Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Cool Tool Alert Straight Offa Grandpa's Workbench
Every once in a while you get an itch you just have to scratch. I saw something in the back of an old electronics magazine circa 1957 which featured, among the cool new products, the By-Buk bending block which is made so that you can take axial leaded components such as capacitors, resistors, diodes and the like, and bend their leads to register accurately to meet the holes that up until then have remained vacant.
I soon found some plastic ones-bending blocks they're called-that cost about $14 from China.
Of course I went to fleabay, the why pay more store, and by searching for By-Buk and bending blocks, came up with a By-Buk number 700 bending block, and this dawg is built for a lifetime of heavy service. No plastic here, no sirree. This is made from two solid blocks of aluminum properly machined-you can barely see the lines from the fly cutter on the angled parts, and two hardened steel guides plus a nice set screw to keep the whole thing organized.
The one in the magazine was something of a deluxe model with what looks like a microstop adjuster for exact and professional dimensioning.
The cost, shipped, was about $20.00.
The By-Buk Company of 4326 West Pico Boulevard in the City of Angels surrendered its corporate certificate in 1974, and is thus no longer with us. A little more tooling around the googlesphere reveals that one Homer Buck was one of the partners in the By-Buk operation, and they successfully sued the Printed Cellophane Tape Co. for theft of their trade secrets. It seems that Mr. Buck was something of an inventor as well, as he had several patents to his name. It's likely the same person as appears in the 1940 census living in Los Angeles.
More's the pity, too. It's sad that we can't purchase things like this across the counter these days.
Mr. Buck, wherever you are, you did a good day's work.