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  1. Thanks, Dowmer. I agree with you on the sagging of lines, Its really a matter of degree. And, I would like to see them more stable. I do not expect to eliminate the drooping as long as its regular. Ed.
  2. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 316 – Rigging Continued It has been more than a month since the last post, but work has been progressing. Most of it is not too photo-worthy, however. How many pictures of ratlines would be of interest? The last picture in the last post showed the upper yards for the main and mizzen masts with their ironwork completed. In the first picture below, some of these are shown with footropes added. The two on the left are the main royal and skysail yards. The three on the right are the mizzen lower topsail, topgallant and royal. The mizzen upper topsail seems to be AWOL someplace. I have still not made the broken mizzen sky yard. In the next picture the mizzen lower topsail is having a test fit on the mast. In this picture the pivot arm of the mizzen lower yard truss has just been replaced – note the bright copper retaining ring - after the pin through the yoke broke while I was rattling the topmast shrouds. The broken copper wire pin was replaced with stronger brass. This was some tricky work to do in place. Not shown above is the main topgallant yard, which has now been erected and shown in the next picture. The royal sheets that pass through the iron sheet block under the center of this have been run and belayed below. The topgallant clew lines have been coupled to the sheet chains and also belayed. These four lines serve to pull the yard downward. However, I notice in this picture that those lines have relaxed tension on the port upper topsail standing lift, so some adjustment will be needed to straighten that out. This is a normal part of the rigging process and is time consuming. The last two pictures illustrate the problem of humidity changes discussed in some earlier posts. The first picture shows the port main sail bowline as it has gone slack since the weather has turned cold – causing a drop in humidity. These were installed in the early, warmer, more humid fall. The next picture, without moving the camera, was taken less than one minute after wetting the line with clear water. The slack is completely gone. The 3" line is long staple, crochet cotton, size 40. It will sag again when dry. This occurs mainly on long lines, cotton and linen. I am testing treating the lines with some dilute polymer emulsion, either PVA or acrylic, to provide some moisture resistance and minimize this effect. Stay tuned. Ed
  3. Thank you all for these comments and seasons greetings. Andre, if you were able to wade through all the posts, you have my admiration, to say nothing of thanks. Its been a while since the last post, not because I am laying down on the job, but there has not been much interesting to show, unless you want to count ratlines. A couple hours a day "rattling down" is about my limit. I am starting to rig the yards shown in the last post and I will try to get some pictures of those posted soon. Ed
  4. Mark, on Naiad, I photo-etched brass rings on capstans, stove parts, plate knees. I would think gun door hinges, chain plates would be good candidates - if you enjoy photo-etching. I did not, particularly. A bit messy - nasty chemicals. On suggestion I would make - keep the black areas on your masks to a minimum - they eat up the etchant. Forexample, you may wish to add dummy white areas between the crests and whited rectangles into the black areas around the hinges. Ed Ed
  5. Thanks for all these comments on the yards, everyone - and the likes, of course. You get a lot of practice making these on this model. Except for that last mizzen sky yard, all this should now be finished, and along with it the last of the woodwork on the model. That I regret. There something relaxing about shaping wood after fussing with small metal parts and rope. Have a great holiday, everyone. I guess we will re-connect in the new year. Ed
  6. Lovely work on the outer hull details, Paul, and the quarter gallery windows look great -interesting and challenging work with all the crazy angles and curves. Wow, that is some destructive effect on the planking, Paul. I have the same questions as, Druxey. I wonder, did you use dry heat to shape the planks, and then directly install? I know for example if you boil plank for bending and do not let it dry before installing that significant gaps will form - perhaps the opposite effect of what you have experienced? Very peculiar.
  7. Very nice work on tiny pumps, Pat. Also that rigging document is a real find. I look forward to seeing that work. Cheers, Ed
  8. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 315 – More Yard ironwork So, except for a few parral straps and the unfortunate mizzen skysail yard, all the remaining yards are now made and fitted with their ironwork. This post describes the final steps in completing those yards. On the largest yards, the yardarm bands were fit over the arms then drilled for their eyebolts – usually two or three on each. With the smaller yards, this drilling into the wood weakens the yard arm, so prefabricated bands with soldered-in eyebolts were made for these. I believe I described some of the fabrication steps in earlier posts, but the first picture shows one of these being drilled. The first two holes were drilled through, and fitted with a pin to help set the piece in the vise with the side holes horizontal - for drilling the third hole. The copper tube used here was a very tight fit over the arm and was also filed around the outside to reduce its thickness. The next picture shows two eyebolts set into a tube with solder paste applied. After soldering, the bolt excess on the inside was removed out with an abrasive bit and a round file. The tube was then set in the vise to saw off the band. The band is held with pliers to prevent its flying or dropping to the floor when it is parted. Searching for these small, dropped parts is a major annoyance. A better method for this is to insert a length of wire into the tube above the saw blade when it is almost cut through to retain the loose piece. The next, rather poor photo, shows one of the smallest of these bands fit to its yard. This is a tight fit. The sheave in this yard remains to be carved out. The lower, upper topsail, and topgallant yards on the fore and main masts carry studdingsail booms for the top, topgallant and royal studdingsails, respectively. In this final set of yards only the main topgallant required these. The fabrication of the gear was described in an earlier post, but a few pictures of the work on the last of these is shown below. In the first picture the strap that reinforces the yardarm is being filed out of a copper strip. This is then bent to fit around the arm and the legs clipped to size. The bands are then held entirely by tight-fitting rings pushed over the end of the yard. The rings shown were cut from tube, then stretched with the small steel mandrel for a tight fit. The next picture of an earlier yard shows the band assembly and the other boom gear. The main topgallant yard with all it major ironwork is shown in the next picture. At this stage the jackstay stanchions – 28 gauge twisted copper wire eyes – were pushed into the holes previously drilled in the yards. The tightness of the fit in the .024" holes has proved sufficient, except on the small diameter yards where some additional holding power is needed. To avoid interfering with blackening, no glue has been used on the yards. The next picture shows the stanchions on a small yard pushed through, clipped off, and then peened on the underside. In this step the pliers hold the eye of the stanchion and act as an anvil for the light tapping of the hammer. No, this is not how the mizzen skysail yard was broken. With these installed, the ironwork on the yards was blackened and the remaining minor fittings added. The final set of yards is shown in the next picture. The ironwork was blackened with liver of sulfur solution brushed liberally over the yard, followed by progressive rinsing under a cold water tap. When thoroughly dry, the blackened brass jackstays were pushed through the stanchions. Other inserted eyes and the sheet blocks were then glued in with CA and a light final finish of wipe-on polyurethane applied over wood and metal. In the picture the lower three yards are the main topgallant, royal and skysail yards. Those above are the mizzen yards from the upper topsail to the royal. These yards are now ready to be rigged and mounted. Ed
  9. I never use emoticons, Druxey, but I attempted it to show my comment on the likes was in jest - a wink and a smile. All sympathy is appreciated - humor helps as well. Tom, I dug up a photo showing the octagonal mandrel. When using this to stretch an octagonal ring, the octagon should be formed on the mandrel before stretching. Except for the piece on the left, these are all hard maple. If I anticipated many more years of modeling, I would make these in brass, or perhaps just a harder wood, like box. Also, the tapers need to be very gradual. The diameter of the 12" long octagonal mandrel goes from about 3/32" to 3/8" at the large end. The large one on the right was used for mast rings.
  10. Thank you Piet and Tom, and thanks to the 10 who have "liked" the picture of my broken yard 😉😊. Tom, I have used three different methods to solve the problem of getting a round band to fit tightly over the octagon at the center of the yard. The first is just to push it over and flatten the sides when it is in place, but if very tight, the band may shave the neat corners off to some degree. Another method is to use small pliers to shape one end of the band then push it over and finish the shaping when it is in place. In both these methods the band may fit somewhat loosely, allowing it to move, but these central bands usually have top and bottom eyebolts that will keep the band in place. The best method is to use a tapered, octagonal mandrel - easily made from hardwood like the round one, using the methods for shaping spars. This is a good way to practice shaping regular octagons and once made will make the central banding problem much easier. I adopted this method late in the process - to my regret. I will look for a picture. Ed
  11. Thanks to everyone who has reacted or commented on the post. Let me address the questions: Dowmer, I use silver-soldering, exclusively, for the copper and brass work on the model. This is a high temperature process with flow temperatures in the 1200F to 1450F range, depending on the composition, primarily the silver content, of the solder. It is really brazing. I use a butane or propane torch - necessary for these temperatures. I use a low silver, phosphorus copper solder (1325F) for most of my work, mainly because it blackens consistently with the copper using liver of sulfur solution. The solder I use comes in a syringe of paste that includes solder and flux. Very small amounts may be dispensed and placed accurately. Here is a link to my supplier: https://contenti.com/jewelry-soldering-supplies/solder/phos-copper-solder-paste There are some other descriptions of the methods I have used in earlier posts and the books go into considerable detail on how to do this - at least how I do it. There are some rules of thumb: Joints must be in contact, silver-solder does not fill voids like soft solder. Heat control is important - small parts can be incinerated. Surfaces must be clean. Post pickling and buffing is necessary. There is more, of course. It is a process and there is a learning curve - but it is easily ascended with some practice Wefalck, the mizzen skysail yard is 5.5" at the center and 2.2" at the yard arm (~.075" and~.03" or ~2mm and ~1mm) at 1:72), so it is quite small. Fortunately it is not sheaved for sheets at the arms, but it is drilled (.024")for jackstay stanchions (28 gauge copper twisted eyes) and at the center for a sling eyebolt. The first one fractured as I was peening the underside of an outer stanchion to secure it in its through-hole in the yard. Risky. The second one broke as I was bending the strip for the central band around it. Again risky - and unnecessary. Photo below. I had no problem making these yards from Castello and I believe with care they would have survived and worked quite well. I expect to make the third, and hopefully final piece, from European boxwood, which is about 1/3 stronger than the tropical Castello substitute. I forsee no problem if I avoid abusing the piece. I am actually more concerned about the pole sections of the long, ie single stick, royal masts. Those are really vulnerable with no supporting rigging. Ed
  12. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 314 – Iron Yard Bands Some of this may repeat similar descriptions of earlier work. Making the ironwork for the yards is the most time consuming part of their fabrication – and much of that work is very repetitive. There are many iron - that is copper - bands to be made and fit to the yards. Most of these are silver-soldered from .005" to .015" copper strip to approximate band thickness ranging from 3/8" to ¾" actual at 1:72 scale. The first picture shows strip for a ¾" thick sling band fit around its yard before soldering. The gap of around 1/32" is intentional, so the band may be stretched after soldering to a tight fit. No glue is used on these. Some are drilled for eyebolts and others for pins if extra strength is needed – for example on studdingsail boom irons. The next picture shows this ring after soldering. The bands has been pushed over the end of a hardwood, tapered mandrel to restore its round shape, stretch it to fit the yard, and for smooth-filing and buffing. Buffing is shown in the next picture. All this work is done on the mandrel to avoid marring or smudging the surface of the yard. Even with this precaution, fitting the bands causes some smudge, so the yards are given a "pre-finish" of wipe-on polyurethane for protection and to facilitate later cleaning. In the next picture the band has been fit to the center of the yard and is being center-punched for later drilling of the sling eyebolt hole. In the next picture the saddle for the parral has been glued to the yard over the band. The saddle will then be shaped and its reinforcing bands and copper bolts fitted where these are specified. Making these bands was described in an earlier post. The next picture shows a small band being enlarged using a steel tapered scriber. The enlargement is done on both sides of the band. The last picture shows a pair of larger yards – mizzen topsail yards – with their bands fitted. The jackstay stanchions have been fitted to the lower topsail yard. The yard arm bands with the eyebolts will be described in the next post. All these steps are proceeding concurrently on all the remaining yards – except for the tiny mizzen skysail yard – which is being replaced for the third time due to breakage and has therefore fallen behind in the work. Ed
  13. Thank you for these comments and likes. My reference for the adapted design of this fitting was - as with many other details - Harold Underhill's book, Masting and Rigging the Clipper Ship and Ocean Carrier. Given that the use this type of truss on Young America was an early application of what became the Howes patent design, there is much uncertainty of the actual configuration. The photos show the yard at the height of the cap, so this is probably a reasonable design. Ed
  14. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 313 – Mizzen Lower Topsail Truss I mentioned in the last post my plan to complete all the remaining spars at one go. That work has been progressing with minimal diversion to other tasks. Shaping all the remaining yards was described in the last post. That work passes quickly – unlike fitting of all the ironwork that is the most time-consuming part of the work on the yards. This post describes an interesting piece of that ironwork found on all three masts - the Howe bracket truss for the lower topsail yard - in this case the last of these, for the mizzen. The truss bracket pivots on a pin through a boss on the lower topmast cap. A horizontal bolt on this bracket engages ears fixed to the central yard band. The truss allows the yard to be rotated around the mast and "topped" to raise one side or the other. Since it is fixed to the mast cap, the yard cannot be raised or lowered, so the lower topsail is set at fixed size and not able to be reefed. The first picture shows copper plates cut for the parts of the sling band – and also the drawing detail for the truss assembly. The larger piece will become the ¾" thick band. The smaller, thicker piece will form the two ears for the bracket bolt. The band was first fitted around the yard, silver-soldered and stretched to fit tightly around the octagonal center of the yard. The method I use for making these copper bands was described in earlier posts and will probably be repeated in one of the next posts. A single U-shaped piece was formed, fit and soldered to the band as shown replaced on the yard in the next picture. Making the ears as a single piece facilitates drilling and alignment of the through-bolt holes. The next picture shows the assembly fitted to a wood strip that will support it for drilling. The diameter of the (5") bracket bolt is being measured in the picture for sizing of the drill bit. This bracket was made earlier with its fore and main counterparts. In the next picture the piece is held in the vise by the wood strip and a smaller pilot hole has been drilled through both sides of the U-bracket. The drill bit has been replaced with the larger final bit. After drilling, the top part of the U-bracket was sawed off with top section joining the two ears held in the vise. The wood strip steadies the work for this step and prevents bending of the ears. The next picture shows the rough truss assembly after removing the excess top piece. In the next picture the ears have been rounded and the truss test fit on the mast. The last step was to add a tight-fitting retaining ring to the end of the bolt and remove the excess length. The final assembly is shown below. After this piece is blackened after the rest of the "ironwork" is added to the yard, a drop of CA will keep the retaining ring from slipping off. The picture also shows the first of the other yard bands added. Ed
  15. EdT

    Lowering Yards

    I am arriving a bit late to this discussion, but I would like to toss out one thought that has not been mentioned. I do not possess any authoritative knowledge on this apart from what I have learned or deduced from rigging of my current model. Except for the lifts, there is no rigging that maintains a square yard in the horizontal position until its sail is set and sheeted, ignoring the lower yards and lower topsail yards on double topsail rigs, which are at permanently fixed heights and are supported at the ends by topping lifts and downhaulers, respectively. On models, upper yards may be held level by bunt and leech lines stopped in their yard blocks, but in practice these would have to be overhauled (loosened) for bending to the sail. The bare yard would thus be free to rotate, constrained only by its mast parral, and would do so when loaded unequally as men worked their way out onto it to bend sail. The standing lifts would maintain the level position of the bare yard when it was completely lowered. This would be essential for men working on the yard to bend sail. After the sail was set, the horizontal position of the raised yard would be maintained by the halyard at the top and the sheets at the lower ends of the sail as it was raised to its set height. When lowering the yard for reefing and furling , it could be maintained fairly stable/level by reef tackle in the first instance and by lowering down on the lifts for furling. This is deduction on my part. Considering that yards are generally bared in port, it would seem logical to have them down on their lifts after unbending and leave them there until sails are bent. Other reasons cited above - reduced upper mast loading/cg as well as reduced stress on the halyards - also seem appropriate. Ed

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