|Company||The Small Shop|
|Kit Name||8 Inch Mk R Photo-Etch Workstation|
|Media||Aluminum, Steel, and plastic.|
|Review Type||In box/bag|
|Date||Jun 10, 2006|
I have been using a Hold and Fold for years. When the 2 inch tool came out, I thought it was indispensable. Then The Bug came out improving on this essential tool. The Small Shop then announced a large set for working with train model PE but it can easily be used for ship railings and 35th scale trains as well.
In a sturdy box, we have the assembled tool as well as an 8 inch single edged blade in a clear storage tube. Instructions are also included. As all tools before this model, it is a high quality machined aluminum tool head with an absolutely flat black anodized aluminum bed. One notable difference is that there are two tightening knobs in place of one. This is important as it allows for better clamping of the piece being worked on while allowing long pieces to be passed in between the threaded knobs and pins.
The fingers are longer allowing for deeper box shapes to be created. There are thirteen fingers of various sizes and shapes with the power wedges being my favorite. Here the dual clamps make sure the piece does not move on the black anodized base. These knobs are hard plastic but are fused to a metal threaded section with a twist that allows easy removing and clamping.
As before, the anodized aluminum head is reversible allowing to either the straight edge or the shaped fingers side. The side edges can also be used. The alignment pins are on the outside which means that the area between the knobs is clear so long pieces, such as the BR-52 walkways I was using, can slip through and allow bending of the ends.
As with the other tools, some thought must be given to the bending order or one ends having to revert to the old ways of using pliers to complete the task. The power wedges can also be used to hold down a wire or drill bit when forming hinges which need to wrap around a shape.
Care must be needed as the tool is aluminum and not steel. It should not be used with very heavy brass other than the power wedges. Most photo-etched details sets are not made from thick brass or steel and almost all have fold lines so this tool can easily handle them.
It is a large and high quality tool which will have the modeler reaching for it whenever a long photo-etched piece needs folding. It is highly recommended and I thank The Small Shop (US) for the sample.