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MSW Vendor Profile~The Small Shop

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"Join me in a closer look at The Small Shop, precision tool makers for the serious scale modeler, in this MSW Vendor Profile."

Photo-etch. . .just the mention of the word can bring forth thoughts of super detailed, glorious model subjects, in full regalia, with intricacies that push both the modelers talents and patience. . .enter the folks at The Small Shop, and their fine line of precision made tooling, that not only assists the modeler in success with photo-etch bending and construction, their tools are a necessity for modelers who use photo-etch in their builds on a regular basis.

Small Shop History...
The originator of Small Shop tools was Pete Forrest ,and he had worked with Alasdair Johnston to come up with the Bug, 5 Speed, Brass Assist & Nutter. But all the tools were based on Pete's original ideas and designs.

Pete started building the original Hold And Fold tool for sale in 1998, and by late 2002, early 2003, the business was struggling, as initial success almost overwhelmed the one man company. Kalama Precision Machine stepped in, and took over the business, and since then the Small Shop is now operated as a first rate company, and advertising has been primarily by satisfied customers.

Most importantly is the evolution of the Hold and Fold line of tools. Experience and user feed back has always been incorporated into new and improved designs for the PE user. The tools that the Small Shop sells today are based on genuine sheet metal working experience, and many years of using photo-etch.

The Small Shop is owned and operated now by Kalama Precision Machine, located in Kalama, Washington. They have been manufacturing the original photo etch bending tool "The Hold & Fold" since August 2002. They have also been handling the products sales since June 2003.

About Kalama Precision Machine...
Kalama Precision Machine is a family owned machine shop, contracting with local manufacturers to supply detail parts and sub-assemblies. The shop specializes in precision milling, boring, turning and threading machined parts.

Parts manufactured by the company can be found in helicopters, satellites, automated cabinet manufacturing equipment, yachts, race cars, screen printers, pizza machines, garden carts etc. They also have experience in manufacturing stamping dies for sheet metal parts used in the computer and electronics industry.

Whether it be large quantities of machining, or one of a kind R&D work, they do it all...with experience working with a wide variety of materials (graphite and composite materials, engineering plastics, as well as most metals).

The company background includes 23 years in the Aerospace industry, and 23 years as a job shop. The company's production manager was employed as a machinist at the Boeing Company for 14 years.
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About the Author

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...


Very nice feature Gunny. Its nice to see people who used thier own interests to take thier company in a whole new direction.
FEB 16, 2008 - 07:19 PM
I really enjoyed that article. It was well thought out and very informative. I've been to their site and I balked at the price of their products, but after research, and this article I don't know of any comparible products. I'll be placing my order within a few days for one of the benders and I like that PE cutoff.
FEB 16, 2008 - 10:24 PM