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Is there a Beginner’s Guide to Metal Work?

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I’ve never done any metal work before while I’ve searched, I can’t see to find a beginner’s guide. I found a Silver Soldering intro which was great for tools and joints, but I thought I might need a little more information. I’m trying to recreate parts like these:

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction? And hopefully give some guidance on how to properly paint it as well?

 

Thank you!

 

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Unless I am mis remembering

 

PLANK ON FRAME MODELS  VOL.1 & 2 1958                               
UNDERHILL,HAROLD A                                              
BROWN, SON & FERGISON   

 

He shows how to form up for soldering and removing the alignment surplus

 


AMERICAN FISHING SCHOONERS 1825-1935, THE                        
CHAPELLE,H I                                                     
W W NORTON CO   NEW YORK   1973

 

Has drawings of the actual hardware  in the appendix

 

only guesses for a general how to.  The following are from my Amazon wish list  from recommendations here

 


Model Building with Brass Hardcover – March 27, 2012
by Kenneth C. Foran  

Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing (Jewelry Crafts) Hardcover – September 15, 1997
by Tim Mccreight

The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook Spiral-bound – December 31, 1991
by Tim McCreight 

Edited by Jaager

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I second the recommendation for Ken Foran's Model Building with Brass - I learned a lot from it that I never heard or saw elsewhere.  More than worth the cost.

Another book is The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight. 

If you are going to be working with brass Ken's book is a must have.  If you are going to delve into other metals or might consider casting then you will want the McCreight book too.

Kurt

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 For general machining techniques, check out the huge number of YouTube videos by a guy named "Tubal Cain" or "Mr. Pete 222" (His real name is Peterson.) He's a retired high school metal shop teacher who teaches his machining classes on YouTube now. He's entertaining and really knows his stuff. Master craftsmen like this guy are really getting scarce these days. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/mrpete222

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I highly recommend the Foran and Underhill books. Foran is a good introduction to working in brass to build entire brass models, which are mostly aircraft. He is fantastically creative. He does not, if I recall, use silver soldering in his book, instead relying on soft solders. 

 

Underhill is specifically focused on ship modeling, and has useful tips on how to fabricate the small but complicated parts that we need. He speaks about silver soldering, using an alcohol lamp and a blowpipe. Today you can use butane torches and silver solder paste, which are a lot easier.

 

 

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Vince - that’s good to know. I saw that the second edition by Foran has been updated to include a section on model ships, but I didn’t see if it included silver soldering or not.

 

Do you happen to know which volume (of the Underhill books) has the metal work section? 

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Silver soldering, in my opinion and I have used it extensively in the past, isn't needed for the strength of the joint in our ship models.  The only need I have for it now is when doing multiple soldering operations in very close proximity to one another.  Using a high melting point first and then using progressively lower melting points for adjacent joints allows one to not have too much worry about loosening earlier joints.

 

If you read Foran's book you will see that in our usual applications joints in close proximity can be made w/o resorting to silver soldering.  He's a big advocate for Stay-Brite solder - it is a high silver content solder but not a true silver solder as the melting point is lower than silver solder.  Techniques he describes allow adjacent joints to be made easily using Stay-Brite.

 

I made several presentations on silver soldering at NRG seminars and conferences and used it extensively, but over time I have moved away from it and find myself using Stay-Brite almost exclusively.  Regular soft solder doesn't blacken but the Stay-Brite does, just like silver solder which was my primary reason for using silver soldering.  There isn't a joint on a scale model that requires the strength of silver solder - R/C boaters need it for rudders and control levers but I think one is doing something wrong if silver solder is needed for any joint on a scale model - the strength just isn't needed.

 

My suggestion is to get the Foran book and follow his techniques and later on investigate silver soldering. 

 

And yes, the second edition of the Foran book has a section devoted to ship modeling.  Much of the material in that section can be seen in his USS Constitution build log here on MSW

 

 

Kurt

 

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Thanks Kurt, I’m in no way wed to silver soldering. I’ve simply never really done metalwork before (I am comfortable soldering electronics, but I don’t know that that experience is significantly transferable here) and am open to whatever gets the job done. I understand the concept of joints for eye bolts and the like, but I don’t fully understand how to join flat pieces to build something that can go around a mast for example. I think this book sounds like it should help me out there; it’s probably not as complicated as I’m making it out to be, but having some reference material should help provide some confidence.

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You are right - it's not as complicated as some would make it - or think  it is.  Remember to keep it clean, always use flux and solder flows to the heat.

Kurt

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Kurt you are right silver soldering is really easy as long as you keep it spotlessly clean.  Also when you clean the joint do not use any kind of sandpaper or emery paper as this will contaminate the surface.  Always use wire wool and you'll get a really clean surface.

 

To save loads of hassle try using a silver solder like this

 

https://www.cupalloys.co.uk/low-temp-silver-solder/index.asp

 

It comes in a syringe and has the flux already built in.  You just clean the joint and then apply a little paste and get it really hot.  You will know when the joint is hot enough because the solder suddenly looks like very shiny molten silver.  I've seen a lot of unsoldered joints simply because the heat was taken away too soon and the solder did not flow.  Just practice on some old bits of brass and you'll get there and wonder what the fuss was all about.

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On 9/13/2019 at 1:52 PM, kurtvd19 said:

I second the recommendation for Ken Foran's Model Building with Brass

There are a few copies on clearance at Amazon UK for about $5US.

 

Update.  Looks like Amazon UK has sold out of the clearance priced books.  They only had 4 available when I ordered mine.

Edited by grsjax

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