Jump to content

Making Brass Masts for 1/700 warships


Recommended Posts

I have thought about this since the model that I am building has steel masts, and for some reason modeling a metal object from metal always looks better.

 

My idea would be to stack telescoping sizes of brass tubing soft soldered together, and then taper them.  I am not nearly to the point where I need to try this.

 

1:700 scale?  That’s a whole different world!

 

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The technique to use depends on the technology available to you.

 

Personally, I would use steel, but then I have a watchmakers lathe and made fixed steadies for use with them.

 

If you don't have a lathe, you could use a small rotary tool, place the material onto a piece of flat wood into which you cut a shallow groove to keep the material from whipping. You can work on it with fine files or sanding sticks. Using steel would make the mast stiffer, but it may be difficult to work it with such tools. Brass might be an easier option in such case.

 

Scale doesn't matter, but the absolute length of the part and in particular its diameter ...

Edited by wefalck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wefalk,

 

I like your grooved board idea.   This could be used in conjunction with my Sherline lathe to taper a stack of telescoped tubing.  The two masts for my lake freighter Model will be thin in relation to their length.  The trick is to avoid whipping of the stick while getting a smooth taper.  

 

This problem is is at least a year away so I still have plenty of time to mull it over in my head.

 

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a (Sherline) lathe, I wouldn't bother with telescoped tubing, but would turn it from a steel rod. The point is to have a fixed or moving steady to keep the rod in place. Sherline does sell both types of steadies, but one can also improvise steadies. Old-time mechanics fixed pieces of wood or even thick card-board to the lathe bed with appropriate holes at centre-height. Of course, one can take very light cuts only, preferably with a very sharp HSS-tool.

 

Here I am turning a 2 mm diameter boom, which is about 60 mm long, between centres. I used the flexing of the steel rod to get the curvature of the boom. With a steady, on can turn straight sections.

 

image.png.1f2193d4fde2cf2110717e457643b071.png

Edited by wefalck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fairly accurate tapering can be turned  on the Sherline.  These tiny oil cans (copies of actual full size cans), about 1/4" diameter at the can's base, were completely turned on my Sherline  Lathe.  For turning tapers I use the step method. The material is divided segments. I calculate the diameter of the taper at the base of each step. I start with the stock back in the headstock protruding about two inches beyond the chuck jaws. I make the first turning to near the diameter of the taper at that  point.  I continue this until have cut alter taper points.  Then I finish it off with a file. 

cans - 1.jpeg

Edited by Bill Hudson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Beautiful work!  For my last model, I used the step method on my Sherline to turn belaying pins from brass.  It worked well.  My telescoping tube idea is a variation of this method.  I don’t like the Sherline’s system for turning tapers; rotating headstock.  With the headstock rotated, of course you can’t use the alignment key so the headstock doesn’t want to accept Sid loads from turning.

 

What is your experience trying to turn tapers?

 

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan -  All of the above is excellent advice, but perhaps mostly applicable to larger workpieces.  In 1/700 we're talking about, what, roughly .050" at the bottom of a battleship mast and length maybe as long as 2".  Less for smaller ships. 

 

As an occasional 1/350 modeler, I've had success in tapering brass wire by pinching it in a fold of wet/dry automotive sandpaper of 400 and higher grit and turning it with a variable speed shop drill.  If the drill chuck won't close down on your wire, there are microchucks with hexagonal shanks available, or you can hold the wire in a pin vise and place the pin vise in the drill chuck.  Light finger pressure and repeated passes will produce a taper reasonably quickly.  There's little chance of bending/whipping the this size stock at the rpm available with a shop drill.  If you have a high speed rotary tool, such as a Dremel with a chuck, the wire can be placed directly in the chuck and turned.  For that approach I'd recommend the v-groove technique discussed by wefalck, using a shallow groove and downward pressure on the sandpaper, to give you more control at the higher speed.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As noted above, no lathe is needed: just make a shallow V-groove in a piece of wood, chuck up the wire into your mini-drill and work away on the way with a sanding stick with, say, 600 grit 'wet-n-dry' paper. Not even a mini-drill is needed, you can just hold the wire between your fingers, turn it by, say, 30° and count the number of strokes with the sanding stick to achieve roundness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...