Author Topic: Assembling pewter models  (Read 1535 times)

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atsf3751

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Assembling pewter models
« on: May 05, 2017, 08:22:27 PM »
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CA doesn't have the shear strength. Has anyone found something better than epoxy for long term reliability?
Marty Young
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wazzou

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 08:29:16 PM »
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You must be pretty rough with your GHQ vehicles?
Bryan

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atsf3751

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 08:56:45 PM »
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This is a kit from England to make a five unit well car set. Since it will be running on track in a train, I want a set that will not pull apart while in a train.
Marty Young
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jpwisc

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 09:01:37 PM »
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I use gap filling CA on all my N Scale Kits cars and my other white metal kits with no problems at all. It holds like a beast.
Karl
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C855B

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 09:30:36 PM »
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I use gap filling CA on all my N Scale Kits cars and my other white metal kits with no problems at all. It holds like a beast.

Similar experience here. A good-quality CA applied to clean, grease-free surfaces handles everything this side of pulling stumps. My experience with epoxies in metal model construction has been 100% negative - it just won't bond for beans. :|

By "good-quality CA", I don't mean the hobby store or other generic-labelled CA that comes in the plastic squeeze bottles. I can't prove it, but I swear it must be diluted. I currently use and swear by Duro for everything from splicing locomotive frames to mounting switch machines to... ohmygosh!... sticking MTL coupler boxes to rolling stock, something that's not supposed to work. Yet it does. Never had a failure outside of some ham-fisted idiot (not me!) dropping the thing on the floor. In that case the broken-off coupler pocket was the least of my worries.

Something else to be aware of if you've had bad experiences - CA ages. The hobbyist habit of buying in relative bulk and keeping a supply handy on the bench works against you. Once you open a tube or other container, you only have a couple of months before it starts to break down. Multi-packs of the tiny tubes are a godsend, assuring a fresh supply when you're doing a "can't fail" project.
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peteski

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2017, 09:40:19 PM »
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Yeah, those Electronic/DCC pewter kits have to be assembled well!  :D

Now that I got the snarky (but valid) comment out of the way, I also think that ACC has plenty of strength for assembling pewter kits.  But you must make sure that the metal surfaces are absolutely clean. The satin finish of the cast pewter parts actually improves adhesion.

But for ultimate strength you could join the parts mechanical. Either pin and then glue the parts (using epoxy or CA), or use small screws for the critical joints.   Then there is another method: melt the parts together in some inconspicuous place.  Pewter has a melting point similar to tin/lead solder.  You can use soldering iron (which can deliver the heat quickly without melting the entire part) to weld the parts together. You need to do this very quickly. Practice of some spare parts first.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 10:53:26 PM by peteski »
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Kisatchie

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2017, 09:55:39 PM »
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Yeah, those Electronic/DCC pewter kits have to be assembled well!  :D


Hmm... missed the correct
forum by that much...


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MK

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2017, 10:20:04 PM »
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Actually you do want the hobby store stuff.  You don't want the hardware store stuff.

Stick with name brand stuff like Pacer Technology's Zap, Hot Stuff, Jet, BSI (Bob Smith Industries), Mercury, all hobby grade stuff.  Like others have said, once you open a bottle the timer starts as moisture in the air slowly cures the glue and it starts getting thicker and thicker to the point of being useless.

If you want to preserve the longevity a bit more and give it more shelf life, when you are done with an open bottle, put it in the freezer.  It won't freeze solid like ice.  Just let it come up to room temperature in a few minutes the next time before using it.  Then back in the freezer.  I have CA in the freezer for a year and it works like new.

C855B

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2017, 11:35:34 PM »
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Actually you do want the hobby store stuff.  You don't want the hardware store stuff.

Stick with name brand stuff like Pacer Technology's Zap, Hot Stuff, Jet, BSI (Bob Smith Industries), Mercury, all hobby grade stuff. ...

Just to be clear, I was talking about the generic CA that I see at every train show and in nearly every hobby shop, with "Your Name Here" imprinted labels. It usually comes in those milky-white 1/2 oz. plastic bottles. Awful, it's wasted a lot of my time.

I have no experience with the "designer" hobby glues you mention. Might be worthwhile to try a couple if I remember during the annual visit to an LHS - closest is two hours away. :(  But I am quite happy with Duro, which I started using on the recommendation of an expert in metal models, Walter Vail at Showcase Miniatures.

EDIT: This is the line of cheap hobby-shop CA of concern. Name obscured to protect the guilty:

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« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 11:53:57 PM by C855B »
...mike

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Missaberoad

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2017, 12:18:31 AM »
+2
DKS recomended Gorilla brand CA and I've been very happy with the results I get...
Ryan in Alberta

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2017, 12:58:00 AM »
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Yeah, those Electronic/DCC pewter kits have to be assembled well!  :D

Now that I got the snarky (but valid) comment out of the way, I also think that ACC has plenty of strength for assembling pewter kits.  But you must make sure that the metal surfaces are absolutely clean. The satin finish of the cast pewter parts actually improves adhesion.

But for ultimate strength you could join the parts mechanical. Either pin and then glue the parts (using epoxy or CA), or use small screws for the critical joints.   Then there is another method: melt the parts together in some inconspicuous place.  Pewter has a melting point similar to tin/lead solder.  You can use soldering iron (which can deliver the heat quickly without melting the entire part) to weld the parts together. You need to do this very quickly. Practice of some spare parts first.

Low melting point solder is available and if you don't want to glue the parts together that is the way to do it. Most of it melts around 150F. I use it regularly for assembling whitemetal kits.

peteski

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2017, 01:27:21 AM »
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Low melting point solder is available and if you don't want to glue the parts together that is the way to do it. Most of it melts around 150F. I use it regularly for assembling whitemetal kits.

But that is only soldering which we know is a much weaker joint than welding.  Pewter's melting temp is well within the range of regular soldering irons, it can really be welded.   I'm half joking (although I have actually welded pewter the way I described in my earlier post), but your method is much safer.  Just don't store your soldered model in a car exposed too full sun on a hot summer day. The car interior might reach 150F.  ;)
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peteski

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2017, 01:35:22 AM »
+1
Just to be clear, I was talking about the generic CA that I see at every train show and in nearly every hobby shop, with "Your Name Here" imprinted labels. It usually comes in those milky-white 1/2 oz. plastic bottles. Awful, it's wasted a lot of my time.

I have no experience with the "designer" hobby glues you mention. Might be worthwhile to try a couple if I remember during the annual visit to an LHS - closest is two hours away. :(  But I am quite happy with Duro, which I started using on the recommendation of an expert in metal models, Walter Vail at Showcase Miniatures.

EDIT: This is the line of cheap hobby-shop CA of concern. Name obscured to protect the guilty:

(Attachment Link)

Mike, that cheap  "hobby shop" glue is actually one of my top picks for CA and accelerator. It is the BSI (Bob Smith Industries) brand! So much for generic crappy glue.  :facepalm:  BSI sells the glue with a blank space on the label so hobby shops can stick their own name on the bottle. But in the bottle is a quality adhesive.  At least in my experience.  BIS accelerator is also better than the half-dozen brands I tried. It is very low odor, doesn't attack polystyrene or ABS, and it is not aggressive (so it doesn't bubble up the CA as it sets.   Maybe you just got unlucky and bought some old bottles?

http://www.bsi-inc.com/about/aboutbsi.html/

And the BSI labels when sold under their own name.
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atsf3751

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2017, 04:16:44 AM »
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A related question to using CA glue. Should I use accelerant or let it dry naturally? I know CA dries fast but an accelerant would mean less time holding or bracing. But will that weaken the joint?
Marty Young
San Diego, CA

conrail98

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Re: Assembling pewter models
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2017, 07:32:39 AM »
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DKS recomended Gorilla brand CA and I've been very happy with the results I get...

I've used this on a few non-model railroad related projects (read kids' stuff for school) and have been happy as well. I've tried both brush on and the normal kind and each have their own pluses and minuses and will use either depending on the project,

Phil