John Garnish

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About John Garnish

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    Dorset, UK
  • Interests
    Ship modelling, making/modifying equipment for individuals with disabilities

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  1. Kurt, I have used diluted PVA glue to veneer furniture. The veneer was still holding 20+ years later. It should work for this as well. Simply brush the diluted solution onto one surface, lay up the veneer, and then iron with a medium-hot iron. Depending on veneer thickness, you should be able to lay up several sheets in one pass. A sheet of paper between wood and iron would be a precaution against scorch marks. It's very quick, so you could run a test in about 5 minutes.
  2. I should have mentioned that the formed shape of the sail will still be quite fragile, so you should avoid handling it more than necessary. That means that you should have fixed the sail to the yard and attached to it all the necessary rigging lines (tacks, clews, braces, buntlines, bowlines, etc.) before forming it to shape.
  3. I would use diluted PVA adhesive, brushed on. Fix the sail in a realistic position - (perhaps not on the model) - and then use a hair dryer to blow the sail into shape and dry the glue at the same time.
  4. I have used both acrylic-based and water-based sanding sealer, and I don't think there is much to choose between them in terms of performance. However, it is much easier to clean brushes after the water-based sealer, so I tend to use that all the time now. However, I do not sand the result when dry. I use only medium grade wire wool, which leaves a much finer finish and does not blur sharp edges. It also has the advantage that you use it in small throw-away bunches, so it never clogs. A word of caution - it can burn spectacularly, so keep it away from flames.
  5. Thank you, Georges. I am a great fan of ANCRE and your group, so I am sure that you are correct. I'm just surprised that I had never seen this before. Entirely my own fault - I have had a copy of "The 74 Gun Ship" since soon after it was published, and there it is - clearly shown in Fig.197 - but I had never noticed its significance.
  6. I have never before seen a breeching rope that goes through the gun carriage rather than round the cascabel. How common was this? The wear rate must have been terrific.
  7. No-one has mentioned the Mary Rose, launched in 1511 and sunk in 1545. The remaining starboard side was raised in 1982 and is now on display in Portsmouth Dockyard (UK). The remains have been well-documented in “Mary Rose: Your Noblest Shippe”, edited by Peter Marsden (2009). It should be remembered that the Mary Rose was 34 years old when she sank, having spent a hard life in the Western Approaches and taken part in two battles before her final loss, and having undergone numerous repairs. She can therefore be taken as a fair representation of shipbuilding practices in the early sixteenth century. The material in Peter Marsden’s book addresses two of the issues discussed in this forum, the type of planking, and typical plank lengths. Fig 6.17 of the book provides a flattened (projected) view of the surviving starboard side. It shows planks of widely varying widths (and thicknesses) and includes drop planks and stealers. Planks are typically end-butted (but without any great care to ensure verticality), and the shift of the butts is pretty random. It also shows the result of several repairs. There is a relevant paragraph in the text, as well: “The length of each plank varies from 1.47m to 10.85m, but most are between 4.5m and 9m long, the longer planks mostly being in the midships area. The shorter planks, those of less than 3m, are low down in the hull at the bow or stern and between the second and third wales (Fig. 6.16b). All the shortest planks, less than 2.75m, are between the gunports.” The overall impression is that the choice of materials was dictated largely by what came to hand rather than a strict adherence to ‘rule’, but there were clearly substantial lengths of timber available. The message seems to be that, if one is attempting to model a ship of this period, it shouldn't look too tidy.
  8. Christos, Yes. Measure around the midships frame or bulkhead from keel to wale on one side. This will tell you how many strakes of planking you will need. For example, suppose the measurement is 156mm and you are using 7mm planks, you will need 23 strakes. For each bulkhead, cut a strip of paper equal to the distance from keel to wale, mark 23 divisions along it and then transfer these marks to the bulkhead. The easy way to do this division process is to draw two vertical lines on a sheet of paper, each easily divisible by the number you have just calculated (in this case 23), one longer than the maximum length around the bulkhead and one shorter than the distance around the shortest bulkhead. In the example I have given, you might choose 184mm and 92mm. Divide each one, and join the marks: Now you can take any of your strips of paper, lay it on the diagram so that the ends lie on the top and bottom lines, and mark off the 23 divisions. Once you have marked the bulkheads, you will be able to see the line to follow for each strake. You may find that, as you reach the ends of the hull, the strakes become too wide or too narrow – in which case you will need to think about stealers or drop planks, but that’s a matter for a separate discussion. You should read the primers on planking elsewhere on this forum, e.g.
  9. Christos, Don't worry - it's not as complicated as it sounds. Once you have tapered a plank, I doubt whether you will be able to tell which edge is which. That's particularly true once the plank has been softened (by whatever means) for bending, because when you fit it in place it will also deform up and down to fit to the adjoining plank. As long as you have marked the frames to ensure a true line along the planking, all you need to do is ensure that each plank follows the line.
  10. Deck planks will always start and finish on a deck beam. These will not always have a uniform separation, so plank lengths will vary slightly. For Victory, plank lengths of 6-7 metres would be typical. Planks were laid in the 4-butt shift pattern. This is shown in this picture, taken from Peter Goodwin’s “The Sailing Man of War”. There are also detailed, if slightly idealised, drawings of each deck of Victory in Alec McGowan’s book. The following is a detail of the middle gundeck, in which I have coloured one set of planks to show how it works. You can see also that a typical plank length is a little less than the spacing between alternate gunports. There is also a lot of information on this question in the thread on this forum.
  11. Kurt, I don’t know of any hard evidence for the start of this practice. The earliest example of which I am aware is the NMM’s model of Boyne (1692), built by the master shipwright himself, which does have red bulwarks. Research on the Mary Rose (sunk 1545) has shown a few traces of paint on the external surfaces of one or two fragments, but nothing on internal surfaces. Similarly, there is considerable evidence of paint remaining on the many carvings of the Wasa (1628) but, except for mouldings in the captain’s cabin, there is no mention of paint inside the hull. One of the guide books states “Traces of paint have also been found on certain furnishings, but none anywhere on the hull. Tar and linseed oil seem the only things to have been applied to that.” Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, of course. However, a near-contemporary panting of the Battle of Gravelines (August, 1588) does show the inner bulwarks of several vessels, none of which seem to carry a predominantly red colour: My gut reaction is that painting the inner bulwarks probably began in the mid-seventeenth century. For anything earlier than that, I suggest that it would be safer to leave the bulwarks in a natural wood colour.
  12. Apologies to Mike and Allan for my mistake in the last post. The comment was, of course, from Allan.
  13. Mike's comment is particularly true in the case of smaller ships, up to and including frigates. The following is an extract from Plan 7B of the ANCRE book “L’Aurore” (18 gun frigate of 1697-1720) by Jean‑Claude Lemineur & Patrick Villiers: This ship had a significant tumblehome, so I have shaded in the line of the top of the gunports. It is clear that, even at full recoil within the confines of the other deck fittings, the muzzles would barely have cleared the ports.
  14. Carl, Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to think about which is the better option.
  15. My apologies if this has been covered before, but is there a way to suppress one's own signature from a reply? I have no wish to remain anonymous, and I want the signature to appear in my first message of a thread, but it is wasteful of space (and tedious to skip over) if it appears in every subsequent response.