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Planet Working Bench
Amati

Catalogue # 7396
Available from Cornwall Model Boats for £10.58

 

 

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Having worked in plastic modelling for a while now, where I’m having to remove casting blocks from larger components but doing that either on my cutting mat or between my fingers, a tool like this appears to be very useful. When it comes to ship modelling too, the ability to be able to lay some small timber sheet flat whilst you use a fine saw on smaller components, without sawing tracts into your worktop (ask me how I know!), definitely helps. Amati’s Planet Working Bench is a tool that is designed for work on small components and materials, helping you hold items whilst you saw, file and drill. Let’s take a closer look.

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Amati’s Planet tool is packed into an attractive, sturdy and glossy box with an image of the tool clamped to a desktop. The back of the box is a little more illustrative, with examples of how this tool can be used with your work. All writing is in Italian, but we can grasp what’s happening fairly easily. Although Amati are generally known for their wooden model ships etc. this tool can of course be used for other areas of modelling where basic tools such as saws, files, and drills, are used. Inside the box, two thick plastic sleeves contain the components. In the largest is the Planet Working Bench itself, complete with two small aluminium bollards plugged into it. These bollards have a rubber O-ring fitted to them to prevent the metal scuffing any delicate work that you will use with the tool. The main part is moulded from a very tough plastic that still does have a little give in it, but it certainly rigid enough for the tasks that it’s designed for. It also has various channels moulded within in as well as holes to reposition the bollards, and a series of small, numbered holes which I’ll come back to very soon. The front slot is there to help you cut into materials, without a risk of cutting into your actual workbench. Just be careful not to start sawing into the Planet itself.

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The second wallet contains the two clamps which will secure the Planet to the desk. These are formed from two angled, threaded rods onto which a locking nut and the part which forms the lower side of the clamping jaw. To fit these to the Planet, you insert them from the underside and lay the angled part of the metal rod in the moulded channels. Slacken the nut off and then fit to the edge of your workbench, securely tightening the nuts to lock everything in place. 

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Now, those small numbered holes. These refer to a moulded sleeve in the underside of the Planet, into which you will fit a wooden dowel or metal rod into which you wish to drill a hole centrally within the diameter. The hole of course aligns with the dead centre of the sleeve into which you will plug the wood or metal rod. 

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Conclusion
This is a very handy little gadget for working on those small model parts, but sold as it is, the full potential of the tool isn’t realised. To really get your money’s worth from it, I really do advise that you also purchase the small clamps which are designed to plug into it. These is called the ‘hand vice’ on Amati’s catalogue page and contains one single unit. Better still, a couple of these would be immensely useful. The Planet itself is very reasonably prices, nicely constructed and is a cinch to fit to your bench. I’ve already started to use it whilst building my Amati Orient Express Sleeping Car. 

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My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this tool out for review. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

James,

 

I've just come across your review, and it's made me get off my backside and retrieve my Planet bench which has been "stored" in the garage for quite some years. I could have used it yesterday as I had to drill a centrally located hole in some dowels - and it would have been so easy with this bench.

 

Thanks

Richard

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11 hours ago, Justin P. said:

Sorry, I don't mean the miniature vise.   I meant the mounting clamps for the planet bench.   Cant be only 10mm.   

Of course, how stupid of me. I did think you were being optimistic with your 3 inches, but that was as far as my thinking went....  🙁 🙁. Anyway, on the positive side, you now know the size of the miniature vise 😀😀.

 

Cheers

Richard

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  • 9 months later...

The instructions in the box are in Italian. For those not familiar with the language, here goes the translation:

 

Attach the Planet work table using the two clamps provided. The Planet table will be indispensable for performing a multitude of modelling jobs.

  • The "V"-shaped cut-out is useful for sawing (fig. 1).
  • The three grooves are used to support small laths (fig 2).
  • The two aluminum pins, positioned in the holes, allow to keep all the heavier laths firmly in place during the working phases (fig. 3).
  • The series of numbered holes serve as a reference for making perfect, centered holes in rods of different diameters (fig. 5).
  • Rotating clamps (art. 7396/01) are available separately and will allow you to expand the possibilities of your new Planet.

 

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