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About wefalck

  • Birthday 05/01/1956

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  • Location
    Paris, France
  • Interests
    19th shipbuilding and naval history, indigeneous boats and their history

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  1. Color of ratlines

    You are probably talking of Stockholm Tar, which is obtained from resinous trees and has various shades of brown. Since the middle of the 19th century more and more tar as residue from coking hard coal - to obtain gas for illumination and to make coke for steel-making, became available in large quantities. This tar is black in concentrated form and dark brown in thinnish layers. So one needs to make distinctions for different historic periods. However, this has been discussed repeatedly already on this forum. In general, I think the ratlines might be lighter in colour, as their material may have been treated only during the manufacture, but not after installation.
  2. Rat line tension tool

    You are right in principle, but achieving a uniform catenary as it were for all the shrouds, stays and back stays would be difficult to achieve. In practical terms I would go for uniform straight standing rigging. If you don’t get the catenary right, the model will look messy and poorly executed.
  3. ... that was exactly my thought, when I started reading the thread. The nearest dealer for Slovenia would be CoolTool in Mödling near Vienna (www.thecooltool.com). I did have some dealings with them during my time in Vienna actually. I was surprised to learn, however, that Sherline doesn't mind shipping directly and I bought from them back at a time, when I was an international civil servant and didn't need to pay import duties. The latter is a serious consideration when ordering in the US. Plus, the US Postal Office changed their shipping plans a few years ago and abandoned the cheaper 'surface' mail - which was good value, if you had the patience to wait for your parcel for up to three months. P.S. The CoolTool guys call the Sherline mill UniMill and the lathe UniTurn ...
  4. Color of ratlines

    The truth may be, as so often, somewhere in the middle. I gather ratlines typically would have been made from material heavily soaked with tar during the making - as pointed out above. So they would be of some greyish-brownish colour, given also the weathering and salt deposits. I would try to avoid too stark contrast to the rest of the standing rigging and blend them somewhat in. The same applies to the running rigging, I think the contrast to the standing rigging should not be too stark. The smaller the scale, the less contrast I would go for.
  5. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Question: how did you actually tie your knots ? I use tweezers in each hand and start from the middle, not from the forward or rear shroud. This reduces the risk of pulling the shrouds together. If a piece of cardboard with the shroud/ratline layout behind the shrouds is not enough as guidance, you may think of several strips of cardboard with notches in the distance of shrouds distributed along the shrouds as spacers. This prevents them from being pulled together. If your knots don't stay tight, you probably used the wrong or too thick material for the ratlines. Actually looking at your pictures, I think this is the problem. The ratlines are much, much thinner than the shrouds. In real life they may have perhaps a diameter of 1 cm or so. In real life as on the model: a thinner line holds better on the shroud, but it cannot be too thin, otherwise it would cut too much into the (bare) feet of the sailors and of course it has to carry their weight.
  6. With the information as indicated by mtaylor you can go into tables of rigging proportions that have been published since about the middle of the 18th century. We can then point you to a book from the apropriate period that will give you the size of ropes from which one can deduct the lengths of blocks and hence their other dimensions.
  7. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Gee ... you could be already finished with the rattling-down without this gadget, just using a piece of cardboard behind the already installed shrouds on which you have drawn lines with the distance of the ratlines ...
  8. I think the closet is a very neat idea ! I had been thinking along these lines too before I got into serious machining and outgrew a closet - may be a row of closets would still work ...
  9. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Having read through the posts, I still don’t really see the advantage of this jig over doing it prototype-fashion on the model. I could foresee a lot of fiddling an pulling in order to get the assembly into the right shape at the right place. For stabilising things I would rather use clear varnish than wood glue, as it allows to correct errors with a drop of solvent.
  10. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    I think the challenge will be to transfer the assembly to the model ...
  11. Well, that's a good question ... they organised a 'stakeholder' survey last year and the AAMM also provide input (through a survey among members) and keep an eye on things. The bad news is that the museum involves a specialised consulting firm in designing the new concept, that good news is that it is run by the navy with a naval officer in charge - who tend to be a bit more 'conservative' in these respects and more attached to the 'tangible' naval heritage. The navy also provides the funding for the running, making the museum less dependent on entrance fees, while the Ministry for Culture and Education actually coughed up several million Euro for the refurbishment. The AAMM has an advisory role and has pointed out the importance of drawing on the 'tangible' maritime heritage preserved in the museum, i.e. to really present the models etc. A not so good news (from the user perspective) is that the library and plans archives moved to the margins of Paris, making them less easy to access (if you are living on the opposite of town), when they where right in the middle of Paris. I gues from a conservation point of view they got better facilities there.
  12. The Musée de la Marine has closed last March for refurbishment. Re-opening will be in about 2020 ...
  13. Rather than bakelite (which is phenolic resin filled with wood flour and which is essentially isotropic) I received ‘Novotext’ rods. Novotext is a composite of phenolic resin and cotton fabric. This is bad and good news. The bad news is that its temperature resistance is lower than that of bakelite and, hence, the clamps cannot be used for soldering as originally envisaged. The good news is that Novotext is much less brittle and more elastic than bakelite because the cotton fabric takes up the strain, as does the steel in re-enforced concrete. The material mill and turns well, and you can cut threads in it. So the design is the same as that for the metal clamps. In the end I got some nice clamps out of it, nicer than the wooden ones I attempted. Third hand with made from ‘Novotext’. Some people asked me about the construction details and below you find an ‘exploded diagram’ of the tool. Third hand ‘exploded’
  14. Model Shipway Ratline tool

    Not having used the tool/product in question, I am not in a position to comment on its utility. However, I would prefer to work 'in situ', that is having the shrouds set up properly before starting 'rattling out'. I would find it difficult and too nerve-wrecking to transfer the net, that is effectively constructed, onto the model without some distortions occurring. In practice, I drew the layout of the shrouds and ratlines on a piece of card that is inserted behind the shrouds. It's then like working on a drawing and you will see any pulling-in of the shrouds and uneven spacing of the ralines immediately. Don't fix the knots until you are finished completely so that you can adjust things if still needed.
  15. Personally, I would not put a collet-block into a lathe-chuck. If you are looking for something to hold smaller diameter stuff and can't exchange the 3-jaw-chuck on the lathe with a collet-chuck, or if you lathe spindle doesn't have a taper to take in collets, I would use a round collet-holder like this one seen in a random ebay-offer: There are literally dozens of offers. They are too long to be taken into a 3-jaw-chuck, but you can shorten them using an abrasive disk or even on the lathe itself with a carbide cut-off tool. They start from ER8 collets upwards and cost from 6€ upwards. Another option would be to fashion the blocks oneself from square or hexgonal stock. The threaded clamping nut is a bit special inside and is best bought in.