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Straight Shooters Cast Bullets
Rifle Magazine
January - February 2002
Volume 34, Number 1
ISSN: 0162-3583
Number 199
On the cover...
This issue is only available on CD-ROM.The Remington Model 700 EtronX with electronic ignition is tested on page 22. Ammunition photo by Stan Trzoniec. Whitetail deer photo by John R. Ford. Purchase the CD-ROM here
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Product Tests

The Bench Weasel

Pachmayr’s Bench Weasel is aptly named. It’s small, maneuverable, and it gets into places ordinary tools cannot go. Mine rests beneath the reloading bench ready to grind, cut, drill, clean, shape, rout, polish, sand, engrave and sharpen other tools. It promises to be the perfect outfit for virtually any type of gunsmithing, woodworking or home repair. Perfect is a dangerous term; however, the little Weasel does perform on metal, wood, glass and plastics. The heart of the Bench Weasel is a rotary hand-held variable speed motor with 8,000 to 30,000 rpm capability at 120V 60hz; it comes with a six foot cord, and collet capacity is 3/32 to 1/8 inch.

The little lightweight gem comes with 86 accessory pieces including brushes, polishing bobs, drills and high-speed cutters. There are also several grinding points of various size and shape, along with sanding discs and drums. I especially like the cut-off wheels and arbor, but also the sanding capability.

When the Bench Weasel arrived, I was in the process of completely refurbishing a Marlin Model 336-A lever-action .30-30 Winchester, and the sanding discs and drums paid off immediately. I also used the larger of the polishing brushes on a couple spots. I’m looking forward to using the Weasel as a small drill, especially with the neat Flex Shaft for detailed work. The Flex Shaft is over 3 feet long. Like a dentist’s drill, the Flex Shaft puts the working part of the tool a distance from the operating motor.

Ergonomic, I believe, is the operative word. The Weasel handles like a pistol. The on/off switch is located where a trigger would go, and the speed dial rests where a right or left thumb might ordinarily find a safety catch. The tool shank is installed in the collet with, appropriately, a collet wrench provided. The collet is removable. The collet, along with its retaining nut, is removed for installation of the Flex Shaft, which “plugs into” the body of the tool secured with a few turns on the collet retaining nut. Then the speed control position is dialed from low to high with continuous intermediate speeds.

Naturally, the little Bench Weasel comes with an instruction sheet along with cautions that include wearing safety glasses for operation, properly grounded electrical outlets only, avoidance of use during wet conditions so as not to get zapped, unplugging the tool when changing tools and accessories, not to use grinding or cut-off wheels that exceed an inch in diameter, not engaging the Shaft Lock while the tool is running, and to have any stock or materials worked on secured, as in a vice, so such items will not dash away from the working end of the Weasel toward the operator.

The variable speed function is near the top of the Bench Weasel’s features, especially for working plastics that can get hot, and also for delicate operations on any material.

Pachmayr’s Bench Weasel is a cool tool for folks who like to work on guns, be it metal or wood application. Of course, the handyman will keep his at the workbench. Mine will remain in the handloading room.

For more information contact Lyman Products, 475 Smith Street, Middletown CT 06457; or call toll-free 1-800-225-9626; or visit its web site: www.lymanproducts.com. - Sam Fadala

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