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Scratchbuilding a suicide spring perch

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#1 Steve H.

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 09:02 AM

I've built a few suicide spring perches, so I thought I'd share my technique. My spring perchs are based loosely on 1:1s that I've seen at various shows.

I start with 2 .040 styrene plates (these are approx 1/2" square) and drill a hole to fit the spreader bar. I also make a cut from the bottom to the drilled hole to be able to slip it over the spreader bar.

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After measuring and marking the center of the bar and the width of the perch, I line up the plates accordingly.

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And space them with the pieces I plan on using for the back and upper plate.

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With everything clamped in place, I apply liberal amounts of Testors liquid cement to the side plate/spreader bar joint. After that joint dries, I cut a piece to use as the back plate and glue it in place.

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After these joints have dried completely, I make the rough cuts to begin shaping the perch.

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Find the center of the leaf spring and drill it out for a brass mounting pin.

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Cut and drill another plate for the horizontal mounting plate. With everything taped down firmly to my bench, I glue the top plate in place.

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In this pic, I had to add side plate extensions. Had I done it correctly, I would have left the excess side plate and not had to add extra peices.

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After everything has dried completely, begin shaping the plastic to its final form. This can be tedious, but keep at it till its the shape you're looking for. I added the upper braces, because the perch seemed flimsy, and I wanted to make sure the suspension doesn't flex. I also added a strip of .010 styrene to the top and back to cover up glue joints and a misalignment of the back plate. The four extra holes in the top plate will be used for brass wire shackles, as seen in the last pic here (my 29 p/u)

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The best advice I can give is to take it one step at a time, allowing each joint assembly time to dry thouroughly. If you do that, you don't have to deal with a previous joint flexing or moving. Be willing to use way more styrene than neccesary. You can see, from start to finish, just how much plastic was trimmed away. I also found it neccesary to have both front and rear axles completely built, since they were needed to assure the stance stayed as intended during this construction.

Enjoy... Hopefully there's something here that you can use...

#2 Mr. Metallic

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 02:14 AM

Thanks Steve. Now I can't wait to give it a try