|Company||The Small Shop|
|Kit Name||The Bug hold and Fold Workstation|
|Media||CNC Aluminum, Plastic, and Steel.|
|Date||Jun 9, 2006|
Those of you who read my reviews may have noticed that a small photo-etch workstation has made an appearance in several of the photos. This is the 2 inch Hold and Fold from The Small Shop. Well, now there is a new model simply called The Bug.
The Small Shop has taken the best of their two inch model and added many new features which has caused me to replace the older model with this new one. The older model is two inches square while the newer one's base is 2 inches by 2.5 inches. The work head, which still rotates to expose various clamping sides, is now two inches square.
Turning the know releases the spring tension and the tool can be taken apart. From experience, I learned to lightly oil a paper towel and wipe the pins to avoid the rust which appeared on my older model.
One of the edges is called the Swiss Comb and has various fingers which can clamp down a photo-etched part with its sides already folded up. Another had thickened fingers, called Power Wedges, which allow for using thicker stock when scratch-building. Truth be told, this is my favorite. The third edge is plain without any fingers and the fourth has fingers of varying widths spaced at varying intervals.
Machined above the fingers are 10 Micro-bending beams which can be used for wire or sheet brass but I usually find the closest one to the size of PE handles I am making and use that. Another use is to take brass strip and plunge them into the semi-circular cutouts between the fingers. Depending on the springiness of the metal used, you may need to plunge the strip into a size smaller than needed.
As before, a single edged razor is used for the actual folding. I have 'cheated' by replacing the razor in my photos with another since the tool used for the review has been used.
What I enjoy most is that the tactile feeling one gets form using the tool within one's hands is not lost. Therefore this has become my most often used photo-etch bending tool and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to try these types of tools.
My thanks to The Small Shop (US) for the review sample.