Re: CA and brass

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Of course, it is hard to know the answer inasmuch as the stresses on one type of joint that may well bear up well with ACC may bear little relationship to the stresses of another type of joint, which does not. Ditto with one type of ACC, but not with another. Also, where a reinforced edge-to-side, or edge-to-edge joint might hold up relatively well with ACC (because of more generous facing surfaces), the same joint, not-reinforced, will not stand up at all.

I do use ACC quite selectively for brass/brass joints that will be under little or no stress, or will not be subject to any lever action by one part or the other. However, I do so only in those instances where soldering is either impractical, or destructive, or the ACC joint is a temporary expedient. ACC is quite brittle, and quite inflexible, especially the thin varieties.

In my mind, ACC has made possible the rich cornucopia of fine car kits that are now available to us. However, the hobby over the years also has hyped its use far in excess of its abilities. Hence, I read of ACC being used uncritically by the gallon to glue down miles of track, and advice being given to assemble historic cast metal car body kits with ACC (woe betide the poor future owner that picks one of these up!). Not too long ago, it was conventional wisdom to "super-detail" brass and cast metal locomotives with ACC, rather than using solder. When one goes to pick up one of these locomotives nowadays, the result may well be a hand full of new-loose parts, the locomotive left reposing peacefully on the bench.

My armamentarium of cements for rolling stock modeling includes 1) ACC thin, 2) *ACC thick, 3) *Barge cement, 4) white glue (canopy cement or *MicroClear(?), and epoxy (NOT the 5 minute kind, but the conventional *overnight variety- which is superior. None are perfect, but each has a definite role to play. With the average resin kit, I will probably use each one of the above cements at least once at some time or another. Asterisks mark those cements I have found most consistently effective and most useful.

I have not included styrene cements or solvents, which have their own virtues and detractions.


Denny S. Anspach, MD
Okoboji, Iowa

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