Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

Recommended Posts

On my last two projects, I switched from styrene to brass for the pose-able steering parts. I like the precision and the strength of the brass, not to mention once the solder cools it's a solid piece and you're not waiting for cement or glue to dry/cure. I would like to also start using the brass for making suspension parts for the same reasons.

My soldering skills are good enough to do what I want, my problem lies in holding the parts precisely to each other. I was hoping someone might have an idea for a solid hands free jig to help me further my skills.

So what do you use? Pics would be appreciated, and as usual, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,

Soldering jigs for me are really one of the main reasons I have a small mill and lathe. Unfortunately, most of my jigs are based on these tools and are very job specific. I use 6061 aluminum for the most part because it has two major advantages and one major disadvantage in soldering brass parts. The two major advantages are that it is easy to machine into the jig I want and solder doesn't stick to it. The major disadvantage is that it is a huge heat sink. Now this last bit can be used to your advantage if you can understand how to use it as a heat sink and to negate those properties when necessary.

Here is a photo of a jig I made for soldering the axle to the spring assembly on the chassis of a hot rod. As you can see it is quite complex, but I needed to get the bearings as close to vertical and parallel as possible so that the wheels will sit square. It also uses machining parallels on a milling table to keep everything as square as possible.

DSC00911_zpsdf7aa241.jpg

Here is another jig I made to solder several pieces together in an arc at a set angle. Here I used the heat sink properties to my advantage. I took a piece of Tamiya masking tape and put it on my half of my jig. I would solder on the part of the jig that had the tape on it and then move the newly soldered part so that it was on the untaped part, in direct contact with the aluminum and then place the next part to be soldered over the taped portion. The taped part would get hot enough to solder and the untaped part stayed cool enough to not remelt the prior solder joint.

DSC00046_zps537d407c.jpg

DSC00047_zps699cd75f.jpg

As I say, each jig is built to do a particular job. In my experience you can get different types of holding fixtures that use pushpins or alligator clips, but if you need real precision often the only real solution is a purpose built jig. Hope this helped.

Edited by Pete J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, by the way, I thought you might like to see the final piece that came out of the jig I mentioned above. It is a set of cowl flaps for a radial aircraft engine I am building.

cowelflaps4_zps42d12611.jpg

vericalengine_zps7ae9ee75.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Homosote board and t-pins have worked. The H-board won't burn and the t-pins help jig everything up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An old cover from a VCR, or Tape Deck and magnets are also useful for jigs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was building slot cars, I often just pinned the parts to a soft wood board with straight sewing pins. Yes, the board burns, but scrap wood is cheap. Hot glue helps stick a quick wooden jig together too.

If your parts are cleaned and tinned right, and your iron is hot enough, you won't be on a joint long enough to burn much anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all gentleman.

I really like the hot glue idea and will try that next time. Cheap and easy, well at least on paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,

I use as a soldering surface, Pyroceram Glass that can with-stand over 1000 degrees. You can get tweezers that hold brass pipes from some hobby shops or mail order.(Micro Mart does have them) . If you want to invest, I would look into Resistance Soldering.

Here is a site you might want to check out.

Mastering techniques for Resistance Soldering

rrmodelcraftsman.com/toolchest/cm_craftsmantoolchest_05.ph

Ron Berke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Block of pine and pins or short pieces of brass tubing. I built a jig to solder the front suspension for a '37 Ford. I drilled the required locations out with a 1/16th drill and then pressed 1/16th brass tubing into the holes. Worked well.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More great tips, thanks guys.

As for resistance soldering, the idea looks very cool, but I doubt if you'll see me spending that much money for a soldering device.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More great tips, thanks guys.

As for resistance soldering, the idea looks very cool, but I doubt if you'll see me spending that much money for a soldering device.

I've had one for quite a while now and it is a very useful modeling tool. The main advantage is that the heat is very localized and concentrated. This means you can make two solder joints relatively close without the first one desoldering. It also gives you control that you can't get with any soldering iron of any size. It also heats an area very very quickly as the resistance of the part itself is creating the heat, not the tips. It is a specialty tool and not for everyone, but if you are going to solder a lot you should look into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking into solders that melt at different temperatures is interesting too. I'd always been awed by some of the HO steam locomotives scratchbuilt in brass, with many tiny parts soldered very close together. Then I discovered one of the tricks was different temp solders. Pretty cool (in a hot sort of way).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking into solders that melt at different temperatures is interesting too. I'd always been awed by some of the HO steam locomotives scratchbuilt in brass, with many tiny parts soldered very close together. Then I discovered one of the tricks was different temp solders. Pretty cool (in a hot sort of way).

Combine this with a resistance soldering unit and you can do parts that are almost on top of each other once you get the hang of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...