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If you're working at a large scale, such as 1:24, you may want to try making shackles that resemble the real thing. (It may be doable at 1:48 but I haven't tried it yet.) You will need a few supplies including brass rod, brass nails (see item no. MS0993 at Model Expo) a micro miter box and saw (see item no. 86407 at Micro Mark), and silver solder paste. Of course, you'll also need round-nose and flat-nose pliers, a small torch, a Dremel tool with a wire brush, and a #70 drill bit.

The first step is to cut lengths of the wire. I used .032" wire for these shackles. I cut them to about 8mm in length. The micro miter box is essential for this because the ends need to be square and flat. You can't cut them with wire cutters and get a square end. Next, use a larger diameter wire (I used 1/16" wire) and cut small slices the same thickness as the small wire. Instead of using wire, you can use 1/16" tubing. I didn't have any at the time, but it does eliminate one step.

Supplies
Supplies
Cut Pieces
Cut Pieces

Once all the pieces are cut, put a tiny amount of silver solder paste on each end of the straight (thin) wire, lay them on a surface you can solder on, then snug the disks up to them. When you're silver soldering, the pieces must be in contact with each other because silver solder won't fill gaps. I put the torch flame on the center of the wire first then move outward to the disks. If you're new to silver soldering, you will need to be careful that you don't melt the wire or blow the disks away from it. Once all are soldered and cool, I like to clean them up with a wire brush in the Dremel tool.

Then, if you used solid wire to make the disks, you will have to punch and drill them using a #70 drill bit. As mentioned, if you use brass tubing, you won't have to punch and drill. Finally, you can bend them to shape and insert a brass pin through the holes in the disks. You can blacken the shackles, paint them, or leave them as bright brass depending on your needs. Leave the pins long until you install the shackles on your model. They're much easier to handle that way. After you cut them to length, you can apply a dot of epoxy or medium CA to hold them on.

Ready To Solder
Ready To Solder
Finished Shackles
Finished Shackles