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Old Nov 18, 2012, 12:38 AM
RussellTate is offline
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Sydney Australia
Joined May 2009
755 Posts
How to make a Dumas shift lever in brass

After ordering an un-plated 1:8 scale Dumas Shift lever that arrived broken in two ...and reordering a replacement that also arrived broken in two,
I finally got one that was complete.
After filing sanding, cutting, and polishing I was preparing it for plating when it too broke in half.

So, I thought maybe I'll just try and make one myself out of brass, I know that won't break anytime soon.

I had some brass rod that was about the right size but couldn't figure out how to get the sides flat?

I hit on the idea of making a trench between 2 tiles and grinding the edges of the rod flat to the level of the tiles. It worked OK but was a little bit lumpy.

Next I put a sleeve over the area that was going to be the handle and jacked it in the pillar drill so I could get a nice hard edge on the handle before it went into the flat area.

Once I had that under control I put 2 needle files in a vice and pushed and pulled the brass rod back and forth till i got the flat sides nice a level
(I turned them over periodically to keep both sides even)

When everything was true I Dremel-ed off the top of the handle in roughly the right spot and rounded the top with a sanding disk.

After a rubbing with sandpaper (400 gridt up to 2500) I polished it with rouge compound and it came out looking pretty good.

I won't cut the bottom of the lever off until after plating as it will give me something to grip hold on to when i'm going through the process.

Hope this is of some use if you feel like making a lever yourself!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:18 AM
oldtribefan is offline
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United States, GA, Kennesaw
Joined May 2007
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Interesting solution to the problem. Your mini how-to's are great - keep them coming!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:20 AM
Gravman is offline
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United States, TX, La Porte
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Very nice! That was clever to use the files in a pair like that. I have never seen that before. It sure came out great. I have always enjoyed watching metal work. Thanks for taking the time to post and share.
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