I first saw this guide a long while ago and recent mention of it here at SCI renewed my interest. Prior to starting I have never attempted anything even remotely like this but I have done quite a bit of electronics/electrical soldering. Brass is an entirely new game and offers an extremely enjoyable learning curve.
I've found my Weller 25W iron only just capable of the job and think a 40W iron may be a better choice. Having said that, I'm still developing my technique with brass and as it improves, my 25W iron might be adequate. Remains to be seen..........
The body comes courtesy of a Matchbox (I think?) Chevy Silverado and sits so firmly over the upper chassis that I doubt any additional fixing will be required. The motor is also a perfectly snug fit between the upper rails - a combination of luck and management. Wheels and tyres come courtesy of some toy that came with one of those crappy fast food meals. The tyres are rubber and will do until I find something better.
The pick-up assembly is what will really make or beak the build I suspect. I'm working on a few ideas in conjunction with the plans I have. I'll say here and now that I think it's one thing to get this puppy working ok on the bench, but another all together on the track. If I can get this working even "just ok" on the track I'll be deeply satisfied.
Following are some shots of the very basic chassis frame. I've since made progress on the drive shaft/gear section and will get some photos up soon.
Any and all thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for looking.
Having just started making brass chassis in 1/43 scale , I know you are going throught a big learning curve.
Brass sucks up heat from the soldering iron and I have found a higher watt iron works better in most cases.
Are you using electrical solder or metal solder? Rosin or acid? Useing lots of flux sure helps.
Mike, I made email contact with John to thank him for the plans/guide. He seems like a pretty good guy and he did stress that it is a guide only. I've followed it pretty closely so far but have made several changes due to materials at hand, tools available etc etc.
Todd, all I can say is go for it. Grab a few bits and pieces and see what you come up with. You know that the punters here will help any way they can.
Ted, great to see you popping in - thank you. Regarding the power of the iron, I can see myself investing in a 40W iron if I do more of this sort of thing. My solder is electrical 60/40, 5 core rosin at .71mm/.028". About half way into my current progress i grabbed some "Baker's" Soldering Fluid. It's zinc chloride acid flux. To be totally honest I found it made no difference at all. Perhaps it's not the right stuff for the job but it's what I was advised to use. Either way, I stopped using it just to save the clean up. The rosin core works for me.
So........further progress includes the drive shaft and gears. I used additional wire for extra bracing to the drive shaft as I found the method in the guide enabled a little flex in the drive line. This caused some binding with the gears but the extra wire solved that. Having lapped the gears for about an hour I have toothpaste sprayed all over my workbench but the drive line is beautifully smooth. I'm really happy with how this part came out.
BTW, I was having a lot of trouble getting clean, square cuts on smaller parts so made this "slide table" for my rotary tool. Basically the upper table slides to/away from you via a groove in the lower board and shelf support pins fixed in the upper board. It works well but over a long time I can see the grooves wearing so may install an aluminium guide channel at some stage. Note - the side to side groove is not used. Hope this helps someone.
Mike, the photos make it appear that the axle gears are soldered to the axle housings but they are not. The gears have a very short section of box tube inserted into the hole and soldered in place (with too much solder!). The axle then slides inside the box tube section. The wheels in photos 1 & 2 of post #1 use the same method and show the box insert. The next time I have it all apart I'll try to remember to get a photo of the components.
As a side note, one thing I really like about the worm/axle gear combo is the reduction it achieves (correct term?). RPM at the wheels is drastically slowed to a more realistic speed and the resulting torque increase surprised me.
Eric, no belt or chain - what you see is what drives it. The motor sits in the centre of the main chassis frame and drives the gear on the centre drive shaft. In turn this drives the worm gears and finally the axle gears. I hope that makes sense.
Todd, I have considered a small butane torch and have been eyeing them off at various stores. With such a small work piece the issue of too much heat is what has held me back from getting one. Having watched someone use one it appears that you can literally guide the solder by the flame, rather than have the solder follow the tip of the iron around as I sometimes find (not enough heat perhaps?). I'm loving the learning curve and may add a torch to the arsenal at some stage. Thanks.
I've made some progress with the pick-up assembly and will get some photos up when time permits.
Last edited by Jisp; 05-06-2012 at 09:13 AM.
Reason: Additional info
Sounds like you need a bigger iron. You can get a torch kit (two torches) at Bunnngs for about $35.00. Once you heat the joint the solder should just flow. Use lots of flux too. Lots of old school guys use acid flux. Check your PMs.
Super cool, I swear I saw that guide like 10 years ago and was really into the idea but had completely forgotten about it until you posted this. What kind of motor are you using? It kinda looks like a Tomy turbo? It's gonna be a beast! Did you use a Set screw for your worm gear pinion? How did you get the hole straight on your shaft?
Great idea for the cutoff tool! Have you tried a little butane torch for soldering? Lots of heat there but you have to be careful not to unsolder nearby joints with the heat. I was wondering how you were going to set the gears up on that thing. Brilliant mate!
Hi Dave. Thanks for the comments. I'm pretty sure it was your posting of that clip quite some time ago, along with someone else's comments, that prompted me to go searching for the build guide I had seen so long ago. I printed out the guide and all I saw were problems for me as the builder. The main obstacles kind of floated around in my head for a while and bit by bit possible solutions hit me. Measuring, marking and cutting accurately to fairly small tolerances I have very few problems with. It was how to physically put it all together that got me thinking. I love accuracy in small things like this and that's what attracted me to the build. Man, I hope it works!!!
I would like to learn to build stuff like this but my number 1 question is Where do I find the supplies at ie; brass rods ,tubing stuff like that got the iron and a jig and stuff just no idea where to start lol and that is a clean uild you have there