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  1. Bil Crothers passed away in the spring of 2015. His last book was The Masting of American Merchant Sail in the 1850's, published in 2014. American Built Packets and Freighters was published in 2013. Ed
  2. It feels exactly like that, Bob - a big white elephant. Ed
  3. Hi Bob, The cross-section drawings show the 48" x 16" side chocks extending to the floor timbers. With the 10" wide limber channel, this requires notching of the limber strakes to allow the chocks to penetrate. This was the basis of the design I adopted and the way I did it, so my suggestion is to construct it as shown on the cross-sections - see Cross-section at 12 for the main mast step, at Q for the fore, and 32 for the mizzen, and of course, the step drawing.. All show the chocks extending to the frames and the knees on top of the planking. I did not detail required cutouts in the limber planks. Now, having said that, I acknowledge that the design of the steps, as with many other undocumented designs, is my interpretation of a commonly used step. The side chocks could easily be cut off at the height of the planks, but I felt that basing them on the frames would be more robust. Keep in mind that on these ships the drainage channel was below the frames, as described elsewhere in the book, so the channel above the frames did not need to allow open flow. It was mainly used (very infrequently I would guess) to flush or unclog the channel below. Ed
  4. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 203 – Dust Case The dust case mentioned earlier was completed this morning. The first picture shows the framing of the case after the initial paper covering was removed. As I mentioned earlier, the framing was made from scrap, so it is not fine furniture. It is meant to be an inconspicuous part of the project – to keep dust out and allow me to take pictures of the rigging without having to drag out backdrops. Both sides are easily removable. The top is Plexiglas® sheet to pass light from the fixtures above. Six screws at the base permit the entire case to disappear. For those who offered suggestions on covering material, thanks again. I went with Elmer's white foam board, which is what I used on the previous Victory case. It is glued to the frames with water-based contact cement. The next picture shows the port panel covered with the board. The panel is covered with two 30x40 sheets. You may just make out the center seam. Finally, in the next picture, the completed case, with the starboard panel removed. The case is certainly a major presence in the shop. Now back to the model work. Ed
  5. Hi Mike. Comments and my replies might be confusing. I am going to use foam board, 1/4" Elmer's white, which is what I used on the Victory dust case about 10 years ago. I do not want to use slotted frames this time because I don't want the frames to be visible inside - no inside fasteners either - so the foam board will be glued to the insides of the frames in a way to minimize showing corners and joints. I should have this done in a few days and will show some pics. Ed
  6. I did not consider sheet styrene, Andy. Interesting suggestion. Thanks. Ed
  7. Interesting framing, Frank. I can easily appreciate the strength problems with this design, but you seem to be conquering them. Nice work. Ed
  8. Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Fabric seems a logical choice. I did not consider this because I did not want the weave as a photo backdrop. I take so many pictures for the blog and the books that I do not want to tinker with getting the backdrop out of focus on each shot. I take almost all at maximum depth of field. Also, fabric collects dust and is not impervious to fine sanding dust that is ever present in my combination shipyard/woodworking shop. The corners need to be inconspicuous , but the side panels must be easily removable to work on the model, so wrapping clothing over the inside corners won't work. The idea I had for paper corners did not work as well as I had hoped. Fabric must also be stretched to avoid wrinkles, so the frames would need to be heavier to keep straight and seal at the sides. I used foam board for the Victory case, which, unfortunately is too small for this model. It is durable, can easily be wiped down, can be fit tightly at the corners, and, I hope, the center seams on the large (60" x 38") side panels can be masked in some way. So, I always had a solution, but thought I could go cheap with that large roll of paper on hand. Never works. I also confess to perhaps overthinking the problem - something I'm good at. Ed
  9. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 202 – More of the same - Tops Seeing pictures of Young America's tops may be getting tedious, but repetition is the soul of ship modeling, so I will show some more. There is not much else to do at this stage. First are the six mizzen top deadeyes, almost ready to be installed. These are 8" (~.11" in diameter) – not the smallest. There are some 6". These were dyed, finished with Tung oil, and then drilled. This keeps the heavy soak in oil from clogging holes. In the picture they have just dried after dipping in LOS with their straps attached. They will get a light buffing with Tung before being fitted. I've tried different sequences. This seems to be the best. The next picture shows these - after some more finishing - installed in the rim of the top. The top and mast head have been trimmed out with bands, eyebolts, topmast fid plates, and chafing battens. The next picture is a view from astern. And finally, the full lower mast from above. The next picture shows the foretop with the roughed-out mast cap fitted. These are coming up on the agenda. They have some interesting ironwork for the lower topsail yard fittings and for the lower yard topping lift block fastenings. All is at a bit of a standstill however, as the shipyard has become a woodworking shop for a few days as may be seen below. These are the frames for the dust case mentioned in an earlier post. It will also serve as an ever-present photo background for the rigging work. Its turning into one of those projects that lasts, because of trying to do it on the cheap. The wood is scrap from my collection – not a problem – but the plan was to use less expensive photo background paper over it, instead of the foam board I used on Victory – until one newly papered frame got punctured leaning against a not-too-sharp corner and a floor broom tipped over and fell through one. Foam board is on order ($50). Stay tuned. Ed
  10. Thanks, E&T and others for the likes, Bob, you are more scientific than I am. I put about 1/8" of water in a small plastic bathroom cup, dip a small brush in LOS gel, and then stir it around in the cup, then use it immediately - either brushing it on or dropping small parts into the cup. Color of the clear solution is my measure - not too dark. Ed.
  11. Terrific work, Frank. Its great to see some of these methods applied to a completely different type of hull structure. Two Sherlines! This is serious mobilization. Ed
  12. Bob, I have found that copper can be blackened with LOS without effecting surrounding wood. The wood needs to be clean of any metal sanding dust and the LOS needs to be fairly dilute. When leveling off boltheads, files produce less fine dust than sanding but the surface should be wiped clean before treating. LOS solutions seem to neutralize to water and inert white solids and leave no reactive residues, unlike salt based blackeners like the blue selenium based solutions. You may also wish to rinse with clean water. While I have found this to be the case, some testing is always worthwhile to understand the right LOS dilution as well as the need for pre-cleaning. Ed
  13. Lovely work, Micheal. A lot of neat stuff here. I like the sawing clamp with the knurled knobs - a good idea for aging fingers like mine. Ed