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    Ontario, Canada
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    Skiing, weaving, physics.

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  1. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    To summarize my experience: Ratliner was slower and used more ratline rope than OnShip. While the actual rattling is very similar in both methods I had more trouble getting the knots on the OnShip method to be as firm and to stay snug until the dilute glue was applied. Here the Ratliner seems to help me. The mounting of the shroud units on the main mast was not difficult. Alternating between port and starboard loops as they were placed over the mast did not create any problem. I did not have any problem with the shape of the ratlines as I tightened the shrouds individually. I made an error in mounting the starboard shroud unit and put it on backwards. When I discovered it I determined that from an appearance perspective was fine so I have not corrected that mistake. A second problem exists with the the port shroud unit. For reasons I have not "sussed out" the ratlines are not parallel with the top rail. I might perform a redo at some point but it is not the worst mistake in the build! Overall I'm happy with the tool. I can imagine doing fine without it and if time were of the essence then ratline OnShip would be OK as well. The use of the Ratliner is likely my choice for my next ratline task because I found the ergonomics better and I appreciated the ease of clove hitching when the end(s) are held on the frame rather than loose. Trying to get a thirdhand positioned near the shrouds in the OnShip method does not appeal to me. One very simple modification I have made is to add a guid to the frame for holding the white card behind the rattling area.
  2. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    The trial run is over. The shrouds are installed. The foremast shrouds were already on the ship so I did the rattling OnShip. The main mast shrouds were rattled on the Ratliner and then the port snd starboard units were mounted and the deadeyes stropped and then reeved.
  3. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Possibly true but I'm going to finish up and see if I like the results of one approach vs the other. I would imagine anyone who has successfully done the rattling of a model will not find a use for the Ratliner - however those of us who are starting out, those who find the ergonomics of the process OnShip quite tiring, or those who have had trouble rattling their models OnShip for other reasons (maybe a bit clumsy like me?) may find the device a help. I still haven't finished my starboard shrouds so it'll be a while 'til I can mount them and finish my trial.
  4. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    We better be careful or we'll end up designing a model ship - from the ratlines out!
  5. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Pav, If we’re blue-skying a modified jig then I’d ask for a second side -like the current side - hinged at the top so you could set up for both port and starboard shrouds at the same time. That would allow the Singleton shroud to be mounted in the “approved” manner and also have all the shroud pairs alternating port and starboard. I’d also like some clever jam cleat arrangement for the end of the ratlines so it was quicker to attach them to the frame. If possible I’d prefer the sides of the frames to be angled in at the top so that the lines for the ratlines could be shorter - less wasted rope. I’d like some mechanism to allow the upper deadeyes to be attached to the shrouds while still on the jig. I’d like it to be cherry instead of MDF, and offered at the same price!
  6. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Advice to purchasers:
  7. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Ratliner Review Spacing of lines Ratliner: 1:64 Ratliner spacing is 1/4” corresponding to 16” on real shrouds OnShip: any spacing desired. Usually a template is placed behind shrouds with spacing lines drawn on it. Rattling process both methods are very similar in terms of knotting process. Skill in one is transferrable to the other. Speed I found Ratliner took about twice as long because the tie up to the frame takes some time that isn’t required when rattling onShip. I had more re-do’s OnShip than on Ratliner. I can’t compare overall time but expect OnShip is faster. Material usage Ratliner lines are all the same length as they are attached on each edge of the frame. OnShip lines are just long enough for easy handling . I found that I was using about 3x more line on the Ratliner (15” as opposed to 5”). Since I was using commercial sewing thread for the ratlines this cost difference is insignificant. However if one was purchasing rigging line therefor the ship I’m rigging the ratline cost would be approximately $US16. (just counting the lower shrouds for the main and the foremast assuming 10” waste, 30 lines on each main shrouds and 20 on each foremast shroud. 1000” total waste at $4 for 20’ or 240” from Syren Ship Company). Process and Results Ratliner: I found that because it held the lines under a bit of tension that the knots ended up be tight and did not open up at all. Leveling the ratline was very easy due to the ruled lines and the holes that hold the lines to the frame. It was easy to tie the clove hitches as my tweezers could be inserted between the shroud to pick up the ratline thread for each clovehitch. Working on the frame had pretty good ergonomics - not holding my arms up at mast height on the model. OnShip: I found that the clvvehitch knots at each end of the ratline tended to loosen as they were not under any tension. Also the loose ends could occasionally get in the way. Some of the knots ended up being a bit loose on the middle shrouds as well. Perhaps that was a function of the polyester thread I was using - is cotton better in that regard? Working with the shrouds on the model also seems a bit dodgier just because of the proximity of the desk lamp/magnifier near the masts although I didn’t actually have any incidents. Preliminary Recommendations I liked using the Ratliner - I had a sense of confidence doing the work on the frame. I was disappointed that the time per ratline was 2x that of the OnShip ratlines. I found the skills developed on the Ratliner transferred very well to the OnShip method. Next Steps I have to build the starboard side shrouds and do the rattling of the starboard foremast shrouds before I can mount the shroud units on the mainmast and rigging then to the deadeyes.
  8. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    I haven’t bothered to do the trig on this but I suspect the adjustments would be small enough that the flexibility of the shroud structure would accommodate the adjustment and not be noticeable to the eye. The angle between the shrouds are not rigid and the ratlines aren’t supposed to be straight lines anyways. I gather the challenge in any rattling exercise is to actually get them to droop a bit.
  9. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    As another little test to get a sense of the end product of this approach I took the trial shrouds from above and reeved the shrouds through the bottom deadeyes. Then I weighted each of the shrouds with a clamp. I thought the result was quite OK - recall that this was my 1st trial and that I didn't fuss over the ratlines too much and didn't do ratlines all the way to the top. In addition although I had rigged the starboard shroud on the Ratliner I inadvertently show it here on the port side of the ship. Furthermore I can assure you I have not been at all gentle with the unit as I wanted to see how stable and robust it is. Second test here was to yank quite hard on individual shrouds (without actually breaking my mast!). Here is the 5th shroud yanked down - you can see the distortion in the ratlines. Once released the ratline resumed its original position quite well. I'm satisfied that I can do pretty well using the Ratliner approach so now I'll do a pair of shrouds using it, install them, and then tie ratlines on the fore shrouds already on the model and comment here on the experience and show the results. Back in a couple of days.
  10. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Thanks for that - I've been frustrated with my attempts to make rope coils for a build using carpenters glue - I just thought it was wrong dilution or lack of technique (both of which may still be true). Off to try out white glue!
  11. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Thanks for your comments Ken. So far I find handing the unit off frame is quite easy but I can try the stiffener via diluted glue just to see how it works. Although I haven’t mounted the shrouds and reeved the deadeyes I have tried tugging on individual shrouds to see if the knots slip and ruin the ratlines. They have held fast so I am confident this will work out! A question - is there a diffence in appearance or performance of “white glue” vs carpenters glue - the brownish stuff. I’ve haven’t tried white glue since it messed up the hull of my Prince de Neufchâtel!
  12. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    You may be correct although having handled my 1st trial set I can imagine alternating them by making both port and starboard set and then looping them in turn over the mast. I'll try that on my Bluenose II shrouds and report my experience. I'll also look forward to Ken's comments on the matter.
  13. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Dave, I haven't got that far yet so I can't address your issues. Ken, the creator of the jig, has indicated his success with the approach so the problems may not be so bad. The question of alternating port pair - starboard pair over the mast is an interesting one. Similar to the issue I have with the singleton (odd) shrouds. Historical accuracy may be a gotcha for this approach! For those of use who aren't (yet?) concerned about historical accuracy then this may be a good solution. I'll still reserve judgement at lsat until 3rd impressions.
  14. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    First impression - part 2 (or is it Second impression??) I' have cut my trial shrouds off the Ratliner. It is easy to do and the resulting unit is robust and easy to handle. Once the ratlines were all snipped then I tied off the loops at the topic order to keep them together and organized. Full removed from the frame. At this point I decided to try this shroud set out on my Bluenose II. Since I'd already attached the main topmast I had to unattached it. that turned out to beast (maybe too easy) Then I draped the shroud set over the main mast But horrors - it was way too short. Was I not going to be able to use my new favourite tool???? I dug out the plans and laid the shrouds over the image of the shrouds a little hard to see but it looked OK Even with the extra 1/4 of an inch or so that I needed for the hypotenuse of the shroud-mast triangle I can do this one on the Ratliner - Whew! That's good in theory (i.e. the plans say I can do it but the ship said I was way out). A bit more measurement and I discovered the problem was in the shipyard - the main mast was too long. I can fix that! In summary - so far so good. I'll fix the mast, I'll practice tying knots on the edge the Ratliner until I can do it well, and then I'll make the real shroud unit for my ship. I will adopt Ken's solution for the odd-number of shrouds - I'll set up with 6 shrouds but only tie the rat;ones on 5 of them. Once done I'll snip off the 6th shroud (having made sure to seize the 5th and 6th very firmly at mast top.
  15. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    After measuring on 4 sets on plans for 1:64 scale ships I find the Ratliner will handle Bluenose II, Syren, and Stefano. However, even using the extra inch that Ken mentions then it appears that the Prince de Neufchatel main mast can't be handled without some sort of extension. I measure 11+ inches on the plans and when we give Pythagorus his hypotenuse tax the lenthg of shrouds to the sheer pole line is beyond Ratliner. As you can see in this image of the PdN the main mast is quite long compared with main topmast. I'm glad that the Ratliner will handle 3 out of 4 of my kits.