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Wm. R. Robertson

On my workbench today, brass latches

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Wm. R. Robertson

Since I have challenged you all to post what you are working on it is only fair I show what is on my bench. For my George II metamorphic bed I am making latches to hold the arms in when closed. To start with I chose an example from a 18th c. Hardware pattern book that I will modify to my needs. Then using gold solder I attach a piece of square tubing to a sheet of brass.... Then drill holes, saw to shape, file edges and polish.......

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Bob McGinnis

Thanks Bill, You make it look so easy! Best Wishes, Bob

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jackofalltrades

Bill,

 

Interesting project!   The thing that interests me most is the gold solder!   Does the gold solder match the brass fairly well?   Who sells it and what do you specify?   Any info appreciated!

 

Jack

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Wm. R. Robertson

Gold solder is much like sheet silver solder, you cut off little bits and place them with flux and heat away. It comes from a jewelry supply place and is offered in all different karats. I use either 10k or 14k, sometimes just "low k" and "easy" flow if I can get it. A little goes a long way and I haven't bought any in at least 10 years. As to matching brass, in this scale if you get it to flow nice it almost looks like a perfect little one piece casting.

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ElgaKoster

I want to make a latch for a tilt top table and was thinking this kind of technique should work, thank you for showing this.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Or you can make the body of the latch out of one piece like the one shown at the bottom of this post....... As always, I think it is good to know how to do each task a few different ways.....

http://www.fineminiaturesforum.com/index.php?/topic/39-chippendale-game-table-with-needlepoint-top/

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Wm. R. Robertson

I'm moving along with these despite all my distractions, last night I met astronaut Chris Hadfield, the one that did the David Bowie rendition of "Major Tom" from space and it is the time to get ready for my big annual party.

Anyway, here is a finished prototype for my latch..... I turned the knob and threaded it to fit in the square sliding bolt of the latch.... The thread is a .055 mm x .125 pitch....... In other words, very small, about .020"

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ElgaKoster

Your latches looks great Bill, what size tap and die did you use? Whenever our postal service works again (if ever, they have been striking for three months now in our area) I want to order some.

I have been drooling all over the picture of your catalogue, I think I found an online version

https://archive.org/details/albumdeserrureri00unse

And this English catalogue for sale...alas it is way above what I ever can pay

http://www.donaldheald.com/pages/books/28174/english-18th-century-brass-foundry-pattern-book/early-english-trade-catalogue-of-brass-furniture-hardware-designs

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Wm. R. Robertson

Those are great links to early pattern books....... As you can see by the price these are pretty rare. I have one on tools from Peter Stubs, he only printed 50 copies of his 1801 book, 7 are known to survive, mine the only one in private hands!

The copy I use was privately published by the late Ted Crom, one of my best friends. I don't know if any copies are still for sale, I think he only printed either 250 or 500 copies.

Here is the link on Amazon ...... Sold out of course..... BTW, it is more than 15 pages as stated...

http://www.amazon.com/Eighteenth-Century-English-Hardware-Catalogue/dp/0960488855

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Wm. R. Robertson

As I stated above, the thread size is 0.55 mm x 0.125 pitch........ About the only way to get these are in these older watchmakers sets, new, when they were last made they sold for thousands of dollars, used, which in some cases just pre owned and never used, they can found on eBay for in the hundreds of dollar range..... Just be careful the taps are all broken, most sets have three of each size in each aluminum tube. These sets go from 0.30 to 1.20 mm. The main brands are Favorite and Bergeon, both Swiss made.

And my latches are finished, I needed 6 and as with everything I always make an extra....... On the last picture, note the little threaded knobs..... They are small.....

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WeekendMiniaturist

(Well dagnabit, explanative, explanative! )  I was at an auction earlier this year with watchmakers stuff, and nothing clicked in my head to buy all of it!

 

I'm going to go stitch right now so I don't cry!

 

The latches are beautiful!

 

Tamra

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WeekendMiniaturist

Elga, I am always amazed at the items you find online! 15,000????

 

And regarding your first link for the digital catalog; after the "H" hinges page, you will see the Real Life Casket hinge for the front doors, similar to the ones that Tricia  (www.thistle-threads.com) had made for the Life Size Casket.  I'm going to print it and give it to my local hinge guy - just in case he sees any in his travels.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Thanks Bill, will keep my eyes open at the antique fairs and shops, surely there must be some here in SA too.

Tamra, I did see the casket hinges and thought of you...maybe you should try making them yourself, I have come across full scale hinge making instructions on the net before.

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Bill Hudson

Bill I would like to back step a bit.  What flux do you use for the gold solder?

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Wm. R. Robertson

The same yellowly liquid I have used for silver solder..... I think I have had that bottle for over 20 years...... It doesn't take much.

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MissyBoling

Oh Tamra, I could cry too!  If only I had my watchmaker uncle's supplies!  I was just in my teens when he stopped working on watches and clocks, and who would have ever guessed that some day I could use those tools!  Bill, those latches are beyond awesome!

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Wm. R. Robertson

Here are the latches mounted on the finished bed…….

 

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ElgaKoster

The latch turned out great, I was looking at the drawing in the catalog just today, inside the left door of the Georgian bedside commode is one that looks just like it.

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miraclechicken

You know, I come into the forum every day and look at all the wonderful postings, yet I am always running across stuff I missed. This thread is a great example! Where have I been??? Bill the latches are beautiful. And tiny tap and die sets, and watchmakers tools, and oh my what a great lot of very cool stuff---

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