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About mikiek

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  1. Tiny Hem in Sails

    Wow Dee Dee - we should make a sticky from this. A great description. I wish I had your talent.
  2. Tiny Hem in Sails

    Don I realized the timing for dyeing as I was putting this together. Material does need coloring first. In some hems I have rope and that would have taken the color also if I wait until afterwards. I'm not set on this whole method, I just had a few minutes and wanted to try ANYTHING and the admiral is being real slow about getting the sewing machine out. She claims that 1/8" double fold hem will be a breeze. I have my doubts.
  3. Tiny Hem in Sails

    I'll get a few started Ron. If I can get that straight I think what I'm trying might be doable. It was a real bear trying to keep the wire in the hem when it had a little twist. I didn't have enough hands to keep the wire in, hold the hem down and stick some pins in it.
  4. Tiny Hem in Sails

    While accumulating enough guts to get out the sewing machine and make a complete fool of myself I tried this prototype with no sewing. I did a double fold at the edge - fold once, iron, fold again, iron. The hem measures about 1/8", about as small as I could easily do without some sort of edge to help with the fold. I figured messing with a full size iron would be problematic so I used the plank bender instead. Not as much control over heat, steam, etc. but who cares. The sails I am replacing have rope and/or wire in the hem so I tried to duplicate that. I guess I need to find a way to straighten the wire. It was a little curved from being on a roll and did not want to stay under the hem. I have some very thin brass rod I might try if I can't get the wire straight. So I started the first fold at one end of the material, ironed that, folded a little more, ironed that and worked my way to the other end. Sprayed a little starch on it then ironed again. Did the second fold and followed the same process. Then I took my rope and wire and stuffed that into the hem and did my best to push it all the way into the fold at the back. I used a bead of fabric adhesive in the hem and held that for a count of 60. Then took some straight pins and stuck those thru the hem just to keep the wire from coming out while it dried. This particular adhesive dries like glue. Others are activated by heat so you would need to iron everything while it's all still loose. Doable but easier with an extra set of hands. There's room for improvement but this method does have some potential. From the pix I can see that the hem will need a lot more ironing. On the light colored fabric the adhesive stained a little but I will be dyeing the sails light brown with some walnut crystals so I don't think this is a problem. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to bend the sails around and see how well it all holds up.
  5. Tiny Hem in Sails

    Maybe clear nail polish? I feel like I need to give sewing a try. This post (method # 2) looks like it wouldn't be too difficult. Sort of looks like something us ship builders would come up with. Pretty smart. I have to give the sewers out there some credit I'll get the hem adhesive ready though.
  6. Tiny Hem in Sails

    Jack - do you do a single fold or double fold for the hem? Just asking because it appears the double will give the hem a nice inside edge that won't fray. Of course that means you have to do the tiny fold over twice but it looks a lot better and there's no trimming required after sewing.
  7. I'm in double trouble here. First off, I don't know how to use a sewing machine, although I do own one. I'll have to work that one out on my own. That's what Google is for right? Secondly, for the restoration project I am working on I have decided it needs new sails. Looking at the current sails, they have a a very thin hem <1/8" all the way around and inside most of the hems is either a rope or piece of wire. So I am looking for suggestions for sewing this tiny hem. Google has a few options but I thought I ask here since I know I can't be the only person that has had to do this.
  8. Hey Richard - Niagara had a short crew. Partly from the area, just not a lot to pick from, draft, borrow, etc. Commodore Perry was fortunate to be loaned quite a few men from the army although they were not familiar with many of the tasks required onboard a ship. Real seamen were not interested in crewing because the opportunity for prizes on a lake was almost nil. And then there was the competition with Chauncey on Lake Ontario who had a fleet of his own he needed to man. It was thought that a rolled hammock might slow down a musket ball - I have my doubts except maybe at long range. They were also supposed to absorb splinters as the boats took hits. I suspect it was also the fact that a doubled over hammock added about 3' in height to the rails. This might help conceal the gunners from marine snipers on the enemy boats. It could also keep a gun crew from seeing over the rail and realizing the situation - reducing distraction. You know there are several ways hammocks were stashed on the rails. I honestly don't know if my representation is legit. Most of the time they are shown with a canvas cover wrapped around them. Most likely this is how they were kept on ocean going vessels to keep them dry. This method is also easier to model. You don't have to roll all the hammocks. Just roll your canvas cover into a tube with some cotton or other stuffing inside and put the tube on the rail. I tried a few prototypes like that but they didn't do a lot for me. I ended up going individual because I thought it looked better and again because lake sailing was different than ocean sailing (and not well documented) I figured I could get away with it. Good luck
  9. Ken - I like your idea of not using screws. I've already had to attach and unattach the stand several times, each time puts the boat at risk and opens the hole a bit, weakening the whole assembly.
  10. Hello Richard and thank you. Honestly, I was short by quite a bit. I have about 140 on the rail. Full crew would have been about 170 although they were at 135 if memory serves. And then each sailor was supposed to have 2. We have found that protocol for sailing the lakes was different than for ocean voyages. Given there was only 2 decks where did they sleep? Hammocks are usually hung on the beams under the decks. It's possible there was not enough room on Niagara for the usual sleeping shifts. In many cases gun crews on the ocean slept by their gun, their hammock hanging from the beams above it. If Niagara's gun crews slept by their gun, they'd be out on the main deck. So the bottom line is, I measured off some space on the hand rails and filled that space with hammocks. I will say the hammocks are to scale - 6'x3'. Rolling those suckers was a real chore.
  11. Decided on the brute force approach and dived right in. That may have been the tensest few moments of the build
  12. Good point Richard - I'll need to look around for some place I can get the masts horizontal to drill. Chazz - They are drywall screws, but as you suggest I may go look for some a little thinner. With the ones I have I'd have to drill starter holes just about as wide as the keel. Don't like that. Of course ME has probably sold thousands of these fittings with the screw. I'm sure we would have heard by now if they had problems.
  13. I guess this can fit into this forum. I'm about finished with Niagara. This is the first kit that did not come with a stand. So I bought a slab of walnut and a couple of those brass, I think they call them pedestals from Model Expo. Notched on one end so the keel will fit in, which it does - snugly. Then there's a screw that goes up thru the walnut, thru the pedestal and into the keel. The screw is almost as wide as the keel and I have concerns the keel might split when I tighten up the screw. I'll definitely be drilling starter holes in the keel but they can't be too big or the screw won't get enough bite and the boat won't sit steady. Any DO's or DON'Ts when working with these pieces? Am I worrying about nothing?
  14. I started this post thinking it would be a few questions and that would be the end of it. It looks like this is going to turn into a major project and there seems to be some interest in the topic. Was considering having the thread moved to a different forum more fitting of the intention. Maybe one of the build forums? Any other suggestions?