Attaching Brass Details

Discussion in 'Steam Locomotives' started by gna, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I'm trying to attach a brass Precision Scale Pyle Headlight to a Precision Scale Coonskin headlamp bracket. It looks like there are four mounting feet or pins under the headlight, and the bracket has four holes, but they don't line up. Any advice? I can spread some epoxy or CA and then try to line them up, but I'm worried it may be very fragile.

    Also, what do most people use for attaching brass details? I am attaching to old Zamac boilers. CA or epoxy?
  2. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Gary ... Long, long ago - in a galaxy - oh, never mind!
    I used JB Weld and even GOO; but in today's world - I would likely use CA.
    Hope this helps?
    gjslsffan likes this.
  3. skyraider

    skyraider Member


    This is the difficult method but probably the best. Do you have a resistance soldering unit? They make solder that melts at different temperatures. Use a low temp solder and there is less chance of melting the other solder joints. That would be the most secure method.

    Paul Moore
    gjslsffan likes this.
  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I second the use of super glue.
    Sirfoldalot and gjslsffan like this.
  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    An easy answer - snip off the prongs on the bottom of the headlight and (gently) file them flush with the bottom of the headlight casting. Only file off the stubs, don't remove any of the headlight bottom or you run the risk of having it tilted when mounted. Then put a small drop (yes, small!) of super glue on the bracket plate, and mount the headlight on it. Be sure you quickly get the headlight lined up correctly as you don't have a lot of time with super glue. Be sure you don't get any glue on your fingers as you will be stuck to the castings.
    In the event of a screw up, all is not lost. Super glue can be dissolved with acetone, so after soaking the assembly in acetone for a while, the two pieces can be separated. You can get acetone at any hardware store. Try not to breathe its fumes, and be advised it is very flammable so no open flame in the area.
    Remember, you can't use acetone with plastic parts, only brass. Acetone will dissolve most plastics. Acetone is often called "organic water" since it is such a good solvent.

    cc - Let's see if I can still do this! Acetone, a ketone, is CH3-C:O-CH3
    Back in my college days, a fellow student in organic lab was refluxing something in acetone (boiling it in acetone and condensing the vapors). He stepped back and lit up a cigarette (a no-no!). The whole thing blew up, but the equipment was behind a protective shield. Fortunately, in that lab, eye goggles were required.
  6. Gary for dissimilar materials I usually use epoxy. Something as small and light as you are mounting is probably fine with CA, but I would try to sand it a little so there is a little tooth for it to adhere to. For a bigger item on metals, I use JB Weld like Sherrel mentioned.
    If I am putting small brass on styrene CA will usually be fine. But something I need to hold up without question like a hinge on a truck door etc.. I use epoxy or JB.
    Steve Hunt, Sirfoldalot and gjslsffan like this.

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