Author Topic: Altering brass car sides  (Read 3709 times)

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Puddington

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Altering brass car sides
« on: December 08, 2008, 08:48:33 PM »
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I have a question regarding the potential to alter brass car sides. I have a couple of pairs of brass "Cascade" 10-5 sleeper sides. The window configuration is as close to identical as I'll find for Canadain Pacific "Grove" class sleepers but the end flairs and battery boxes need to be removed.

I am just getting started working with brass so does anyone have any wisdom to share on removing said applicances ? There are scores on some of the parts that should make it easier but what tool would one use ? How do I remove the sections under the doors where it is not scored ? How do I "finish" the area cut off ?

Here's the sides...



Any and all assistance greatly appreciated.....I can't afford to screw up $ 25.00 sides...LOL !
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Bob Bufkin

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 09:25:00 PM »
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I've only worked a brass side once.  I used a Tremel motor tool with a disk and carefully removed what I wanted, then use a file to smooth the lines.  Hate working with brass.  Maybe JMLABODA whose on here can give you some other pointers. 

DKS

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 10:11:29 PM »
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For straight cuts, such as the battery boxes, I would use flush cutters, which look like wire cutters but leave a clean edge on one side (a.k.a. rail cutters or rail nippers). After cutting away the excess material, file the cut edges with a flat jeweler's file or some fine sandpaper on a smooth, hard work surface.

If you need to make an L-shaped cut, I would use a motor tool with a fine diamond cutting wheel to make only the shorter cut, then use the flush cutters for the longer cut, and clean up the edges with a square jeweler's file. When using the motor tool, cut close to, but not on, the mark, and work very slowly to avoid the tool "grabbing" the part and damaging it.

To make shallow notch, such as under the door, place the part in a smooth-jaw vice with as little of the part above the jaws as possible, then just file the notch with a square jeweler's file, working slowly and gently.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 10:14:00 PM by David K. Smith »
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TrainCat2

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 10:41:20 PM »
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Big ... Heavy ... Intimidating ... Cuts through most anything ... and makes a Damn good straight cut.


Available at most home improvement stores.

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Bob Knight

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FrankCampagna

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 10:50:00 AM »
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Quote
Big ... Heavy ... Intimidating ... Cuts through most anything ... and makes a Damn good straight cut.

Thanks. I've been looking for something like that!!! What is it called?

Frank
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TrainCat2

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 12:27:45 PM »
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Sheet Metal Shears from Weiss. Make sure you get the "Straight Cut" version. Metal shears ARE available in left and right hand versions also.

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Bob Knight

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bsoplinger

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 03:56:40 PM »
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Sheet Metal Shears from Weiss. Make sure you get the "Straight Cut" version. Metal shears ARE available in left and right hand versions also.
You really want to consider getting the actual Weiss ones. I bought 2 different pairs of generic cheap made in China ones to stick in a portable tool box and they weren't worth the few bucks I paid for each. The real ones aren't all that expensive (just not the 3 bucks I paid for the China imitations). The cheap versions don't close cleanly so thin stock will end up wedging between the shears instead of being cut.

If you're going to be cutting lots of things then you can get the left and right hand versions. That isn't the handedness of the person using them but the way the shear will tend to cut, to the left or right. Makes making curved cuts much easier especially on heavier stock.

DKS

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 04:03:28 PM »
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Big ... Heavy ... Intimidating ... Cuts through most anything ... and makes a Damn good straight cut.

Erm... methinks this is overkill for the task at hand (I have a pair and rarely use them). Also quite useless for making a very small, clean L-shaped cut or a notch. I certainly would not want to be hacking $25 car sides with them!
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lashedup

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 04:14:23 PM »
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Erm... methinks this is overkill for the task at hand (I have a pair and rarely use them). Also quite useless for making a very small, clean L-shaped cut or a notch. I certainly would not want to be hacking $25 car sides with them!

Not trying to be a smart a$$, but if a guy that produces brass kits with extremely fine parts for a business uses and recommends them, might there actually be validity to his suggestion?

:D

DKS

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 04:27:12 PM »
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Erm... methinks this is overkill for the task at hand (I have a pair and rarely use them). Also quite useless for making a very small, clean L-shaped cut or a notch. I certainly would not want to be hacking $25 car sides with them!

Not trying to be a smart a$$, but if a guy that produces brass kits with extremely fine parts for a business uses and recommends them, might there actually be validity to his suggestion?


Absolutely! I'd like to learn how to use a tool in ways that would ordinarily make me very nervous.

No disprespect intended for Bob, but he recommended a tool without any instructions on how to use it to make specific kinds of modifications.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 04:36:06 PM by David K. Smith »
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TrainCat2

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 05:03:28 PM »
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I never said that the shears would be good for anything but the straight cuts that Puddington wants to do. Cutting the battery boxes and the flared ends are straight cuts. Their large size will help keeping the cut in the same "line" as the bottom of the car side.

Just my $0.02

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Bob Knight

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Puddington

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2008, 08:55:49 PM »
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Well; being as your 0.02 cents are currently worth darn near 0.03 cents Canadian I can't pass up that kind of value added advice.......... ;D

Thanks gang........now to get some shears and the guts to cut up brass sides.....gulp ! :o
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

shamoo737

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 09:03:11 PM »
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I have a pair of those scissors, and they are great for cutting straight line on sheet metal. Even thought its kind of big, its very easy to control.
John

up1950s

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 09:27:33 PM »
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Sheet Metal Shears from Weiss. Make sure you get the "Straight Cut" version. Metal shears ARE available in left and right hand versions also.
You really want to consider getting the actual Weiss ones. I bought 2 different pairs of generic cheap made in China ones to stick in a portable tool box and they weren't worth the few bucks I paid for each. The real ones aren't all that expensive (just not the 3 bucks I paid for the China imitations). The cheap versions don't close cleanly so thin stock will end up wedging between the shears instead of being cut.

If you're going to be cutting lots of things then you can get the left and right hand versions. That isn't the handedness of the person using them but the way the shear will tend to cut, to the left or right. Makes making curved cuts much easier especially on heavier stock.

I agree , get Weiss for those metal sheers or for the left , right , and straight cut Aviation sheers (3 different ones ) . Get Weiss or nothing . We used them in Naval Air repairs as well . I bought a non Weiss one once and it us useless compared to a 30 year old Weiss . The new Weiss's are as good as the old Weiss's . This is an item where name brand matters , and matters a lot .

Also , on longer cuts one side of the sheet being cut will tend to curve up or down a bit depending on the sheer design . Be careful there , you would prefer that be the scrap side if possible , especially with passenger car sides . Practice on some scrap tin or aluminum flashing so you know ahead what to expect . 

 Here is some of their snips
http://www.northwaysmachinery.com/productdisplay.asp?subcat=64
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 09:48:06 PM by up1950s »

wm3798

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Re: Altering brass car sides
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 09:55:05 PM »
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There was a time when I was nervous about cutting into a $40 Life Like engine... Now I hack up Kato's and Atlas' like it's old hat.

My suggestion?  Get some sheet brass that's a similar weight, and practice a bit before tearing into the real thing...

Lee
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