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Posted (edited)

I am working on Cheerful and have been frustrated by my inability to fashion suitable mast bands out of brass. This has been agrivated by the fact that it is so hard to find thin stock of brass anymore as K & S has stopped making it. I did fashion some from 3/32 W X 1/64 T stock by milling it down to 1/16 wide. That is another story as the results weren't as satisfactory as I had expected.

 

In the picture attached I tried using tape of 1/16 width as shown in the top bands. It just so happened I had some printed circuit layout tape (that dates me doesn't it) and it adhered quite well. Yet it wasn't my prefered material. I even tried matte finish chart tape. I found it didn't stick well to the wood as it is intended for "glass like" surfaces.

 

I ultimately found a source for the brass I wanted to use and await its delivery. I might add I had to pay an outrageous price for this precious stock.

 

Now if you look at the lower band that I partially fashioned out of my modified brass one can see it is not completely formed because it has to be formed over the back of the mast and then formed again into a protuding tab that will support the final ring eye for rigging.

 

My question is "I know my problem isn't unique so what successful measures have folks used to do what I am tying to do"?

 

I would really appreciate help. Thanks.

 

Joe

 

 

mast bands.JPG

Edited by Thistle17
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Posted (edited)

 Joe, I use one inch 3M masking tape for all my banding as I am absolutely the worst at metal working. I lay out a five inch piece on a piece of wood and then cut to the desired width. If the banding/tape is going to be the same color as the object I apply all natural. If it's going to be say black on white, I cut to width, pull up the strip of tape, set it back on the board away from the five inch piece I just cut from, paint it the required color, and then apply. I add a tiny bit of CA where the ends meet. I use poly so eventually  the tape edges also get adhered by the poly.

 

 I use masking tape for all sorts of items as in the case of the gun tracks and the coal scuttles at the ends of the companionway , that's masking tape. This method sure isn't for everybody but it's saved my bacon 

 

 

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Edited by Keith Black
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Keith, VERY interesting use of tape!!!   Any idea how well it will hold up for the long haul?    Would hate to see it lifting after some years.

 

Joe, have you looked at brass and/or copper sheets from McMaster Carr?  They have sheets and bars of brass down to 0.005 thick.  A package of six 4"X10" sheets that are 0.005 thick is $23.49  and 0.01 is $27.19 for six sheets.   

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One often is boxed in by thinking 'If the original was metal, I have to use metal to make it too.' No, you don't. Tape is one solution suggested above. Another is very thin card strips, prepainted. I've often used them and a neat joint is easy. Overlay the ends, then cut through both with a very sharp blade to butt join them. Drilling for an eyebolt in card is easy as well.

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4 hours ago, allanyed said:

Any idea how well it will hold up for the long haul?    Would hate to see it lifting after some years

 Allan, I would think the longevity of masking tape would depend on several factors. Natural, exposed to heat, 20 years? The way I've used it, it's painted, CA glued at the ends, and poly encapsulated. I can't even hazard a guess how long it will last in that state. I know it's very hard to remove as I redid the bow gun tracks and it didn't want to be removed!  

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I am always grateful for the advice i recieve on  this site so don't judge me too harshly in that I didn't use any of the techniques. This task has sat idel for 2 weeks as I was consumed by other non modeling needs and in that time one of my PC artwork mast bands started to lift. in that interval the 1/16 X 1/64 strips arrived. and those two events prompted me to try the brass approach once again.

 

After stripping the mast bands in place I cut stock about 1 inch in length and marked the center. Laying the strip on the square mast section I carefully bent it into a "U" around that section. Naturally the bends form a slight radius. So I clamped the "U" in a square sided pliers and lightly hammered the corners to be a bit more square. The lower two bands were then wrapped around the front of the square section and trimmed with a railroad rail cutter. These I then soldered using one of the SMD (PC circuit surface mount device) solderering stations to complete the wrapped joint. It took a couple of tries but ultimately the fit was near perfect.

 

Just one problem remained. How was I to provision for an eyelet in the band for the gaff rigging! It occured to me that I just might be able to predrill a centered hole in the band for the eyelet prior to completing the full wrap. Using my mill Using my smallest center drill I had I just started the hole for a guide. I had my doubts about being able to accurate drill a hole but to my delight it worked. I will CA the eyelet into the band hole after installing and securing the band(s).

 

Just one problem left though. I need to blacken the bands and never having had expeience with the solution I remain in discovery mode. At this time i wonder about the solder residue. It is not likely to blacken. I anticipate i will still need to paint the bnds.

 

Joe

bands.4.JPG

bands.1.JPG

 

 

IMG_1851.JPG

Edited by Thistle17
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Posted (edited)

Why do you say it won't blacken the solder? It will.

I assume you are going to work with the Birchwood Casey solution for copper/brass.

Before blackening, carefully clean the metal with 0000 steel wool, wearing latex gloves and paint your masthead with shellac or clear matte varnish to prevent the blackening agent later on accidently spilling onto the wood and staining it blue. (For this reason I blackened my bands outside the model and mounted them after).

Carefully "paint" your mast band with the Birchwood Casey solution, using a tiny brush dipped in it. Before the next tip, dry the brush by rubbing it against a paper towel or a paper napkin not to 'contaminate' the solution in the bottle. (The solution on the brush tip quickly becomes blue in contact with metal).

After about ~15 seconds wipe the band dry and immerse it in clean water and finally dry it. If the blackening process is not total (areas of metal in between blackened ones) touch them up again wit the brush and after about 10 seconds, clean again.

 

(I noticed that sometimes Birchwood Casey will not completely blacken the soldered spots as nicely as it works on the brass/copper - in those places I used a droplet of a blackening agent that the folks from the stained glass hobby use - Black Patina, for some reason it worked better for the soldered places)...

Edited by Dziadeczek
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I took the easy way out and used 1/16" wide auto striping tape. I tried some graphic tape first, but it didn't stick well enough. I painted my mast yellow first, and then applied a gloss spray coat, to which the tape will stick (it won't stick at all on dull paint}. I then sprayed the mast, including the tape, with Dull Coat, figuring/hoping it would help seal the edges of the tape and help adhere it in place.

 

I think it looks good and expect it will last as long as I will on my model.

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Model building is a series of problem solving steps isn't it?

 

Dziadeczek and Mark I appreciate the inputs on blackening since that is something new to me. I will try out a sample, solder and all, before I commit the ones planned for the model. and thanks for the warning about the blackening agent migration. and cleaning. Yet  further considerations. 

 

rraisely I did try automotive striping tape i had but it didn't stick well that is why I abandoned it. It was pretty old tape so likely the adhesive was dried out. .

Joe

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Posted (edited)

As described in my. Cheerful log, I used black masking tape on the mast, boom, and, gaff then painted over the tape. A little CA and the Paints seals it all with a tight fit. It works great. The “tab” was formed by shaping a strip of brass the same width as the tape I cut including down to a pin to insert through the tape. The tab has to be solid and thick enough to hold the weight of the throat halyard  You can see the result in my build log. 

Edited by glbarlow
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Posted (edited)

No Glenn I do not but I will share pictures with you if you would like. When I started this model I just wasn't that confident of my work. Over the past 2 years I have gotten better. Early on when i was planking her it took 3 tries on the starboard side and 2 on the port side to get a level of quality i could live with. With the fine work on this site I have learned well enough to feel my work is acceptable. Here is a picture of the mast bands installedl sans final alignment and the eye bolts. still need the inclusion of the fid top mast. In looking at chapter 12 this AM I thought i could get away with an eye bolt for the lower band but realize that is really going to need the extended form of termination.

 

Also my blackening agent did not live up to the need. I think part of the problem was i used acid core solder and likely it did not clean off the bands well. Good thing it will be painted.

 

BTW you folk took a beating along I35 yesterday. I lived in Denton in the 70s right along 35 and I remember the violent thunderstorms to this day. This must have been horrific.

 

Joe

IMG_1852.JPG

Edited by Thistle17
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As a passing comment for the anally-inclined, it might be noted that eyebolts were never installed through metal mast bands. Neither were rings ever welded to metal mast bands. The "eye bolt through the mast band" is a modeler's shortcut, In actual practice, the purpose for a mast band (or boom band) is to provide attachment points to the mast which do not require boring holes in the mast which provide a way for fresh (rain) water to soak into the end-grain of the mast and promote concealed rot that can ultimately cost the loss of a spar under load.  The metal mast band is bedded and clamps tightly around the mast, and holds by that pressure. It is never screwed onto the mast.  Attachment points are formed by welding the "feet" of "U"-shaped metal rod to the band itself, providing a strong two-point attachment to the band, or by welding triangular plates on edge with a hole or holes drilled through the face of the plates to accept shackle pins. Eyebolts anywhere on a mast are not considered good prototype rigging practice. 

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On 4/18/2021 at 9:44 AM, Thistle17 said:

 

..... It just so happened I had some printed circuit layout tape (that dates me doesn't it) and it adhered quite well.

 

HAHA!!  It certainly does; haven't seen that stuff for forty years 😀 I take it you too are retired from the high tech industry 🤪

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:33 AM, Thistle17 said:

I thought i could get away with an eye bolt

Glad you realized that, you definitely can’t. First to clear the throat halyard, second because there will soon be a lot of rope passing around the mast below that anchor point. I made it fairly easily from a piece of flat brass. The hole needs to large enough to accommodate a hook and as long as shown on the plans. 
 

Your work from what I see is more than fine, you have every reason to share it. 
 

The thunderstorms missed where we are for the most part.  As long as there is no damage and I’m at home, I kinda like rip roaring thunderstorm.

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Yes Ian I was in circuit design in the 60's and 70's. We did have a drafting group that actually did PC layout. Some how I ended up with some of their tape. I also recall in the 70's watching an Intel person layout "ruby masters" for integrated circuits. My we have come a long way haven't we!

 

Glenn I did much the same and it turned out well. I have spent so much time trying to be so faithful to the model that sometimes I wonder that i move the ball forward at all.

 

Bob I wondered about that as I chose to drill small holes for the eye bolts. I believe I have even seen that at Mystic. Thanks for reminding me. Don't judge me too harshly as I am going to stay the course at this point.

 

Joe

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, glbarlow said:

Not true, most thunderstorms cause little to no damage. They don’t all include high winds or hail. Odd for you to feel the need to make such a statement on a friendly forum. 

 

 Glenn, don't let my current address fool you into thinking I know nothing of Texas weather. You see, I was born in Dallas in 1947 and lived in Texas about fifty of my 74 years. Most thunderstorms move in from the west, northwest and are swirling mass of dark grey and black that has one constantly eyeing the churning clouds for a spinning tail to drop down. And a "rip" roaring thunderstorm by it's very definition means something is gonna get torn loose. 

 

 If you think my remark was being unfriendly, that surely wasn't my intent. It's just that I lived through and saw too many rip roaring Texas thunderstorms to think anything good came of them except for the pelting rain. Now, a gentle Texas spring rain that sends the bluebonnets skyward, that's a whole different kettle of fish. 

Edited by Keith Black
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I have gotten better at making bands in brass. You will note the band at the step in the mast is now installed sans the eye bolts. It took two trys to get this larger band to look correctly (at least to me). I wrapped three sides tightly and then wrapped the 4th side into an overlap. The overlap was just enough to fall beyond the centerline on the 4th side. I marked that point and removed it from the mast. I then took the cutters as before and snipped the bypass/overlap just a tad more than where it landed before it was removed. I then took a flat jewelers file and tapered the cut ends to simulate a blunt end scarf joint. I then soldered this joint. It was finished with a flat file to knock down the soldered joint a bit and then drilled for the eye bolts.

 

Now i realized something today. The brass is 1/64 inch thick or approximatey 0.015. That equates to about 3/4 inch thick bands at full scale. I rather doubt they were that thick. I bet stock of 1/128 inch would have been more correct.

 

Am I obsessing? Maybe.

 

Joe

IMG_1855[1].JPG

Edited by Thistle17
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