Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

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Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:03 am

Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate is an easy job. I have said this before but my thread accidentally got deleted and I was asked to re-post. I don't remember exactly what I posted before, but I decided to re-post in a sort of tutorial style. (the retired teacher coming out in me, eh?)

1. The board- Sold as a tool for making jewellery, actually the ceramic plate from propane heaters. I got mine from Amazon for less than $10. The nails I use are 18 gauge brads that come in strips for an Arrow Nailmaster electric Nailer. Other similar products will work if they fit the holes, or 1" lengths of the right size of piano wire would work also.

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You can see that my board is well used, having been used to make between 15 and 20 chassis. I found it easier to use with a grid on it, so carefully drew it in with a Jiffy marker. Make sure your grid lines exactly bisect the two dimensions of the board.

For this build I am making the chassis for a Reprotec Fiat Abarth 1000TC body that VTECFOUR kindly gave me. Time to get started.

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The first axle can be placed anywhere so that the centre of the car is near the middle line. This is not too important with such a little car, but would be with a big sedan or LMP. Make sure you line up the axle with the holes so it is straight. I use extra long lengths of 3/32 piano wire for axles while building.

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Placing the second axle is the most critical step in chassis making as it has to be the right wheelbase for the body you plan to use. It is a good idea to keep the body handy while building, and check it often against your work.

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To make sure my chassis sits flat, I put pieces of 1/4 x 1/4 wood under the axles. You could also use square brass tubing for this, and if you have different sizes could use the one, err two, that fit best. Since I plan to use very small wheels and tires on this car, I notched the wood to fit lower.

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The front guide holder is the most time consuming part of this job, but that is because of the way I like to make them. Sorry the pic is a bit blurry. Three pins in a triangle hold the guide tube in place.

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Now the side rails are put in place. In the past I have used brass rod, tubing, both round and square, and piano wire (my least favourite). Brass is easier to solder later.

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A piece of square tubing is added for the front axle. It sits right on the frame rails. Pins at the ends keep it centred.

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I am using a tube within a tube for the rear axle mount. A single tube would not touch the frame rails. This way you can build it up without disturbing anything.

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I will be using a BWA slim can motor for this car and it took a bit of time to cut and drill the motor plate. I was considering just soldering the motor into place, but re-considered as I might wish to change the motor later.

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Small lengths of 1/4 in wide brass will add weight and also a place to mount the body. I will drill one hole in the middle of each before I solder it up. It is important at this point to hold the body in place to adjust these pieces to fit right under the running boards of the car.

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The final step before soldering is to add elastic bands to hold the axles tight to the board. She's ready to heat up!

I will post a follow up when I have soldered it with a last summary of the process.

Happy chassis building,

Keith
Last edited by Retro Racer 44 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:48 am

Thank you. Very well done.
-Harry

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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby VenturaAlfa » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:38 am

Nice job.

Two quick questions; how do you decide what height to set the axles so that you know the frame won't drag and how do you decide what height to set the frame from the track?

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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:42 am

I set the axle height based on the size of tires I plan to use. Generally I use the full 1/4 x 1/4 wood that I ripped from a 2 x 4 when I am using 15" scale wheels. I knew this build would need lower axles for the 13" scale wheels I plan to use. Usually my chassis are 1/16 to 3/32 from the track. Ideally I should be able to roll an axle underneath without touching the chassis.

There is a lot of trial and error to it, but you can get an idea by standing the wheel/tire up against the wood you are using to see how much space there is between the top of the wood and the axle hole, and then calculate what wood thickness you need. The flat surface of the board is where your chassis bottom will be.
Last edited by Retro Racer 44 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby scatman » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:14 pm

:music-rockout: :music-rockout: this is awesome! :text-thankyouyellow: :text-goodpost:
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:01 pm

Here is an idea I used from searching the web that works pretty good for holding some parts down.

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Using craft wire you can find almost anywhere including Wallyworld.

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Poke it down through the holes and just twist underneath to tighten.

The method Retro shows is outstanding and less tedious too. I bought this pack of assorted dowels at Wall World to have a variety of sizes.

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Thanks for all the input, will be a great resource I think.
-Harry

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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby ListerStormGT » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:23 pm

This is a great write up thank you for sharing!


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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby chappy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:05 pm

Retro, thanks for the tutorial, since reading it and seeing how its done, I ordered mine this afternoon.
Thanks
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby ShotgunDave » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:19 pm

We should take a roll call! How many of us have bought one of these? They should give Keith a commission on each one sold! :lol:
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:12 am

Thanks Dave, but sharing is what these forums are all about, IMHO. I loved to be able to share this wisdom with others, as someone somewhere shared it with me a couple years ago. I do, however, like to see what others are building with their boards. I enjoyed the GENERAL's thread, and look forward to others as well.

Cheers,

Keith
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:42 am

I was racing tonight and didn't get a chance to solder up the Abarth chassis, but thought you might be interested in a few pics of other chassis I have made. I know some of these may have been the ones deleted, so here they are again.

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These two pictures above show the chassis I built for my latest flared Mini project. It is now together and I tested it tonight. It is very smooth and controllable, although the BWA slim can may not be a strong enough motor for it

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These two are the chassis for a Porsche 550. It is now also together, but needs the rear tires to be taken down a bit as they are rubbing the body. I'll update when I have a good test.

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This is the chassis I made a while back for a Shotgun 1/32 midget. I will be posting a thread about it once I have it painted, but it runs well.

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This last picture is an array of built chassis before they were mounted under bodies. They all just had plastic wheels on them for the picture, but most now have metal wheels to suit the car. You will notice some have Slot.it or SCX Pro pods, but the rest of the chassis was built on the board, with the pod in place until soldering started.

Hope you enjoy these. I'll post more later.

Cheers,

Keith
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:47 pm

Several days have gone by since I pinned up the chassis in the first post, as I have been very busy with other things, but here is part 2.

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So these are the tools of the trade. A 50 year old Weller 80 watt soldering iron, still going strong with a new 1/4 chisel tip.
A pot of Canada Metals paste flux that is probably as old as the iron. A roll of coreless solder and we are ready to go.

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A dab of flux wherever I planned to solder, and warm up the iron. It literally took longer to heat up the iron than to finish the job. Always heat the parts enough to melt the solder so it will flow. If you just melt the solder the joints will be weak or not hold at all.

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Once it is cool enough to touch, remove the elastics, pull out the axles, then remove all the pins. Usually you can do this with your fingers, but needle nose pliers help if you have any stubborn ones. Work them out gently and straight up so you don't damage the honeycomb on the board.

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It is always fun to set the body on to see how it will look. I keep a bunch of old plastic wheel around for this purpose. This build will eventually have either BWA or Ranch Design wheels on it.

Well that is it folks. I hope I gave you back more than what got deleted. It was fun to do this.

Happy chassis building,

Keith
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby JT Previa » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:41 am

Retro,

Nice tutorial, thanks for taking the time to post. Methe and I bought similar ceramic boards based on you previous recommendations and were considering adding a guide slot and or central hold down screw. Any experience drilling or cutting? Seems soft, but abrasive!

JT
Last edited by JT Previa on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby Retro Racer 44 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:13 pm

The slot for the guide is a good idea, but not necessary with my method, as all I do is locate the tube for the guide.
If you had a 1/8 drill bit intended to drill ceramics, you could start in a hole and widen it out and then the next etc until you had a slot for the guide.

I have never tried to drill this material, but it will chip, so I'm guessing even a normal drill bit might work. Probably done best with a drill press where you don't have accidental sideways forces.
Last edited by Retro Racer 44 on Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chassis building on a honeycomb ceramic plate.

Postby waaytoomuchintothis » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:46 pm

Use a masonry bit and go very slowly. Its just unglazed ceramic material, so the same tools used the same way will do what you want, but remember, ceramic is not only fragile to begin with, it makes hundreds of little fractures when you tool it. Frankly, I don't recommend messing around with a good thing, ya know?
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