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Wrangler

Small Shop Wrangler First-Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of First Look October 2009 Manufacturer The Small Shop
Subject Wrangler Pros Easy to use tool for making grab handles, loops, rings and even springs
Cons Nothing noted MSRP (USD) $49.99

First-Look

Wrangler
Wrangler

The Small Shop is located in Kalama, Washington USA. The manufacture tools for modelers.

This tool is designed to be used with soft copper or brass (semi-hard) wire. Not for hard wire. It is used to make grab handles of 17 different sizes. For best results semi-hard wire should first be annealed. This is by heating it over a flame and allowing it to air cool.

The tool was designed by John Geigle of Masterpiece Models. It is CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum. It is shaped like a long cone with 17 graduated steps circling it and a square base. This is divided into two halves that are opened and closed via a spring loaded black knob.

The following techniques are easy to master:

  1. Open the jaws and place the wire through the tool at a selected width needed with some excess on each side.
  2. Tighten the knob on the tool and bend the wire to a 90 degree angle.]
  3. Trim the wire to the desired size and you’re done!
  4. The handle is now ready to be attached to the model.

The Wrangler also makes loops and rings using the following techniques:

  1. Choose a diameter slightly smaller than the size of ring or loop you want to create.
  2. Clamp the wire into the jaws at that diameter in the tool.
  3. Roll the wire around the tool.
  4. Slightly overlap the wire and clip the wire. The wire will have a certain amount of spring-back.

The final thing that the Wrangler can create is springs, by doing the following:

  1. Open the jaws on the Wrangler and place the wire into it below the diameter you want to make.
  2. Tighten the knob to secure the wire.
  3. Begin winding the wire around the selected diameter.
  4. Stop when you run out of room.
  5. Remove the wire and adjust the spring length and trim it to size.

Easy huh? This tool is just the ticket for making these parts from wire. In the past I have struggled with a needle nose pliers trying to make grab handles. With this new tool, it’s a breeze.. Very highly recommended.

I want to sincerely thank The Small Shop for this review sample.

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