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About grsjax

  • Birthday 03/01/1951

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
  • Interests
    Small boats, Steam Navy

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  1. No specialty paint stores around here that deal with retail customers. Don't really know why the paint dries faster when thinned with alcohol but it does. I think it is maybe that the alcohol simply evaporates faster under conditions here.
  2. Living here on the wet side of the Big Island (Mt. View gets ~200 in/year of rain) I find that water based paints can take a very long time to dry completely. Trying to find a solution I tried using my wife's hair dryer to speed the process up and it worked. Problem was that it took a long time using the hair dryer to get the paint to a satisfactory dry state. Next was trying something other than water as a thinner. I got very good results using 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (drug store rubbing alcohol). Mixed 50/50 with the paint, I was using MSW paints, it made a real difference in the drying time. Otherwise seemed to work fine with no ill effects. I am probably not the first to figure this out but thought someone might find my results interesting.
  3. Banned Kit?

    Ran across a kit by a company called Nidale. Nice looking and very detailed but it looks like a Chinese made kit. Checked the list of banned manufactures and couldn't find the name but thought it a good idea to ask if this is a legit company.
  4. Gunports on schooners

    Some schooners and other small craft used gunport like openings as freeing ports to allow water to quickly leave the deck if they were swamped. Don't know if that was the case during the revolution and war of 1812 but it was certainly done later than that.
  5. Model Shipways skipjack "Willie Bennett" is an excellent choice if a work boat appeals to you. 1/32 scale, straight forward construction, simple rigging and excellent drawings and instructions. Builds into a really nice model.
  6. Possible ebony substitute

    Actually any wood will glue well if the right glue is used and the wood is properly preped.
  7. Billings Boats Dutch Schouw

    Hi Jan Model looks great. I wish my first attempts has turned out so well.
  8. Possible ebony substitute

    If you want to stick with wood rather than a non-wood substitute you might try soaking basswood in carbon black water color. The stuff I have is Hydrus Fine Art watercolor 11H carbon black. It comes in a small bottle with an eye dropper. Gives a deep black color to the basswood. To give it the slight glossiness of ebony I use a light coat of clear gloss sealer over the color. Looks pretty good, is cheap, is easy to work and has no health issues to worry about. I have tried various ebony stains and different types of black paint but none of them are as good as the carbon black watercolor paint.
  9. I am building (or attempting to) my first ship-in-a-bottle and needed some clear sealer. I was out but my wife offered me a bottle of clear nail polish. I was surprised at how well it worked. As an added bonus the built in brush worked great for spreading the nail polish. Don't know how well it would work for larger areas but for my tiny ship-in-a-bottle boat it works just fine.
  10. Billings Boats Dutch Schouw

    Looking forward to seeing it.
  11. Billings Boats Dutch Schouw

    Hi Jan Yes that is the one. I haven't tried bending the planks yet but plan on soaking them in warm water and drying them with a large book on top to help with the brittleness. Don't know if that will work but it is worth a try. Can you post some pictures of your model?
  12. Billings Boats Dutch Schouw

    Hi Peter Nice build log. The zeeschouw looks like it has a hull form similar to the schouw but otherwise is different. The schouw is an open boat with less rise of the sheer at the bow and I think less beam to length. I seem to remember reading on one of the websites I visited that the zeeschouw was a later development of the original schouw designed for use in open water.
  13. I picked up this model recently. Box was pretty well trashed but all the pieces appear to be there. This is one of Billings' older offerings as the parts are just printed on the wood, not even die cut. My question is has anyone built this model? Is there a build log on the web somewhere? I did an internet and MSW forum search but there isn't much beyond a few pictures of completed models boats that have been converted to pleasure use. One thing that struck me is the resemblance to one shown in Chappell's book "American Small Sailing Craft".
  14. Poplar for modeling

    Poplar is an excellent wood for modeling. Low cost, fairly hard (harder than basswood but not as hard as good quality soft maple) but easy to work. turns, carves, saws and drills well. Takes paint, stain and glue with no trouble. Don't know about steam bending as I haven't done any with poplar. If you can check the piece for hardness as there is some variation, get the hardest piece available with no or very few knots or other defects. Wonder why kit manufactures don't use poplar instead of basswood.