Making a HO spark arrestor

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by John Hubbard, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. John Hubbard

    John Hubbard New Member

    My Mark Rollins Class A Climax needed a spark arrester. The problem was finding some material that looked right for the wire screen. The answer came in the form of a Mr. Coffee permanent coffee filter that was left over from a defunct coffee maker. I’ve looked at some others as well, and some brands seem to be made from a sheet of thin metal with small holes punched in it. The Mr. Coffee (and my current Krups) filter is a finely-woven wire mesh – just right for HO. There is enough material in one such filter for all the spark arrestors one could ever want to make!
    I started by cutting a strip from the filter material – it is quite easy to cut with scissors and to follow along the mesh for a straight cut – for the cylindrical body of the arrestor. I overlapped the ends slightly and glued with gel ACC, using my tweezers for a clamp. Next came the solid metal bands, made from HO scale 1x4 styrene strip. This arrestor is about 0.5 inch (12mm) outside diameter; for a smaller one, a scale 1x2 might work well. I wrapped the strip around the wire body at the top and bottom of the cylinder and secured it with ACC gel, again using the tweezers for a clamp. The photo shows a piece of the Mr. Coffee filter material and the styrene 1x4 strip as well.
    To finish the cylinder, I cut four short strips of the styrene 1x4 and placed them vertically at 90 degree intervals.
    For the top, I traced the outline of the cylinder onto the Mr. Coffee mesh and cut a circle with the scissors. The problem was: how to neatly secure the top to the body? The solution is shown at right. I fitted a strip of the 1x4 styrene inside the cylindrical body, overlapping the ends slightly, and glued it with ACC. Then, I glued the resulting circle on edge to the circular top.

    When dry, the cap fitted into the body very neatly, as seen below:

    A coat of Polly S 'Grimy Black' finished the project, and the photo below shows the result.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Cool tip... I have made HO fencing out of a "discarded" ;) spatter screen we don't "need" anymore in the kitchen.

    Just one question though... how did you unglue the tweezers from the screen ;) :D

    Great tip!

  3. John Hubbard

    John Hubbard New Member

    Very carefully! No, seriously, they didn't stick. I think the gel ACC is not as aggressive as the thinner stuff.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I model the 1970's era Penn Central but have to say I'm impressed by the clever and effective use of the screening for a spark arrestor. Neat work!

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