Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bending bonnets

bent bonnet
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Normally I prefer etched kits to be produced in nickel silver. It solders well and is generally pleasant to use.

However it’s a hard metal and that caused me major grief when I tried to bend the bonnets. My first attempt resulted in breaks along the fold lines even though I’d deepened the relieving lines on the back. If I’d got things right straight away I might have got away with it but not this time.

The longer bonnet was annealed before bending but even this didn’t help much. Getting the bend in the right place proved impossible. At the front the large hole for the fan doesn’t help.

I rang Trevor to get spare etches and discuss the problem. When I built the early brass version of this model I didn’t recall any problems, but then this is a softer and less brittle metal.

His solution – a set of brass bonnets will be produced and supplied. The purchaser then has the choice of materials to play with. A proper pragmatic solution, which justifies the effort of building the test, etches.

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