The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 18, 2017, 01:23:34 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Brass/copper sheet thickness query  (Read 1291 times)
milamber
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« on: July 28, 2014, 02:53:49 pm »

I have posted half of this question on the rocket pack thread, but hope it's o.k. to post it more generally as the question isn't restricted to rocket packs!

I need some brass or copper sheet for a couple of projects, but can't find any locally to look at so am restricted to buying on line.

Firstly I need some sheet to make wings. The wings will be around 30cm long and 10cm wide. Simply for decoration and not load bearing in any way, but possible hinged so that they fold back when not in use. I want sheet that is thick enough to stay stable and not bend in normal use, but not so thick that it is too heavy (and expensive!) Checking small pieces of metal that I have I think around 1.2mm would be o.k., but don't know how flexible it would be in the larger sheet sizes.

I also want to use a few pieces to cover patches of leather armour. Judging by the small pieces that I have 1mm or so will be too thick to be able to bend it to a gentle, arm, chest or shoulder shaped curve. Would 0.5mm be suitable or is that too thin?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Chris
Logged
Maets
Immortal
**
United States United States

Gravatar

Airship Builder


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 02:45:01 am »

Another source for brass is to use brass plates and bowls from Goodwill or the like.
Logged

Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 07:05:22 pm »


The most accurate answer is that it depends...the size of the pieces, their shape and how they're attached and supported will all make a big difference.

Most modern cars are made from steel sheet that you could easily bend in your hands, it's strength comes from it's shape

For example, even something as simple as folding over the edges will greatly increase the strength and stiffness of the structure. Obviously complex shaping of sheet material requires a certain amount of experience and specialist tools but brass is relatively easy to work and you can do a lot with quite simple techniques with care and patience.

 I would say that 1.2mm is probably a good thickness for general use. As you say the main issue is that it's expensive stuff so you don't want it to be thicker than you need.

Something else to consider is that there are lots of ways to get a brass like effect on other base materials, and although I generally advocate using the 'right' materials for a job sometimes a paint effect etc can actually give you a better result if you don't have the kit to work the authentic material in the right way, especially for a prop. For example for wings I'd actually rather see a good paint effect on thicker wood, plastic or foam than too-thin sheet.

One of the problems with using flat pieces of thin sheet, especially for larger areas is that you often get creases and ripples and it can be difficult to get a good finish on the edges.

Logged







A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
milamber
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 08:52:15 pm »

Thanks. Plenty to think about. Ideally I probably wouldn't use brass or copper sheet - plenty of brass & copper in the rocket pack already, but struggling to come with an alternative and trying to keep weight down. Will give it some thought - no good rushing into the wrong decision.
Logged
Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 09:52:31 pm »

There are a few things I would consider for metal effects, depending on the application.

- Metal filled resin : use a laminating or casting resin like epoxy or polyester mixed with fine metal powder, this can either be cast or brushed on, can be sanded and buffed to a very realistic finish. This has the advantage of being very durable, the downside is that resins are a bit nasty to work with.

- Paint effects : Getting decent metallic effects with paint takes a certain amount of knowledge and technique but you can get very good results. This is especially good for worn, weathered and corroded metals as you can control the weathering effects very precisely (unlike trying to patinate real metal). Capturing polished or machined metal is more difficult. This is also good for things like models and props where you want a 'hyper real' effect with strong contrast and highlights. 

- Metal leaf : good for very bright metallic surfaces, not all that durable.

- Waxes /pastes : probably the easiest way to get a convincing result. There are various products available, often stocked by furniture restoring suppliers. Very good for subtly ages finishes.

Something else to bear in mind for steampunk builds is that a lot of period machinery was painted with enamel paint. The colours used  tend to be fairly distinctive, you often see deep reds, maroon, dark blue, dark green and black and have a characteristic soft sheen.
Logged
Dr cornelius quack
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Arrant Carney. Phmebian Cultural Attache.


« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 11:19:53 pm »

Another consideration to bear in mind when looking at adding wings to rocket packs is the practicalities of walking round an event with the thing strapped to your back. Thin sheet metal is unpleasant stuff to encounter when you're not expecting it and even with well finished edges can give you a nasty scrape if you get too close. Also, it's quite easy to damage if you bump into things.

I'd go with a thicker sheet material such as Foamex board for the main structure and limit the metal to decorative features like re-enforcing plates and hinges.

Mr Narsil's point about enamel paint finishes is a good one. That high gloss can look very effective when it's set off with some well placed Brass components and a bit of pin-striping in a contrasting colour.
Logged

Such are the feeble bases on which many a public character rests.

Today, I am two, separate Gorillas.
milamber
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2014, 09:17:46 am »

Thanks. Appreciate that. It's not something that had occurred to me. I'll have a rethink on the metal. Problem is the whole design rests on the wings so I have to have them now. They are the only bit not completed.

I've just had a search on foamex. How strong is 5mm sheet?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 09:23:42 am by milamber » Logged
Dr cornelius quack
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Arrant Carney. Phmebian Cultural Attache.


« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2014, 02:16:13 pm »

It's quite tough stuff in terms of taking knocks without snapping, though if you catch it right it will crease. Has about the same rigidity as hardboard in a single thickness. I tend to use 5mm as an infill panel to clad frameworks made of thicker sections or other materials.
Laminating two sheets together stiffens it up quite well, as does adding ribs of deeper section stuff.
It's very easy to cut by scribing along your line with a Stanley Knife a couple of times.
Glues with superglue or you can solvent weld it with the adhesive that's used on pvc drain pipe.
Logged
milamber
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 10:04:28 pm »

Cheers.Will take a closer look, though I have also found some metallic gold, silver and bronze perspex that might do the trick. Also possibly canvas in a frame.....Decisions, decisions and needs to be ready for the Asylum!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.035 seconds with 17 queries.