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99% of the modeling I do is with wood.  I want to try some other materials one of which is copper. I'm attempting to build a top sail schooner named Julia. The dimensions of the part I need to make are (roughly) shown below.  The bar stock is 1/16"D.  I don't own a lathe/mill/large drill press. I usually use a Dremel

file and sandpaper to get a desired shape. 

 

 So, I chucked the 1/16 copper rod in  my Dremel and figured I could use a file to get the desired shape......that always worked with wood...!  But the file basically

did little.

 

I certainly can use some suggestions regarding what I can do with the limited equipment/knowledge I possess. If I need to purchase some form of cutting tool I can do that.  As always thank you for any feedback. I must admit I'm more than jealous when I see some of the equipment  many of you are using and even more jealous of the incredible knowledge and skill...Moab 

 

p.s. I'll post the drawing in a few moments. 

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Posted (edited)

Moab, I share your problem. Essentially, how to work metal without proper metal working tools, that is a lathe and all the needed accessories and skills. I honestly think it cant be done. I tried also using the Dremel, files and sand paper to shape brass and copper. Failed miserably and burned my fingers.

Maybe use another material and use metal paints?

Edited by vaddoc
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Not sure if this helps. When I don't have the equipment to take off material, I find adding material sometimes works. For the rail above I see a rod and 3 washers. The problem here is the common one in our hobby - everything is so small. 

 

I'm surprised the file didn't work though. Copper is fairly soft. A new high-quality file might help. That and a template to hold it steady.

 

 

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Hi Moab

I am wondering about the file that you used

I thought I would try what you did and chucked up a bit of 1/16 copper rod in an old dremel I have

IMG_9933x1024.jpg.e5fdf3db9c80d1b9607acd40b1f8ea29.jpg

 

and used an old flat needle file that I had ground off the side teeth  so that only the edge teeth cut, the tricky part was keeping the file steady, I ran it at the lowest speed on the switch

 

IMG_9931x1024.thumb.jpg.07d588f765684525d27dc11981dc3d17.jpg

 

IMG_9930x1024.thumb.jpg.071cc50f62bab54f7d72cebec9b0b37d.jpg

 

Then I cleaned the ends off with some flush cut side cutters

 

IMG_9937x1024.jpg.b1c583e607d5b950c633d480c99dc472.jpg

 

My that is a tiny piece.

 

I think the file might be the suspect. I hope this helps.

 

Michael

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Further to Jim’s Post#4 above, small diameter brass tubing is available in sizes that telescope.  With these telescoping sizes it is easy to build up shapes like the one that you are trying to turn.  Slices of tubing can be cut with a razor saw.  A block of wood with the correct sized hole can used as a miter box to control the cut.

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Posted (edited)

I have been cutting brass (and even a bit of copper years ago) using an ordinary variable speed hand drill. I just hold the drill in my lap and use the lock on button to keep it running without having to pull the trigger. I adjust the speed screw to get a fairly slow speed.

 

I use a set of very small files to cut grooves, and a razor saw to part off the piece. I also use the drill and saw to cut pieces of tubing.

 

Of course, with this hand held method no two pieces are the same, so I just make a lot more than needed and pick a collection of pieces that are of adequate dimensions. Also, after cutting tubing sections I can file/sand down the ends to get matching lengths.

 

It is certainly not precision work, but it produces "good enough" parts.

 

Maybe some day I will cut down the cabinets in the end of my garage and make a work bench. Then I can get a milling machine and lathe (I used to use the tools at work). But then I will have to insulate the garage so I can work in winter (and protect the machines from temperature and humidity extremes). And I will have to add electrical circuits for the new machinery. Then I will have to add heating ducts to the furnace to heat the work area, and then ...

 

When will I find time for modelling?

Edited by Dr PR
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Hello Moab

I used a Stubbs Olympic #2 flat file with the wide sides ground off  I spotted this set on ebay I would say that the #2 cut will do the job but you will need to get the sides of the file safe by removing the teeth to get the sharp edge. Obviously this is going to change the file for anything but the narrow edge cut.

 

Michael

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Posted (edited)

I used a hand drill and a mini-hacksaw, sawing gently back and forth.

 

https://modelshipworld.com/topic/12426-henry-grace-a-dieu-great-harry-by-louie-da-fly-scale-1200-repaired-after-over-50-yrs-of-neglect/page/4/

 

 

The first results were a bit rough but as I got more practice "I got better" (like John Cleese after being turned into a newt). 

Edited by Louie da fly
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3 hours ago, Moab said:

Michael; what’s the best way to do this?  “Something”  (very technical description) in a Dremel? By the way, how old is that Dremel in you photo. Thank you so much...Moab

Hi Moab I have done a little sketch

 

1959682471_dremeljig.thumb.jpg.d6e4e75e7a6cb69af9e198b69292e899.jpg

 

If you drill a hole in a block of hard wood for the copper to slide in  and use a saw and or file to cut a couple of cuts across so that the slots act as guides for the file then clamp the lot to a bench so that they stay in relative position to each other, turn on the dremel to the slowest speed and the file into the slot and file a little then blow out the filing or add an extra hole under the area that is being filed so the filings can drop out..

 

The dremel was purchased in 1977 ish I can fit a flex shaft to it as well which i purchased at the same time.

 

I hope this helps

 

Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/28/2021 at 1:14 PM, Moab said:

99% of the modeling I do is with wood.  I want to try some other materials one of which is copper. I'm attempting to build a top sail schooner named Julia. The dimensions of the part I need to make are (roughly) shown below.  The bar stock is 1/16"D.  I don't own a lathe/mill/large drill press. I usually use a Dremel

file and sandpaper to get a desired shape. 

 

 So, I chucked the 1/16 copper rod in  my Dremel and figured I could use a file to get the desired shape......that always worked with wood...!  But the file basically

did little.

 

I certainly can use some suggestions regarding what I can do with the limited equipment/knowledge I possess. If I need to purchase some form of cutting tool I can do that.  As always thank you for any feedback. I must admit I'm more than jealous when I see some of the equipment  many of you are using and even more jealous of the incredible knowledge and skill...Moab 

 

p.s. I'll post the drawing in a few moments. 

Dose it have to be copper? Copper is about the worse metal you can try to work. It is sticky meaning it does not file cleanly and the filings quickly fill the file teeth. 

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