Note: purchases through our links may earn us a small commission, supporting new project development. It doesn’t cost you anything extra. And we only recommend things we use ourselves! Learn more in our policies.

Task: we need to hunt up and assemble in one place all the project materials, the essential tools, the essential safety gear, and any workspace equipment we might need for this build, and set up our work area.

1. Safety gear

For this project, all you really need are eye protection and optionally ear protection. This project is not too loud.  But since I use these nice lightweight 3M safety glasses, which have special hooks for 3M earplugs on a cord, when attached they form a nice neck strap, so I pretty much always have both whenever I am modding with tools.  So I never never set down or mislay either glasses or plugs anymore. Safer, and also great fast-on, fast-off setup for most any kind of work!

I also threw in a mask, for completeness.  I usually recommend having a good N95 on hand for nuisance dust, light painting or sanding, etc.  If you can’t find one in the days of Covid-19, then just use a cloth or paper mask.  Just like with the virus: better than nothing!

2. Project ingredients

if you don’t have all of these yet, now is the time to grab the Dremel tool, your chosen accessories and drill bits, and one or more creature bases (a spare is always a good idea for anything we’re operating on).  You will definitely need a 0.250in (3.75mm) shank drill bit for drilling accessory-sized holes.

3. Tools for construction

All the other tools you’re really need, in addition to the Dremel and accessories, are some fine snips (Hakko makes the best), and a razor knife (Foshio makes a nice break-off kit with an acute angle for fine work), and the master of all touch up tools, the Sharpie. 

4. Workspace equipment

A nice silicone work surface, with magnetic areas to keep track of small ferrous parts, and a bright magnifying LED worklight: build most  anywhere!

5. Documentation tools

Here are the ingredients for the invention documentation tool I discussed in the previous step:

That’s everything I think you might need!  Perhaps some (or even much) of this you might already have, or can scrounge a decent replacement.  Just get what you need, and be creative with substitutions for the stuff you don’t want to buy now.

Next: set up a place to build…