A mega pin vise (thanks, Festool)

As model railway enthusiasts, we appreciate systems. Wheels and rail work together as a system to guide trains where they need to go. Command stations, power supplies, boosters, throttles, plug-in panels and decoders work together as a DCC system to control our trains. We’d be in dire straights without systems.

Good tools can be like that too, I’m finding. A while ago now, I treated myself to a cordless drill/driver from Festool:
 photo Festool-PowerDrill_zpsa2487854.jpg

It’s the most expensive drill I’ve ever purchased, but also – by far – the best.

The other day while waiting for my number to be called at Lee Valley, I was looking through the Festool display and came across a handle that can be used with the driver/drill components to, for example, create an old fashioned screwdriver. That’s really handy for times when you need to turn a screw a quarter turn, but no more.

I have lots of screwdrivers, so I would not have bought the handle – except that because this drill is part of a system, the handle also fits the chuck from the drill, which pops off the drill body so that one can fit other attachments.

In effect, one can create a mega pin vise:
 photo Festool-HandDrill_zps3f35746f.jpg

I often run into situations when working on models where I need to drill a hole, but I want very careful control over how deep I drill it, or how aggressively the drill attacks the material. As an example, I recently needed to enlarge a hole in the compensated truck subframes I use under my passenger cars, in order to clear a screw head.

These subframes are laser cut from very thin ply so a light touch and precision control is important. The mega pin vise did the job in a spectacular fashion.

More tools should be built with as much thought as Festools. Not cheap – but lifetime tools that I feel are worth the investment.

4 thoughts on “A mega pin vise (thanks, Festool)

  1. Trevor,
    This day must a record for the amount of information you have passed to the gang.
    Thanks and I hope you were able to get some modeling done. It is a very fruitful day to enjoy all this great information.

    • Hi Tom:
      Thanks – and yes, I got some stuff done today.
      In addition to working one of my dogs on sheep, I added leaf canopies to some trees in the Lynn Valley.
      I have another half-dozen trees to build and I should be done with the trees in this area and I can move on to other projects.

  2. Since it will also take the Centrotec chuck, you might consider a selection of their Centrotec hex-shank drill bits for tight places… bwahhahahahahaha

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