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A radius turning tool lets you make ball shapes or radiused ends on your metal turnings. With the tool you can make convex curves up to 3/4″ in diameter in brass, aluminum steel, or plastic — you just mount the jig on your lathe’s tool post and swing the handle, which rotates the cutting tool in an arc.

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Building a project is the fun part; finishing isn’t even so bad, but let’s face it — sanding bites. Any tool that can help you get the ugly part over faster is worth it. If you’re working with small or odd-shaped pieces, the Flex-I-File may help.

You can use the Flex-I-File for either dry or wet sanding. The abrasive is attached to mylar ribbon 1/4″  wide by 4-1/4″ long. Loops on the end of the ribbon slide over the ends of a 4″ by 4-1/4″ aluminum frame. The flexible frame holds the ribbon taut and allows the ribbon to bend around the work piece.

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Gluing the pieces of my daughter’s shattered ornament back together reminded me of how much respect I have for people who can build tiny models.  The skill, patience, and steady hands you need to do tiny precision work has eluded me so far.  A jig like the Sand-It from Micro-Mark might be able to help me with the precision part, but I’d still need to work on the patience and steady hands.

Use the Sand-It to “square-up” and sand cuts in wood, plastic, and metal up to 4″ wide and 1″ thick.  The jig comes with preset angle guides for 30°, 45°, 60°, and 90° and a protractor guide to get the angles in between. To speed up sanding through different grits, you can mount a different grit sandpaper each face of the sanding block with tape or rubber cement.

The Sand-It runs $19 before shipping at Micro-mark. If you’re interested, they also sell two other “-It” products: the Chop-It and the Duplicate-It.

Sand-It [Micro-Mark]
Chop-It [Micro-Mark]
Duplicate-It [Micro-Mark]

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You picked the wrong bit and now you’re stuck with a hole that’s too big — or are you?  Depending on the application you might be able to salvage the piece with these reducing punches from Micro-Mark.

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Figuring out how to hold small parts together while gluing can give your imagination a workout, but if you had this magnetic gluing jig from Micro-Mark, you’d no longer have to dream up wacky jigs to connect those small pieces.

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Whether you’re grinding, drilling, or milling, sometimes a simple V-block isn’t enough to hold your workpiece steady.  That’s where a V-block and clamp set would really come in handy — they’re usually sold in pairs like this Series 278 set from Starrett.

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If you’re tired of filing by hand, you’re probably thinking, “There’s a power tool for just about every other hand tool — why not filing?”  Wahl makes what they claim is the world’s smallest power filer/sander.  This rechargeable tool uses reciprocating action to mimic how you’d use a file, and it reaches into tight spaces for easy precision finishing, deburring, and sanding of plastic, wood, metal, and most other materials.

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Although it looks like a bib from an all-you-can-eat buffet, you might appreciate this apron if you’ve ever been working on a project with many small parts and lost a critical part on the floor. The apron attaches to the bottom edge of your workbench to catch any components that try to make a break for it over the edge.

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This 6″-long clamp holds small, irregularly shaped objects with steel pins rather than flat jaws.  The pins fit in 60 hexagonally spaced holes on the face of the clamp, allowing you to clamp almost any shape as long as it’s smaller than the clamp head.

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