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Working With Brass Etch.

Brass in the form of photo-etched parts for extra-small details are not uncommon in many genres as is the use of brass extrusion in scratch-building and modifications.

Working with brass etch parts may or may not be attached to a ‘fret’ depending upon how they have been manufactured. If they are attached to a framework, probably the best was of detaching them is with small cutters. As usual when detaching parts from a sprue framework begin by cutting the part from the framework with pieces of sprue still attached. Then, when the part is completely isolated from the framework, remove the remaining pieces of sprue.  Any remaining cleaning up can be performed with needle files, when using files try to work along the part and not accross as this could cause the part to bend.

Brass sheet and photo-etched parts can be bent using pliers to obtain sharp angles, or bent around an appropriate former to produce curves.  For best results its worth purchasing a forming tool – See this link on YouTube for using our folding tool.

Extrusions can also be bent but with anything other than rod, great care will have to be taken in order to prevent the cross section from distorting. With tubes this can be made less likely by filling them with dry sand before bending.

Brass to brass connections can be made by soldering with 60/40 resin core solder. This is by far the strongest option and is therefore the most appropriate method when extrusion is being used for some kind of structural assembly. For more about soldering follow this link.

Super glue and epoxy glues/resins can also be used and are probably more appropriate for tiny photo etched parts and connections between the brass and non-solderable metals, plastics and wood.

As always, if you have any questions about our tips please feel free to email them to me and I will be pleased to assist you.