Every once in a while, I see a tool that will not only save time but enhance the precision of the models I build. Bending etched parts like ladder stiles can be taxing to create a clean fold. My brother mentioned this tool and I started to think about how useful this would be. I finally pulled the trigger and bought one. I have a backlog of kits with etched parts needing some work.
I ordered the 4″ tool. The tool is made by The Small Shop in Kalama, WA. You can order Small Shop tools on their website. The tool can be used to very small parts using the fingers on one side. The long back side is for bending long items like ladder stiles. You can rotate the metal plate by loosening the black knob. The plate is spring-loaded and will rotate once you clear the alignment pins.
The ladder stile has been inserted into the tool. Tighten the knob and use the steel bar to lift the exposed part of the etching. The steel blade has a sharp edge allowing you to get it under the brass. You can use a single edge razor blade for small parts if you find the long blade to be a bit awkward.
The tool does a fine job bending the etchings. I can recommend this to anyone who does a lot of model building when there are etchings involved.