G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Lord of the Steam
Joined
·
615 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to survey the general populace for their experiences in making cabs for locomotives. Specifically, the thickness or gauge of brass sheet that you prefer to use, and why. I'm sure that there will be many diverging thoughts, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

Also you best (or favorite) sources, and the sources don't have to be just small sheets. I'm actually looking for sheets up to 12" x 36".

Thanks,

Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,463 Posts
Scott, I haven't made a whole cab but judging from other fab I have done I would say about 1/32 would be good. I use a band saw for cutting stock that thick although it can be done with sharp double action shears. I get most of my material from "Metals Supermarket". Not sure if that is a chain outfit or just a local. They will cut to any size you need.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,695 Posts
I got most of my brass sheets from Online Metals - in fact, I get most of my other metal stock from them as well. Brass sheet comes in 12" widths and you can specify the length you want.

As for thickness, on #21 I used #22 gauge (0.025) in part because that was the maximum thickness my shear could handle. It's plenty stout for cabs and boiler shells, etc. and takes rivets well. The stuff from Online Metals is C260 brass. It doesn't machine very well, but there isn't much machining in a cab anyway. :) C260 is also less expensive than other brass alloys.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
Scott: 1/32" is what I use. McMaster Carr and Online Metals are great sources.

Ordinary sheet steel is not a bad way to go either. Folks often think steel is too hard to cut, but it really isn't. Alloy 260 brass (most widely used sheet brass) is miserable stuff to work with, especially to drill. And it can be troublesome to paint.

Steel is cheaper. Cuts, drills, taps and bends much easier than #260. Steel works on the grinder too, brass does not. Steel solders as well as brass. I've been using steel lately, may not go back.

Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
Bob, what kind of steel? I was looking at Online Metals and there are quite a few types?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I have been using copper step flashing. Our HD has it though they have gone up in price. 5"x7" and something like .025" thick.
I would bet some scrap yards would have pieces of copper roofing. Why isn't copper used more? I like the idea of using sheet steel.
I think it could be silver soldered. Has anyone photo etched cab parts?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
Jim: Ordinary, general purpose low carbon. Basically, car body steel. Online Metal shows it as A336/1008 Cold Roll Sheet. McMaster Carr has it too, but it comes in only 6 x 24 sheets.

Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
101 Posts
man I wished yall were closer we have a metal store for you ,they carry copper, stainless and all the good stuff and you can get it in almost any size you want they handle what alot of the big boys dont or in some cases wont and the prices are great I picked up a piece of 20 guage 48" X 48" cold rolled for 20 bucks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
112 Posts
Like Ben says, try and find a metal supply place, they sell a lot of rems. I have one fairly nearby to me and pick up lots of interesting shapes as well as copper and brass sheet. And those pieces are usually at scrap or real close. I agree with Bob, I often build things like cabs out of steel. Low carbon steel is easy to work. I like it because I can actually weld the sheets together using very thin tig wire as filler
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Scott,

I use .025 if I'm going to need rivets on the cab. I also use this for tender shells. If I'm doing a "wood" cab I use .032. It has just a little more stiffness to it.

Other than Ebay, which has pretty slim pickings right now, I use ONLINE METALS for my sheet stock. They have the best prices that I have found on line. I shy away from the door kick plates at Home Depot because you don't know what flavor of brass you are getting and some are real bears to work with.

See you at DH before you know it!

Mike McCormack
Hudson, Massachusetts
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top