Roger Pellett

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About Roger Pellett

  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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  • Location
    Duluth, MN
  • Interests
    Naval Architect, Scratch Modeler and maritime history researcher. Current modeling interest- Navy ship's boats.
    Nautical ResearchvGuild Member

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  1. A number of years ago I bought a set of tiny end mills from my local hobby shop. They were carbide mills sold by Drill Bit City that had been recycled from printed circuit board manufacturers. I tried to use them to mill brass and everyone of them broke. I have not tried to use them since. i tend to be heavy handed, so perhaps I was too aggressive with them, but these Drill Bit City carbide mills seemed awfully brittle. Roger
  2. Personal Experience!! For working on carved hulls you need to buy a carver's glove or at least a heavy knit glove to protect your hands. Use this to protect the hand that is not holding the tool. One slip with a sharp chisel and you are on your way to the emergency room. Roger
  3. Tony, No, wrong article. You are looking for his article concerning the Boston Pilot Boat HESPER. The article is in issues 38-4, 39-1, and 39-2. If you type Hesper into the NRG's article search function it will come right up. i see that your lines drawing was drawn by Malcolm Darch. Have you tried to contact him? Roger
  4. My reason for digging into this topic several years ago was a desire to build the pilot boat George Steers. Despite all of the information published about the yacht America also designed by George Steers I was unable to learn much about framing practices in the New York shipyards and didn't go forward with the project. On the yacht Coronet that I saw in frame, timber heads will rake aft. According to Chapelle and Eric Ronnberg, for New England built schooners bulwark stanchions were often separate timbers. I suggest that you download a copy of Eric's excellent multipart article on his Hesper model from the NRG website. For small vessels, not built for Government/Admiralty or in large, well organized shipyards, I do not believe that lines drawings like you show above accurately relate to frame placement. Many of these drawings were generated from lines taken from half models. Unless the framing was marked on the model, the drawing reflects the setup by the person taking off the lines, not actual practice. As your Greenhill book shows Builders in South Devon designed vessels by carving a half model from a laminated block which was taken apart in the mould loft and scaled up. The frames would then be "designed" on the loft floor, not on the model. Finally, I can think of no naval architecture reason why the frames would be set parallel to the load waterline. Whether the artisans in a small shipyard even calculated an accurate load waterline is questionable. The system requiring the least fitting on the ways would be to set them square with the top of the keel. Cutting a bevel on the heel of each frame would be more work and since in many small yards heavy frame assemblies were erected by brute force, cut and try was not an option. Roger
  5. In studying vessels built by American builders practice seems to vary. In his book the Practical Shipbuilder, McKay includes a drawing of a New York pilot boat from the 1830's. Like many American Pilot boats this boat is designed with a lot of drag. The top of the keel includes considerable rocker. The drawing is duplicated in Chapelle's Search for Speed Under Sail and shows the motIces cut for the frames. It would appear that frames are erected perpendicular to the keel with the heels beveled as necessary to accommodate the rocker. McKay also includes a procedure in his book for laying out framing for vessels with drag but I have not gone through it. The large schooner yacht Coronet built in the 1880's and now being rebuilt at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI is framed with her frames set perpendicular to rhe keel. In a Nautical Research Guild article discussing the Boston Pilot Boat Hesper Eric Ronnberg mentions a (New England ?) practice of setting the frames at an angle to the keel, often 3 degrees, equal to the declivity of the launch ways. In other words, the frames would be vertical To the horizon, not the keel with the vessel on the ways. In researching Hesper, Ronnberg found two editions of Chapelle's drawings, one with the water lines drawn parallel to the keel and one parallel to the load water line. In his writings, William Crothers describes calculating an allowance to account for the declivity of the ways so that when plumbed the frames would be perpendicular to the keel and then says, Note, There were ships built where the frames were not raised vertical to the keel. The disposition of the frames would of course affected the lofting and the loftsman would have needed to understand the building practice to correctly lay out the frames. This is is what I have been able to learn about American practice. I have no idea of British practice, particularly in small shipyards. If you can get some idea how the vessels were built, you will find some clues relating to disposition of the frames. In his wooden ship book, Greenhill shows the frames for his Devon built schooner erected perpendicular to the keel. Roger
  6. The basis for a worthwhile ship model is an accurate set of hull lines. Unless built to historically documented hull lines, you are really building a freelance model despite the accuracy of the paint scheme, rigging, etc.. See Howard Chapelle's "Ship Models That Should Not Be Built," or L. Francis Herreschoff's writings on model building. The Lake Erie Brigs were a particular problem for Chapelle who in the early 1930's designed the predessor to the current Niagara replica. Chapelle has written that he always had an uneasy feeling that the lines of the replica did not reflect the original vessel. In particular he thought that was the bow lines might be too sharp. The current vessel was a new design by Melbourne Smith. Each of the three Niagara replicas 1913, 1933, and 1988 were built to a different set of principal dimensions. Chapelle also described model builders as "stubborn cusses" who Insist on building models without sufficient documentation. The Lake Erie battles were exciting events in our nation's history and from a naval architectural standpoint, the problem of designing these shallow draft gun vessels was an interesting one so the lure of building one of these brigs despite the existence of historical documentation is compelling. Fortunately, an example of a shallow draft gun brig built by the same builders as the original Niagara exists and has been explored - the brig Eagle built to defend Lake Champlain. Builders wishing to build an example of a shallow draft American gun brig designed for lake service during the war of 1812 would be better off choosing the Eagle than Niagara or Lawrence. Roger
  7. The naval architect that designed the first set of reproduction ships in the 1950's published a paper on the subject. It includes material on all three vessels. Google Design and Construction of the Jamestown Ships and you will find it. Roger
  8. Hi Gerhardt, Thanks for your post. I have enjoyed your build log for the gunboat Cairo. A great great uncle on my mother's side served on the Baron DeKalb, another "City" class ironclad. Two books that you might like to add to your e book library are An Outline of Shipbbuilding by Theodore D. Wilson and Seamanship by Stephen Luce. Both of these books include some information about Civil War era warships' boats. Wilson, Chapter VII includes specifications for construction and Luce includes some descriptive material (don't pay any attention to the drawings of boats handling anchors as they were copied from a British book and don't reflect American practice). Roger
  9. It's probably age, but I don't like reading long tracts from an electronic screen. I still enjoy a nicely produced hardcover book. I am presently reading Dutch East India Shipbuilding published by Texas A&M Press. It is a very nicely done book printed on heavy paper with clear illustrations. Although, much of the material is highly detailed it is a joy to read. I'm not sure that you could print the 1500+ pages of the Red Bay volumes on a home printer for the price that I paid. Roger
  10. The material on the two separate plan sheets is duplicated within the book. Roger
  11. The price was US Dollars but still an amazing trove of high quality information for the price. For those interested in building an authentic model of the period, there are more copies of the same set of books on the web. Roger
  12. Hope to read soon that you are fully recovered and back in the shop. Roger
  13. Intrigued by the research that Patrick is doing for his Golden Hinde model, I browsed the web to try to find what material he was using and I happened on a book published by Parks Canada called Underwater Archeology of Red Bay, priced at $72. Although rather expensive, books are my guilty pleasure and I bought it. Today, when I came home there was a large heavy box leaning against my door. It turns out that my $72 bought me a five volume hard bound set of books, over 1500 pages describing a Basque built galleon and its accompanying chalupa (boat). These books included two large plans tucked into envelopes. This galleon and several others discovered was used in an offshore whaling operation off the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. The Red Bay Galleon is the oldest wreck explored in America, and unlike the Caribbean wrecks explored is well preserved enough to permit reassembly/ reconstruction. For me, receipt of these books might be a game changer. I have been plodding along on the third of a series of warship's boats with several others contemplated and researched. These books contain enough information to build a really good plank on frame model of this historic ship. Maybe a change of pace is in order? Roger
  14. Two other great books on the subject are American Battleships 1886-1923 by John Reilly and Robert Scheina and US Armored Cruisers by Ivan Musicant. Roger
  15. Tony, If you have not already done so, I suggest that you obtain a copy of The Evolution of the Wooden Ship by Basil Greenhill. While this book has no direct information about Brixham Trawlers, it does have a section describing the construction of a small schooner by local shipwrights in South Devon in the late 1800's. While most modellers and historians focus on construction of large vessels built in well organized shipyards by trained shipwrights, little attention has been paid to the methods used by skilled but untrained builders to build vessels like your Brixham Trawler in primitive locations. It is my belief that structural details such as disposition of framing was often influenced by the construction methods used. in his book, Greenhill does a good job of discussing the construction of a small wooden sailing vessel in a primitively shipyard in South Devon. Roger