No announcement yet.

My Second Scratchbuild, a question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My Second Scratchbuild, a question

    My first Scratchbuild recently, ended up turning out fairly well. I learned a few things, from mistakes, for sure. About to start my second attempt at 1/32 scratchbuilding, when the rest of the supplies and parts arrive. I'm a bit hesitant and embarrassed to ask my question, but I do have a reason. It concerns soldering. I struggled a little last time, with one particular area of the chassis, that kept de-soldering a joint I had previously soldered. Here's my question : Has anyone of you builders ever used 5-minute Epoxy, on maybe one or two areas of a chassis ? I wouldn't even consider an area like near the motor bracket, which deals with the motor, rear axle, bushings, pinion and crown gears, and wheels. I'm speaking of possibly gluing, the crossbar tube that holds the front axle, specifically ! But also considering possibly gluing the guide tongue, and maybe the side pans, that mount the body. Thoughts on this, will be appreciated.

  • #2
    Typically you can protect a previous joint (and focus the heat) by using alligator clips / forceps on either side of the joint you are soldering. These act as heat sinks to protect the previous joint so things don't come apart.
    Come Race at The Trace!
    Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


    • #3
      2nd that… may also be using a little too much heat. I’ve used alligator clips on either side of the joint. Flow in some liquid flux with small paint brush. Melt a small ball of solder on the top of your iron, and it should flow in. I’m no expert… but trial and error (and sage advice from Harry) has helped improve my chassis’…still not there yet, but getting close.
      Brian Mc
      Minnecrapulous, Mn

      ”Machinist: One who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data from those of questionable knowledge.”


      • #4
        As well as alligator clips, you can use aluminum blocks, or, a small damp rag.................but at the end of the day, practice makes perfect !!. The use of a jig (to hold bits in place) is highly recommended. Perhaps you could post a pic. of what you are attempting to do.

        As far as epoxy/glue, the only thing that I would use it for is to secure oilites/bearings into the axle tube,..........this is widely used in all but the quickest commercial track type cars. Red locktite is the best for this job.

        Chris Walker


        • #5
          I am certainly not the best guy to tell you how to solder like Chris or some of the other guys, but I do know that it is easier if you tin all your joints before you solder your pieces together.

          That makes your joint burn together a lot quicker. That will keep your heat from spreading as much. Use some kind of heat sink also. I have the same problem you had. Don't feel bad. Many times I get 90% of a frame soldered and then get something too hot and 3 pieces fall apart.
          Matt B
          So. In


          • #6
            No pro here but I can attest to all of the replies above
            Peterborough Ont


            • #7
              Ever heard someone say, "Them's the breaks!"? That's the way to look at what you are doing. Every tiny detail of what you are doing is an important thing to learn. That's Lesson One.

              Resist feeling bad about what you try that doesn't go right. Think about it... How do you think we senior guys learned the skills we have? The beauty of HRW is that there are so many senior guys who are excited about giving you what we learned from Lesson One above. That's Lesson Two.

              Your experience informs you in a way that may inform others who feel a bit lost. Keep at it so you can be the next set of senior guys. Look at the masters of the craft- Mark Thomas, Master Modeler and Builder, Harry himself, the curator of the accumulated wisdom and skills of decades of legions of senior guys. The above posts are gold for you. I'm a senior guy (god knows!), and I have plenty to learn from these HRW guys! Lesson Three. That's all you need to know. Go for it.


              • Fathead59
                Fathead59 commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree with you Waay , I always thought that you are never to old to learn something new

            • #8
              Thanks, guys. And by the way, I do use a chassis jig, with locating-pins. I just suspect I may be one of those people that don't get along well with soldering. But I'm already getting hooked on this scratchbuilding thing ! I've learned of builders even doing a car for fun, with popsicle sticks, with no bushings or bearings. Seems like doing a "Showdown-like" brass chassis, stuck together with JB Weld or such, wouldn't be that big of a stretch, lol !!


              • #9
                First off...don't ever feel embarrassed to ask questions here...we all have our "not sure" areas where we need advice!! Second...I agree with all the above...good advice!!!
                TOM...HOME RACING GOO GOO!!!
                Warren, Ohio


                • #10

                  Don't want to hijack the thread, but you might consider using some brass rod for your next chassis.
                  This is made from 2) 3/64 brass rod, 2) short brass strips, 1) 5/32 brass tube, WRP guide tongue & JK motor bracket.
                  I still use my Grandpa's Weller solder gun (& I'm old), some paste flux & acid core solder.
                  With this lightweight material it only takes a touch of the iron for a good joint.
                  This prolly only took me 30 minutes to build......

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	chassis-1.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	1.60 MB
ID:	131891
                  Dave J
                  Millstadt, Illinois


                  • 6666hotrod
                    6666hotrod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Dave J : I've assembled all the required items to try to duplicate your brass wire Chassis, except ONE important item. That GUIDE TONGUE, which appears to help the strength and structure of this chassis ! I have been trying, ever since you showed me your chassis, to buy this guide tongue, and it's still Out Of Stock, everywhere I look. Can I fabricate a guide holder, and add a crossbar, for extra strength, out of sheet brass ? I fabricated my own guide tongue, on my first scratchbuild, a brass tube Showdown-style chassis. I'm about ready to try this brass rod chassis, but I'm through looking for that darned guide tongue ! I'll improvise my own. Help, if you have advice.
                    Last edited by 6666hotrod; November 26, 2021, 09:53 AM.

                • #11
                  Again, Thanks, Guys : I never said anything about it, but I've wondered more than once, lately, if a chassis done with brass rod was done by anyone ! I REALLY like that idea, and think I'll be trying that one, soon !


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by 6666hotrod View Post
                    Again, Thanks, Guys : I never said anything about it, but I've wondered more than once, lately, if a chassis done with brass rod was done by anyone ! I REALLY like that idea, and think I'll be trying that one, soon !
                    Brass rod was the go to material among the better chassis builders in the mid to late 60's,............until piano wire was used......piano wire is much stronger and has memory (unlike brass rod/tube). The "memory" allows the chassis to flex torsionally (a good thing),, and return to its original shape after a crash, unlike brass which tends to bend, and then stay bent.
                    It also makes for a better performing chassis, as its flexing capabilities allow the rear tires to load progressively, improving grip , and overall handling.

                    If you do like the looks of brass, I would suggest brass tube with a same length of piano wire inserted into it,.............looks retro,......performs and lasts much longer

                    Chris Walker
                    Last edited by chrisguyw; November 15, 2021, 06:14 PM.


                    • #13
                      Boy there is so much I could say...

                      All the advice about heat sinks is worthy. As for building jigs, I have found honeycomb ceramic blocks with stainless steel pins to be invaluable. You can find them on eBay.



                      One thing not mentioned is different types of solder. You can buy solders that have lower and higher melting points. Start your build with the high-temperature solders, then use the low-temperature solders near joints you've already made.

                      A high-end soldering station that gives you digital control of the iron's temperature is a favorite tool of professionals. Let's not even mention resistance soldering. Expensive as all get-out, yet the ultimate in professional soldering equipment.

                      Besides that, different ways of heating the joints can be useful. Sometimes a propane torch is the best tool for quickly heating a joint, especially if the parts are chunky.

                      Solder pre-forms are absolutely the right thing for some precision soldering. Basically you cut and form a bit of solder to wrap around a joint, with a tab of flux. A quick shot of heat and the solder flows into the joint exactly where you want it.

                      There are also soldering pastes -- a gooey mix of solder powder and gel-like flux. Smear some on the joint, heat and done.

                      If no one has clued you into "Sta-Brite" silver solder and "Stay-Clean" acid flux, get some and try it. Sta-Bright is much stronger than conventional solder, and with the Stay-Clean flux you can solder stuff that resists rosin flux, including stainless steel. Widely available.


                      About that stainless steel. Hard-drawn stainless steel tubing is one of the lightest and strongest materials you can use. This is the stuff they make hypodermic needles out of. is the place to buy it.


                      And if you have never heard of McMaster-Carr, take some time to explore Last I heard they had something like HALF A MILLION items listed. Industry's toy store! It's like the Sears catalog of old. Anything you need to buy it is there if you look hard enough. Also lots of stuff you probably never knew existed.

                      Ed Bianchi
                      Last edited by HO RacePro; November 16, 2021, 09:50 AM.
                      Ed Bianchi
                      York Pennsylvania USA


                      • 6666hotrod
                        6666hotrod commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you, much : and yes, I've heard of McMaster-Carr, but now I'll be taking a Look !!