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  1. I use 120 to take lots of wood off, 180, 240 and 320 to smooth the surface of the wood. I often go to 400 since it gives a silky shiny smooth surface. For metals, to remove the oxides prior to soldering, I use 600 grit. Very important is the type and brand of the sandpaper itself. I only use 3M 618 sandpaper which is expensive but also amazing. Does not clog, lasts for ever, does not tear. This is silicon carbide, not the usual aluminum oxide. My 600 grit is again silicon carbide but a different brand as the 618 3M series does not go that high.
  2. Dear all I experimented a bit more but this is a difficult nut to crack. I think however I can suggest another method that seems to work, at least for the 1:10 scale I work at. The shackle made this way is on the left, the one made the previous way on the right. I used 1.2 mm brass wire, annealed, straightened and cut to 1.8 cm segments. I then used 3 mm brass rod to cut disks around 2 mm in thickness. This was actually very quick and easy to do with the jeweller's saw. The only issue is that when they cut away they tend to fly off. The rod was polished with 600 grit sand paper in advance. I then soldered the discs to the ends of the rods with soldering paste, one at a time or both in one go. Easy to do but the usual preparation is essential, maybe will help to sand a small flt on the disc. The end result is this The second time it came out even better Then I drilled the ends with 1.3 mm drill. This is difficult to do with the drill press as the tungsten drill broke bending the rod, I think some kind of jig is needed. With the dremel it is even harder and gets very hot. Then, I bent the ends 20 degrees, just at the joints. If the soldering is not good, at this stage it will fail. Then, without any jig but only using pliers, I formed the loop alternating ends so that the loop is uniform. No annealing is needed, the wire will happily bend without braking. A short segment of the same 1.2 mm wire, crushed in one end is used as a pin. Because the holes are not perfectly aligned, there is just enough tension to keep the pin in place, no glue needed. If the holes happen to be aligned, a small twist in any direction should fix the pin in place. The new shackles look much better. This is I think a reasonably easy and quick way to make shackles and it seems to have reproducible results. Certainly cheaper than buying shackles. I ll experiment with 0.8 mm wire and 2 mm rod to see if it still works.
  3. Many videos on you tube with robots and huge machines forging shackles. This however is closer to what we need, watch how he bends the ears 25 degrees and then only heats the middle to bend into shape. Maybe we need to bend the metal while red hot so have a candle always burning instead of butane torch. But brass will not behave like steel.
  4. Thanks Mark. I will try to lighten it a bit and take some metal off.
  5. You could also use adhesive film for the portholes, sand blasted glass effect. You can get levels of transparency or not at all transparent. This is used for windows/large glass doors.
  6. Today I put my newly acquired soldering skills to work and made the cranse iron. I bought some flat nose pliers and really they are essential for metalwork. I am now able to make tubes which is great. I tried the soldering paste but it is messy. Solder strips and borax are much more controllable. The next pic is using paste, the solder splashed all around The cranse iron came out reasonable, considering this is actually the first item I have ever made. The solder did splash a bit but does not show, I think that the steel brush I used carried over brass so the whole piece is shiny brass colour. I messed up a bit with the holes and also it is not very symmetrical but with the rigging on, it will not be visible (I hope) I also made some shackles, I think I need to reduce their length and maybe increase the width. It is freezing cold in the garage even with the gas stove full on, so no more work today. Vaddoc
  7. It is a type of lead free soft solder with a bit of silver. It was recommended I think by Kurt so I got some to try. My limited experience is that it is easy to work and very strong. Still, I think I prefer silver solder.
  8. Thanks Mike and Druxey. Frankie, solder is really very soft. Michael, I think you are right, copper would be softer and easier to work, yer stiff enough to hold its shape. It should blacken easier than brass and if left, the patina would resemble phosphorus bronze. Too bad I have a lot of brass!😀 I made a few more today, indeed they fast become much more consistent. Not one broke. Vaddoc
  9. vaddoc

    What have you received today?

    I also got these nice pliers, reasonably cheap and look well made. So much easier to work metals, really a must have tool
  10. vaddoc

    What have you received today?

    I see now what you mean Brian. I think they will hold things together but the potential for great frustration is there. There is a shortage of miniature clamps on the market though. It seems they are like most cheap things, you need to fiddle with them to make them functional.
  11. Today's quick update is about silver soldering. I think I 've cracked it! Due to rare circumstances I have time to work on the boat. It is time to make the brass hardware for the rigging but this was a major headache as my metal work is very basic. So far my joints have been very inconsistent, a product of luck rather than skill. Also, I knew my flux was wrong, as it could not cope with the high heat. So I got some borax and some soldering paste and for 2 days now I 've been experimenting. The paste is ok but can be unpredictable. Borax is just fantastic! Initially it was pure frustration, as it bubbles it pushes the pieces apart. I learned however to trust the flux, it really copes with very high heat, gives plenty of time to re-position the pieces and add the solder. Worked like magic. The next photo shows a test piece that took an awful lot of tries to make. I tried so many times that the brass tube was almost completely sanded away. This one however, I soldered each piece with the first attempt, in a very controlled and standardised way. The joints came out great. I didn't even had to bring out the big boy, the little proxon torch managed to heat everything up. I am happy, I now am confident I can reliably silver solder stuff. Vaddoc
  12. Dear all I will need many shackles for my 1:10 boat but at £1.5 each, they are incredibly expensive. I would very much like to make them myself. Michael Mott has posted a very elegant way of making shackles in this scale. Today I experimented in my garage and tried to standardised a much simpler version, using tools that I (and probably most modellers) own. So here it goes. Very very important: There will be clouds of flying debris and brass dust so do not attempt unless you have goggles that completely seal the eyes (they cost £1). A few more tools will be needed. Start with 2 mm brass rod, cut to lengths a bit over 2 cm. Mark the edges that will later be hammered flat with permanent marker. Then, secure the rods to a drill, just at the marked edge. Do not worry, it will be adequately rigid and secure. Set both the drill and the dremel spinning and with a high grit sanding drum, thin the middle of the rod. Then use 240 grit sanding paper to smooth the marks left on the rod. It should now look something like this. Now anneal the metal. This needs to be done regularly otherwise the rod will break. On a flat surface, hammer the edges. Anneal and hammer again. Use a sanding disk or files to shape and round the flat edges of the rods. Then bend around an appropriate steel rod/pin secured in a vice, carefully so that this is done symmetrically. (One rod broke in the middle). Half bend initially, anneal and then bend all the way, otherwise the rod will break. Do not do any minor adjustments without annealing again, the rods will break very easily, bending puts huge stress on the metal. It should now look like this: Drill the flat parts, no need to align the holes. Then take a length of 0.8 mm brass wire, pass through the holes, then with pliers crush the ends flat and trim the excess. Polish with a steel wire brush. Shackles are ready. They can actually be made reasonably fast, best to do many at a time. They are not very uniform but I think with practice they should improve. Vaddoc
  13. vaddoc

    What have you received today?

    Oh dear! I ll report back when they arrive.
  14. vaddoc

    What have you received today?

    You can never have enough clamps! I have not received these modelling clamps yet but the price is very good and others might want to know. This is a German site https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/3-mini-g-clamps-magnetic-base-rnd-550-00219-p232955.html?&trstct=pos_0

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