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Ok, I've finally got all the bits I need to start my first ever scratch build.

Brass plate, piano wire, brass tube, drill blanks for axles, crown gear, bearings, guide, old scaley donar bits.

I was just about to start cutting bits up, such as pillow blocks, etc, when I had a thought. Why dont I bend up the "pillow blocks" from the chassis, instead of cut and solder?

Then I had another thought. Out of all the brass chassis I have seen, except for the occasional manufactured commercial chassis, they have all been soldered onto flat plate.

Obviously the commercial variants are pressed and would have appropriate tooling, which makes the job alot easier. (duh)

OK, why is it so? Is there inherant issues with bending flat Brass, that makes it impracticle or difficult? (I'm using 32 thou plate)

Or should I just give it a shot and find out myself?
 

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Al Schwartz
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Here's the issue for me (others may differ) Since I find it difficult to drill axle holes in sheet stock after it has been bent, I have always done the drilling in the flat. The challenge is then to produce two bends which are precisely 90 degrees, along exactly parallel lines in good longitudinal alignment. One approach with which I have had some ( 50+%) success is to scribe the bend lines, drill two holes near the end of the line at twice the diameter of a convenient piece of wire and then use two pieces of wire to space the bend line in the vice jaws by resting the part with the wires atop the jaws before bending. This is easy for the first bend. Most vices are too big to accomodate the already bent part below the jaws for the second bend.You can get around this by clamping the part for the second bend between two pieces of hard wood,* e.g. maple, one of which is narrow enough to fit within the final "U" If you are using 0.032" stock, it will be easy to "rebend" to get the correct angle. (Hgh speed excursions can do a surprizing amount of damage. I would suggest soldering a music wire brace across the open end of the "U" at a conveniet location as insurance)

Typically, the "cut and solder" school relies on some sort of a building block that will hold an axle to provide alignment during soldering assuring that the final part will be true.

Having built up a small machine shop over 47 years of slotting - and finding that the same passsage of time has taken its toll on both eyesight and ability to do fiddly alignment, I usually just hog the bits out of a chunk of brass so I may not be up on current approaches.

EM

* I made up a small bending jig by taking a piece of 1/2" X 3.5" maple, 6" long and driling two 1/8 " holes through the 1/2" face and then sawing it into two parts along the 3.5" face, using two pieces of 1/8" rod to assure alignment and clamping the assembly in a bench vice although a pair of "C" clamps would also serve.
 

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Hi huffy

EM did a good job of why most of us use the cut and solder technique for the rear ends ( I do the same for the axle carriers too)

For me I just can not bend the thicker brass and get the holes to line up... The rear end needs to be perfect, so that the axle sit right and does not bind the axle in any way...

I have always used a jig and the pillow block methoid for my rear ends when using pillow blocks for side or anglewinders... It is just easier and quicker for me.

For inlines I love the BWA inline bracket.... just solder the puppy in and your done.

Chris
 
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