Moderator's Note: The following tutorial was originally posted by Christopher ("Train Clown") in the "Building a Derelict Depot" thread, I have posted a copy of it here for safe-keeping. The original thread is still open for questions and comments.

And now...

THE RUSTY NAIL HOW-TOid="maroon">id="size4">

This is where I want to put some rusty nails, as if the board has rotted and fallen off.

Now the nails are made from very fine wire. This means I have to drill the smallest hole I can. This is my drill index and the smallest drill bit I have is the #80. This is a small drill bit indeed, but as it turns out, it's about four times too big for the wire I'm using. I would like a closer fit. Guess I'll have to ask Santa for a smaller set of drills.

With the drill bit clamped in the pin vice, we drill holes wherever we want to put a rusty nail. This is a slightly delicate operation due to the fragile nature of a #80 drill bit. Try not to go all the way through.

Once the holes are drilled, clean up any splinters that may have resulted from drilling.

For the wire to make the nails, I am using a strand of wire from a "grain of wheat" light. These wires have 5 copper strands and they are as fine as a human hair.

The wire is stripped and cut into 1/4" long pieces. I cut them this size to make it easier to handle them. Even at 1/4" they are mighty small and you need a good pair of tweezers.

The wire is glued into the holes. It's that simple, really, but there is a trick. I found that dealing with such a small glob of glue (I'm using WeldBond white glue for this) that the glue was having a hard time finding purchase on the wood due to the small amount of moisture involved. It wasn't enough to properly soak into the wood. So I found that by taking a small paint brush and applying just a little bit of water to the hole for the nail that the glue found purchase on the wood more easily. I tried using CA glue and it did work, but I didn't like the effect it had on the wood as the CA glue soaked into a larger area. It seemed to seal the wood and turn it a permanent dark color and the white glue wasn't doing the same thing.

I suppose different glues could be experimented with. In any case, this is what it looks like when the nails are glued into the holes.

Once the glue has dried, I took a pair of cuticle scissors and cut the nails off just about even with the surface of the boards. Then I took the tweezers and positioned and bent the nails so they look like they had been doing something then gave them a coat of rust paint and there you are, rusty nails.

This pic is after the first coat of rust.

I went around the building and anywhere I saw a missing board then I figured there should be a rusty nail there. I didn't put rusty nails everywhere because I figured some of them would rust away or fall out, as they really do. The thing that gets my goat about these nails is the fact that they don't have heads on them. I'll have to run some experiments and try to figure out how to put heads on these little suckers. I think they would be more visible if they had rusty heads. I did an experiment today trying to create rusty heads on the nails with the second and third coats of paint, but I only met with moderate success.

Does all this seem like too much work? Am I completely bonkers for trying to perfect such small details?

Naaaaaaaahhhhh!!!id="blue">id="size4">[:-sly] [:-mischievous] [:-bouncy]

Christopher [:-clown]