BAT Industrries Roto-Stand
Awhile before the end of 2008 M1911.ORG received a sample of one of those products that makes you say, "Gee! This is a really nice product, but ... what good is it?" I confess, that was my initial reaction to the Roto-Stand, from Bat Industries LLC. It was well thought-out, nicely made, substantial in feel, but I didn't see much real need for it. When the evaluation sample arrived, my first thought was, "Well, this will be great for holding the test pistols up for 3-D photos. But it's a bit of overkill."
And the Roto-Stand probably will be good for that. However, I haven't used it for that purpose as yet. It is currently resting comfortably on my work bench, and that's where I am certain the manufacturer intended for it to be. I would probably find a lot more uses for this device if I were a real gunsmith, or even a more knowledgeable amateur. But I'm not a gunsmith, I'm just a tinkerer. My home workshop is woefully under-equipped, and I've spent so many years just "making do" with whatever comes to hand that I occasionally can't see a better mousetrap until I stick my toe in it.
The Roto-Stand was like that. It dawned on me when looking at a 1911 frame that needed the plunger tube staked on that most people don't have sufficient hands to do the job neatly and easily. Most of us have the usual complement of two hands. Three would be ideal for the task: One to hold the frame, one to hold the tube and the anti-crush block, and a third to manipulate the crimping pliers.
It is for tasks such as this that the Roto-Stand is perfectly suited. It's an upright support arm (they call it a post), configured to fit the magazine well of the pistol of your choice (you can purchase different uprights if you work on multiple types of pistol ... like a real gunsmith), which sits on top of a round ball that's clamped into a base that allows the user to move the frame around to the exact angle you need, then lock it firmly in position while you work on it.
The Roto-Stand support arm
The upright includes an expander to lock the pistol firmly to the Roto-Stand. The expander is tightened by a hex screw from the top, which means it can be tightened with a frame on the upright but not a complete pistol. However, you can lock a pistol in place and then reinstall the upper assembly.
Tightening the clamp screw to secure a frame on the Roto-Stand
Once the frame is secured to the upright, a handy lever unclamps to allow the ball under the upright to rotate in all directions. It's a simple matter to position a frame in just the orientation you need for a specific task, then flip the clamping lever to lock everything in place.
With the clamp opened, the ball swivels freely to orient the work to the task
Another surprise was that the Roto-Stand doesn't jump around on the work bench as I expected it would. It won't replace a vise for those energetic tasks like lapping a slide to a frame, but the base is more than a foot in diameter and the stand has sufficient weight that it's unlikely anyone other than Godzilla would (or could) tip it over accidentally. The circular base surrounding the articulating ball forms a tray with a lip on it, making a handy way to keep track of any small parts you remove from the victim of your tender ministrations. The tray is plastic, which might be a bit slick, so Bat Industries kindly covers it with a vinyl (like) piece of material to make it less slippery. The overall diameter is large enough to hold an entire pistol, as shown in a photo with a Colt M1991A1 Compact (Officers ACP) on the parts tray.
With a frame properly supported for easy access, and oriented to allow the lights to reach where you are working, tasks that were formerly fumble-fingered nightmares suddenly become orders of magnitude easier. The photo following shows a frame secured on the Roto-Stand, ready to stake the plunger tube onto it. For the preparatory work of using a Dremel tool to grind a relief chamfer around the holes on the inside of the frame ... just flip the clamp lever, swing the frame around to the right angle for access with the grinder tip, and lock the clamp. Nothing could be easier.
Overall, my impression of the Roto-Stand is that it is a well-thought-out device, and a quality product. The clamp for the ball, especially, is made of substantial metal and feels very solid. I feel confident that it won't break the second time you flip the lever.
The base unit has an MSRP of $69.95. The magazine upright for a 1911 has an MSRP of $19.95. (Other posts are available for standard size Glocks and for SIG P220.) There is also an optional vise attachment that can be fitted to the swiveling ball in place of a standard magazine post. The vise has an MSRP of $39.95.
You may discuss about this product, ask questions or in general discuss about this review, in this thread in our Forums Site.
BAT Industries LLC.
500 Linne Road, Unit C
Paso Robles, CA 93446
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.batindllc.com