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Making mast bands, setting the tabs.

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Back in February 2014 I posted this in my "schooner" build, found it yesterday and thought it might be worth sharing.


To make the bands I drilled out the centre of the brass stock on the lathe to fit the mast, then turned it down until I had approx. 1mm wall thickness (this was set by the available drill sizes I had for the next step) then parted the bands off.


Then in the lathe drill a centre hole in the stock the same size as the outside diameter of the collars just made and turn down the exterior to just above the finished dimension of the band with tabs, the length of this machining needs to be longer than the length of the band, this will soon become clear.


First pic shows a failed first attempt on the left and the new bands turned and parted off.


Second pic shows the second turning removed from the lathe and the tabs revealed by removing the excess brass, you could make it a single tab by only soldering one, you can make it a triple or a quad as I have.


Third pic shows the band fitted into the tabs, you'll note there are gaps between the band and the stock, this is so you don't lose all your heat into the stock while trying to solder it. The beautiful thing here is that the contact surfaces on the tabs are perfectly curved to match the band


Fourth pic shows soldering the tabs, now guys, SOLDERING IS NOT THE DEMON EVERYONE SEEMS TO THINK IT IS! 

CLEAN is the secret, these parts are fresh off the lathe, no coolant was used in machining them and I have handled them very sparingly using long nose pliers to place the band in the tabs. I only use 60/40 resin cored solder and it works beautifully. The BIG thing is NEVER touch the flame and solder to the job at the same time! Heat from one side of the tab knowing that the hottest part of the flame is the tip of the blue centre flame, just hold that on the job for a little while then remove it then touch the solder to the opposite side of the tab, if it doesn't melt remove it and heat a bit more. keep going until you get the solder melting then remove the solder wire and reapply heat to the opposite side. This will draw the solder through the joint and you'll see it happen. Continue around all the tabs one at a time. Once they are all soldered simply heat the whole thing up and using a paint brush quickly brush away the excess solder remembering it is molten metal and will spatter and burn.


Fifth pic, soldered


Sixth pic, cut off and fitted to the jib boom, more filing to be done but you get the idea.









Edited by Bedford
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