PE Tips Ease Photo Etch Work

Here’s a neat idea for folding photo etched parts. Many require a 90-degree bend and that is easily accomplished on my magnetic work table.

Instead of glass for the surface of my craft table, I use a sheet of 1/32nd steel 2.5 inches in length and 24 inches wide. It is handy in modeling. I have about 8-10 neodymium magnets which measure about 2”X1”X.50” I have been using to hold a variety of materials.

Both the steel sheet and the magnets are available at Lowe’s. Cost: under the price of a dinner for two at Burger King.

Up Until now, I have been using the magnets to keep sheet plastic or balsa wood square until glue sets.

But brass isn’t magnetic. A magnet will hold a piece of photo etch material in place while I slip a razor blade under it and flip it up into a right angle. I used it to fold catapult sides and the tiny rails on the incline ladders. It takes practice, but it works.

It will also bend the brass joints at less than a 90-degree angle which makes it handy to bend the splinter shields for deck guns.

It is better than putting out $60 for a machined tool to do the same thing.

Straighten A Bad Bend In Railing Length

When working with railings that are less than an eighth of an inch in height you will find they are almost too easy to bend, squash, jam or pinch.

Your first tendency is to try and salvage it with the two handiest tools, your hands. This often results in kinks or bends popping up in another section.

By far, the best "fix" is to borrow a technique from the master of the kitchen, a rolling pin flattens dough and the same idea can be borrowed.

Place the jumbled rail on a flat surface, glass, steel or plastic or Formica and instead of a rolling pin, use the handle of your hobby knife. Roll it over the upward facing raised portion of the damaged rail.

Roll it from different directions with a good deal of pressure. You will find this will remove over 90% of the damage and the railing section will be just as strong as when it came out of the fret.

Stand Out Ladders In Smaller Scales

When I finished painting one of the 1:426 main gun turrets I found that quarter-inch length of ladder I so carefully placed had disappeared.

But that little piece of ladder was only 1/64th of an inch thick and less than an eighth of an inch wide, less than the thickness of wallpaper.

With the next one I installed, I cut it just a smidgen longer than needed (1 smidgen = width of 2 rungs) and bent it to 90 degrees.

When I glued the ladder in place it was standing off the turret surface just enough so it really looks nice.

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