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Sensi-Press Preliminary Review
NeilUnreal
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Joined: January 31, 2002
KitMaker: 80 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 12:43 AM UTC
Well, I broke down and bought a "Sensi-Press" and "the Riveter," a small precision arbor press and one-axis table from Northwest Short Line (HO-guage tools). I needed some kind of small arbor press, and the 1/2 and 1-ton presses were just not precise enough (the ones in my price range, anyway). Since I mostly work in light brass, aluminum and plastic; and press very small parts, the "Sensi-Press" seemed perfect.

It's pretty neat -- a nice generically useful tool for model builders and miniature machinists. It works great as a small-scale hole punch, and "the Riveter" and it's associated tooling produce really nice-looking simulated rivets. The existing tooling is a little limited, but I have the shop setup to produce small tooling, and I've made a few things that really extend the usefulness of the device. I made a small (~1.5mm) hex punch and die, but I need to get the tolerance a little tighter since my hex "chads" are a little rounded on the corners. It also works well for punching little holes in shim brass -- a nightmare for drilling.

It's very well-machined, easy to adjust, versatile and looks fairly sturdy. But so far, nothing I've done has pushed it near its rated capacity of 250 lbs. -- if you're into rebuilding transmissions, you'll still need a traditional arbor press.

After using it for a week, I would definitely purchase it again. It's hard to say whether I can generally recommend it or not -- the tool is great for it's purpose -- it depends more on the temperament and needs of the modeler. If you mostly enjoy putting together kits and painting them, you might have limited application for it. If you scratch build a lot of stuff or (like me) enjoy fooling around with miniature machining, it might well become indispensable.

-Neil

p.s. Manufactured by www.nwsl.com, but www.micromark.com retails it at a small discount.