Dave’s Ex­pert Tips

Model Rail (UK) - - Workbench -

Hot tip!

It might seem a bit agri­cul­tural to use a blow­torch for sol­der­ing a model rail­way kit, but Dave proves that a small bu­tane gas one can be an ef­fec­tive tool since it pro­vides a good blast of heat ex­actly when you need it. It can even be use­ful, with care, when sol­der­ing whitemetal. Dave uses a Nim­rod blow­torch and you can buy one for less than £45 at http://tinyurl.com/y8­pan2m5

Heat build-up

“Think through the heat dis­si­pa­tion be­fore you start - plan what’s go­ing to move if you add heat and what’s not go­ing to move. The more metal you add to a kit as you build makes a dif­fer­ence too. All the time you’re heat­ing a kit, the heat is dis­si­pat­ing. It’s trav­el­ling along the brass and it’s trav­el­ling up the cast­ing - ev­ery­thing is work­ing against you!”

Sol­der­ing over­lays

Some kits re­quire you to as­sem­ble lay­ers of brass, called over­lays. Un­sur­pris­ingly, Dave has a sim­ple tech­nique for this: “Tin the pieces, clamp them to­gether, heat it with a blow­torch solder ap­pear round the edges. You know it’s lam­i­nated and there’s no way in a mil­lion years that they’ll come apart. “Even if you have to add whitemetal cast­ings to the over­lay, there’s not go­ing to be enough heat and you won’t dis­lodge this un­derneath.”

Keep it neat

and then un­til you can see the sil­ver of the It might sound a sim­ple thing, but make sure that your work area is tidy. En­sur­ing all your tools are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and that your iron isn’t go­ing to get tan­gled with other equip­ment will make kit-build­ing a much more pleas­ant ex­er­cise.

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