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Homemade Rudder Hinges

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Good day all,


With the wealth of knowledge that exists within these pages I know this is an easy one.


I'm building the San Francisco II and have come to the hinge/rudder part. I'm not a fan of the bright brass straps supplied with the kit. I want to make my own straps but am having a time finding the right kind of metal to work with. I pounded and flattened both tinned copper wire and copper wire and both have the look I want (after I age them) but neither survive more than one bend before they snap.


So, the question: what makes for good hinge straps? (I should say other than brass)



Edited by lamarvalley
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For hinges stay with brass strips.  After annealing they can be shaped and soldered to the desired shape.  You can then either blacken them or paint them as I did.

David B


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Thanks guys. I kind of came to the same conclusion... eventually. And, you're right, I can blacken them as I did with the cannon. My biggest objection was the generic straps that came with the kit so I was looking for some alternative that I could craft myself. It's hard to replace the ease and versatility of brass tho so...this morning I picked up some sheet brass, rod and tube and am making my own. Never soldered anything so small tho so this should be interesting. :)

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Randy, in soldering the parts together, if you "tin" each part up ahead of time with the solder, then when you join them and heat them, they'll come right together. I find that trying to keep the parts together in the right place; get a tiny amount of solder placed in the joint; then applying heat is too many things to juggle at one time. So if you apply the solder first to each part and then join the parts...much easier.



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Well, I started this thread so I might as well tell of the final product.

The cause of all this was the thin and generic hinge straps that came with the kit. I bent them so many times trying to follow the pin or the rudder that they snapped like metals do when bent back and forth over and over. I appreciate the advise Von Stetina, and it will remain in my arsenal of tricks but fortunately this time I bent them once and only once. It was nice working with a bit stouter brass... it could take a bit of work. :)


I ended up buying .5mm sheet brass along with brass tube and rod. After a bit of trial and error I cut the sheet to appropriate size, filed each strip down to uniform widths and bent them to an initial U shape over a piece of wood the same thickness as the rudder. Again, a few stutter starts and finally got the soldering down. There were 6 hinges, each had tube with 3 of them getting a rod to act as a pin. Pulled out the files and sandpaper and eventually with a blackening I had hinges. :)

The rest is detailed in the pictures...



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Nice work on the hinges, Randy.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
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  • 7 months later...

Indeed, nice work, Randy and Sudomekh.

You show that a lot can be done with those details.


I am afraid I took the easy way out for my Conny. Since the hinge straps were going to be painted black and the hinge itself would be barely visible, I decided that instead of brass, I would use stiff paper.
I actually used an old photograph print, cut it into strips, painted them and  . . . .


Edited by Modeler12



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Hi Randy, Thank you for posting this , I have been trying to figure this out myself for my Herreshoff Buzzards Bay .



Best Regards,


"may your sails be full of wind and the sun on your back"
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