Forming brass stock?

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Old 09-25-20, 09:06 AM
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Forming brass stock?

Okay, this will be a little different. My current woodworking project (more or less) is making a replica Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 broom for out son-in-law's sister and it's coming along pretty good. One of the details are brass (or at least metallic) bands that secure the bristles to the handle. They are roughly 3/4" wide. My thought was to get some 1/2" or 3/4" wide brass stock and form the bands out of that. The material will need to be thick enough to have some bulk when finished, but thin enough for me to form it. Will also have to decide how to close/attach the ends, screws/rivets/whatever.

Opinions on the thickness question? I was thinking either 1/16 or 1/8th. Don't think I've ever worked with brass to any extent. Any advice/suggestions gladly accepted.

Here's one kind of DIY:



 
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Old 09-25-20, 09:14 AM
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What tools do you have available for rolling the metal? Even a strip of brass 1" wide x 1/8" thick is pretty difficult to roll. If you don't have a roller I'd go for 1/16" if those are the two material thicknesses you have available.
 
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Old 09-25-20, 09:54 AM
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Well, I've looked online and it's available in sizes pretty thin, down to 1/32 anyway on Amazon. At first I was thinking of forming and trying to just crimp it together and have it hold, but I think anything thick enough to do that would be too hard to form, so it'll be thinner material and some type of fastener.

I also haven't discounted using some other way to do it, like winding it with thin copper craft wire. Wouldn't be true to the original look, but would work and probably be less labor involved.
 
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Old 09-25-20, 11:48 AM
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We have to go to Universal Florida every time they open a new Harry Potter attraction. Between my wife, nieces & nephews I might have a bit of experience making brooms and other wizarding accessories. I really impressed some kids & employees in the park by casting my spells at the interactive locations without a wand (I cheated with a small reflective pellet stuck to the end of my finger).

Search for "online metals". That is the name of a company but many others will pop up. Companies like that have had better prices and much more selection than Amazon. .0625" (1/16") is more than thick enough for brass or aluminum so you can go thinner if you want.

*Thin brass is good as it helps keep the weight of the broom down. I've also used aluminum which is even easier to roll and lighter in weight.

*Make sure you radius the corners and deburr the bands before rolling. Thin sheet metal edges can be wicked sharp.

*I used two piston ring compressor tools to very tightly bind the broom fibers while I attached the bands. I catch the outer edge of the band with the piston ring compressor and with one on each side you can get it really nice and tight. Then drill through where your metal overlaps and you can run screws into the handle wood.

* It is hard to bind the fibers tight enough to rely only on friction especially for a larger/thicker bundle. You can use wood glue, epoxy or almost any other glue or caulk to help hold the broom fibers together and to the handle though it can be a messy to work with.
 
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