For tight bends of a roll cage or headers you can also try putting a piece of wire into the tubing. I cut it short of the length of the tube ends, that way I can still fish mouth the ends or fit them as necessary. You can make very tight bends this way without the tubing kinking because the wire supports the bend. I also use mandrels to make smooth bends. I like the model ship builders wooden pulleys, dowel rods, engine pulleys clamped down, pretty much anything I can lay hands on that is the right radius. I have noticed that bends are easier to make the longer tubing is beyond the bend, makes sense, its a longer lever arm. Good luck, Pete.
I am like you, just starting into working with brass. I have made some leaf springs already and it was fairly easy. I would say that you can use jeweler's saw and files, they are made for metal and that is what I use. I also find my dremel with cut off wheels and grinding bits works well. As for the soldering, I use 60/40 solder because that is what I have around for stain glass work. I have a cheap soldering iron with a chisel tip. Use flux and a rheostat to lower the temp of the iron. Use the least amount of heat you can and still have the solder flow. Hope that helps, have fun. --Pete
if you oversize your decal and reduce it on a copy machine to the proper size you will produce a more crisp image. I try to do this whenever possible for artwork in black and white. I have not tried it in color, but it makes sense that it should work as well. Note that this technique works well when producing photoetch artwork as well.
As far as a buck for the windshield, I recommend using green flower foam. Press it in place from the inside and use a sanding stick etc to shape it. It shapes really easy. Then I have been using automotive glazing putty over the top and sanding that smooth. Use a high build sandable primer, I like Plastikote, and sand smooth. All imperfections will show, so use a tack cloth to clean the dust. If you cover all sides of the foam with putty, you should be ready for the vacuum forming. If you cant get it to work, your out 6 bucks. I plan to add one more step, covering the putty with a mix of epoxy and microballons. I dont know if the epoxy will react with the flower foam yet. If it doesnt, that would eliminate the putty step. I used a similar technique to make vacuum formed wheel wells for a pickup bed.