Author Topic: Best tool for N Scale etch bending  (Read 903 times)

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Lemosteam

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Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« on: May 23, 2016, 12:16:02 PM »
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Looking to purchase an etch bending tool.  I have some Amazon gift cards....  Opinions? Anyone have either or both? Alternatives (must be available at Amazon)

Should I go with this?  (I like the long edge capability)

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Shop-Photoetch-Bending-5-Speed/dp/B00QHCWGIY?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=A2AQEEYD5Z5W05



Or this:

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Shop-Photoetch-Bending-Tool/dp/B00QHDIUX8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_3&smid=A2AQEEYD5Z5W05


wazzou

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Lemosteam

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 12:36:52 PM »
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Thanks @wazzou - How does one lift the material or keep it from sliding out?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 12:38:41 PM by Lemosteam »

wazzou

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 01:24:35 PM »
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You use the clear holding device with the handle against the black acrylic plate and a single edge razor blade is what I've used.
I can see some value in the ones you linked to, certainly for more complex work.
Bryan

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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 02:15:02 PM »
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I have the Etch Mate by Mission Models, which is very similar to the first one you posted:



The long edge is handy, so if you anticipate folding long parts, the bigger one is probably worth it.

Lemosteam

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 02:30:21 PM »
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You use the clear holding device with the handle against the black acrylic plate and a single edge razor blade is what I've used.
I can see some value in the ones you linked to, certainly for more complex work.

Thanks!

Wutter

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 02:53:57 PM »
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I have the second one you listed "The Bug" as its called on the Small Shop. The variety of different fingers are really nice for getting into small corners and limited space areas.
Alvin
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Philip H

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 03:20:44 PM »
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I did an article on the Jan/Feb N Scale on building your own if you feel enterprising . . . .
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 04:03:20 PM by Philip H »
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Chris333

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 03:42:57 PM »
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I bought the one called "the bug" first thing I bent with it need 2 bends. Could only get the part in the jig one way. Like if I had a reverse image bug I could have made both bends.

I just use blocks, steel rules, and flat pliers to do just about everything.

robert3985

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 02:27:58 AM »
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I too have "The Bug", and it has been exactly what I need to bend up my caboose platform details, my brass scratch-built UP-style cantilever signal bridges, and my Train Cat kits.  So far, I haven't had any need for a larger bender.

Since I have a mill, I've cut a few slots that are exactly the width I've needed in my "Bug" for precise bending of grabirons out of .007" polished SS wire.

I also have the small version of the Photo Etch Part Cut-Out Kit, which, because I mostly scratch build, I haven't used yet.  But, it will certainly come in handy when start doing the assembly-line thing on my several Train Cat UP Cantilever Signal Bridge kits.

The only negative thing I've encountered so far with "The Bug" is that when attempting to bend .005" brass into a very small "C" channel, the thin aluminum "ears" bent upwards...which I fixed using my machinist's anvil and my small jeweler's polished hammer...so now, when bending up parts with no etched "bend channel" I now limit the thickness to .003"...which is actually closer to scale metal thickness anyway.

I'm sure it would increase the cost exponentially, but I would prefer this tool in stainless steel, which would increase its usefulness for me...BUT, nobody makes anything like this in SS, so unless I want to take the time to do it myself...I'll use this.

As to the plastic benders out there...they are junk compared to these.  Maybe better than nothing, but...spend a little extra money and acquire what bender fits your needs from The Small Shop.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore


pnolan48

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 09:45:25 AM »
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John,

I bend a LOT of brass. I use a 6" sheet metal seamer (about $50 at Lowes) and an 18-inch metal brake (about $30 at Harbor Freight). They are precise if I use a lot of care, otherwise, meh! They are not good for tight bends that are over 120 degrees or so. Both are available via Amazon. For really small stuff, I use an ancient pliers that has truly meeting faces (not so easy to find). I also use pliers to nibble around curved bends (as in ships), though not as successfully as I would like, making relief cuts as needed.

Lemosteam

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 10:13:36 AM »
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Thanks for all of the input fellas.

@pnolan48 I have a 6" hand brake, but i cannot grip 1/16" flanges, much less make a channel. 

The parts I am bending are phosphor bronze, but I am experimenting with a deeper bend line etch for easier bending (1/4 etch from the back).  Mainly I am concerned about long 2"+ long bends where partial grip ends in flange irregularity.  I want to bend the whole thing or most at once.

I have many small pliers for short straight bends and such as have been mentioned.

A prominent etch designer I know has both but still recommended the Bug, so I think I'll go with that for now.

I also have no issue with a partial bend and finishing the final angle out of the tool.  It's starting the bend that's the issue for me, but I think the deeper etch lines will help.

We shall see.

bbussey

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Re: Best tool for N Scale etch bending
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 10:27:30 AM »
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Any of the Small Shop products are appropriate.  I have the longer version, which makes bending parts for passenger cars and auto racks easier.
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