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Rat line tension tool


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40 replies to this topic

#21
mtdoramike

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Hey JMS, you might also try a little bees wax on the line, which will take a lot of that loose hair look out of the line and give the line a little more smooth look. I have also used aquanet hairspray on my rigging line, which stiffens it up a little and also helps with fraying. I used to use stuff called liquid tar that was sold by Model Shipsway's if I remember correctly and would coat the ratlines with it, which is what they did on real ships to help preserve the lines to keep it from rotting. But alas, they don't make the stuff anymore.

 

mike 


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#22
Johnnymike

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ulrich

 

I used 220 grit but I think you could use anything between about 180 to 330.

 

I see no effect from the sand paper.

 

JMS


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#23
Jaager

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This is an excellent idea.

 

I wonder how it would work out to use the paper grid and with this tool,

instead of working from the top and bottom, to do

top-bottom- middle - and then the mid point of the two open

spaces. then fill in.  This could reduce the effect of a creeping

compound error.

 

I am also wondering if the result would look better if the size of

the ratline rope was somewhat less than the literal reproduction

of the actual scale diameter.  The horizontal lines would then fade

into the background a bit - which I am thinking would be the way

it would have actually looked.

 

Looking at grid-like components - such as window muntins  and

gratings - given scale effect - would they look more pleasing to the

eye if they had reduced scantlings from actual scale?


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#24
Johnnymike

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Mike and Jagger

I hear you. This is really the first build I have done that has any rat lines to speak of. And I
am a complete novice.

When I started I did not even realize that a clove hitch was the best knot to use. I had a mess
and it looked more like a spider web was being woven. I cut it out and started over.
Since I am still getting better I see a number of things I would do better now and I think I will cut
out the standing rigging I have and start over again.

I have a Batavia kit ready to start and that is the one I want to be in top form for.

I do use bees wax on the lines and they don't look that fuzzy even up close. I think the camera
accentuates the fuzz.

I do agree the rat lines need to be smaller and blackened and I am planning to correct that if
I decide to start over.

I worked bottom to top. I found that it worked best for me because with the knots on top it was
easy to see what I was doing and I could tap the knot down into the space between the boards
wth my tweezers to kind of set it in position and tighten it.

JMS
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#25
Jaager

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JMS,

 

My comments on size were not directed at your work. I apologize for

my wording that makes it seem so.  I was influenced by pix of

recently finished models.   I am thinking that in general,

the ratlines should be much less than the shrouds they are tied to.

 

Your jig is very clever.  It would also work well with a bubble level to

assist in keeping the line horizontal.

 

An old technique was to sew the actual ratline thru each of the shrouds

and then cover the join with a knot from a separate line trimmed off.

I had dismissed this, but with your jig and using a line that is finer than

the ratline itself to make the knot, the result may look better. 

The clove hitch using the actual ratline has always looked a bit "fat" to me

and has done for about 40 years now. Using a thinner line should fix the problem

of scale with the knot.  If the knot material was saturated with diluted

neutral pH bookbinders PVA, it should hold well and the ends trim off cleanly.

 

Sorry, more arm chair experimenting here.


Edited by Jaager, 15 December 2016 - 01:52 AM.

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#26
lehmann

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One observation that has been missed is that the width of the strips is equal to the vertical distance between the ratlines.  Or, more precisely stated, the distance between the knots.  As long as you can set the strips level, there is no need to use a paper grid.


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Bruce

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#27
Johnnymike

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To all

 

Bruce you are correct. I picked the strips I used because it is the width of the spacing I felt was correct

for this project. I am sure I will use different stick sizes for my next projects. I did not use a paper jig. I tried

a paper jig before and in the hands of a novice, like myself, found it to be more trouble than it was worth. And

quickly abandoned it. That said, I am sure it has merit it just did not work for me. 

 

I also found it is easy to 'eye ball' keeping things pretty level, and you can sight across the ship to stay even with the

rat lines on the other side. At one point I felt I was a little off bubble and simply raised the low end up off the lower knot on

the outside to get me going level again. A small incremental move you can't see can make up a difference and get you

back to what looks good.

 

jagger

I assure you I take no offense at all with comments like yours that are presented as observations. I like to here the opinions of others. A little secret I have is I learn more by listening to others than I do on my own. 

 

Thanks so much to all who commented. It is appreciated

 

JMS


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#28
Nigel Lees

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As I read through countless postings I am picking up so much knowledge as I go and this tip is certainly going in my locker.  Thank you for sharing it.

Cheers

Nigel


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#29
*Hans*

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It is such a simple and easy solution for making the ratlines!  (and sorry to say John - I did it in exact the same way as you did  - already some years ago for my Batavia  :))

 

And you say you are a novice - but seeing your pictures I don't believe you... :P

 

Regarding the space between the ratlines we've had some discussions here the last years.  Was it a step of roughly 30 cm - or 1ft. (and many steps to get up) or was it more onto a step of 50 cm (1,5 ft.) 

 

The Dutch were known as a bit scrooge, frugal (well, let's say economical) and bigger steps meant quicker on top, so less time wasted - and less rope! So I go for the 50 cm.

 

If you use a 6 mm plank (how many inches is that?) on a scale of 1 to 72 (which the Batavia kit is) you end up with a distance of 43 mm. Including the knot and correction in level to my opinion you are pretty good in line.

 

If you have a 1:50 model  take 8 mm planks, and if you are building at a 1:100 scale a 4 mm plank is the right one.


Edited by *Hans*, 19 December 2016 - 08:22 PM.

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Hans   

 

 

Temporary stopped build:  Trireme - scratch build ancient Greek warship

 

Finished: VOC Retourschip Batavia   Duyfken 1595 - VOC verkenningsjacht (no build log)

 

Available: wooden model kit VOC Retourschip Batavia 1628

                 wooden model kit VOC Verkenningsjacht Duyfken 1595  www.kolderstok.com


#30
Johnnymike

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Thanks Hans

 

I have learned along time ago that there is not much really new out there. We seem to reinvent all the time.

 

I was sure that someone must have done this before because it is so simple.

 

It was well worth mentioning again seeing the response's seen here.

 

JMS


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#31
*Hans*

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The most simple solutions are often the hardest ones to find...


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Hans   

 

 

Temporary stopped build:  Trireme - scratch build ancient Greek warship

 

Finished: VOC Retourschip Batavia   Duyfken 1595 - VOC verkenningsjacht (no build log)

 

Available: wooden model kit VOC Retourschip Batavia 1628

                 wooden model kit VOC Verkenningsjacht Duyfken 1595  www.kolderstok.com


#32
*Hans*

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...I worked bottom to top. I found that it worked best for me because with the knots on top it was
easy to see what I was doing and I could tap the knot down into the space between the boards
wth my tweezers to kind of set it in position and tighten it.

JMS

 

Which is in fact the best way to do it. After knotting the first ratline just put the planks on top of it - correct the level when necessary and knot the second ratline. Correct the level again by tapping the knot a bit down or up - white glue over it (you can do this in the end as well) and proceed to the top.

 

Another fact almost no one knows: due to shrinking of the rope the ratlines always had some more length than the space between the shrouds, they always hung a bit loose. So don't knot them as tight as possible - and the hourglass effect will not occur as well.

 

Nowadays, with other qualities of rope it is different of course.


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Hans   

 

 

Temporary stopped build:  Trireme - scratch build ancient Greek warship

 

Finished: VOC Retourschip Batavia   Duyfken 1595 - VOC verkenningsjacht (no build log)

 

Available: wooden model kit VOC Retourschip Batavia 1628

                 wooden model kit VOC Verkenningsjacht Duyfken 1595  www.kolderstok.com


#33
Geek1945

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Often brilliant ideas are so simple they make you feel humble, yours is one. Two thumb up, many thanks for sharing it!!


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#34
wefalck

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Good idea for a simple tool to make a difficult task easier !  But the title of the post is misleading or even wrong: ratlines don't actually need to be 'tensioned', in reality they are slightly sagging due to their own weight. This uniform sagging is rather difficult to reproduce, as the catena-shape changes as you proceed upward.

 

I would modify the tool a bit and drill two holes in the ends for a couple of machine screws with wing-nuts. But take caution not to squeeze the shrouds flat ...


Edited by wefalck, 30 December 2016 - 02:55 PM.

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wefalck

 

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#35
jct

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Super...I'm stealing this :D :D :D


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#36
Sgt Mike

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WOW!  This idea is what makes this site so valuable to us.  Great Idea! Thanks so much.


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#37
pompey2

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What a great idea.

I use a strip of rigid clear plastic as a spacer and guide.

But that does not stop what you call the hourglass effect which is always a problem.

The twin strips and sandpaper will sort that out a treat.

So I will be stealing this if you don't mind.

Nice one!!!


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#38
Tallsails2

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John, thanks for the tip and the pictures. In my old age tying the rat lines is a real pita. My Benjamin W Latham was my first dealing with rat lines and I said I would never build another one that had rat lines. I'm about to start on my 3rd build which will be either the Model Shipways Niagra or the Rattlesnake, so this will be very helpful.

 

Thank you, Eddie


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#39
Overworked724

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Brilliant.  Love it.  Using it. 

 

I am working on my first ship - need all the help I can get!!!


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Best

Patrick

 

----------------------------------------------------

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Retired Build:  1:196 USS Constitution (Plastic)

 


#40
Telp

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Found a nice free wood provider for this idea, go into a starbucks and grab a few of the wood stirring sticks, nice size and a plentiful supply. :-)


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