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Roger Pellett

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About Roger Pellett

  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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  • Gender
  • 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. What have you received today?

    This past Sarurday I spoke on "Engineering of the Whaleback Ships" at the annual fundraiser for the SS Meteor, the last of the Great Lakes whaleback barges and steamships. Before leaving I placed a bid on a handsome print being auctioned off and was notified later that it was mine. It is a limited edition print by Scottish maritime artist John Kelly now living in California. It shows a steamship loading cargo from lighters. London ? Hong Kong?
  2. Steve, Thanks for reminding me about the bluefish party boat! Many years ago before moving to Minnesota we used to spend a few days vacationing at Cape May, NJ. One year after failing to catch fish off of the jetty I signed up for a night party blue fish boat. I thought that it would be great if I caught a fish. Long story short, by 1:30 am I had a burlap sack of bluefish and was exhausted. Much to the annoyance of my wife, I managed to keep the fish on ice in a small hotel room and cold on the return trip to Marietta, Ohio. We ate bluefish all winter. Roger
  3. Micro mill and planer

    I own a 12in Dewalt Planer. I bought it to mill 3/16 rib stock and 5/32in planking for wood canvas canoes from rough cut Northern White Cedar. The planer has worked beautifully. I have also used it to mill rough cut pear wood into finished billets for ship models. Again, the planer worked fine. For both of these projects I also used a 10 in table saw and a small but well built jointer. To do its job, the planer needs one surface of the board to be flat and that requires a table saw and/or jointer. Feeding a twisted board into a planer will either cause the planer to jam or if the planer is powerful enough will result in a twisted planed board. For me, an enjoyable part of modeling is producing my own milled lumber and I have the space for the two essential tools, a large table saw and a jointer as well as a nice to have planer. Usefulness of a planer without the other two tools is limited. Roger
  4. American sailing warships with no plans or records

    Charlie, Books on American ship decoration: I suggest Shipcarvers of North America by M.V. Brewington. Roger
  5. My vote would be for the Philadelphia. I am constantly amazed by the time and money expended on kits that do not produce an accurate model. In many cases the workmanship is excellent but the model is what some kit designer thought a model should look like, particularly European designers that design kits to build American vessels. In the case of Philadelphia the real gunboat exists in the Smithsonian and there is an excellent article in an old NRJ with complete plans to check your kit against. The money that you are spending for your kit can therefore produce an accurate model. There again, why buy a kit? Get the NRJ article for a couple of dollars, build the model to any scale that you wish using the plans, and buy quality parts that you don't want to make yourself from a supplier like Syren. Roger
  6. As far as I am concerned the two are apples and oranges, and I have both. The shop notes are predominately technique. In my personal experience, once I have studied them I have "gotten the idea" and seldom refer to them. On the other hand, the CD's contain a record of several decades of modeling research, so you might think of them as project oriented and in my opinion the articles of 30-40 years ago are much more detailed than those in the recent journals. Eric Ronnberg's multipart series of the Boston Pilot Boat Hesper and Rob Napier's articles of the mid 19th Century sailing ship Sooloo come to mind. If you will be satisfied assembling kits, you probably don't need the CDs but if you want to take this avocation further buy them. Re; the lack of a disc drive When I needed a new laptop, I made sure that it had a CD drive. Roger
  7. The NRJ back issues from the 1980's and 1990's contain some excellent articles written by such world class ship model builders as Harold Hahn, Eric Ronnberg, and Rob Napier. Not only do they include modeling tips but also demonstrate the research required to produce a first class model. The two disc CD is well worth the cost which I recall being about $40. Roger
  8. Before spending a lot of money, I suggest that you spend some time deciding what you intend, and want to do. Do you intend to build 18th century classic sailing warships, 19 th century vessels, 20 th century steel navy, or small craft. Do you intend to assemble model kits or build from scratch? Each of these choices involves different choices and different modeling techniques. My advice would be to pick a project and to then buy the books to support this particular build. I would lighten up on the "how to" books and to instead buy books that broaden your knowledge the actual subject that you are building. As you progress you will develop techniques that best suit your abilities and the way that you like to work. Limit your selection to high quality books. Charles Davis's book, for example will produce an attractive model of the brig Lexington but one that does not represent the actual appearance of the real ship. Include the two CD set of Nautical Research Journal Articles on your list. They contain a huge amount of material for building some really high quality models. Roger
  9. Poplar for modeling

    In a misguided effort to hurry up something that I don't enjoy doing (building a glass case) I have bought a piece or two of whatever they call mahogany. Both times it was pretty nasty stuff coarse grained, stringy, and hard to stain. Roger
  10. Poplar for modeling

    Not their construction lumber but their specialty hardwoods were plastic wrapped the last time that I bought some. Roger
  11. Poplar for modeling

    Good point regarding the plastic wrap. Up here the local name for Aspen is "Popel" and it grows aggressively in areas cut over by loggers. It doesn't get very big and is cut for pulpwood and is increasingly being used by the "engineered" lumber people. We can expect to see more of it as it is sustainable. I agree that although it has a good appearance it is a poor choice for modeling. Roger
  12. Poplar for modeling

    My store of choice is Menards and they stock maple. My only objection is that I can't get used to buying lumber wrapped in plastic! Another great source of maple is flooring- the kind that you nail down vs the free floating type. Several years ago we had a maple floor installed in our family room and I made sure that I got all of the scrap. First class stuff but you have to be able to mill it to size. Roger
  13. Poplar for modeling

    The poplar that Home Depot is offering may not be yellow poplar. Aspen is also called poplar here in Minnesota and is sold in milled thicknesses in big box home improvement stores. It is almost white, while the yellow poplar is darker, sometimes with a greenish cast. I tried using some of the Aspen/poplar and was unimpressed. Our big box store also sells maple in milled thicknesses. If you can find that it would be a much better choice. Harold Hahn's first POF models were framed with maple. Roger
  14. Milling Lumber for my upcoming POF projects...

    I have a same saw that I bought several years ago and it is a workhorse. Try to find fine tooth hollow ground blades intended for cutting veneer. Harold Hahn built his exquisite models using a Sears "Thin Rip" hollow ground veneer blade, and I have used the same with good results. In Mark's example above, produce 1/8in sheets using a more conventional rip blade, sand in your thickness sander, then use the veneer blade to slice off 1/16in planks. Cutting up wood to standard sizes only wastes it. Cut it as you go. Roger
  15. I belong to a men's book group. We meet once a month at a local restaurant. Each of us has the opportunity to tell the others what has been happening to them over the past month, and then we discuss the book. Book selections are eclectic, ranging from local authors to classics, and are arrived at by consensus. Our ages range from the late 50's to over 80. Of our dozen members, perhaps a third are dedicated e-book readers. Another group only read hard copy, in part because they usually get books from the library. The third group is like me. If we are reading a novel, I usually read it as an e-book. I can get it instantly, it is sometimes cheaper, and it is not something that I want to keep. Works of nonfiction, particularly those with illustrations and maps I would rather read as hard copy as it is much easier to refer back to these materials. Books bought for my permanent collection are printed, preferably hard bound. I hope that publishers will not be seduced by the trendiness of e-books and abandon the printed word as many of us still want to read it. Roger