They also have the thin plastic sort of credit card sized piece of plastic that can work. 

I have like a couple dozen different ones and just grab the one that is needed as what works best differs with trains. I try to keep my thumbnails long as they work for a good chunk of Tomytec directly.





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