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Tiny fake nails/nail heads

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OK All you Alchemists and Wizards,


Does anyone have any techniques for creating tiny fake nails or nail heads? I'm working on the mast of a schnooner and I need to represent an iron band about 1.5 mm wide which will be glued on to the cross trees of the mast ostensibly to hold the futock shrouds in place. There is no real stress on the band so after I epoxy it on, I plan drilling a couple of 0.5mm holes and inserting a few bits of 0.02 inch brass wire to look like bolts.


I'd like to do something which would make the bolts look like they have heads. I know this seems "like chasing mice to see if they're farting"' but a lot of what we do is like that but the idea of having heads on 0.5mm bolts works for me. The one idea I had, was to take a piece of steel, drill a hole about 0.55 mm wide, 1.5 mm deep, putting in a bit of brass maybe 1.7mm long and wacking it with a ball peen. The only problem is I don't have a nice flat, heavy, piece of steel.


All ideas, suggestions, or telling me I'm a wack-job are welcome.




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I often use lill pins to simulate bolt heads. They're also known as sequin pins and can be found at sewing/fabric stores and online sources. I like the ones that are 1/2" in length. They are typically nickle-plated steel. Much less expensive than what you can get from Scale Hardware if the size is right for your application.


Cheers -


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I made hundreds of small (approx. 1 mm) bolts to use as carriage bolt heads for my gun carriages.  I made them by putting a length of 28 gauge steel wire upright in a vise and peening over the top using a small ball peen hammer. Repeated light taps with almost no force, using basically just the weight of the hammer will start flattening the top and then using the hammer off center to round over.  Cut the wire to length and insert the shank into the piece and you have a very nice, rounded, hand wrought looking bolt head.


Tedious as all get out to make, but they look nice.



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Model rail spikes? 


they are blackened iron, come in 3 sizes, and have the peened head.  At least one person has posted pics of their use here on MSW.

The problem with rail spikes is that the tops are not symmetrical, they have an elongated top.


I would go with what Bill suggested above. Use molded nuts or rivet heads that come in a wide variety of sizes. They also can be bought from model train suppliers.

Try these: https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Shop.aspx?SearchValue=rivets

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Hi fellow travelers in the world of Tiny,


I appreciated all your suggestions, but I went a somewhat different route. At one point I had purchased some larger than normal (ie what you get with a new shirt) dressmakers pins. That are 1.25 inches long with a head about 3/64ths of an inch wide and made of chrome plated brass. I think I got about 250 for a couple of bucks at a Joanne's Fabrics (a notions and crafts store in the Northeast).




I then clamped one in a pair of hemostats.




I used a few quick passes with a mill file to square the side of the head and flatten the top.




It took less than ten minutes to make 10.




Mine are going to be painted, but I did a quick check and heads blacked nicely with BirchwoodCassey. The heads of the ones I made averaged about 5/128th or a bit less that 2 scale inches at 1/48th.


As I mentioned I wanted them to attach a band holding futtock shrouds to the crosstrees on my schnooner. Here's how they turned out.




I also finished mounting the top mast to the lower fore mast. Here are some pics (please note that I caught my mistake of attaching the top mask backward.






Edited by Landlocked123
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