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Best photo etch bending tools?

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I'm starting to work with photo etch parts and am wondering what are the best bending tools that you can buy? I've seen multiple variants, and do any come with a way to curve parts? Or are they for bending only?

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Check out www.thesmallshop.com for alternatives ....

 

It somewhat depends on what type and size things you will be folding. I started with a big Hold-n-Fold, then became perfectly happy with The Bug for most things. Small Shop also has a rolling set.

 

Much of my work these days is done with a small set of duckbill pliers and my thumbnail for simple items, so you don't need to go whole-hog on tools. Razor blades are good as "levers" to fold with ....

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I agree with John on the Small shop stuff, but get the metal ones. The plastic ones just have too much give. I do use the bug for complex folds and times that I need to get a precise angle. For quick and simple bends you can beat Tamiya's bending pliers. I have both and use both. The small one are great for little tiny pieces. Here is the site for these. http://www.tamiya.com/english/products/74084bendingpliers/index.htm http://www.tamiyausa.com/items/tools-accessories-80/tools-74000/bending-pliers-74067

 

I also really like their diamond file for cleaning up the metal. http://www.tamiyausa.com/items/tools-accessories-80/tools-74000/diamond-file-74066

 

By the way, I am sure from you question that you are like a lot of us, you can never have enough tools. :lol:

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I had actually look at The Bug before, but didn't know the quality of it. Just curious an xacto handle wouldn't be good for rolling?

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I use the bug and the small shop rolling tools. Best investment you can make for serious building. Most of my builds are ships in the 350 scale, the bug works great for that. But if your into larger scales get the bigger set like Pete said.

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The Bug doesn't care about scale, just size of part, and I like it for small complex parts. As I said I have the big brother for longer folds. The Bug also takes up very little space on the bench, and unlike it's big brother I haven't set it on top of something critical and smashed it.

 

Yes, you can roll with an Exacto handle or anything round, but the Small Shop rolling set comes with different diameter rods and a wooden form with matching diameter slots - helpful in many situations so you don't have to look for the right thing. Of course it'll never be small enough for that 1/72 Spandau or Vickers barrel so you have to improvise ....

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I've never used any bending tools, but it seems The Bug is made for small parts. I was looking at the SMS003 Photo Etch Bending Tool 4" Mk IV RTH Hold & Fold. It seems bigger for bigger and smaller folds? Has anyone tried that?

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I use the 4" Hold & Fold, but it is one of the first generations of the Hold & Folds. It is quite useful and works well with long and short pieces of PE. My main gripe with the original version is the round knob used to clamp down the item. If it was a lever or something knurled, you could get a better grip on it. I've wrapped a thick rubber band around the knob to get a better grip.

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Does The Bug work for 350 scale kits?

Yes as I said in my first post almost all my builds are 350 scale, and all I use is the bug.

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I use the 4" Hold & Fold, but it is one of the first generations of the Hold & Folds. It is quite useful and works well with long and short pieces of PE. My main gripe with the original version is the round knob used to clamp down the item. If it was a lever or something knurled, you could get a better grip on it. I've wrapped a thick rubber band around the knob to get a better grip.

Have you ever used the 5.5" 5 Speed Hold and Fold? I've always been hesitant to work with photo etch. But I'm hoping that using one of these tools will help me get some experience. Because I want to work with it but I've never had the right tools.

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No, I only own and use the 4" H&F. It works well enough for me. No sense buying another one when the one I have is good enough. Before I bought a H&F, I used a 6" metal ruler that I owned since junior high school shop class in the late 70s and a dull single edged razor blade. I believe I've had that 4" for around ten years or more.

 

I mainly build smaller 1/72 scale armor and 1/48 scale armor and the 4" is very useful. I also build my fair share of 1/35 scale armor and it is big enough to deal with those parts as well. There are multiple cut outs and small legs on my 4" to deal with small parts.

 

The thing to remember about dealing with photo etch parts is this rule of thumb; just because they give you a PE part, doesn't mean you have to use it. About half the parts on a PE fret for a tank kit go unused because the plastic detail is better or the PE part is just too small to attempt to bend into shape. Don't shave off any plastic part until the tiny part is ready. Just in case you tweezer-launch the PE and can't find it; you'll still have the plastic part in place.

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What do you use/recommend for making cylinders and curves with photo etch....like the grill around an exhaust?

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Found a photo of my 4" HnF and a 1/72 scale British Warrior bustle rack I made with it.

9106732361_ea1a217cd9_o.jpg

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