Sunday, March 2, 2008

Brass Tubing

I've decided to tackle the extra detail pieces that are on the gun. My first thought is to do them as brass tubing, as I believe that is the way they were done on the originals.

First thing I did was draw up some templates. I took the best picture I have of the gun (which can be found in an earlier post, mind you) and scaled it up to the proper size in adobe illustrator. This allowed me to figure out the width of the pipe, which I pegged at 3/8". I traced the basic shapes in illustrator, then printed them out. Because I sized the pic to 1:1, the templates came out accurately sized.

Back to good old Home Depot to pick up some tubing and a butane torch to join the pieces together. I was thinking of using glue, but then I realized it would be more fun to get familiar with a butane torch. New skill and all.

Turns out, there are a lot of complications involved in bending copper tubing. It collapses if you bend the curves to sharply. After some research on the internet, I found there were some tools available to help with this problem. Back to home depot to pick up a bending tool. While I was there, I picked up a cutter, as the dremel tool was very sloppy, and required some clean up.

Even with these, bending the copper has been problematic. I've got two of the shapes done pretty well, but the one that looks like captain Hooks left hand is rough. I think I'm going to do that using an acrylic dowel. I think that will be less likely to cave in the way copper does when doing tight turns. I'm sure if I had a bending spring, I could do it better, but I don't.

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