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Making grab handles?
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 10:49 AM UTC
Is there a tool that allows me to make consistently sized grab handles? I want to remove molded on grab handles and replace them with bent wire. I can use plyers but I want consistency.
Removed by original poster on 12/24/19 - 08:31:00 (GMT).
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 11:25 AM UTC
You could also make a jig out of thick sheet styrene to bend consistent grab handles from.

Handhold/step jig for M2 Bradley


Grabrail jig for USCG MH-60J

Tank1812
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North Carolina, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 11:37 AM UTC



https://thesmallshop.com/collections/photo-etch-rolling-and-forming-tools/products/sms013-photo-etch-bending-tool-wire-assist-bending-comb

Some discussions and video

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=281479&ord=&page=3

iguanac
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Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 07:30 PM UTC
Sheppard Paine had it in one of his books. Verz cheap solution that helped me on a numerous occacions - as a matter of fact, i am not tolerating any moulded on grabhandles.
I can't find the pic now, as i am not at home, but use a stvrene/metal strip which is of the width of desired grabhandles (1mm - 2mm will do), glue it on another larger portion of plastic. When properly in place, bend the wire a top of it and cut the excess. This will give you exact shape of handles for armoured vehicles. How it turned out:
ericadeane
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Michigan, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 12:33 AM UTC
here is a solution for you that 99% likely, you already have in your home.

Find a set of pliers with serrated jaws. Most of them are tapered toward the end. Open them up and go along the length of one jaw with your wire until you find the width that meets your needs. Then with a bit of tape or a sharpie marker, note which notch corresponds to the width you need. Repeat and you'll make similar width copies.

If you want tight 90° bends, this is better than styrene bending jigs b/c you can really pull the wire taut to make sharp bends. The styrene is soft. Although Gino's jig above is nice for rounded bends.
TopSmith
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 02:32 AM UTC
Thank you so much. Tools plus ideas, does it get any better?
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 03:02 AM UTC
The flat-nose pliers method has an advantage when handles with sharp corners are needed. I use a mini-hammer to force the wire into a sharp 90-degree bend while holding the wire with the pliers.
/ Robin
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 04:32 AM UTC
What Roy said.

A tapered "needle-nose" pliers has been my go-to for the past 55 yrs. No problem getting consistent-looking grabbies using a locating mark of your choice on the top or side of one jaw. And you have great control over how sharp the bend will be - less pull or tension leaves softer bends. Really squared bends can come with simply pressing your bend against the table or bench-edge or any other flat surface (knife-blade) to form it as much as you want.

Another very controllable and consistent route:

IF you want a really sharp, squared bend on your thin copper or brass wire or solder handles, you can get super-consistent handle - lengths and bends with your etch-folding tool if it has a "finger" of your desired handle-length. Just treat the wire like it is a piece of PE and bend it around the finger using your fav blade or similar tool.

I like fewer different tools cluttering my bench - one needle-nose does a lot of different tasks very well!

Just, of course, suggestions!

Bob
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 05:01 AM UTC
I have a similar solution to the pliers solutions above that I've used for years:

1) find a suitable cheap pair of jeweler's or miniature, tapered, long nosed flat jawed pliers at Lowes, Home Depot, Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
2) using a thin, metal backed diamond-bit sanding disk for a dremel tool (available at Harbor Freight, Ace or any good hardware store) cut a shallow groove at various intervals along one of the jaws to represent standard width grabs (this can be even be done diagonally to get longer grabs).
3) chuck in your wire, clamp the plier shut, bend away. Cut the ends off the bend where needed.
4) if you want to use the deepest reach of the pliers, where the jaw won't open wide enough for a Dremel disk, you'll need to file in your groove with a miniature diamond file, a little more elbow grease is required, but it is doable.
You'll have an exact length grab every time. If you need wider grabs, use a square flat jawed set of pliers.
VR, Russ
varanusk
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 06:37 AM UTC
Depending on the size needed, if you have a Photo Etch bender it can be used as well for wires.
Namabiiru
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 07:27 AM UTC
I bought a set of Dragon grab handle makers, but they are pretty useless IMHO. Mission models makes a thing called the grab handler that looks like it would work very well, but for that kind of money, I think I'll stick to the various techniques using pliers others have described.

GulfWarrior
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 07:52 AM UTC
Just to satisfy my own curiousity, what is a good size of wire to use for 1/35 scale grab handles?



BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 07:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I bought a set of Dragon grab handle makers, but they are pretty useless IMHO. Mission models makes a thing called the grab handler that looks like it would work very well, but for that kind of money, I think I'll stick to the various techniques using pliers others have described.




It is indeed expensive and I can't quite remember what I paid for it, but it's been very useful over the years; if you can track one down I would recommend it.

Brian
parrot
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 08:04 AM UTC
I have read where some guys use different sizes of staples.
Sounds reasonable.
Tom
Removed by original poster on 12/24/19 - 08:31:30 (GMT).
GulfWarrior
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 10:21 AM UTC
Thanks for the info!



panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 11:11 AM UTC
What size for grab handles?

It's a great question! My take on it is 1) "grab handles", for me, is part of the broader question of replacing the many types and sizes of wire or pipe grab-handles, hull tie-down loops, ammo-box handles, etc. that kits often either represent as molded-on ridges or occasionally with often-over-sized add-on styrene parts, or maybe flat PE bits. And 2) the real things come in myriad thicknesses and sizes. So, frankly, there seems no one "right" answer!

My approach is to find photos showing the real thing, preferably showing the subject in some context which contains other stuff which serve as reasonable comparative estimators. I then select an approximate wire / solder / stretched-sprue / styrene or other rod gauge that looks "right" for the subject item on the scale kit build - bearing in mind that almost all of the molded-on ridges and such are somewhat to grossly over-thick and out-of-scale. For me, "eyeball estimation" works just fine. IF one is really interested in making them scale accurate... IF you can actually determine the 1:1 rod / pipe / wire diameter being used, you can easily calculate the "accurate" 1/35 scale diameter by simply dividing the "known 1:1 diameter" by 35, and find the nearest wire gauge to make your grabbies from.

There is no national nor global standard covering most of these things. And NO ONE is going to take a micrometer to your handles and lady about them being "too large / small for accuracy". IMHO, looking "pretty close" is a personal preference, one's perception, and one's opinion - NOT some arbitrary finite standard. They only have to look "right to me" on my builds.

Cheers! Bob
Kevlar06
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
"Size" can be a relative thing-- here's how I do it-- if the distance between the ends of the molded-on grab handle it looks right on the model, I carefully remove it with a chisel tip blade, mark the ends and drill appropriately sized holes where they need to be. Then I sand the area smooth, leaving the holes. I then use calipers or an old drafting compass to measure the holes, Then I "chuck" the wires in my plier "fixture" (see above) and bend them to shape, using the compass or caliper measurement to gauge where the bend is, then just insert the wire in the holes. I use several sizes of plastic-nylon strip cut from an old plastic bottles (I have a variety of thicknesses) to get the correct height. I then run a bead of thin superglue around the wire ends, and where possible, a bead of thick (gap filling) superglue on the inside (I generally add my wires before assembly and painting where possible). I've done grad handles as small as 1/144 and as large as 1/16 with this method.
VR, Russ
mogdude
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 01:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I bought a set of Dragon grab handle makers, but they are pretty useless IMHO. Mission models makes a thing called the grab handler that looks like it would work very well, but for that kind of money, I think I'll stick to the various techniques using pliers others have described.



I did the same thing and agree, I bought a grabhandler years ago and have yet to find a model that has grab handles the same size as what the grabhandler produces (could be me) but never have been able to reproduce the same size as is on the kits lots of good ideas in this topic tho
Removed by original poster on 12/24/19 - 08:32:02 (GMT).
seanmcandrews
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 02:17 AM UTC


[/quote

but in my perfect world, I will divide 1 by 35 to get a scale inch of .02857, then multiply that by 3/4, or 75%, and get .02143. then, referencing my favorite industrial supply source: https://www.amazon.com/PRECISION-METALS-5PK-020-8159/dp/B000BQURB0 come up with a grab iron which, when painted, passes for a 3/4" pipe.[/quote]

or just divide .75 by 35
Removed by original poster on 12/24/19 - 08:32:28 (GMT).
joepanzer
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North Carolina, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 12:11 PM UTC
If you wrap the wire taut around a square brass tube, you get 2 grab handles per wrap. Cut with Xacto. you have to flatten them a tiny bit.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 07:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text

What size for grab handles?

It's a great question! My take on it is 1) "grab handles", for me, is part of the broader question of replacing the many types and sizes of wire or pipe grab-handles, hull tie-down loops, ammo-box handles, etc. that kits often either represent as molded-on ridges or occasionally with often-over-sized add-on styrene parts, or maybe flat PE bits. And 2) the real things come in myriad thicknesses and sizes. So, frankly, there seems no one "right" answer!

My approach is to find photos showing the real thing, preferably showing the subject in some context which contains other stuff which serve as reasonable comparative estimators. I then select an approximate wire / solder / stretched-sprue / styrene or other rod gauge that looks "right" for the subject item on the scale kit build - bearing in mind that almost all of the molded-on ridges and such are somewhat to grossly over-thick and out-of-scale. For me, "eyeball estimation" works just fine. IF one is really interested in making them scale accurate... IF you can actually determine the 1:1 rod / pipe / wire diameter being used, you can easily calculate the "accurate" 1/35 scale diameter by simply dividing the "known 1:1 diameter" by 35, and find the nearest wire gauge to make your grabbies from.

There is no national nor global standard covering most of these things. And NO ONE is going to take a micrometer to your handles and lady about them being "too large / small for accuracy". IMHO, looking "pretty close" is a personal preference, one's perception, and one's opinion - NOT some arbitrary finite standard. They only have to look "right to me" on my builds.

Cheers! Bob



and if the standard gauge wire isn't exactly right then it is time to consider the thickness of model paint that gets added so a slightly smaller wire can be selected. If there is an exact match then painting it will make it too thick anyway.
It just needs to be approximately right to be a LOT better than the parts, or molded on ridges, in the kit.

/ Robin