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Pounce wheels: A rivetting read?

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I have been describing a conversion of a Bachmann HO Emily to look something closer to the GNR Stirling Single on which she is based (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/94209-emily-laid-bare-a-stirling-effort/page-1). 


One of the techniques I used was to use pounce wheels to emboss rivets in styrene. This attracted some small attention so rather than bloat Emily with further details I thought it would be easier to start a new topic.


This all came about some time ago when I was trying to improve the chimney in a 1/25th scale kit of Stephenson's Rocket. For that exercise I use the dressmaking wheels used for transferring patterns which are quite coarse and are typically referred to as tracing wheels.


Looking at the term "pounce wheels" results in a similar tool but with a much finer tooth that is used in tracing artwork. So without further ado here are a selection:



In the photo above, from top to bottom, you have:

Excel 24 tpi

Grifhold 21 tpi (No 9)

Excel 18 tpi

Grifhold 15 tpi (No 12)


They are ideal for embossing rivets into 5 or 10 thou styrene as you can see here. The styrene is placed on a cutting mat and the pounce wheel run along the back under pressure against a steel rule. In this instance the styrene has been trimmed to provide wagon strapping (an older 10p coin is included for comparison with its "rivets"):



An example of a rivetted footpalte from my Emily thread is shown here. The first row of rivets is embossed in 10thou styrene, then the piece turned though 90 degrees. By feeling with one of the pounce wheel teeth and existing rivet, it is possible to line it up for another row:



Here is a test piece done using the four pounce wheels shown in the first image:



And after a quick spray of primer:





Another technique I have used with Emily is to emboss some rivets then shave them off with a scalpel and glue the shaved rivets onto Emily with solvent:



A quick comparison of embossed rivets, in this case down to 21 tpi against a GBL GWR tender:



Although I have only used styrene here I have successfully used the technique on thin brass (5 thou) and copper foil.


The Excel pounce wheels had to be ordered from the States but they did come quite quickly. One problem with most of them is the small size of the head which is too small to use a normal steel rule. Instead I have to use a 6" one which is thinner.

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I have some pounce wheels somewhere safe, I have yet to use them. This is the first time I have seen the results of their use.


I have a steel bridge to build shortly, so I will need to find them based on your results, they should make the job relatively painless.


I look forward to seeing further results in this thread.


Thanks for the info Mike.

Edited by Siberian Snooper
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Thanks Mike, a reminder I should get a range in rather than relying on one size fits all.


I have some ponce wheels somewhere safe,


Worth making sure you don't suffer typos when you go out asking for any. ;)

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