PRODUCT REVIEW – HANDI-HANDS by GREEN-MOUNTAIN
Review by John Noack
Every once in a while one of those products comes along that inspires a “why didn’t I think of
that” response. The new Handi-Hands work holding tool from Green-Mountain Company fits the
By way of background, I’ve spent almost 30 years in the aerospace industry – about half of it in
the engineering side, and the other half in manufacturing and quality. Many times, the thing that
separated a successful program from a failure was the quality of the tooling – the fixtures,
devices, cutters, and master patterns used to make the final product. I could name names but
some of my security clearances might disappear (or maybe I would).
What Green Mountain has done is to take a number of off-the-shelf components, added some
specialized features, and created a universally adaptable holding device for just about any project us modelers might think of.
The base panel of the Handi-Hands unit is a rugged plastic grid that bears a resemblance to the
diffusers you see in a fluorescent light fixture. Magnetically attached to the bottom of this grid is a plastic plate that acts to catch any parts that might slip through the grid. Green Mountain includes a section of no-skid matting cut to fit under this base that keeps the grid unit solidly in place on your workbench. Two sizes of grid unit are offered, in the accompanying photos you see the smaller base.
The keys to the Handi-Hands unit are the reconfigurable arms that allow you to design a custom
holding fixture for each application. The arms, which plug snugly into the square grid holes, are
made up of a series of plastic segments that swivel, allowing them to flex in any direction.
Segments can be added or removed from each arm as needed.
Each arm comes with a different endpiece – these include alligator clamps of various
sizes, a plastic c-clamp, a “Mini-Grabber with three wire gripping prongs, or a
magnetic clamp. Not shown in my photos is another accessory, hold down hooks,
which can be used to spread a rubber band across your workpiece. Judy Murvine of
Green-Mountain tells me that additional ends for the arms are in the works.
The pictures I took of the assembled unit demonstrate how models of all shapes and
sizes can be mounted in the unit. Since the arms plug into any grid location, you can
customize Handi-Hands for your particular needs.
A couple of minor nits – consider them production improvement suggestions. I’d like
to see an arm that ends in a good quality magnifying glass – a necessary tool for us
aging modelers. In addition, I’d suggest some 90 degree angle plates that could be
plugged into the grid base and establish square vertical and horizontal planes – these would be invaluable for auto modelers trying to align wheels, AFV treads, and wings and stabilizers. Another suggestion would be to include a flat base plate for the upper surface of the unit so you could, for example, place an aircraft model on its’ landing gear atop the base (I cut a piece of card stock, which worked fine).
All in all, a HIGH quality tool that’s highly recommended to modelers of all genres.
Thanks to Green Mountain for the review samples. You can contact them at:
22610 285th Avenue SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038