Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower


  • Birthday 12/25/1949

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Madison, WI
  • Interests
    Previously an avid golfer, swimmer, woodworker, and modeler. Since 2011 restricted to modeling/woodworking in wheelchair.

Profile Fields

  • Full NRG Member?
    MSW Member

Recent Profile Visitors

1,380 profile views


    As your ships are quite unusual, where do you find all the basic drawings of the ship and all of the deck and rigging details? For years, I have tried to find basic hull drawings of the current great lakes schooner Denis Sullivan, but even the architects can't come up with the body lines for the hull. (All of the other drawings, but not those.) I don't know if it is some copy-write thing or what. Since I had intended to construct a 3/16" scale model of it, I am at somewhat of a loss of how to even begin. The ship is currently still in use, but I doubt that I could measure up the under water portion from my wheel chair.

    Mailbox First-aid

    The following post covers three days of work. Wednesday, I went out to the temporary mailbox and removed the wood facing from the metal door so I could install it on the new one. Unfortunately, this left my temporary box without a handle. I thought that the mailman might be somewhat upset with that as I still had more work to do before putting the new mailbox out. I dug up an old cabinet door pull from my garage, and using a small block of plywood for backing, screwed the pull onto the temporary box. It’s quite a homely sight I know, but good enough for now. The metal latch handle was removed from the new metal box door and I drilled four holes for mounting the wood facing. Here are photos of the front and back of the removed wood facing for the metal mailbox door. The facing was clamped to the door and the four new mounting holes were marked on the back side of the facing. I also marked two additional holes for mounting the door latch. Just to be sure that I didn’t drill right thru the facing; I took the door to my drill press where I could use its depth stop, and drilled the six holes for the 3/4" pan head sheet metal screws. The facing was given two coats of stain, inside and out, and screwed together. Here is the mailbox shown below at this point. On Saturday I re-bored the hole thru the post for a new 3/8” lag screw, slipped the cross beam into place and tapped the end of the lag screw to mark the location of the hole in the cross beam. The joint was then unassembled and a long 5/16” drill was used to bore the hole for the 8” long lag screw into the end of the cross beam. Reassembling the joint once again, the lag screw was installed with a washer and drawn up tight as shown here. Flipping the post up, here is the post and cross beam assembly. A ¾” wood plug was cut and driven into the post (Not glued, just in case.) to cover the lag screw. The post/cross beam joint was planed down flush and a pilot hole was drilled at an angle into both sides of the cross beam into the support knee for some 3” square drive screws. I counter bored holes for some dowel plugs, drove the screws home, installed the plugs, and cut off flush as shown here. To make the trim base to cover the half lap joint, I ripped down some 1 ¾” thick rough red cedar into four 5 ¾” wide slabs about 12” long. I beveled one end of each piece at 30 degrees for the top ends. I also beveled the left corner of the tops of each one to allow the bevel to turn the corner when assembled. All of these pieces were given two coats of stain over the entire piece as shown below. I clamped the four pieces around a scrap piece of post to check the fit and drill two 1/8” pilot holes on the left edge of each one and slightly into the mating edge. Taking the each piece to my drill press, I finished drilling the pilot holes into the mating edges for 3” square drive screws. I enlarged the pilot holes in the faces slightly to make clearance holes for the screws. I used a ½” spade bit to make the holes large enough to install some dowel plugs into the faces to cover the screws later. Two pairs of base trim were then screwed together and had the plugs driven in and trimmed as shown here. Now with screws set into the remaining holes and left slightly protruding to act as locating pins, the assembly can be set around the bottom of the post, slid into place, screwed together, have the plugs installed, and the stain touched up. I plan to set another screw thru the base into the post to tie it together. The base will appear as shown below when completed. After much fun by me and a neighbors’ son on Sunday removing the temporary post and enlarging the hole for the new one, we managed to get most of it installed. My helper had to leave for his to return to classes at UW Whitewater, but he had done most of the heavy work putting it in, so I thought I could handle the rest myself. I set the base for the box plate with the heavy screws onto the cross beam. Then I set the box onto the base and had to screw the box down onto it. Unfortunately, my power driver couldn’t fit inside the box, so I had to try screwing it down by hand with this tool. The ones on the left side went in fairly easily, even though I was forced to reach in from the curb which was as close as I could get to it in my wheelchair. However, doing the ones on the right side required me to do it left handed. It took quite a while with much frustration (not to mention some colorful language) to get the front screw down! The screw in the back corner is beyond me, so I have to wait for my helper to return, as he is a lefty and can reach a lot farther. The base will also have to wait as I won’t be able to even come close to reaching down far enough to drive the screws! So, for now this photo shown below is as far as I can go right now until my assistant comes home for the weekend in two weeks.

    Mailbox First-aid

    I finally got back to the project as working with all the large and heavy timbers was starting to take a bit of a physical toll on me. I find that when doing heavier work, I am unaware of the strain at the time, but pay for it a day or two after. Having to use my upper body so much, makes transferring in and out of my chair just that much more of a strain. Oh well, so much for excuses, back to the project. The half lap joint to the treated 4x6 was reinforced with four 4” long 5/16” carriage bolts. The fact that the width of the two pieces to be joined didn’t match forced me to lay them both flat on one side on my radial arm saw table and clamp them together. I just left the difference go on the top as the joint would be hidden later anyway. I bored the holes in the pattern shown below to make the correct alignment easier to remember when put back together later. I bored 13/32” bolt clearance holes thru one piece and a bit into the other. (I didn’t have bits long enough to go thru both at once.) Once unclamped, I finished the boring the holes thru the other piece. Both pieces were then counter bored with a ½” spade bit. The 4x6 was bored just deep enough for the bolt head to fit flush and the post was bored deep enough to allow the washer and nut to also fit flush. Having finished machining the 4x6, it was given two coats of stain, as although not visible when done, it had been cut and thus needed a sealant below grade. The bored holes were also sealed with stain. That’s enough for one evenings work, be back soon.

    Wood Ship Kits for Kids

    A simplified version to be sure, but something that young children would really be proud of when they are are done. A very good subject mater to pique their interest.


    I love your subject mater, small unusual ships that model manufacturers overlook.
  6. Keith, don't forget your camera! Lots of us interested here will not be able to attend, but would certainly want to see photos.

    szalupa 7.jpg

    Very impressive work here. I do have a couple questions concerning the oars. One concerns the length of those oars. While I have never had to row a boat, it seems that the rower has a very small amount of leverage on such long oars. Seems like they would tire very quickly. I notice that only the oar at the stern has some rope wrapping. What is the function of the wrapping and why just one oar? I have a hard time imagining that all those men that were set adrift after the mutiny could even fit in such a small craft without floundering. The water must have come nearly up to the cap rail!
  8. These are somewhat confusing news items. How did they ever go to print with these? I wonder if they can even remember what the issue was! Were they WMD's ? According to ME's they have lots to say. Well, what are all of the bugs without wings doing? No lie? Are they talking politics or something else? Obviously the guy is a genius! Did they think that maybe they were just playing possum? Improvement? What, no treasure chest? Who was treating the patients before this? Define teen! Did they just mime the songs for them? As opposed to being dead before she died? Well I guess that just stinks, doesn't it!

    The "What have you done today?" thread.

    That wood certainly has some beautiful grain with that finish to highlight it so well!

    Seen any strange signs lately?

    Time for some new entries. These were signs outside of a community center in Indian Hills Colorado. And now my favorite:

    The "What have you done today?" thread.

    Well, try as we may, bad karma has really zeroed in on us now. Spent last four days at our place in Door County which was quite cool but sunny. Saturday night we turned on the heat to warm up a bit. (temp. in 50's overnight) During the night, we both seemed chilled, (even though the heat was set at 69) and found that although the heat was running, cold air was all we could get from the vents. I went out to check the unit to see what was up. Finding nothing obvious wrong with it, we placed a call to our heating company and left a message to call us back on Monday and just used the gas fireplace to warm us till then. Long story short, our unit had major corrosion inside and a safety switch had disabled the unit and cut off the LP gas supply. (Thank goodness for that anyway.) Scratch one combination heat/cool heat pump! Got a quote for new unit at about six grand! While all of these problems might be considered normal over the course of time, the fact that they happen in such rapid succession is what really makes it had to deal with. By the way the dishwasher needed a new drain pump as the old one burned out. (Dispite the three filter systems that stuff had to get thru to get to the pump.) Oh well. what's another $250 anyway?


    I agree with that, seeing the ship in its natural element is one of the best ways to view a ship. (After all, it's how most sailors would see ships.) Towing the ships boat is also a real nice touch. The ship and ships boat are also well done.

    MONTAÑES by montanes

    I just came across your posting #378. That's a very precise technique Amalio, for doing essentially perfectly fitting joints! As they say: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Your pictorial method of showing your method is just a perfect example of that saying. "It should be in a how-to book for modelers.

    Mailbox First-aid

    First things first, I found out that I forgot about filling four holes on the front side of the post as I was finishing up last night. (I guess one shouldn’t write up your post before you finish what you’re doing!) Unfortunately, I had already used up all of my filler so I had to use a different method of filling these additional holes. I reached into the dust bin in my table saw and got a good handful of sawdust. I mixed this with some wood glue in a small jar and forced this mix into the holes until they were overfull and spread some more of it around the holes. I checked again to make sure I hadn’t missed any other holes to fill and finally set everything aside to dry overnight. Not a lot of time available today, but made some progress anyway. This morning I scraped away most of the excess filler on the back side of the post and then took my stiff back saw to retexture the surface as I did for the cross beam timber. (It seems odd to be adding texture, rather than making it smooth.) For the holes on the front side I just went right to texturing with the saw and there was no noticeable difference in the methods, so I was satisfied. Here are views of both. I put a second coat of stain on the cross beam timber and the first coat on the base for the box, the post and the pin for the flag. (That’s that little item on the base.) I have just enough time to log this into my post. (I checked just to be sure that I didn’t miss something else before I posted!)
  15. While we don't get the amount of rain that some places get, we certainly have gotten more than our normal share. The average rainfall for the whole month of August is just 4.33". We were almost up to 4" before the 20 th, but suddenly we got 14" in two days. That's 18" for the month, but since then we have averaged about 2" a day. (that's including two days with no rain) So that's what, 38" total for the month? I guess that's more than our fair share. It was really pouring again today with 3 3/4" in our gauge. Thankfully the forecast is calling for a week of no rain. However the flood warnings are still in effect since the majority of the state has also been above average and most of that water in the rivers is still headed our way!

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research