Sunday, 29 November 2009


Grrrr... I have spent almost 6 hours of this weekend trying to make up four - yes, just a measly FOUR - Masokits tiebars! So far, seven have gone in the bin!

Yes, I've made these things before, but they don't get any easier the second, or third, or fourth time around. They are just SO fiddly!

Question to those more experienced than me - is this par for the course with this sort of thing, or does it indicate a particularly high level of cack-handedness?!?

(OK, I admit that four of the seven binned items would have been fine except for the fact that I totally forgot to clean the brass etches before I started that particular batch, so there was no chance of them soldering up properly! It may have had something to do with a certain alcoholic beverage being consumed at the time.....)

By the way, the 'm' at the end of this post's title is intentional!


  1. Have you emtied the bins yet?

    If not, I'd whip those four tarnished ones out PDQ and get the off to C&L for a bottle of Acidip.

    Pop a small amount in an egg-cup and drop the tie-bars in and leave for a while. Agitate with an old paintbrush avery so often. It will clean the brass up more than well enough to solder them as normal.

    It won't look as nice as brass burnished with a fibreglass brush, but it will be good enough to solder.

    When you fish them out, rinse with plenty of water and handle with tweezers and not fingers.

    A nice hot iron and fresh solder and you should be fine :-)

    I did a [unidentified] tiebar last night which was made out of steel and I was amazed as to how easy it was with a spot of flux and done in this way.

  2. This is not good news. I purchased a pack of these at the last Scaleforum. Would seem that I have a little bit of a learning curve to negotiate with these.

    Oh and thanks for the tip about staying off the 'Jungle Juice' when attempting to solder up these little blitters.

  3. Flymo, I didnt think of trying this. I guess even though they are already 70% soldered together, the acidip (which I do possess) would hopefully enable the remaining 30% to solder up properly too. I'll give it a try.

    Yan, they are definitely fiddly, although I don't know how much my success rate (or lack of it) is typical with these things or just down to a lack of skill. The main thing is they are very small and fragile, so they require a lot of care to avoid breakage. I find that while forming the 90 degree bends is relatively straightforward using a small vice, folding over 180 degrees (the instructions suggest folding over the edge of the brass fret) is quite tricky, as there is a tendency for the thing to go askew at this stage (the bits you actually have to bend through 180 degrees are only attached by thin half etched 'tabs') - and once that's happened its not easy to straighten it again without the tabs either breaking, or the rest of the thing to get out of shape!

    Yes, I suggest you save the drink till after completion, when it is actually needed!!

  4. Well, resurrecting this thread, my order of Masokits tiebars arrived in the post this morning.

    I guess that I'll soon see how difficult I find them for myself!