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Boat fittings...window frames.

Any advice for making model window frames in brass.

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Bob Mc07/08/2021 14:00:20
190 forum posts
17 photos

Hi All...

I have been making a model R/C boat, which is my first attempt at model boat building, and I found that trying to make window frames out of brass to be a most frustrating process; I eventually made the 8 identical frames out of the larger sized brass olives found in plumbing below.


You will notice there is no 'lip' on the frame but when fitted in place it gives the impression that a lip is there, however on my next project I will definately need the lip as would be found on a proper frame.

I am sure I have seen loco's with brass framed windows, is there some magical technique for doing this?

Any advice on this would be much appreciated.....Bob.

nb...the current model below...


David George 108/08/2021 12:51:07
1656 forum posts
497 photos

I have made similar items from brass angle. Machine the strip to section you want cut to length and bend to shape and solder joint.


Bob Mc10/08/2021 09:09:05
190 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks David,

I was worried that brass angle would deform or split but thanks again and will have a go.


Martin Connelly10/08/2021 11:26:12
1891 forum posts
203 photos

Look up annealing brass before bending. It will need cleaning afterwards but that just needs a bit of elbow grease. I'm doing something with copper at the moment and it needs repeated annealing as it work hardens and age hardens. It's not a boiler but anyone who has ever made a copper boiler has had to do this as well.

Martin C

bernard towers10/08/2021 16:44:23
293 forum posts
84 photos

Have you tried using thick walled tube and machining a step in it, part off, anneal and form the shape as before. You then are able to insert the frame and have a frame trim on the outside.

Bob Mc10/08/2021 18:33:17
190 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks Martin & Bernard,

...Good ideas !!

I do like Bernards idea of machining a step in thick walled tubing..that is something I never thought of doing it that way, got to give it a try....Thanks all...!


Perko711/08/2021 21:22:55
391 forum posts
31 photos

Not sure what scale you are working in, but for window frames in my 1/8 scale diesel loco I used OO/HO scale rail annealed and bent/cut/soldered together. It gave me a lipped recess which my acrylic windows would click into so they only needed minimal glue.

Most OO/HO model railway track is nickel-silver these days, which is what I used, but there may still be some brass track available second-hand. I know some of the early OO scale Hornby track used brass rail.

Bob Mc12/08/2021 10:11:12
190 forum posts
17 photos

Another good idea, thanks Perko.

My next attempt at boatbuilding is a model of a 30 foot boat originally built in the Orkneys, Kathleen.

Tthe real thing is clinker built and it seems that this is a lot more difficult to model than a carvel hull but I am going to have a try anyway since my first build attempt has gone so well, and watching it cut through the water whilst under radio control is most pleasurable.

Not wanting to give the impression I am promoting model boating but I can now involve my blessed wife in my interest by visiting various places, stretches of water or boat clubs usually with an attached park or grounds and combine it with a picnic or let her idle her way through countless knicker and bra shops where men from stable backgrounds have needed some sort of counselling or a stiff drink afterwards.

Anyway....picture of the real thing I am about to have a go at... thanks again to all who have given advice.


pgk pgk12/08/2021 16:32:00
2317 forum posts
293 photos

Does a clinker build model get clinker built or faux clinkered with thin feather edged boards on top or just routed?

The school I went to had a number of aged clinker sculling boats Shortly after i left the boatmen used one to make a mould and laid up several glass fibre hulls for a new fleet. I'd assume one could make a solid hull pattern blank, carve faux clinkering and use that for a mould pattern too - or for those with 3D printers...


Ramon Wilson12/08/2021 18:21:08
1194 forum posts
296 photos

Bob - If it is of any use I did a build log of a clinker built steam launch over on MEM Wide a Wake.

It was my first attempt too - 12 planks a side. Each plank is different and spiled off the previous one. I cant remember the name now but there was a series of videos on You-tube of a boat builder describing in great detail how to build such a (fullsize) hull. If I recall correctly he came from Foy in Cornwall. Though a full size rowing boat the principle is the same and I found the information in the videos an immense help in understanding the principle.

Hope that is of interest too you - good luck with your project I know I gained a real sense of satisfaction with the finished hull

Regards Ramon (Tug)


PS Just found it There are several in the series all very useful

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 12/08/2021 18:25:47

Bob Mc12/08/2021 18:29:53
190 forum posts
17 photos

Thanks pgk & Ramon,

I am only a beginner and I am grateful for any suggestions regarding this build, I will most definately have a look at Wide Awake, I remember seeing it and was tempted....

I was hoping to make the clinker hull using traditional methods but people with experience seem to be saying it is not easy, ... will just have to do it and see what happens..

Thanks again. Bob.

Ramon Wilson12/08/2021 19:09:26
1194 forum posts
296 photos

Well I was too Bob but once you have the principle on board I found it relatively easy.

The important thing to realise is each of those planks are different and have to be developed from the previous one attached - they are most definitely not straight strips of wood indeed depending on the shape of the formers they are quite curved as laid flat and those at the turn of the bildge a long 'S' shape. You need quite wide wood to get a plank out of. I bought a cheap wall paper stripper to steam the planks which helps them bend to the curves required particularly at the stem.

Because of the type of hull W-a-W had to be riveted but they did not play a structural part - the planks were all glued first and the rivets added secondary. I used TiteBond 3 water proof wood glue. Thoroughly recommend it not just for strength but for it's very quick grab time.

If I can be of help at any time please ask but otherwise just 'go for it' - it's a very satisfying way to build a hull


Regards - Tug

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 12/08/2021 19:10:48

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