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Winn: Use phosphor bronze for boiler bushings. If you get it from McMaster-Carr, use alloy #544, it machines very well. Alloy #510 is to difficult to machine.

Bob
 
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You can also use CDA932, formerly known as SAE 660 bearing bronze. This is continuous cast bronze bar and is available at many local auto and bearing supply houses. 660 does contain some lead but not enough to inhibit silver soldering and it is perfectly good for bushings. However if it's not available locally and you are going to have to order materials anyway then the CDA544 is good material. So is the CDA510, in fact it's better in some ways, but it is a PIG to machine.
 

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After a quick review of some LBSC and Don Young practices, they don't really specify which bronze to use. Phosphor bronze is Kozo practice. Just don't use 510. You would rather have a root canal.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, I do have some bearing bronze, not sure exactly what kind, got it from Sulphur Springs. I need to send them an order anyway and only need one bushing so maybe I'll just order it from them.
 

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I've mostly used 510 bronze from McMaster Carr and I have not had problems machining it. However, I do have full size equipment that is much sturdier than some. I also use a HSS lathe tool in a tangential holder that is easy to keep sharp. When turning bronze or copper you want to use sharp tools and some cutting oil.
 
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I have full size equipment also and some years ago I purchased several sticks of CDA510 which I began to use for bushings and fittings. My lathe took it in stride but when drilled at standard feeds and speeds, or even at reduced speeds, I was very surprised at how hot the material machined. It turned HSS drill bits blue (my euphamism for running much too hot) when tiough steels wouldn't. A later batch of 510 from a different mill not only looked different but machined much differently, yet both were certified as CDA510 - Phosphor bronze.
 

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The one stick of 510 I tried seemed "gummy" to turn. The chips came off real hot. Taps would go in part way and stick. The threads looked torn. Sounds like it varies from batch to batch. I use 544. But it's possible that some day all my bushing may turn into powder.


The Brits use a thing called "gunmetal". Cast bronze. Wonder what's in that. Probably 50,000 recipes for it.


Take care, Bob
 
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The British Admiralty standard alloy for "Gunmetal" is 88%Copper/10%Tin/2%Zinc which is an exact match to the US alloy known as "Red Brass."
 
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