Looking for a couple of scratch building hints

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by tomd81, May 29, 2006.

  1. tomd81

    tomd81 New Member


    I am looking for a couple of scratch building hints. I am building a couple of well cars and could use some help.

    1) What do you use to cut small brass structural shapes, I need to cut both flat and angle (1/8 & 1/16) pieces. My old flush cutters did not do a good job, maybe I need some new ones. Any suggestions, - how to cut the angle pieces.

    This is for a model of the Southern 50098 well car. The photo is from the December 1967 issues of Ties Magazine. I have already made the body, but am stating over. I did not like how the ends turned out.


    2) In need to make some curved cuts in styrene. I have not completed my plans yet, but they look to be circular. I have mastered the scribe and snap method, will this work on a curved piece?

    The second is needed for the Allis Chalmers ACMX 417 well car. This photo was taken by Craig Boosler in York, PA on May 14, 1982. It is from my collection.


    Will post photos when done!


  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    I use a zona saw to cut brass angles. on the plastic though i haven't ventured to far in that medium i think the scribe and snap should work.
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    A Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel works well, also, Walmart has a rotary tool
    for less $ than the Dremel brand. This is a good tool for cutting track and piano wire.
  4. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member

    Hi tomd81,

    extraordinary cars and load. Hope you'll come to a good result. Let us see a few pics of your jobs.
    I use for cutting of small brass profiles an ordinary juwelier saw and saw blades with 40 or 50 tooths per inch with good success.

  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    The score and snap method will work fine on wide curves like that, just start at one end then work your way around, not trying to go thru all at once but in the second or third bend. I've done it on cab roof lines and plow blades with no problem.

    The Dremel is the only way I'd go for cutting the brass. If price is the problem, there are some battery operated cheapies out there that are up to the task. Lowes even carries one for pumpkin carving that, for $10, even has a collet that accepts all bits Dremel offers.
  6. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Scratch building tips

    A high speed motor tool ( Dremel or other) is the best investment you will ever make for modeling.
    You can improve on it by a margin of a thousand times if you visit a sewing machine shop & get a used treadle foot control from them ( 5 to 15 bucks tops), it will give you infinite speed contol & an INSTANT shut off if things go wrong, 35,000 RPMs are real scary if you loose control of the thing!!!
    Another thing is the quality of the cut off disks you use --as we all know, Dremel 409s SUCK, they fly apart at the slightest pressure.
    Try to find some by Pittman Crossing-- (The Good Ones) many hobby shops carry them in 3 sizes . ( yup thats a shameless plug-)- I run Pittman Crossing
    & I promise my disks are all but bullet proof. If you can't find them , drop me a line & I'll send you a disk to prove it!!

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