How2 Aluminium Rod Ends & Suspension Brackets

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Ok, quick how-to, we'll have a go at rod ends. These can be used for suspension and steering linkages (and whatever else you can think of). They're quick and easy to build, so give it a try :)

I like to use styrene for as much of my scratchbuilding as possible, but it doesn't hurt to use other materials if you can. And you know what they say, nothing looks more like metal than metal :D

This is not the best or the easiest way to build rod ends, all my scratchbuilding methods are WIPs so go ahead and experiment ;)

While not a replica of any particular 1:1 rod end, this one will be based off something like this-

Male_Rod_End_Bearings-cat-1072-cat.jpg

http://www.bearingboys.co.uk

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Here are the materials/tools that will be used-

1/16" K&S tube (1.6mm)

Pliers

Pinvise; 0.5mm and 1mm bits

Hex bead

Needle file

Hobby knife

Superglue

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I'm using 1.6mm rod here, but of course you can use this same technique for different sized rod to get different size rod ends.

28072011271.jpg

First up we're going to flatten about 5-7mm of the end of the rod. Try to use a part of the pliers that is flat (if possible), or you'll end up with a crinkle cut style rod end :lol:

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Next up, grab your pinvise and 0.5mm bit. Drill a hole in the middle of the flattened part of the rod, but close to the top. See pic-

28072011274.jpg

Now swap to a 1mm bit and drill the hole out bigger.

28072011275.jpg

Edited by mopar68

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Now it's time to start shaping with your needle file, If you don't have one, you can use a Dremel bit and/or sandpaper to a similar effect :) It's a good idea to file both sides of the flattened area smooth too. Shiny B)

28072011276.jpg

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Here's the tricky part. You need to file the rest of the flattened part thin enough to fit into the rod. In the rod we're using here, that's about 0.8mm. Just be careful not to bend (or more like kink) the bit you're filing, or it'll probably break off or distort beyond simple repair.

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Now get that hobby knife out, and cut the excess aluminium off. I used an old blade, save blunting a new one.

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Now time for the hex bead (actually it has seven sides, but only rivet counters notice that :D ) I got a bag from Spotlight for a few dollars, there's enough for a few rod ends in there. They are available in a few sizes, and they're already plated- perfect!

28072011280.jpg

The next part is simple. Slip your bead on, add a bit of glue and stick it in the end of a tube in need.

28072011281.jpg

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28072011285.jpg

Presto!! :D

Feel free to post up any questions, corrections, or comments. Hate mail can be PM'd :P

Have fun! B)

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Posted · Report post

Kewl, thanx bud for that....

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Posted · Report post

No worries mate, it's a simple one but it's handy :)

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Man Zac, that is cool. I don't think I have a lot of the materials but you gave me a good idea on how to go about making them.

Thanks so much for posting up the tutorial, I appreciate all the help as I'm sure everyone does.

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Posted · Report post

why not just make it from styrene?

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Posted · Report post

why not just make it from styrene?

That you could do Joe :D Or auminium sheet rather than flattening the tube. It's all about experimenting really, that's why I used K&S ;)

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Posted · Report post

And brass would be the best.

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why not just make it from styrene?

I've done that and it works but I wish I had used metal! The plastic ones are so delicate that you'll probably break them twice before the model is finished.

BTW, BRILLIANT tutorial!! That's what I'll do in the future.

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Thanks Manuel! :D

Ok just a little follow-up tutorial which was requested by JasonFL. Sorry it took a bit longer than expected Jason :wacko:

Let's have a crack at suspension brackets shall we :D Nice and simple one, these come in handy for other things too, for example roll cage gussets could be done in a very similar manner. Sorry for the less than amazing pics though, new camera and I'm still working out the settings lol :lol:

This is our test subject- a not quite completed scratch built beach/baja type buggy thingamajig. The perfect candidate :D

P1020275_T.jpg

First of all, we'll roughly sketch out the size we want the bracket on some 0.5mm styrene sheet. Probably not totally necessary but helpful to some extent I suppose :P

P1020273_T.jpg

Let's grab a round file and make a nice little notch where the bracket will attach to the frame. Obviously the shape of this side will depend on the shape of what you're attaching the bracket to.

P1020278_T.jpg

Now we'll find our pinvise and drill a couple of holes in each soon to be bracket. These are for whatever 'bolts' we're planning on using in there later on, so drill each hole in roughly the same spot so they'll line up later :)

P1020279_T.jpg

Ok, now we can use our trusty No. 11 to cut our brackets out. Don't worry too much about the shape just yet; you can afford to cut them a little too big.

P1020280_T.jpg

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Now we can glue our brackets onto the desired area (no, on the model I meant, not your fingers :P ). Space them according to what you're planning on bolting between them ;) Make sure you use a fairly strong glue, you'd be surprised how much these things will go through between now and final assembly. I usually use Plastruct Weldene, it's pretty strong as long as the fit is good.

P1020281_T.jpg

Now we wait for the glue to dry. Once it's dry, we'll wait for it to dry a little more, just in case :P Now we can grab a file, or one of those little scraps of sandpaper floating around the bench, and shape the brackets to make them all pretty :D

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Aaaaaaannnnnd presto! Beautiful brackets, made by you, for you :DExtra credit for the super-rushed 'coil-over' in this pic lol

P1020285_T.jpg

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So there you have it, hope this benefits someone somehow. Have fun people B)

As always, feedback/criticism/hate mail/whatever might come to mind is welcome :D

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Zac,what's in the water in paradise??? Are ALL you OZ guys this talented,or is this forum just lucky to have the ones we got? I am costantly amazed at you guy's creativity! Have you seen Greg Armors(Stumpy) builds? I appericiate this tute, and also your willingness to share it. You OZ guys are all right in my book!!!!

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Thanks George, got a few more tutorials to finish putting together when I get the time.

I have seen a few of Stumps' builds, very talented bloke I must say.

And I'll tell you the secret- it's the Vegemite :lol:

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Wait, I JUST got a jar of Nutella, NOW you tell me it's Vegemite???? Yeesh no wonder I can't build like you guys. I can't find it here!!!!

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It's ok! Nutella will do the trick, but you need to eat twice as much for the same effect :P

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Ok just a little follow-up tutorial which was requested by JasonFL. Sorry it took a bit longer than expected Jason :wacko:

Just don't let it happen again Zac...lol, jk!

What another great tutorial, it's gonna be a big help when I go to do my link bars and tabs. Im not a big fan of Nutella but i might have to suck it up and eat a jar, or 3...haha.

Thanks again, I appreciate you taken the time to make these tutorials. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your tutorials, what do you have in store next for us?

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:lol: No worries Jason, always happy to help where I can ;)

what do you have in store next for us?

Well, I still need to finish off my turbo tutorial. I was part way through it when we moved house and I lost some pieces somewhere lol. I'll have to dig through my model mess and find them, so I can finish it off. Here's a built one-

DSCF6850T.jpg

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That's sweet man, you do some clean work. Look at it this way, sometimes diggin through all your old ###### looking for one thing, you always find some thing else you forgot you had. I don't have a big parts box but when I did I used to love looking through all that ######, used to come up with all sorts of ideas.

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Thanks mate :D

Yea true, you find all sorts of goodies in your parts box, things you forgot or never knew you had :lol:

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DSCF6850T.jpg

Very impressive scratch building Zac,top job on the fine details

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Thanks Luke, as always I appreciate the comments mate :)

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